Advance HE recently published the 2018 version of its Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES). Formerly published every two years, this is the first time the report has been published on an annual basis. It is also the first time universities from outside the UK have taken part, bringing the total number of participating institutions to 66.
Over 16,000 postgraduates participated in the survey, sharing their thoughts on the PGR experience, including: How satisfied are postgraduate researchers? And how do they rate the different aspects of the experience? Advance HE explores all in this infographic, a summary of the report’s key findings.
- Course satisfaction: Postgraduate researchers continue to rate their experience positively, with 8/10 being satisfied overall. However, there has been a clear 2% decline since 2017, a fall which has taken place across most mission groups.
- Satisfaction per theme: The most positive aspects of the PGR experience are around supervision, with around 9/10 researchers being satisfied with their supervisors’ knowledge and availability. Researchers also praise how their PGR experience has developed their research skills.
- Wellbeing: Three-quarters of researchers agree to some extent that they are satisfied with their lives and more than 8 out of 10 believe their studies are worthwhile. Achieving a work-life balance is a more concerning aspect, where only around 6/10 agree that they have achieved this.
- Motivations: The main motivations for pursuing a research degree are an interest in the subject and improving career prospects for an academic/research career.
- Career plans: By the time postgraduate researchers have graduated, the majority wish to pursue an academic career, which consequently impacts on the fall in non-research or non-teaching careers outside of higher education.
Download PRES 2018
To learn more about the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey and Advance HE’s findings, use the following link to download the full PRES 2018 report.