Humanities Postgraduates? Preserve of the Rich?

Humanities Postgraduates? Preserve of the Rich?

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I received a small bursary from the University of Winchester in order to undertake my history PhD … is such a possibility going to become the exclusive preserve of large institutions with huge reserves of money/gifting? I gained a huge amount from being a part of the department, rather than a cog in the wheel!

The University of Oxford has received a multi-million-pound gift for postgraduate humanities study aimed at the world’s most promising scholars amid concern that public funding cuts could make such courses the preserve of elite institutions.

The donation – which will ultimately amount to around £26 million – was made by Mica Ertegun, a renowned interior designer and the widow of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Expected eventually to create at least 35 scholarships for humanities graduates at Oxford every year, the gift is the most generous for the study of the humanities in the institution’s 900-year history.

However, some observers fear that cuts to universities’ public funding will mean that only elite institutions with access to substantial donations and endowment income will be able to fully support postgraduate provision.

Postgraduates are not able to access the publicly subsidised student loans system. A recent report from the 1994 Group of smaller research-intensive universities warned of the dire consequences for postgraduate provision across the sector if future students, laden with debt from higher undergraduate fees, were not offered support for postgraduate fees.

2 thoughts on “Humanities Postgraduates? Preserve of the Rich?

  1. I think the question of who your supervisor is will play a huge role in where people choose to go irrelevant of costs. However, this does open up the question of what role will this donar play in the seleltion process. Are they going to play a role? If they are we could start to see the exclusion of some subjects from research becuase it does not suit the ideals of the person providing the money.

    1. Definitely. The right person encouraging you through is extremely important, but when I took up my PhD, it had to fit within a particular remit – I was fortunate that it did (20th century social/cultural history in Britain!)

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