Of the 17 years I’ve spent in schools so far I can’t remember a single year without some kind of experiment I’ve forcefully been made part of. Every year the management has declared that this year will be a pilot project in which the newest achievements in educational sciences will be tested on us, the students, and that the next year we will not be bothered for sure. Every year me and my fellow students were hoping that this year we can just study and not be bothered with being lab rats for whatever it is they’ve come up with this time. The phenomenon was not specific to any particular educational system – my experiences are similar across 5 different countries. I was hoping that now I am a PhD student this will end. How naive of me to think so.
The university has introduced the Graduate School. A pilot project, of course. Needless to say, this is being done for the greater benefit of the participants. “Our Graduate School offers a stimulating environment for excellent PhD students who wish to obtain a doctoral degree with the highest possible value for their career”, no less. A direct quote from the website.
I’m sure it will all lead to great progress, result in significant improvement in the quality of everything and everyone involved, give the participants valuable skills and be evaluated as the greatest invention since the potato peeler. But why am I so happy that I have started my PhD already and participation is not mandatory for me?
Because now I get to choose whether I want to participate. Its not that I don’t want to, on the contrary, I have already registered for courses, and I think the idea is good and useful. Its just that now I have a choice.