Save UQ PhD students from post-submission "limbo"!

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The Problem 
When PhD students at UQ submit their theses to the UQ Graduate School they enter a lengthy “limbo” while they wait to receive external examiner reports. This period can last 3 to 9 months! When UQ PhD students are in this post-submission limbo, they lose their student status and their livelihood (scholarship funding). In some cases, PhD students are unable to start postdoctoral fellowships because the institutions that have employed them demand proof of final completion.

This is counter to best practices in universities internationally and does not engender a feeling of loyalty to The University of Queensland. To be honest, it is embarrassing.

The Solution
We, the undersigned, request that the UQ Graduate School apply its Core Values of considering situations, showing empathy and solving problems in order to reduce or eliminate post-submission "limbo." This could be achieved by analysing best practice from around the world and adopting a new model. In the short term, we ask that PhD students be permitted to retain their student status until submission of the final thesis or conferral of their doctoral degrees.

UQ PhD students are the foundation of this University’s ascendence in global rankings. It is time we had internationally credible processes that match the performance we deliver.