Saturday, July 13, 2013

the amount of training available

I am amazed to see posted on the net and FB, the amount of training available for those pursuing their postgraduate studies now.

When I did my PhD, I would be glad if there was some training by outsiders.. wow.. sound so old. I learnt how to use Amos by reading a book (Barbara Byrne's brand new book at that time) and asking my fellow PhD candidates.  I know of people who did their thesis when there was no computers (Prof Kanbur comes to mind). Yet I find the attitude of many candidates now... sigh... anyway, thats another story.

Why now so many training is available? Partly because I think its the Internet age. Everything is available at a click of the button. Because of the Internet, complicated methods, new methods, are easily available and transferred. I also think this training boom in Malaysia is because of the government policy.. and the funds provided to Research Universities to do research and gain graduate students.. so suddenly there is an influx of students, all green and unaware of the many methods are also perils of doing research.

I also see "guru's" coming up.. and being cited by candidates.. Prof so and so said so therefore it must be correct... instead of they themselves finding out the issues in depth through reading (yes reading) and understanding the issue. It also seems that many want to standardize the way research is done. The term 'its my way or the highway' comes to mind. And many just want to do the most recent methodology, the in thing.. and not the right thing. Whats wrong with doing a research whose objectives requires a simple mode of analysis and the analysis is done properly, for the student to then pass?

One must understand the purpose of a Masters and a PhD. The examination should not be solely on the methodology. Students must be made aware of this. Lecturers too.

I am not saying training is not good. I am all for it. In fact I think many lecturers should go and refresh their knowledge and open up their minds to the many other possibilities of doing research. But sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So caveat emptor.
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