Measuring the impact of PSS funding

About this Event

1st November 2017
King’s Manor, York

This half-day seminar will draw on key lessons from HEFCE’s Postgraduate Support Scheme to identify and develop transferable insights for institutional postgraduate policy and support.



This event will reflect on key lessons for taught postgraduate education from HEFCE’s Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS). The focus will be on the most recent round of funding in 2015/16, drawing on the findings of the evaluation of PSS 2015/16.

The PSS allocated £50 million in postgraduate scholarships to widen access to taught postgraduate study, in the face of concerns about the deterrent effect of higher undergraduate tuition fees. It was intended to pave the way for the master’s loan scheme, which has now commenced.

At the seminar there will be reflection on take-up of PSS awards, the differences in success rates, what lays behind these and the lessons learned for future scholarships.

Participants will consider what widening participation means at postgraduate level and how to measure relevant characteristics. They will also engage in guided discussion of strategies for devising funding support packages and other widening participation initiatives for home taught postgraduates.


Expected Outcomes

Participants will acquire an understanding of the key findings and lessons learned from the Postgraduate Support Scheme, identify transferable insights for their own institutions, and generate ideas and suggestions for enhancing postgraduate participation. They will develop their understanding of widening participation at postgraduate level, both in general and for their institution.


Seminar Leader

The event will be led by Professor Paul Wakeling, University of York, who carried out the evaluations of the Postgraduate Support Scheme in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Professor Wakeling has extensive experience in researching access to postgraduate study and evaluating higher education policy initiatives. He has completed projects recently with HEFCE, the Higher Education Academy, the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK and worked closely with institutions on postgraduate widening participation.


Who Should Attend this Workshop?

The event will be of interest to staff in higher education institutions who are involved in strategy or policy for recruitment and support of ‘home’ taught postgraduate students. This is likely to cover senior managers, admissions staff, those involved in widening participation, student funding and scholarships and student support.

Also interested will be academic and professional staff with a significant taught postgraduate remit, as well as student representatives such as student union officers.

Since the focus of PSS 2015/16 was on master’s degrees, the event will most relevant to those working with master’s-level students. While institutions which were directly involved in PSS will most obviously benefit, others should also gain important insights (e.g. institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Speaker Profiles

There are no speakers for this event yet.