Examining a PhD Thesis: Lessons Learned?
A recent experience in being an external examiner for a PhD thesis was a most distressful experience which went on for a period of several months covering four distinct phases: pre exam, written exam, oral exam and post viva. This paper focuses on the findings of the written exam phase. It is also concerned with the various benchmarks that examiners may use in judging the quality of a PhD thesis. These standards are extracted from 17 web sources chosen from among several hundred websites of reputable overseas institutions. All this and more were earlier covered in the fifty plus pages of a single space thesis examining report completed prior to the oral exam. Interested parties may learn several valuable lessons from this experience. This could perhaps help to ensure the Malaysian hope to be a center of excellence in higher education shall come true sooner rather than later.
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