Except that it isn't actually misappropriation. The EPSRC sets a minimum level, which for 06/07 was ?12,300. Application of London Weighting is at the discretion of the owner of the pot of money - this is why Maths were only paying the minimum and there was a lot of variation. They are "free to switch funding to other areas of related expenditure, such as consumables, travel, conferences, external training courses and career guidance".
However, a number of people I've spoken to have described it as "theft", because they were told that their bursary offer was *higher* than normal. It turns out it was higher than the base level, but lower than the weighted minimum.
Ideally, all PhD students would be paid well. But the Maths department seems to have realised that there are enough keen students eager to work with their prospective supervisors that they will put up with the deprivation. Very clever.
Probably a bit hard to explain to people how there could be a major issue outside of term time, as most people seem to thing Uni's just STOP after the end of term. Like a lot of students. Bit of a tough break, but hard to do anything about.
I'm pretty p***ed, i was in RWD when we strongly debated this issue, and at the forum where we decided that this should be the major talking point for the Sabs to take to College, and was very happy when things seemed to be moving so fast. For some departments to be dragging their feet is deplorable, though credit to those that pulled their thumbs out and did something about it (i know a physicist mate that will be pretty happy about that).
Having lived with PhDs for two years at Clayponds, i am probably one of few undergrads (well, ex undergrad) who realise it is neither well paid, or easy, to be a PhD student, let alone in London.
Now if only the GSA farce had been averted, there would have at least been somebody around to do some immediate whip cracking.
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