• Today
    October 18

  • 10:56 AM

Keeping track of scholars’ feats

MICHAEL RUDDER,

Added 31 December 2017

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My year has been bracketed by the loss of two family members – daughter and brother.

Events such as these often bring a different perspective to one’s life. For me, the impact has been more retrospective than perspective, as those events have made me wonder what in the world is so different from the early days of my life and now?

Others may perhaps point to dozens of things, but I have chosen only one; and that has to do with am aspect of professional qualifications. Have you noticed how many more Doctors of Philosophy (Phds) it seems they are? One might wonder at the numbers in a calculation per square mile or square kilometre which such qualified might bring, and I am not being facetious.

My early years would have been impacted by people with school certificates and some with first degrees. These people were to be found in many levels of endeavour, along with the doctors, lawyers, solicitors, engineers and so on. Of course, there was one memorable case of a Dr Garner who pretended to teach advanced level chemistry but seemingly had only earned a “Print Here or Download” qualification. And later in life I came across another Englishman, this time in construction, who had framed copies of his “qualifications” hung on one office wall, but when exposed, he never came back to collect his “certificates” of . . . a dubious nature(?)

As an unlettered person myself, I can’t help but rejoice in the scholarship throughout various disciplines. There are no doubt hundreds of scholarly papers in the region reflecting the years of study and research, but I would only wish that we had a register of the copyrighted material or project activity to give us an idea of the impact this upper level learning has had on our societies.

What I anticipate is that many can point to the various hypotheses put forward by the scholars, which might have had or did have an impact on an individual’s life, or a group of people’s lives. Have we seen a change in a variety of areas even from, say a methodology of tutelage to street vending or sweeping? Perhaps, these records of achievement do exist; yet is it too much to ask for more visibility of such?

I am sure that our doctoral scholars would not wish to be recognised as people with the accolade just to say that they have such and indeed none would wished to be thought of as people with a “Print Here or Download” qualification. Let us expand knowledge together.

– MICHAEL RUDDER

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