Westminster Higher Education Forum

Next steps for postgraduate research policy - new models of delivery, funding and the Industrial Strategy

Morning, Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Central London


This timely seminar will examine the next steps for delivering postgraduate research (PGR) in the UK.

Key policymakers and stakeholders will discuss funding for universities and the loans system for students, as well as the future for new models for providing doctoral study and the role of research councils.

It comes with a new Doctoral Loans system set to be launched for the 2018/2019 academic year and follows the publication of Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper which included commitments to additional funding for doctoral study in STEM fields.

Areas for discussion include:

  • The new Doctoral Loans system - assessing key issues for the implementation of the loans, including the extent to which the new finance will support widening participation efforts, how universities will respond in planning capacity for PGR study and the opportunity to lever private finance such as employer sponsorship to ‘top-up’ the loans;
  • The wider PGR funding landscape - opportunities for universities to utilise increased government research spending and the Industrial Strategy;
  • Changes to the shape of PGR delivery - including the growing use of alternative models for delivering doctoral study such as Centres of Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) as well as the future for Professional Doctorates; and
  • Research Councils - their strategies for existing CDTs and DTPs and potential for further waves.

We expect attendees to include Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with university Vice-Chancellors and Pro Vice-Chancellors for research and enterprise, university research, commercialisation and business liaison services, research-intensive businesses, local enterprise partnerships and economic development advisors within local government.

Guest of Honour

Ben Coates

Director, New Student Finance Products, Department for Education

Guest of Honour

Ben Coates

Director, New Student Finance Products, Department for Education


Dr JD Hill

Research Manager, British Museum

Anila Siraj

Executive Vice President, Research and Applied Data Sciences, Kalibrate

Professor Sue Walker

Director, Design Star Doctoral Training Centre, University of Reading

Mark Bennett

Head of Content, FindAUniversity