The examiner's lot 1

September 27, 2002

Anthony Gale says external examining is badly paid (Letters, THES , September 20), but so is much of what academics do.

Research I conducted with Phil Harris on external examining for law schools indicates that most examiners work on the basis that: someone has to do it; it can be rewarding and spreads good practice; and it gives an insight into how other law schools teach and assess students. If examiners' reports are "skimpy", as Gale warns, it is not because of the pay. Differing curricula and complex assessment regimes mean that examiners can make reliable statements about benchmarks and comparative standards across institutions only if they have the training and the time.

Only a minority of universities run induction sessions for external examiners. We found that pay was the greatest cause of dissatisfaction, but also the time pressure of summer examination board deadlines.

Alison Bone
University of Brighton

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns