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Reforming admissions practices that create barriers to entry

Led by Prof Julie Sheldon, Liverpool John Moores University, with Dr Owen Gower, UK Council for Graduate Education

This work package addresses widespread concerns about the efficacy and fairness of current admissions practices in doctoral education.

Shift Insight have been asked by the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) to independently conduct a national survey of UK universities in June 2022. This survey seeks a reliable picture of current PGR admissions practices – regardless of what internal policies state – and help us to identify any barriers to access to postgraduate education.

This will be followed by focus groups with key stakeholders (e.g. supervisors, postgraduate researchers and professional services staff) to draw up a competency-based framework for doctoral admissions.  This framework will form the basis of a pilot project across NTU, LJMU and SHU which will collect data over three years on the efficacy and impact of moving away from undergraduate degree classification, awarding institution and research proposal as the principal ways to measure suitability for doctoral study.

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