By: Lucell Larawan

A MONTH ago, I wrote a series of articles on the need to reform our higher education institution’s doctoral programs.

I cited several reasons such as the loopholes in the process and the seeming low quality of many degree holders who, after getting the title, end up like neat containers of books without publications in more respectable journals (not just in politically manipulated school-wide publications) or presentations in reputable national or international conferences. A dissertation just cannot earn respect so easily among intellectuals.

Let me point out why.

Firstly, they are just neophyte outputs. Many books in research methods are frank about this. Secondly, schools do not eliminate rival hypotheses which explain the worthiness of the doctoral candidate to hold the title. To illustrate this using the research language, the dependent variable we must test is research performance of candidates for Ph.D. while the independent variables ought to be ingenuity to think of something new and significant about the field of specialization, diligence, skills and knowledge in research, and ability to comprehend and follow adviser’s instructions.

But to be honest, many schools ignore the rival hypotheses of research performance in these dissertations. What if it is due entirely or in part from the ghost writers or researchers – friends and relatives who can make good research proposals and well-prepared reports supplemented with coaching services for panel defense? Leganes became famous for outsourcing this service for such purpose. In a multiple regression analysis, what could have been the contribution of extraneous variables?

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