The report 'PhD study: trends and profiles, 1996-97 to 2004-05' (HEFCE 2009/04) shows that the number of UK student starters increased marginally over the period, whereas there was around a 50 per cent increase in the number of starters from outside the UK.
According to the report published by HEFCE, the number of women on full-time PhD programmes grew by 42 per cent. In 2004-05 there were 7,400 female starters compared to 9,500 male starters. There was also a significant growth of 70 per cent in the number of starters with a masters qualification obtained in the year before starting the programme.
The number of part-time starters from the UK decreased by 14 per cent between 1996-97 and 2004-05. Conversely the number of part-time starters from the EU (excluding UK) grew by 48 per cent, while the non-EU numbers grew by 23 per cent.