A Panel Discussion on "The PhD Experience"


On 25th September 2021, the School of Education in collaboration with the Research Centre for Future Learning (RCFL), organized a Webinar panel discussion on the PhD experience from the perspective of the students and the supervisors viewpoints. Members of the panel comprised two School of Education Senior Research Fellows, Prof. Arshad Samad and Prof. Chan Swee Heng, as well as two current PhD students in Education, Ms. Michelle Zhong and Ms. Wang Cancan. The panel was moderated by Prof. Dr. Moses Samuel.


More than 85 participants joined the discussion simultaneously on Zoom and YouTube. The lively panel discussion covered a range of related issues, including the nature of the PhD experience and what sets it apart from undergraduate and Masters by research experiences; the transitions that postgraduate students experience as they move from the master’s to the doctoral level. The two PhD candidates shared candid accounts of their struggles and challenges and the ‘cultural shock’ they had to navigate as they grappled with academic culture, or their prior learning experiences in different educational systems.


The panel also addressed the notion of students’ readiness for the PhD, and the unique challenges of pursuing a PhD programme during the Covid 19 pandemic conditions. The panel discussion contributed to raising awareness about the intricacies of the PhD experiences as seen from multiple perspectives.