Many a postgraduate student, particularly those who decide to do doctoral research, have had to endure the witty comments of friends and family members about being a perpetual student, desperately clinging on to the comfy surrounds of university life.
But academia is tough. Current PhD students are expected to complete an 80,000–100,000 word thesis, attend and organise conferences, gain a teaching qualification, and ideally publish – all within three years and with no guarantee of employment or financial reward at the end.
In this high pressure environment of targets and deadlines, there is a fear that the heart of a postgraduate degree – the research – is getting sidelined, with students losing key skills in using archives and special collections. Continue reading »