Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 10:33
Survey: Dutch PhD candidates unprepared to teach
PhD candidates tasked with giving lectures are often unprepared to do so due to a lack of training and guidance, according to a survey done by PhD Network Netherlands (PNN) and intercity student association ISO, NOS reports. The organizations questioned 257 PhD candidates from 13 universities. A massive 35 percent indicated that the got no training before being sent to teach. 46 percent did receive training, but found it insufficient. The majority found that the training started to late and was too short, but the quality of the training was generally considered pretty good. Almost a quarter of the PhD candidates think they had to start teaching too soon - they would like more time to get their own research going. Many also indicated that they spend more time teaching than their contracts state. And about 50 percent are dissatisfied with the support and guidance they receive while teaching. While this survey is not representative of all PhD candidates in the Netherlands, the results are concerning and reason enough to put the issue on the agenda, according to ISO and PNN. The organizations are concerned about how unprepared teachers affect the quality of higher education. ISO wants a structural policy to supervise PhD students in lecture halls at all universities. Simon Theeuwes of the organization can not understand why supervision isn't already in place. "If you are going to teach in primary schools, you have to complete a four year course, but if you teach in higher education it is not necessary at all", he said to the broadcaster.