An Issue With The Higher Education System

This morning I woke up and did my usual routine: fed the cat, drank green tea, ate porridge, sent out morning tweets for both modelling pages and Cthuhu Cat Cult and then assessed my emails to see if there was anything of importance. I had received feedback on one of my PhD proposal ideas as my potential supervisor said that he would read it before I applied and it struck a nerve as the inherent issues in applying for postgraduate education flooded through me. The trigger was that he suggested that as the deadline for applications is close I should make correcting my application of highest priority. Now. Here we go.

Over the past week I have been proofreading a 3000 word essay and a 3500 word essay due in for Tuesday, I have also been having these proof read for my MA. So for those universities that work on a semester basis essays are generally due in January to start in December. Students start their MA late September. PhD applications are due in end of January and for an application you must get two academic references and write a propsal of around 2000 words roughly depending on the faculty you are applying to. Does anyone else think that this is a bit tight?

I didn’t know if I would be capable of a PhD until I started my MA becuase no previous education had the ability to prepare me for it. After settling in to my MA that gave me around two months to finalise a PhD title, write it up, get it proof read, try and get my references on board and get them to send the references to the right place (a nightmare by the way if the applications team at the university you are applying to don’t respond to emails within a week or two!) whilst continuing postgraduate studies. Oh and I have applied for TWO PhD’s because I couldn’t decide which I wanted to do more, so double the workload.

To help fund my MA I have had to work as 10,000 loan for the year is hard to spread when 7,700 of it is taken out on fees, I even had to work through my undergraduate course too. The only help in applying to PhD courses are set workshops or “come and see me at this time” which as an adult myself, who has to work and does not live on campus because I am twenty seven years old is not entirely practical. The PhD application for both universities I applied to were awful, long winded (print this, fill it in, send it here, send this to your reference options but then they need to send it here but in the meantime we will forget to tell you that you need a copy of those references for your funding applications!) there is NO communication between any department, these high profile charities and funding insitutions and the university.

I went to university for three years, I graduated, I applied and got on to an MA which also had a horrendous applications process due to the university losing my application and half of the applications team being away during the application window! I am getting to PhD level, there is no need to make this a fantastic cock up, I am over some of the biggest humps in education, I want to do a PhD, so stop making it a completely awful experience.

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