University Alliance response to Postgraduate Review

In response to Adrian Smith’s Postgraduate Review Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance, said:

“Postgraduate provision is vital to the health of the UK economy, society and its research base.  Often the largest provider in the region, Alliance universities deliver nearly 20% of all postgraduate education in the UK – around 95,000 students (Based on 2007/08 HESA data) – as well as considerable trans-national provision with international partners around the world.

“We support the recommendation that PhD funding should be based on the quality of the research environment and supervision, not the institution.  In 2007–08 Alliance universities awarded nearly 1,200 PhDs – with many delivered on a more flexible basis and in areas that are critical to the UK economy.

“In terms of efficiency, on average Alliance universities award twice as many PhDs per funding council research allocation as either the 1994 Group or the Russell Group. research-intensive universities according to the HEFCE performance indicators.

“The Review highlights the importance of access to postgraduate level study and the professions.  Alliance universities are major providers of professional postgraduate education delivering access to the professions. Significant proportions of our qualifications are accredited by the professions – up to 70% are professionally accredited in some institutions (University of Bradford). We strongly support the call for better evidence of the progression of students from poor backgrounds.”


Notes for Editors

University Alliance represents 22 major, dynamic, business-like universities at the heart of the sector that deliver world-leading research with impact and are actively business-focussed. Alliance universities educate 26% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates. These universities offer a research informed academic learning environment and a culture of entrepreneurialism, equipping graduates for the 21st century.

Alliance universities

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, University of Gloucestershire, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact:

Alexandra Harris, University Alliance on 0203 178 7491

or email

Further reading