University plugs skills gap with postgraduate incentives
August 8 2013
Over the last 10 years the number of full-time UK students taking on a postgraduate degree has risen from 30,015 to 44,145 – around 47%.
Meanwhile, the figure for international students has increased by 117.5%, from 38,590 people in 2002/3 to 83,950 last year, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Glyndŵr University in Wrexham is trying to close the skills gap and retain knowledge by offering UK students who complete their studies a half-price Masters’ degree.
Every year, 15 full-time students are also eligible to study a postgraduate course for free on completion of their undergraduate studies.
Welsh politicians praised the University and said the move “will pay off for jobs in Wrexham and north east Wales”.
Glyndŵr University’s Head of Business, Professor Chris Jones says the institution is giving students a reason to remain in higher education and stop knowledge and skills leaving home soil.
“This is not a universities problem, it’s a political problem,” said Prof Jones.
“It’s fantastic to have so many overseas students here in the UK but when they go back to China, or South America or elsewhere in Europe they take their skills and what they’ve learnt with them.
“All of the knowledge they’ve picked up here is benefiting economies and innovation elsewhere, whether that be in science, business, manufacturing or other industries.”
He added: “If students joining Glyndŵr University know they can carry on and study for a Masters’ degree for half of the price, or even for free, then that will hopefully keep many of them here and benefit the economy of north east Wales and other areas of the country as well.
“At the moment there is a big black hole, a knowledge void, and we’re doing our best to fill it.”
The University’s efforts to plug the gap and support postgraduate students were supported by leading politicians.
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “University links are an unbeatable way of building long-term relationships with developing economies but we must ensure that we also work to ensure skills developed in the UK help boost our economy.
“Glyndŵr’s initiative will pay off for jobs in Wrexham and North East Wales.”
Wrexham Assembly member Lesley Griffiths added: “Wrexham is fortunate to have an innovative and esteemed educational establishment like Glyndŵr University and it is important the local area benefits from the university’s presence and students’ achievements.”
“There are unique values and opportunities in Wales, both in a professional and lifestyle capacity. I fully support Glyndŵr University in helping promote the region.”
For more information, visit the Glyndŵr University website: http://bit.ly/16hNZHy.