Monday, 17 January 2011

So what else is new?

I am examiming a PhD. So what else is new? The new is that for the first time I am examining a PhD in the UK, and it is different from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Australian and South African PhDs that I have examined. The most recent examination I did was in Norway, and the three examiners worked closely to write a joint recommendation and also discuss the most satisfying structure of the public defense. Now I have been given instructions not to consult the other examiner under any circumstances, write my independent report and discuss the viva at lunch prior to the exercise. Viva is British for oral examinarion and happens behind closed doors with the candidate and the two examiners. If I were to do it - as a candidate - I'd probably collapse. So I must remember to be nice.

I am sure all systems have advantages and disadvantages, so I am descriptive, not evaluative. I just keep wondering how each country and culture has elaborated it own method of academic torture.

In March I am examining a PhD in Sweden. I will have to learn all over again.

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