Concerned about the completion rate of PhD degrees in The Netherlands, Paul Herfs invited academic ombuds3 from Canada, Germany, and the U.S.A. to consider the plight of PhD students in their respective countries. The four ombuds noticed that, while their systems are different, the nature of requests for ombuds assistance are similar. In this paper, the authors consider problems that PhD students encounter and factors that contribute to the poor completion rate of PhD students in their countries. The authors identify challenges that ombuds face in these situations and suggest ways ombuds may assist individual students and identify aspects of the university that are creating problems.
This publication is co-authored by ACCUO’s distinguished member, Nora Farrell.
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