The submission rate for arts PhDs has doubled over the past ten years, according to the Arts and Humanities Research Board. In 2000, 70 per cent of arts postgraduates handed in their doctoral theses within four years. In the early 1990s, this figure stood at 34 per cent.
Last year, the board announced that departments that did not achieve a 50 per cent submission rate would be penalised by being disqualified from AHRB funding for two years. Twelve departments are affected by the disqualification.