Investing in Research = Investing in Our Future
Competition for the best research students is fierce and international, and we need to act now if we wish to continue attracting the finest minds in the world. On financial grounds, Cambridge is not competitive, but it needs to be.
At Pembroke, our aim is to seek out the most talented graduate students who, after completing their degrees, will help make a difference to the world we live in. Postgraduate students are at the heart of the University’s various research agendas and as such their importance cannot be emphasised enough. Doctoral students in particular, working alongside senior academics and publishing papers with them, make an invaluable contribution to the University’s research output which in turn ensures Cambridge’s international ranking and reputation as a world-class university. They are the next generation of teachers and leaders on whose knowledge we rely heavily to help solve some of society’s most complex problems.
Drastic cuts to Research Councils mean that there are fewer research studentships than before. In addition, the tripling of undergraduate tuition fees and the enormous debt with which UK students will be saddled upon graduating will inevitably deter many excellent prospective postgraduate students from pursuing postgraduate research. This is a crisis for the UK: increasingly, prospective postgraduates are turning to universities outside the UK where support, especially for living expenses, is easier to come by. Senior researchers will be forced to follow them if the University fails to attract the best doctoral students. This is therefore a matter of national importance for the UK and reputational importance for Cambridge.
Understanding the bigger picture described above and the damaging consequences of a potential “brain drain” is important. This is why, at Pembroke, we are 100% committed to doing something about this by increasing the support we can give postgraduate students.