The Postgraduate Review

During a speech at Birkbeck University on the 27th of July Lord Mandelson announced a review of postgraduate provision in the UK, to be led by Professor Adrian Smith, Director General of Science and Research at BIS.

The review will, in part, build on earlier contributions to the HE Debate, in particular the issues identified by Nigel Thrift and Paul Wellings.

Postgrad student, image CC licensed from Tulane University

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The Evidence Base

In constructing the six themes that the review will seek to explore further, the following reports have been useful.


Tom Sastry, Postgraduate Education in the United Kingdom, HEPI (2004)

Royal Society, A Higher Degree of Concern? (2008)

BIS, Higher Ambitions (2009)

UUK, Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK (PDF) (2009)

Higher Education Statistics Agency, Student Numbers.

Theme 1: International

OECD, The Global Competition for Talent, Executive Summary (PDF) (2008)

HE International Unit, The UK’s competitive advantage: the market for international research students (PDF) (2008)

Bahram Bekhradia and Thomas Sastry, Migration of Academic Staff to and from the UK, HEPI (2004)

M. Kearney, The Role of Post-Graduate Education in Research Systems (PDF), UNESCO/DCU Workshop on Trends in Post-Graduate Education 5-7 March 2008

OECD, Thematic Review of Tertiary Education (PDF), UK Overview (2008)

British Council, Vision 2020, Forecasting international student mobility: a UK perspective (2004)

Theme 2: Value of PG

UUK, Promoting the UK doctorate (2009)

UUK, Taught Postgraduate Students (2009)

DIUS, Higher Degrees: Postgraduate Study in the UK 2000/01 to 2005/06

Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS), University of Leicester, The Career Choices and Impact of PhD Graduates in the UK: A Synthesis Review (PDF) (2009)

Theme 3: Business, Employment and Skills

DIUS, The Demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Skills, (2009)

UKCES, Ambition 2020: World Class Skills and Jobs for the UK (PDF) (2009)

CBI Education and Skills Survey (PDF) (2009)

Vitae, What do researchers / PhDs do? publication series (2004-2009)

EEF, Under the Microscope: Is UK PLC ready for Low Carbon? (Registration required)(2009)

Theme 4: Participation

HESA, Destinations of Leavers Higher Education Institutions (Longitudinal) Survey (PDF)(DLHE – L DLHE)

The Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, Unleashing Aspiration (2009)

Theme 5: Fees and Funding

HEFCE, Costs of training and supervising postgraduate research students (2005)

Theme 6: The Student Experience

QAA, Report on the review of research degree programmes: England and Northern Ireland (2007)

The Higher Education Academy, Postgraduate Research / Taught Experience Surveys (PRES / PTES)

National Student Forum, Annual Report (2009)

Your input

The deadline for submissions to the review was 18 December 2009. Thank you for all of your comments and submissions, which will inform our findings and recommendations.

If you have any further questions about the review, please email