Changes in teaching and learning in the period to 2005: the case of postgraduate higher education in the UK
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 24, (1), . (doi:10.1080/13600800220130761).
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This paper looks at recent trends in UK postgraduate education and aims to identify key issues to be addressed over the next five years. Based on detailed statistical analysis, the paper shows the following:
” Increasing student numbers in both research and taught courses, but especially the latter.
” Taught courses: expansion in Business and Administrative Studies and in Computer Science, and, among part-time students, in Subjects allied to Medicine.
” Research: increasing diversity with the Physical Sciences and Engineering declining in relative importance.
” Expansion in international student recruitment.
” Increasing proportion of female students.
” Increasing proportion of part-time students.
” Expansion in postgraduate activity in the post-1992 universities, especially in taught courses and part-time study.
Against this background, the paper assesses possible changes over the next five years, addressing, in particular, issues relating to student numbers, funding arrangements, modes of delivery and quality assurance. The reasons for continued expansion are considered together with likely developments in research training. The increasing impact of competitive market forces, especially in the determination of fees, is explored from the point of view of both universities and their students. Further changes in course delivery, especially through the application of modern technology and the development of web-based systems, are identified together with associated questions relating to quality, cost and institutional identity. Finally, the paper discusses possible changes in the structure and content of postgraduate qualifications in the UK and their likely implications for the organisation of postgraduate study.
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