Tue, 29 Jul 2003

UGM to increase PhD graduates

Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta

In a bid to produce more holders of doctorate degrees (PhD) and make it a prominent research institution, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) has applied a new regulation on final exams for doctoral candidates.

Under the new ruling, the university's post-graduate program is given the authority to hold its own final examination by a board of examiners for doctoral candidates. Previously, the job was carried out by the university's academic senate.

Mulyadi, director of the university's post-graduate program, said that with the authority, his office now had the opportunity to take the necessary measures to produce more doctorate holders.

One of the measures would include providing more opportunities for senior lecturers to take the position of chairman of a team of examiners for a doctorate final examination.

Previously, the position was only available for two persons, namely the chairman and secretary of the university's academic senate.

"It (the position) is now open to nine people," Mulyadi said, adding that the move opened more chances for doctorate students to take their final examination, which previously often took up to two years.

The nine people comprise six heads of the science fields of the post-graduate program and three executives of the post- graduate program (a director and two assistant directors).

"Hopefully it will also reduce the length of study for doctorate students from the previous five years on average to three years, and thus will also save their tuition fees," said Mulyadi, adding that doctorate students generally spent around Rp 5 million a year.

He set the target producing some 60 doctorate graduates during this academic year. Previously the university managed only to produce less than 50 graduates a year.

"Once it is achieved, we will then be deserving of being called a research university," said Mulyadi, noting that to be the one it had to be able to produce at least 50 doctorate degree holders a year.

Up to now, 514 doctorate holders have passed through UGM's post-graduate program. This year alone 35 students graduated, 15 of them under the new regulation.