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A study on attitudes towards postgraduate education in the UK

A study on attitudes towards postgraduate education in the UK

Igwe, Emmanuel Chibuike (2018) A study on attitudes towards postgraduate education in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

Supply side economic policies designed to encourage participation in postgraduate education have the ultimate goal to improve productivity of the workforce. For such policies to deliver the expected impact, they should be designed taking into consideration individual perceptions of “self” in relation to educational experiences and credit market imperfections. In his 2014 UK Autumn statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the provision of postgraduate loans of £10,000 each to benefit 40,000 students from the 2016/17 academic session and onwards. Targeted at prospective students below the age of 30, this policy aims at developing a higher-skilled workforce by providing access to students especially from low-income backgrounds. Thus, through this initiative, the government hopes to improve the public return on higher education through offering the prospects for a higher private return to higher education.

This research explores the effects of this policy on two types of individuals who it is expected to impact: the final-year undergraduate student considering her path towards employment, and the graduate who considers returning to higher education. This comparison is made in two scenarios considering intertemporal choice with exponential discounting as well as hyperbolic discounting. Thus, a model characterising optimal stopping times for both individuals is derived. This will allow for more government consideration of the social and economic constraints that influence transitions within higher education and may direct future research on understanding student progression within higher education.

The methodology adopted allows for inferences to be derived regarding how the nature of individual behaviour changes given the effects of individual identity and financial constraints. It further proposes an exposé on how fundamentally disparate theoretical assumptions can shape our understanding of the opportunity costs of transitions to taught postgraduate degrees. The results explored in this document depict some implications on public policy which span from the rationale behind funding PGT degrees to the effect of socio-economic disparities on the UK’s widening participation agenda.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Postgraduate education; student progression; taught postgraduate degrees;
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 14:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24535

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