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The survey asked final-year, first-degree students at English higher education institutions in 2013 [Note 1] what they were planning to do after university, and in particular whether they intended to progress to postgraduate education.
HEFCE compared these intentions with the information collected from the same students in the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. This showed that, while 17 per cent of all graduates intended to pursue a postgraduate qualification, only half of them actually did so within six months of graduation. This varies by different student characteristics:
The survey asked students who were likely to enter postgraduate study what would affect their decision. For 65 per cent course fees was a factor. Among students who said they were unlikely to study at postgraduate level in the future, 61 per cent said that course fees were one of the factors putting them off.
HEFCE also examined the intentions of more recent final-year students; those responding to IAGS 2014 [Note 2]. These data illustrate differences in the intention to progress to postgraduate education for some student characteristics:
Given this clear evidence that finance is a barrier to progression to postgraduate study, HEFCE welcomes the Government’s commitment to provide £10,000 scholarships for 10,000 students studying for masters qualifications in 2015-16 [Note 3], and to develop a postgraduate loan scheme to address both the unmet demand and the finance barriers evidenced in the recent IAGS survey.