Many people in higher education in the UK are being priced out of doing master’s degrees, as they are too expensive.
Vice-President (Higher Education) for the National Union of Students (NUS) Rachel Wenstone said: “Thousands of talented people are denied the chance to go into postgraduate education simply because they don’t have access to the ready cash needed to pay the fees upfront.”
A new report by think tank CentreForum stated doing a master’s is like being a member of “an exclusive golf club”, as a result of rising tuition fees and a lack of Funding Council support.
Due to this, there has been a drop in the number of domestic students taking courses after finishing their undergraduate degree.
The report asks universities in the UK to do more to encourage students to become postgraduates through expanding their endowment capacity and accessing financial markets.
Julian Huppert MP wrote the foreword to the report and said the need to review postgraduate funding is a “matter of urgency”.
Ms Wenstone added that to take a master’s degree, people have to be very rich, lucky or finish with lots of debt.
Earlier this week, the Higher Education Funding Council and the Office for Fair Access reported universities have been giving more money to students, increasing their spending by 5% in 2011/12 to £386.5 million.
Despite this, Les Ebdon, the access ombudsman for higher education in England, said more needs to be done to help disadvantaged students in the UK attend university.