Any updates on the Ph.D. loans? Watch

post-grad-u-ate
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Ph.D. loans of up to £25,000 will be available from 2018, as long as you have an offer from an accredited department.

https://www.findaphd.com/funding/gui...ns-scheme.aspx

Does anyone know much more about this?
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alleycat393
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returnmigrant FYI
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returnmigrant
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I have heard nothing about this at all. From the info on FindAPhD its appears that it hasn't even gone through the basic consultation stage yet so at best its an 'idea' and nothing more substantive - all the FAQs are therefore nothing more than wishful thinking. The idea that it will all be in place and is definite I think is a punt by FindA Phd rather than actuality. I suggest that no-one plans their future academic career around one dubious posting on FindA PhD.
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by #ChaosKass)
Dear me, still all take, take, take with students isn't it? PhD students should have to fund their own studies, rather than relying once again on the taxpayer. You're meant to be fully grown, independent adults.
Why? Most, if not all PhDs qualify as a job and as a doctoral student I am technically employed by the institution I work at. So why shouldn't they be paid like independent adults?
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returnmigrant
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
Why? A PhD is basically a job and so the candidate should rightly be paid for it.
As they are in most European countries - PhD students have salaries, have full employment rights, pensions, holiday pay etc.

PS. The idea that someone could eventually fund their entire University education on loans is a nightmare waiting to happen. Can you imagine the level of debt involved and what the accumulated repayments would be?
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returnmigrant
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Btw folks, I can find zero confirmation about the 'new' government (ie. post-Mrs May) having committed to this 'idea'.

It was mentioned in the 2016 budget by Osborne (https://www.timeshighereducation.com...from-2018-2019). As we know, Mrs May isnt his greatest fan so assuming that she will just pick this up and run with this really is a bit unlikely. If you look at the info in the Time Higher budget report its almost word-for-word what FindAPhd have now cobbled together supposedly as 'fact'. This really mustn't be taken seriously!
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macromicro
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
I have heard nothing about this at all. From the info on FindAPhD its appears that it hasn't even gone through the basic consultation stage yet so at best its an 'idea' and nothing more substantive - all the FAQs are therefore nothing more than wishful thinking. The idea that it will all be in place and is definite I think is a punt by FindA Phd rather than actuality. I suggest that no-one plans their future academic career around one dubious posting on FindA PhD.
It was announced last year, along with the masters loans, which have been successfully carried out. It was in Osbourne's Budget:

[D]emand for individuals with doctorates is outstripping supply, both in the UK and internationally. Despite increases in the proportion of the labour market with a PhD in the US and UK, wage differentials with those whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree have risen substantially.

In addition, the market for postgraduate skills is becoming more internationally competitive. Countries such as the US and China are competing more for top researchers and have increased PhD student numbers in recent years, whereas in the UK PhD enrolment has remained relatively flat.

The government will introduce a package of measures to broaden and strengthen support for postgraduate researchers (including both masters and PhDs). This additional support will focus on seizing new opportunities in postgraduate research and build on partnerships with industry, charities, academies and individual members of society.
In the 2016 red book, he confirmed in more detail:

From 2018-19, loans of up to £25,000 will be available to any English student
without a Research Council living allowance who can win a place for doctoral study at a UK university. They will be added to any outstanding master’s loan and repaid on the same terms, but with the intention of setting a repayment rate of 9% for doctoral loans and a combined 9% repayment rate if people take out a doctoral and master’s loan. The government will launch a technical consultation on the detail. Those who take out only a master’s loan will still repay at 6%, as announced at Autumn Statement 2015. The government will also extend the eligibility of master’s loans to include three-year part-time courses with no full-time equivalent.
(Original post by returnmigrant)
Btw folks, I can find zero confirmation about the 'new' government (ie. post-Mrs May) having committed to this 'idea'.

It was mentioned in the 2016 budget by Osborne (https://www.timeshighereducation.com...from-2018-2019). As we know, Mrs May isnt his greatest fan so assuming that she will just pick this up and run with this really is a bit unlikely. If you look at the info in the Time Higher budget report its almost word-for-word what FindAPhd have now cobbled together supposedly as 'fact'. This really mustn't be taken seriously!
Well obviously. May has only just become PM and is dealing with Brexit - she is hardly going to be focusing her time on PhD loans that aren't due for almost two years.

It's not unlikely at all that she will continue with the loans - I'm not sure why you've assumed that. It seems to me much more likely that the loans will go ahead as planned as there's no reason they wouldn't.

(Original post by returnmigrant)
PS. The idea that someone could eventually fund their entire University education on loans is a nightmare waiting to happen. Can you imagine the level of debt involved and what the accumulated repayments would be?
No more than in the US, and a small price to pay for intelligence.
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macromicro
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(Original post by #ChaosKass)
Dear me, still all take, take, take with students isn't it? PhD students should have to fund their own studies, rather than relying once again on the taxpayer. You're meant to be fully grown, independent adults.
Yes how dreadful that average intelligence and education levels are increasing year on year at an increasing rate and therefore that previously optional education such as A-levels are now compulsory and previously unfunded education such as masters are now funded. How dreadful! How is society going to cope with all this advancement and progression and research output and higher intelligence? We're all doomed.
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#ChaosKass
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(Original post by macromicro)
Yes how dreadful that average intelligence and education levels are increasing year on year at an increasing rate and therefore that previously optional education such as A-levels are now compulsory and previously unfunded education such as masters are now funded. How dreadful! How is society going to cope with all this advancement and progression and research output and higher intelligence? We're all doomed.
Well if everyone is so intelligent then they would have thought of their own way of raising funds for their PhD studies instead of once again turning to the nanny state.
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john2054
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(Original post by #ChaosKass)
Well if everyone is so intelligent then they would have thought of their own way of raising funds for their PhD studies instead of once again turning to the nanny state.
i've never heard the biggest load of kodswallop in all my life, i'm afraid to say? Just because you were able to fund your doctorate, doesn't mean you should take away from others who are unable to do this okay?

