Postgraduate taught funding has been a hot topic at Nottingham. As a full-time postgrad officer, one of the most depressing conversations I have with students are undergrads who want to pursue a masters but struggle to find the funding to be able to afford it. I think for universities, it’s a shame to see talented students unable to pursue postgraduate study because of funding. I financed my masters through the same US federal loans that paid for my undergraduate degree, so for me it simply doesn’t make any sense to not have a similar funding system for postgraduates as there is for undergraduates.
We’ve been successful at lobbying both our VC, David Greenaway, and one of the MPs who represents our campuses, Lilian Greenwood. Both conversations were extremely productive and both agreed to the principles of the NUS proposal. Our meeting with Lilian Greenwood was especially good; as it was the first time we had sat down with her for an informal lobbying session on a variety of issues facing students.
The lobbying is long from over, but getting key people in Parliament and the Higher Education Sector is important for us to get anywhere. Since we have a few campuses in the UK, we’re hoping to meet with more of the MPs who represent our students, so it’s been great for our union to map out who exactly our parliamentary representatives are and building relationships with them. It’s also great to come together on something with our VC that we both agree on that will ultimately benefit the student body and the university.
Laura Theobald is Postgradaute Officer at University of Nottingham Students Union
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