Postgrads are on average older than undergrads, by virtue of the fact that they must have been undergrads first. This means that their problems are often similar to those of mature students, but it doesn’t mean they’re the same.
For instance, postgrads — whose funding arrangements are often more precarious than elephants balancing on feathers — frequently have financial worries. They usually have undergrad student debts already and can rarely squeeze a part-time job around their studies. At the same time they may be relying for money on charitable organisations and grants that turn up late.
Also, because their relationship with their academic supervisor is that much closer than other students’, it’s that much more important that the relationship works (and even that it doesn’t work too well). It’s important to have someone to turn to when things go awry.
A postgrad association or graduate society is often a good start for support, but just as often is not — it’s a purely social group without any welfare know-how or responsibility.
Last updated on: 01 May 2008