Reported by Times Higher Education’s John Gill:

Loss of funding for scholarships ‘will harm Britain’s ability to attract the brightest’. John Gill writes

A decision to scrap an awards scheme supporting overseas research students will seriously harm universities’ ability to attract the best and brightest to Britain, vice-chancellors have said.

Universities UK issued the warning after the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that it was pulling funding from the £15 million-a-year Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme (ORSAS), Britain’s biggest postgraduate scholarship scheme.

Hefce is to phase out funding from 2009-10, when the grant will be reduced by a third, with a 50 per cent cut the next year and no funding from 2011.

The move follows the Government’s recent decision to axe more than £2 million a year in funding for the Commonwealth scholarships scheme and to reduce funding for the Chevening scholarship programme, both of which support international students.

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