Universities warn of a crisis in postgraduate education, saying it has been neglected by successive governments.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) says it recognises the importance of this type of education to the sector.
The 1994 Group says the Browne Review of higher education, published in 2010, and the coalition government's subsequent White Paper on the sector failed to consider postgraduate study "with any degree of rigour".
It says that the numbers of UK students taking postgraduate courses rose only marginally between 2002-03 and 2007-08, meaning the UK is lagging behind as rising numbers of international students come to this country to study.
It warns such a decline will have an adverse impact on the UK economy.