From August 2007 PhD students paid by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) will receive £14,300 a year, after College agreed to pay full London weighting.
Students in some departments, such as mathematics, were only receiving £12,300 despite the EPSRC indicating that £14,300 was their recommended amount. The £2,000 deficit has been short-changing PhD students across the College for some time now. Both new and existing students will receive the increase, although it will not be backdated.
Research representatives Eirini Spentza (CGCU) and Daniel Sauder (RCSU Physical Sciences) compiled a "dossier" of departments under-funding their students, revealing that it was nearly all of them. Some departments, such as Computing, paid an amount between the two, but they will now all be required to pay the full amount, regardless of funding source.
After initial discussions with the Deputy Rector and student representatives, Deputy President (Education & Welfare) Ben "Fluffy" Harris gave a presentation to the College's Strategic Education Committee (which students do not normally attend), who were strongly in favour of providing the higher bursary. The Deputy President (Graduate Students) did not present the proposal as she arrived over 20 minutes late, due to snow delaying her tube journey.
The College Management Board approved the recommendation on Friday, putting it into effect. This is a clear win for the student representatives who highlighted the deficit, achieving a rapid resolution thanks to the co-operation of the College and Union sabbatical officers.