The prospect of mandatory oral PhD examinations much be considered carefully

The following extract is from an opinion piece by Professor William M Taylor of the UWA School of Design and member of the Academic Staff Association Committee. It is in response to proposed Guidelines for the Oral Defence of a Doctoral Thesis and the full response may be read here.

The draft proposes, more or less, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the implementation of the oral defence and the justification for the initiative, potential practical and ethical challenges that will ensue implementation troubles me a great deal.  I fear, if implemented across the entire University, uniformly and without allowing for alternatives (including the current mode(s) of examination to remain in cases), the policy will imperil initiatives undertaken here, in the School of Design in recent years, to foster and build our HDR program—possibly in other disciplines and professional courses across the University as well.

UWAASA would like to hear your feedback to the proposed policy and this can be sent to

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