Where’s the value in vivas?

May 22, 2014

One way to avoid “cavalier attitudes” in vivas is to stop having vivas altogether. What purpose does the viva serve after a PhD has been examined by an internal and two external examiners, which in the case of some top South African universities must be from overseas?

To judge from the article “Cavalier attitudes lead to uncivil practices in the conduct of vivas” (Opinion, 15 May), it would seem only to put the student under further and, in my view, unnecessary stress and to offer the viva participants the opportunity to enjoy a reception or luncheon invitation with the host university. A waste of time and energy, and not without emotional and often financial costs to the candidate. No wonder senior academics shy away from it.

David Coldwell
Via timeshighereducation.co.uk

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

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

Featured Jobs

Forrest Post Doctoral Research Fellow

University Of Western Australia

Research Fellow in Statistical Epidemiology

London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (lshtm)

Phone Advisor

Gsm London
See all jobs

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald