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GW4 letter to Government calling for support for PGRs to access childcare schemes

The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities has today written to Michelle Donelan MP and Gillian Keegan MP raising the vital issue of access for postgraduate researchers to government-backed childcare schemes.

Read the full letter to Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

Read the full letter to Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education

Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, GW4 Alliance Director, said: “While, like many, we welcome the recent announcement in the Spring budget to expand in England the 30 hours free childcare scheme, we are calling on government to address the ineligibility of postgraduate researchers for government-backed childcare subsidies.

“There are solutions for both undergraduate students and staff at our universities, but unfortunately, postgraduate researchers in England have fallen between the gaps in provision, usually unable to meet the eligibility requirements for government schemes or student support.

“We are concerned as to the impact of this policy on the diversity and inclusivity of postgraduate research. We want to work with government to ensure parents of young children are not disincentivised from pursuing postgraduate qualifications.

“The situation for postgraduate researchers in Wales is slightly better, but we encourage the Westminster government and the devolved nations to consider how they can better support our postgraduate researchers with childcare costs and address the current barriers that exist.”


GW4 institutions host over 40 externally funded Doctoral Training Centres and Partnerships and are home to over 7000 doctoral researchers, of which 10 to 20 percent have declared parental/caring responsibilities at registration.

GW4 routinely works with other universities, research institutes, businesses and charities to create a highly skilled workforce for the UK and worldwide. GW4 is committed to creating optimal research and educational environments that enable our postgraduate researchers to push forward the boundaries of knowledge and innovation.

Further Reading

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter