Postgraduate Experience Project:STEM

Project: Project at a former HEI

Description

There has been a dramatic expansion in postgraduate taught study (PGT) in the UK in recent years, but this is now faltering especially amongst full and part-time British students. As a result, sustaining the participation required to meet national skill needs as well as the PGT market in the UK, had become a pressing challenge. Although there was a growing body of evidence looking at the postgraduate student experience (e.g. HEA’s PTES survey), there is still a paucity of research exploring participation barriers, understanding student and employers expectations of PGT study, progression and retention, and post-study outcomes. The project was funded by HEFCE because they saw these as important areas to research if long-term approaches to stimulating and sustaining fulltime and part-time PGT study in England (and other areas in the UK) were to be achieved. This project researched the expectations and attitudes towards postgraduate taught (PGT) STEM study, and post study outcomes from the perspective of students’, universities and employers across a group of institutions diverse in student body and geography, and with the input of stakeholders from different sectors. With the recent changes in the UK higher education landscape, the project aimed to provide valuable contributions in shaping and helping to sustain the PGT sector, at both institutional and national level.The collaborative Partners include the Universities of Brighton, Coventry, Edinburgh, Lincoln, Manchester Metropolitan, Portsmouth, Plymouth, South Wales, Teesside, Wolverhampton. Business and industry leaders and higher educational specialists are also involved. I led the Lincoln contribution and worked with the overall team to develop and generate the research and the analysis.

Layman's description

The project explored students reasons for choosing and participating in particular STEM masters across 11 universities in England, Scotland and Wales. Student bursaries were allocated across 11 institutions and these students were studied throughout their masters year in order to gain insights into how masters students could be better supported throughout their degree. In addition the project gained insights into the perspectives of university staff and employers on the value of such degrees.

In addition to the 6 surveys and focus groups that constituted this main project across the 11 institution Lincoln carried out a more focused study. The purpose of this was to gain a more in depth understanding of the perspectives of students and staff who taught and developed the degrees.

Key findings

The key findings are reported in a final report which can be found here: http://www.postgradexperience.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Postgraduate-Experience-Report-Final.pdf. Also an institutional report can be found here: http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/22142/1/PEP%20Report%20University%20of%20Lincoln%20Nov%202015.pdf
Short title£2,800,000
AcronymPEP
StatusNot started