Grad Students Protest Changes

Changes to the way graduate degrees are earned at Queen's University could mean students have less time to complete their PhD and masters degrees.
The university's Graduate Studies Executive Committee (GSEC) approved Thursday a motion to reduce the amount of time students have to complete their degrees.
Students are to now have four years instead of seven years to complete a doctorate and two years instead of four years to complete a master's degree.
The committee tabled a second motion dealing with changes to how extensions are granted. That motion will be considered at the April 18 meeting.
Not surprisingly, the move has drawn criticism from grad students, who argue the high tuition costs (especially for international students), a lack of research funding, poor supervisory relationships, and a lengthy ethics approval process can mean in-depth grad research can take longer than the proposed times.
"They're not really considering any of those factors," said Andrea Phillipson, a PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
Phillipson said the completion limits would have a chilling effect on significant research proposals, especially those involving human subjects.
"In addition to the really pressing concerns that we have about how these proposed policy changes will jeopardize the quality of research at Queen's, we're also really worried about how they will limit who is welcome to come and study here" she added.

2013 March 15