Who can afford a doctorate in the arts and humanities now?

Anyone visiting a university library at 9am might wonder where all the students have gone. The science doctorates will be in their labs, most undergrads will still be in bed, but arts PhD students could once have been relied upon to be toiling amid the tomes. No longer. Demand for arts doctorates so enormously outstrips funding that PhD students are more likely to be earning their keep during the 9-5 period, with research to follow after hours.

“I don’t know any doctorate students who don’t have another job,” says Duncan White, 31, who has just handed in his PhD in English literature at Oxford University. “People teach, design websites, work in cafes and bars – anything to earn money in a way that hopefully leaves time for study. I applied for funding from the AHRC [the government funding body, the Arts and Humanities Research Council] but didn’t get it. That meant in my first year I had to pay fees of about £5,000 plus more than that on living costs,” he says. “Although I then won a faculty scholarship, which paid my fees, my rent and living costs were still very expensive. I had hoped to finish my PhD in three years, but soon realised the expense meant it would be impossible.”

see full article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jan/17/arts-and-humantities-doctorate-afford-cost

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