I am a research student. Who will look after me in the new system?

iStock_000005881622_ExtraSmallOne of the biggest changes proposed in the Higher Education and Research Bill is the almost complete separation of the organisation of teaching and research in England.

The Office for Students is going to be responsible for checking that all ‘taught’ courses are satisfactory for students.

UK Research and Innovation will be funding research, both the infrastructure provision of laboratories and libraries and the ‘project’ funding. That seems to mean it will be offering research studentship funding too, through the decisions of the various ‘committees’ which the present Research Councils will turn into.

But UKRI does not seem to have any responsibilities for ensuring that research students will get the teaching and support they need. Within a ‘team’-based project a doctoral student will at least have the contact with colleagues which will help. Humanities doctoral students will need a structure designed to put them at the ‘heart’ of the new system too.

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