Our response to HEFCE's consultation on proposed changes allocation methods for the research degree programme supervision fund welcomes increased funding and encourages the linkage of funding with research quality
Response submitted 2011
The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) welcomes this opportunity to comment on HEFCE’s consultation on “allocation method for postgraduate research funding from 2012-13”
We welcome changes to the allocation method for the research degree programme (RDP) supervision fund from 2012-13, especially the proposed increase in funds by £35 million (in addition to the current £205 million).
We support the proposal to link the allocation of RDP supervision funding to quality as this will best support meeting the aim of HEFCE to support the supervision of students in higher-quality research environments.
No response provided
We do wish to note that while the value of an institution’s RDP grant relative to its mainstream QR grant provides a useful indicator of the sustainability of postgraduate supervisory activity at whole-institution level, some universities, which contain some clusters of research excellence with strong PhD programmes, may lose out in the future. University ‘averages’ may dilute funds allocated to currently strong PhD programmes.
A formula based on successful completions within specific outlets (e.g. within REF units of assessment) would enable more specific targeting of funds. The latter would allow recognition of those outlets that traditionally have done well with respect to PhD supervision and completions, rather than favouring weaker outlets embedded within strong research institutions.
We do not support the separation of AS and A Level Geography, or external assessment (as opposed to moderation) of of non-exam assessment. We welcome the 80:20 balance of assessment proposed.
We highlight the importance of geospatial technologies and geographical data to the UK's economy, and, in relation to this, the role of geography and geographers in future industrial development
Our response evaluates the existing network, and advocates for fieldwork and interdisciplinarity in future developments. We also highlight a lack of flexibility in 1+3 studentships.
A consultation on increasing uptake of EBacc subjects to 90%. Our response requests more frequent information on subject uptake, raises concerns around shortages of specialist staff at KS3, and highlights the need to sustain fieldwork as a GCSE course component.
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