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Influences of tablets and smart phones as web viewing devices

The web stats for this website have shown a progressive increase the the number of visitors viewing it on tablets. As I write, the number of views on a tablet is effectively equal to the number of views on a laptop or deskbound computer. Accordingly I have revised the layout of the website so that it is more readable on tablets. Only a tiny number of visitors view the website on phones.

I will continue to make minor amendments to the site on a regular basis, but will probably not mention them here.

Influences of the changing postgraduate research scene

The postgraduate research scene has change significantly in recent years. In particular supervisors* and all other academic staff are facing ever-increasing bureaucracy and workloads.

Accordingly this website contains sections for academic staff who work with postgraduate research students and training personnel who aim to support them. The sections have grown out of my other work in a range of universities. I hope that these sections will come some way towards addressing needs, but I am all too aware of the difficulties under which academics have to work these days. First and foremost they would be best addressed by minimising bureaucracy and waving a magic wand to provide more unscheduled time.

I would argue that the increase in bureaucracy has affected students much less. If anything, it has made life easier for them because they are 'cared for' on a more regular basis and in more detail. Some would say that they are 'spoon fed' in comparison with previous years - which may in some ways be a good thing, but in others is certainly not. Accordingly I have seen no need to change the orignal content of the sections for students other than with minor amendments.

© Pat Cryer

* 'Supervisor' is a shorthand for 'research degree supervisor', 'advisor' or 'tutor', and applies to varying extents for all research degrees: PhD, DPhil. MPhil, Prof Doc and even undergraduate and masters' projects. In some countries, notably the USA, a 'supervisor' is known as an 'advisor'.