You do realise this funding only applies to people who have a research proposal accepted, which is a task in itself?!?
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Reality Check
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But the debt! 3/4 years of undergrad, a Master's loan and then a £25K Ph.D. - that's (in London) a possible £115,000 of student loan debt before you've even got a job. i.e. half an average house.

It just seems crazy to me to be willing to take on that much debt by the age of about 25.
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by Reality Check)
But the debt! 3/4 years of undergrad, a Master's loan and then a £25K Ph.D. - that's (in London) a possible £115,000 of student loan debt before you've even got a job. i.e. half an average house.

It just seems crazy to me to be willing to take on that much debt by the age of about 25.
The money you get for a PhD isn't a loan, it's like getting paid for any other job.
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MrsSheldonCooper
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(Original post by #ChaosKass)
Dear me, still all take, take, take with students isn't it? PhD students should have to fund their own studies, rather than relying once again on the taxpayer. You're meant to be fully grown, independent adults.
Would love to see you get through university and a phD with your own earnings. You're so bitter it's pathetic.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
The money you get for a PhD isn't a loan, it's like getting paid for any other job.
No, the link posted by the OP is pointing to some new repayable Ph.D. loans beginning 2018, not a stipend which your receive as part of a funded Ph.D. place.
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john2054
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
The money you get for a PhD isn't a loan, it's like getting paid for any other job.
That's only for funded PhDs. The majority of us will have to do with a £25k loan.
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macromicro
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(Original post by #ChaosKass)
Well if everyone is so intelligent then they would have thought of their own way of raising funds for their PhD studies instead of once again turning to the nanny state.
Everyone isn't "so intelligent" nor does intelligence increase on its own - that's the problem. They and it require encouragement, investment, and opportunities; the more the better since intelligence is our most valuable commodity.
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DetectivePeralta
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(Original post by macromicro)
Yes how dreadful that average intelligence and education levels are increasing year on year at an increasing rate and therefore that previously optional education such as A-levels are now compulsory and previously unfunded education such as masters are now funded. How dreadful! How is society going to cope with all this advancement and progression and research output and higher intelligence? We're all doomed.
Not all of this extra education benefits us. I don't think a PhD in media studies or art history really benefits our economy tbh
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macromicro
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(Original post by Reality Check)
But the debt! 3/4 years of undergrad, a Master's loan and then a £25K Ph.D. - that's (in London) a possible £115,000 of student loan debt before you've even got a job. i.e. half an average house.

It just seems crazy to me to be willing to take on that much debt by the age of about 25.
The majority of people will not take out the full amount nor will they be in London. You've taken an extreme minority case. Moreover, compared to what the US pay that isn't at all crazy, especially medical and law students, for example.

The other point is this: if the person is happy to take it on then your point is redundant and the more important point is whether it is worth the government/taxpayer investing that much in one person. If not, the loans can be limited to ensure the investment is worthwhile for society, e.g. you may only take out the full BA/MA/PhD loans if you are in a high-demand research area. It would be very simple to regulate. Of course limitations may not be required - it may be the case that even £100k investment in a low-demand research area is still beneficial in the long-term on average, and personally I would side with this latter prediction.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by macromicro)
The majority of people will not take out the full amount nor will they be in London. You've taken an extreme minority case. Moreover, compared to what the US pay that isn't at all crazy, especially medical and law students, for example.

The other point is this: if the person is happy to take it on then your point is redundant and the more important point is whether it is worth the government/taxpayer investing that much in one person. If not, the loans can be limited to ensure the investment is worthwhile for society, e.g. you may only take out the full BA/MA/PhD loans if you are in a high-demand research area. It would be very simple to regulate. Of course limitations may not be required - it may be the case that even £100k investment in a low-demand research area is still beneficial in the long-term on average, and personally I would side with this latter prediction.
You seem to be forgetting that Ph.D.s in high demand research areas already have research council funding attached to them. Self-funded Ph.D. students tend to be in the arts and social sciences, where the likelihood of being able to repay such a debt burden is even more remote. Furthermore, the 'high-demand' projects at the cutting edge have already been awarded by competition for the funding, so which ones are going to be left for the self-funders?

Yes, my figures are top end, so ok - take £20,000 off it. Doesn't really make much difference to the concept. I also disagree with your assertion that 'the majority of people will not take out the full amount'. When you're doing a Ph.D. you need access to as much money as possible, given your only other source is a limited amount of paid supervision - to suggest that someone would willingly not borrow their full entitlement is, frankly, fanciful.

Of course people are entitled to take on that much debt if they want - I didn't said they couldn't. I'm questioning the sense in saddling yourself with over £100,000 of debt for a self-funded Ph.D. which is unlikely to be with a top group or a really interesting project.
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macromicro
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(Original post by Trapz99)
Not all of this extra education benefits us. I don't think a PhD in media studies or art history really benefits our economy tbh
For something to benefit us, it does not have to directly improve the economy. For example, the UK's multi-billion pound art market is obviously influenced by art historians and experts. But the point is that we're talking about the whole system of progressing a civilisation in the long-term, and investing in education and research is vital. Postgraduate education is becoming increasingly commonplace due to rising intelligence/education, and thus it must be funded for the quickest progression. Of course not every single bit of extra education is going to benefit us - I'm talking on average.
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