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The trials of being a PhD external examiner

Lester L. Grabbe (Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism and former director of the Graduate Research Institute (1999‐2002) at the University of Hull, Hull, UK.)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 1 June 2003



The external examiner is the backbone of the system for PhD awards in the UK. Yet, when external examining is discussed in the abstract, the examiner is often seen as a villain who victimizes poor, helpless students. The assumption frequently seems to be that if students complain about the examining process, their view is automatically justified against the examiner. This paper draws on extensive personal experience, both in chairing research examinations and in being an external PhD examiner, to present the other side of the coin: the perspective of the examiner. It concludes with seven recommendations to improve the present system of PhD examining.



Grabbe, L.L. (2003), "The trials of being a PhD external examiner", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 128-133.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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