I have just received my 'bill' for next year. After the trouble I have had this year, with nobody checking that either of my supervisors were doing their job, and being unable to complete the next stage because of it, although this is finally being pushed ahead now. I am thinking of writing to the secretary and suggesting that I need some kind of reassurance that I will get better value for money than last year, probably phrased as a greater degree of support to be more diplomatic. I think that it worked out at about £450 per hour of supervision last year and that is probably an understimate of the cost. As a part-timer I don't think you can expect a high degree of involvement, but to have no real supervision for a whole year is something they should have done something about if they are monitoring the supervisors as they are supposed to do regularly to make sure they are doing their job. i don't think it was my job to chase the supervisor, but there comes a point when giving them time because you know they have lots of irons in the fire means you are not getting what you are paying for. Thought I might ask my new supervisor/director of studies before I do it, but my guess is that I will get some support from that area.
If I was self-funding (I'm not and wouldn't dream of it) I would expect more involvement from my supervisors because the supervision would be coming from my pocket and I'd want, expect and deserve value for money. You have as much right to quality supervision as any other student. It horrifies me how some are treated...
Part-time (as I was) does not mean you shouldn't have a high degree of involvement. Yes you are probably not on campus, and not there every day. But you should still have regular supervision meetings, your supervisors should respond to email promptly, and read your stuff. To be honest you should have complained before now. Complaining to the fees person may not be that effective. Complaining to a director of studies is likely to have more effect.
I have a new director of studeis, the other one has been -removed - because of lack of involvement that has been ongoing for a good while and more than just the last year, but politics sort of came into play there and they just pussyfooted around instead of getting them off the team. My supervisor went the same way really, other fish to fry so didn't exactly lose interest but had no time to fit this in with everything else ( I'm being generous here!) I think this new arrangement will work, although the new one knows nothing about my area really (better than someone who has some knowledge of some of the issues, but doesn't actually do anything at all, or never sends back any comments) and they are still trying to appoint another person to the team but I just want them to recognise the situation. The forms go via the secretary who is well aware of the situation as we have talked about it before, and he is involved in the change of supervisor team. I think he knows it is not good, and this might just make sure they realise that they need to get a grip on this situation for me and for others in the same position.
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