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Ingrid Robeyns

I don't think our PhD students do their BA-MA-PhD in 7 to 8 years. They do their BA in 3-4; they tend to do a Research Master which is 2 years (and often one takes longer: and the PhD should now be possible in 3 years but really most PhD students take longer (4+ years). so that's more 8-9 years.

I think your intuition about thte loss/costs of 'speeding up' are right. Bert Musschenga, the former director of the Dutch Research School for Ethics and who is retiring as a professor at the VUAmsterdam this Friday, once said that the younger generations (that's you and me) are much more specialized and have a more narrow knowledge than previous generations. I think that has in part to do with the vastly increased pressure on us to publish, but also with the fact that time-efficiency in grad school has gone up. For various reasons we pressure out PHD students much more to finish their degrees in time (for one thing, they don't pay fees so the only financial compensation for the supervisory work that a department gets is if and when the PhD student gets her degree. I am not sure how that financial incentive works in the US or the UK or other continental European countries, but it definitely explains some of the pressure that supervisors put on their students to finish, and the earlier the better (since I think many have the intuition that the longer a PhD takes after, say, 4 years of work, the more likely it will never get finished).

Schliesser, Eric

Ingrid, I am now seeing CVs of completed PhDs with around eight years of higher education.

Bijan Parisa


UK it can be 3 years UG, 1 year MSc, 3 yr PhD (plus 1 for writing up) or
3 year UG + 4 year PhD (including writing up)

Or 4 year UG (but that's usually meng in computer science) + 4 year PhD.

It's not going to be 9 years, typically.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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