The UK Government has announced a welcome funding boost for International PhD students. They are now included in the support for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships commencing in the new term 2021/22.

The announcement means that all UKRI-funded PhD students will be eligible for the full award. PhD candidates will enjoy 'both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at research organisations UK rate'.

Details regarding eligibility

This is a very significant funding boost for International students looking to commence a PhD next autumn, and is a recognition of the importance of attracting high quality PhD candidates to study in the UK.

The Government has promised more details on this change later in the year, so candidates can take advantage of the opportunity. Applicants can watch out for studentship opportunities commencing in 2021 by signing up to student newsletters from Postgraduate Studentships.

The announcement comes with restrictions, so candidates need to check to ensure they can benefit from the adjustment. This change will only apply to new applicants, and therefore excludes those already enrolled on a PhD programme. This change covers 30% of the total budget awarded for PhD students.

The funding boost for students excludes international fees set by universities, so these will likely remain at the higher rate.

The tuition fee status of EU and Swiss nationals changed as a result of Brexit. Certain nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status from the academic year starting in August 2021. However, those EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting UKRI-funded programmes in the 2020 academic year will remain eligible for funding under the same terms as guaranteed by the Government in July 2019.

The role of UK Research and Innovation

The UK Government body UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.

UKRI operates across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £8 billion. The organisation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.