Examining doctoral examination and the question of the Viva

Tuesday, 11 August 2015  |  Admin

Examining doctoral examination and the question of the Viva by Terence Lovat, Allyson Holbrook, Sid Bourke, Hedy Fairbairn, Margaret Kiley, Brian Paltridge and Sue Starfield

The paper draws on a series of Australian Research Council (ARC) projects aimed at understanding better the process of doctoral examination. The early phase focussed on the Australian doctorate, which functions without a Viva, while the later phase was concerned with comparing the earlier findings with analysis of the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand (NZ) systems that include a Viva. Results showed some strengths and weaknesses of both systems and so the paper explores the desirability of drawing on the strengths of both examination models to minimize the weaknesses against a backdrop of escalating pressures on universities.

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