A few weeks ago someone posted this comment on patter. I think it’s worth reposting.
As a non-native English Phd researcher, my conclusion is that doing a PhD written in English language is almost doing a PhD in creative English writing. In that sense, I wonder if all PhDs in social sciences and humanities in the UK could be clubbed together as a PhD in English creative writing? There is an unwritten minimum requirement that is not specified when we apply for the admissions and we realize this much later in the process that we don’t have the basic level of academic English writing.
I feel discriminated when I see my supervisors happy and so complacent with native English writers who might not have any depth in their arguments but make up that deficiency due to their comfort of expressing in their native English words that non-native English speakers don’t have. we need twice the amount of time to write. Don’t universities train supervisors to know that international students who comprise nearly 50% (at my university including EU students) of the student intake and that we start from a very different level as we don’t speak English at home and that they should be patient and not judge our research purely based on grammar?is there any solution to this instead ofspending thousands of pounds hiring a copy editors in addition to our staggering international student tuition fee and maintence costs while doing PhD in UK? Don’t universities owe some responsibility to help international students get the academic support we require like additional time, extension, and other different writing support?
I am very proud about my thesis but it is my writing that is letting me down to the point where I see my supervisors bullying me in every supervision and we never discuss my arguments and concepts at all. It’s commas, hyphens, and other typos that is discuss instead. I have no where to turn. I am devastated and demoralized. My problem is so embarrassing that I cannot even discuss with colleagues nor the head of the department. I know many who are like in my situation but don’t have the courage to come out. I have lost confidence in my supervisors and don’t want them to write me letters of reference.
I’m sure this is not an isolated experience. I’m sure that the problems described here – universities that provide inadequate support for both students and their supervisors – are not terribly unusual. Does anyone have any helpful advice to offer?