I am surprised to hear the view that examiners do not read all of a PhD (“Last era’s model”, Features, 21 May). In my experience of about 35 PhD examinations, I have read the whole thesis and marked it with notes for the viva.
I also take issue with the time “waiting to be examined”. Unless I am missing some funding source, I would assume that today’s candidates need to do what I did and start work while they wait for the viva. This is therefore not wasted time as viva preparation takes place in parallel with whatever post follows.
I would not say that the PhDs I have supervised, nor those that I have examined, were part of a “conveyor belt”. They have all been different and the students all progressed as researchers and people during their completion.