Money's rarely an easy subject for postgraduate students, who face high tuition fees without the safety net of a student loan. There's no postgraduate equivalent to the student maintenance loan or tuition fee loan, so if you decide to pursue your studies to postgraduate level, it's up to you to work out how to fund it. This can be discouraging for students without a pile of money to their name (and carrying a considerably large undergraduate debt). Competition for postgraduate funding

Money's rarely an easy subject for postgraduate students, who face high tuition fees without the safety net of a student loan. There's no postgraduate equivalent to the student maintenance loan or tuition fee loan, so if you decide to pursue your studies to postgraduate level, it's up to you to work out how to fund it. This can be discouraging for students without a pile of money to their name (and carrying a considerably large undergraduate debt). Competition for postgraduate funding

Postgraduate Student Loans - Barclays to the Rescue?

Posted in Postgraduate Student Finance Advice

Money’s rarely an easy subject for postgraduate students, who face high tuition fees without the safety net of a student loan.  There’s no postgraduate equivalent to the student maintenance loan or tuition fee loan, so if you decide to pursue your studies to postgraduate level, it’s up to you to work out how to fund it. 

This can be discouraging for students without a pile of money to their name (and carrying a considerably large undergraduate debt).  Competition for postgraduate funding is fierce, and career development loans can be difficult to secure, so financial inequality is a serious problem at postgraduate level. 

When the government reviewed their approach to Higher Education and made the decision to increase the amount students paid for their undergraduate studies, they didn’t pay much attention to postgraduates. Now that undergraduate fees are as high as £9,000 at many universities, postgraduate fees have risen too, but without many sources of financial help available, a lot of students are finding themselves priced out of the market.

In February this year, Barclays Bank met with officials from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to discuss ways of offering financial assistance to the first wave of students who will graduate having paid up to £9,000 per year for tuition in 2015.  This cohort will graduate with debt in excess of £30,000, so the thought of adding another £10,000 to this, with potentially high interest rates, will be far from pleasant. 

Chris Hearn, who heads up the education section at Barclays Corporate, told the THE that they were looking to expand their current range of professional and career development loans to offer funding for taught postgraduate courses, using a ‘risk share’ model, splitting responsibility for the loan with either the university or BIS.

Sadly, as many students hoping to study at postgraduate level with have little or no earnings (or borrowings) history, there’s no certainty that a bank will look upon them as ‘good borrowers’, who are likely to make their repayments without issue.  One way of avoiding this problem might be for lending banks arrange a ‘risk share’ with either BIS or the university in question, but the problem remains that students from wealthier backgrounds will still be more attractive customers for bank loans, so the inequality won’t be easy to fix.

The only way to be sure that everyone who wants to go on to postgraduate study has an equal chance of doing so is for the government to offer postgraduate student loans, but in an age of fully-fledged austerity, that’s not looking likely.  If you're looking for ways to fund your own postgraduate study, Scholarship Search is the UK's largest database of funding opportunities for students, so search for sources of postgraduate funding now and get yourself on a course today.