Monday, July 09, 2007

PhD admissions

I few weeks ago I agreed to take on the task of PhD admissions tutor. At this point, having been briefed by my predecessor Vladimir Sazonov and received a batch of application forms, it starts to look like an onerous task, but I reckon it's an important one, and I suspect I can improve the way our PhD applications get dealt with. (For starters, the web pages have room for improvement.)

So I get started on the application forms. I reject a couple, forward one to a colleague, ask another colleague what he knows of an applicant who seems to have contacted him previously, and realise it's time to take a look at a web site that supposedly tells you the significance of assorted foreign qualifications. (The PhD applications sem to come from all over the world, and the phrase "comparing apples with oranges" doesn't do them justice.) By coincidence, someone comes by from the university's international office to ask me about an application to this dept that comes from Saudi Arabia, for which some official from their ministry of education thinks it urgent that we make a decision. For that one, the topic looked more relevant to the management school.

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