Sutton Trust research on Postgraduate study is cited and Sutton Trust CEO, Lee Elliot Major, is quoted by the Guardian.
The benefits enjoyed by those with postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly evident. Research published by the Sutton Trust education charity suggests that, in Britain, they will earn on average 14% more than those with an undergraduate degree alone. They are also 15% more likely to be employed full-time after six months, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, and more likely to use skills acquired during their education in their work.
“It is no longer enough to have a bog-standard bachelor’s degree to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Postgraduate qualifications are often essential in many fields, such as journalism, and they command a wage premium – £200,000 more than an undergraduate degree alone, over a lifetime,” says Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust.
“But with undergraduates racking up average debts of £50,000, those who do not come from privileged backgrounds, and cannot rely on the bank of mum and dad, are prevented from pursuing postgraduate education – the new frontier of social mobility.”
Many universities are now in a multi-million-pound drive to equalise opportunity. In 2017/18, Russell Group universities will spend more than £250m on scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers and outreach to widen participation in education.
However, pleas for a means-tested postgraduate loan system – in which funding is prioritised for those most in need of it – are often ignored, says Elliot Major. “Rather than levelling the playing field, financial aid is too often a vehicle for people who are already advantaged to cement their place in society,” he says.