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ERIC Number: EJ1205320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
'It's a Match, but Is It a Good Fit?': Admissions Tutors' Evaluation of Personal Statements for PhD Study
Chiu, Yuan-Li Tiffany
Oxford Review of Education, v45 n1 p136-150 2019
This article investigates academics' expectations and interpretations of the personal statement and its associated evaluation practice in the context of postgraduate school admissions. The analysis was based on semi-structured interviews with 10 experienced academics in doctoral applications evaluation at a US university. Data were thematically coded and analysed using the notion of discourse and power to identify a set of representations of ideas that academics draw on for the purpose of evaluating the personal statement. The findings suggest that academics' evaluations have been rooted in their understanding of the nature of PhD study, the current situation in the programme, and the structure of the admissions process in a particular academic discourse community. The discourses of 'match' and 'fit' emerged as being important to the academics' evaluation practice. This paper argues that the admissions discourses of 'match' and 'fit' have perplexed the evaluation process in that the 'match' appears to be associated with a more explicit and standardised list of requirements whereas the 'fit' emphasises more fluid and contingent programme priorities. There is a need for future research to determine the relevance and applicability of 'match' and 'fit' to further our understanding of the complexities of the admission process across contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A