He who pays, stays

January 28, 2005

I was pleased to see the robust defence of part-time PhDs (Letters, January 21) following the unwarranted outburst from Howard Green, who seems to regard completion times of more than seven years as heralding the end of civilisation.

As someone pursuing a doctorate alongside a verydemanding career, I fail to see why my studies should be constrained by anything other than my willingness to continue paying thousands of pounds to my institution for the privilege, or for the ability of my supervisor to continue tolerating me.

Different studies will take different times to complete, particularly if those pursuing them have other pressures on their time such as engaging in rampant "polyamory", or writing letters to your paper discussing the relative merits of such a lifestyle (for what it's worth, I say if you can secure a research grant for it, good luck to you).

An entertaining debate indeed. Dare one say "keep it up"?

Nigel Fletcher
Goldsmiths College University of London

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