The additional funding is intended to support the next generation of researchers in the arts and humanitiesLouis Ashworth

Nearly 400 new doctoral places in the arts and humanities will be created following a successful bid for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the UK’s largest funder of postgraduate training in the arts and humanities, by Oxford, Cambridge and the Open University.

The Doctoral Training Partnership, which will recruit its first cohort of students next year, will be supported by partnerships with the BBC World Service, the National Trust, and British Telecom.

These partnerships will “offer students a wealth of opportunities to pursue research and engage in training and to learn from each other as part of a large multi-disciplinary group”, said Professor David Rechter, the scheme’s incoming director.

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, said that the council’s “support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector.”

This sector, he added, “plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole.”

The Open-Oxford-Cambridge partnership was successful in beating out numerous applications from across the UK to receive the funding.

The Head of Cambridge’s School of Arts and Humanities, Professor Martin Millett, said “the unique collaboration between Oxford, Cambridge and the Open University opens up exciting new prospects for the next generation of doctoral research students in the Arts and Humanities.”


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Sofia Ropek Hewson, the current Graduate Union president, said that she was “pleased to hear about the funding bid renewal.”

“I’ve really appreciated the collaborative training opportunities they’ve offered me in the past. I’m sure that lots of postgrads will benefit from these exciting partnerships”

She added, however, that “hopes the University revisits its high application fee, because it would be even better if these funded places could be as accessible as possible to postgrads from a wide range of backgrounds/incomes.” The University currently charges a £50 application fee for graduate courses.

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