Oxford graduate charter

March 3, 1995

Oxford university graduates have drawn up a charter with 26 recommendations on research supervision, facilities, employment of graduates in teaching and taught postgraduate courses.

The Graduate Academic Charter, which is the work of the newly established graduate committee, was drawn up after extensive consultations.

Responses to a questionnaire sent to one in eight of Oxford's 4,500 graduates last term showed that 10 per cent of graduates were so unhappy with their supervisor that they wanted to change.

One in six respondents were unhappy with the quality of feedback from their supervisor and felt that they were not spending enough time with them.

A student survey at the all-graduate St Anthony's College had a 50 per cent response rate. It found that one in three graduates felt that their supervisors did not spend enough time with them.

Heather McPhail, president of the Junior Common Room, said: "We are pushing for a form of student feedback, where graduates write reports on their supervisors, which can then be acted upon in such a way as not to damage the student's academic future."

The charter calls for a more open method of distributing teaching among graduates.

Forty per cent of graduates in the graduate committee survey said that they wanted to teach but were unable to do so.

Of those who were teaching, only 13 per cent had received any training.

For graduates on one-year postgraduate courses, the charter calls for better channels for student evaluation, and for the names of current and former students to be publicised so that would-be students can contact them for comments about the course.

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