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Examining the doctoral thesis: a discussion

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The examination of doctoral theses controls an important academic threshold, yet practices are often private, codes non-specific, and individuals isolated. This article adds to recent investigation of the examination culture by reporting informal panel discussion amongst a total of 23 University of Auckland (New Zealand) faculty members as to their experiences of examining the written doctoral thesis and of being the oral examiner. Some of the examiners' comments concur, and some differ, with the gap between subjective opinions as valuable as the points of concurrence in profiling covert criteria and closed-door decision-making practices. Doctoral examiners, higher education professionals, supervisors and doctoral candidates will find these perspectives useful towards considering their own role in this ritual.
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Keywords: doctoral examination process; doctoral examiner's experience; examination practice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Student Learning Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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