The public PhD viva

In his article in the Times Higher on 22nd October, UCL’s Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of the Doctoral School, David Bogle, examines the concept of the public PhD viva.  While common practice across the Continent, opening up a PhD viva to the public is not something we tend to do in the UK.  Initially sceptical, he says it’s time to discuss seriously the idea of “throwing open the doors of the UK viva”, owing to the international nature of doctoral standards and increasing PhD student mobility.  “The great advantage of having an audience,” says David,  “is that it allows the public to see that scientific debate is thorough, and that standards are high”. He does, however acknowledge the additional effort and cost involved, together with a need for training for examiners. What do you think?

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