RIBA pulls plug on PhD fund
Ozolins Studentship withdrawn as more students consider postgrad study
The RIBA has withdrawn its funding for this year’s Ozolins Studentship, which supports architectural PhD students.
The move comes as more students – 11 per cent, according to a recent AJ survey – look at PhDs as an alternative to hard-to-find in-practice work placements..
The RIBA said it had been unable to ‘secure sufficient funds’ to run the scheme in 2009-10, due to the ‘steep drop in interest rates in investments across the financial markets’.
Jeremy Till, dean of architecture and the built environment at the University of Westminster, said the decision was ‘sad… the Ozolins is one of the few sources which UK students can use to fund PhDs. The number of UK PhD students in architecture is rather low in comparison to other subjects, and things like the Ozolins have been important in raising the numbers.’
The Ozolins handouts can be worth up to £14,900 a year in central London.
One PhD student, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘Recession should be a time for rethinking, regrouping and research. The RIBA should be doing the exact opposite of what it is.’
David Gloster, the RIBA’s head of education, responded: ‘Knowledge is any profession’s most precious asset and research is what underpins it. So it is with great regret that we are unable to run the scheme for the 2009-10 academic session.’