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Tilburg University:Quality PhD thesis still vulnerable

3 March 2007, 13:59

The new PhD procedure is a more effective guarantee of the quality of PhD theses. Nevertheless, a group of prominent professors has pointed out a number of weak points.

The new PhD procedure is a more effective guarantee of the quality of PhD theses. Nevertheless, a group of prominent professors has pointed out a number of weak points.

This is the outcome of a Univers survey on the new Tilburg University PhD regulation, which became effective on 1 January. Supervisors who repeatedly perform poorly can be sidelined sooner. The new PhD procedure also provides a 'moment of reflection' before the definitive evaluation: problematic PhD theses will be 'pre-examined' by the committee of professors who will also make the final decision on the PhD.

It is this PhD committee that forms a risk factor, in the opinion of some prominent Tilburg University professors, who filled out a Univers questionnaire. That the promoter himself selects the committee members is considered a threat to an accurate judgement. "The committee is completely under the supervision of the promotor", one of the professors remarked. The professors believe that the quality of external PhD candidates is also vulnerable. They are still not sufficiently embedded in the academic surroundings.

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