I attended the hearing today and before the judge introduce themselves; the chairman mentioned that I have a very strong appeal grounds and I could see sympathy and anger in his eyes.
They ask me to give my statement. All I said, you have my length (20 pages) appeal statement and there is no point for me to repeat the same thing. All I want is to be examined fairly like every other PhD students in our university and I want to be examined by two examiners who are expert in my field.
After that, they ask couple simple questions to verify my statement and they ask me to step outside. After 30 minute they call me in and said they have approved my appeal.
They quashed the examiners decision, and have given me 12 months to do any changes as I wish and a fresh Viva examination.
If you find yourself in my situation and I hope you don’t, send me a private message, I do my best to help and advise you what to do. There are many things which can help your appeal but you don’t know. I have read many rule, regulation and UK quality for higher education (QAA) regulation and learn a lot form them.
After I put my story on here, I had a private message from (Scrabbler) and he gave me a very good advice which strengthened my appeal statement significantly and I’m very grateful for that.
I will be letting you know when I set my new Viva and how the examination goes
I’d also like to congratulate Adam on having the strength to challenge an unfair decision with potentially grave consequences. It’s a truly horrendous outcome for any PhD student to experience, and the sheer lack of institutional knowledge, support or accountability in such cases is disgraceful and unacceptable. Even ultimately ‘successful’ appeals are often financially and psychologically costly for the candidate, whilst discredited examiners may receive little more than a verbal slap on the wrist. I’m willing to advise anyone else on this area, though it’s a sad indictment of higher education that PhD students are forced to seek anonymous online help or independent legal advice when the examination process goes so very wrong.
To answer Mackem_Beefy question
There will be a new examiners and the new examiners will be asked to assess the thesis as if it is a first submission.
Scrabbler, has made a good point. Apart from the unbearable stress and emotional resources for the past 14 months since I have done my Viva, I have spent over £20,000 for Living cost, Legal representative and re-submission fee. I am an international student and if it was not for this, I would have been home.
The funny part is the university still expect me to pay another £600 for the new submission but I have already filed a claim not only I don't pay for the new submission, I want my re-submission fee to be refunded.
one thing forgot to mention
If you see yourself in my situation, you will need to have a best educational representative, I strongly recommend Daniel Sokol.
I have had my research and spoke to many educational barristers but I decided to go with him. I think he is the best by far. He gave me a free advice and was with me on the phone for over 15 minute when i called first time. He was very honest and very sharp picking up all the mistakes which were done by the university and examiners. .
I am very glad I chose him, If it was not for his help, I am not sure if the outcome of my appeal would be the same. No matter how much you read and advice you get, it will not be as effect as that couple hours consultation that you have with the educational barrister, That is why I recommend everyone to get a legal representative.
First of all hats off to you for pulling off well with academic delays. What I don't get it how can you be failed if they offered you conditional PHD, aka minor corrections? That is totally unheard of. Anyway, I have just posted a query about my own viva situation, do comment upon it. In my case, the examiners didn't give me hard time and I agreed with their corrections as I was rushed into submission by my supervisors who said they won't supervise me anymore. And now that I just submitted revised draft for them to see if I have followed all the corrections by the examiners, they are again wearing a authoritative hat and co minute to challenge my abilities. ,my supervisors who seem to be in denial and refusing to accept that I am not anymore writing for them and their boisterous attitude is driving me up the walls. They are not answering my questions and gave no comments on the revisions as if it was meant for them when it's meant for the examiners. Does it matter if I take all the time given to me to revise and resubmit? Does that get counted against you? I am Very furious with my supervisors.
First of all my case was complected and your right, downgrading PhD award with minor corrections award for failed PhD( MPhil ) is not a very common story but that was one of the reason my case was successful.
To your query,
your not clear if your given minor or major corrections?
what do you mean you have submitted revised draft (you mean your re-submission) and whom ?
To answer your final question, the longer time you take to do your corrections, the better, because, they examiners will think you have put too much effort to do the corrections and followed their comments and suggestions.
For example if you have been given 12 months for your corrections and if you re-submit it after 3 months, then the examiners will think you have been arrogant and wanted to prove them wrong that you didn't need 12 months. In addition, use all the time you have been given to ensure that you have satisfied the examiners because believe me, you don't want them to go against you. They can easily make you life hell.
if you want to get your PhD, DO the examiners asked you to do even if they have asked you to changed your name ( I know this sounds silly) but I am speaking from experience.
if your supervisor don't help you, then speak to your head of department, they have to help you, Plus there is not much your supervisors can do at this stage, apart from English prove reading because they don't know as much as you know about the study. get someone else to go through your revised thesis.
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