Via Craig at Theoria, the NYT has a story about PhDs in the US.
The average student takes 8.2 years to get a Ph.D.; in education, that figure surpasses 13 years. Fifty percent of students drop out along the way, with dissertations the major stumbling block. At commencement, the typical doctoral holder is 33, an age when peers are well along in their professions, and 12 percent of graduates are saddled with more than $50,000 in debt.
Are you trying to tell us something…?
Hmmm, not sure. The institutional topology of phd-ing is organised around completion within a set time frame. The reality is that the average PhD takes longer, and in the US the average is more than twice as long than the institutional expectations of the australian PhD.
I am an advocate of not trying to do the life’s work as the PhD, but also not simply meeting the institutional expectations of the administrative side of the process. Somewhere in between a researcher has to, or at least I have had to, get a feel for the quality of research within a given field and indexing one’s work against that. This comes before peer review (or phd examination), which is a judgement after the fact. It is an immanent mode of valorisation that continually changes as more research is published and the research project itself unfolds. It is not a question of whether research is worthy of funding, this is the stupid neoliberal way of looking at research, but whether research is worthy of the problem that it is set out to address.
Oh dear. I’m sure I’ve read this before. I was taking the piss, Glen.
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