PhD loans - what do you all think?

posted
11-May-18, 14:23
edited about 25 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 5 months ago
Hi folks,

You're *probably* aware of the UK's new PhD loans - £25k per student, no additional public funding, etc. We're carrying out a little research into the new funding over at FindAPhD and would appreciate it if any prospective students here had time to complete a quick survey. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes and there's a chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher as a thank you.
I'll be speaking about the results at a policy forum later this year (with several fairly important student finance people in attendance) so this is a chance for your views to be heard (in a manner of speaking).

Cheers!

Mark

FindAPhD
posted
11-May-18, 14:34
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 months ago
Actually, I hadn't heard of these. Is there a good website to find out more?
posted
11-May-18, 14:36
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted
11-May-18, 14:36
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 months ago
Oops, I am not sure if I was supposed to start this. I'm a few questions in and it is asking questions like "where do you plan to do your PhD". So presumeably it isn't for existing PhDs/PhD students. I've just noticed in your original post that it says for "prospective" students. Sorry!
posted
11-May-18, 14:38
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 5 months ago
Not to worry - we are mainly interested in what prospective student think, yep. I'd still be happy to hear other people's thoughts here on the forum though. It's all useful.
posted
11-May-18, 18:53
edited a moment later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 months ago
Thanks! So is the 25k for the duration of the whole PhD? It doesn't seem that it would be a enough to cover fees and living costs?
posted
17-May-18, 16:08
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 5 months ago
Apologies - missed your reply here. Yep, that's the limit. As with the Masters loans, the intention is for the money to make a 'contribution' to a student's costs. Remains to be seen how useful that ends up being. . .
posted
18-May-18, 11:18
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for bongmaster5000
posted about 5 months ago
Already on a PhD so can't take survey. My two cents - not much help. £25k might seem like a big wedge but over 3-4 years it's a drop in the ocean. I think my studentship, bells and whistles included, is worth something near £70k and once you factor in 4 years of living costs, tuition and all the rest of it, that's spread pretty thinly. I expect to be working part-time during my writing up year even with saving part of my stipend each quarter.

If you take out a £25k PhD loan you're going to need to find at least another £30 - 40k from somewhere. Might be handy if you're self/family funded as it relieves some of the immediate outlay but otherwise I don't see the point in it. Anecdotally, I've seen people discussing the loan elsewhere who seem to think it's going to cover most of their costs - clearly not doing the maths. If the loan ends up encouraging more people to take on a self-funded PhD than would otherwise do it, fair enough, but I wonder if it might encourage some to take on a bigger financial burden than they can realistically handle.
posted
18-May-18, 13:31
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 months ago
If you are prepared to stay away from city centres and London, don't have a car, have no dependents or debtand are prepared to flat share, it is absolutely possible to live very comfortably on less than £10k per year.

£25k would give you about 60% of that so you'd need a part time job as well.
Honestly, if you can't get full funding for your PhD you really need to take a step back and listen to the message the system is telling you. I would personally never take out a loan or self fund.
posted
18-May-18, 15:01
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for bongmaster5000
posted about 5 months ago

Honestly, if you can't get full funding for your PhD you really need to take a step back and listen to the message the system is telling you. I would personally never take out a loan or self fund.


Yes, I think this is the main point.
posted
18-May-18, 21:35
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 months ago
I think it is better than nothing (that 25k is available now). I know people who are part funded - and working their socks off to pay the other part. So this would help them nicely. Other than that, yes, it isn't enough!
posted
18-May-18, 22:00
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From bongmaster5000:

Honestly, if you can't get full funding for your PhD you really need to take a step back and listen to the message the system is telling you. I would personally never take out a loan or self fund.


Yes, I think this is the main point.


Why?
posted
18-May-18, 23:15
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 months ago
Some people aren't getting funding because they aren't striking lucky. I say this as a person who did get funding. Not getting funding may be sending no message other than: there isn't enough to go around - you were unlucky.
posted
19-May-18, 10:21
edited about 35 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 months ago
It's sending a strong message that your research is not valued enough by our society to bother funding.
It's not a great place to start a PhD from.
posted
19-May-18, 14:25
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From pm133:
It's sending a strong message that your research is not valued enough by our society to bother funding.
It's not a great place to start a PhD from.


LOL. If you say so.

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