Earning a UK PhD, the state of the UK PhD: comments by Larry Hurtado
Larry Hurtado has recently made some comments about the state of the British PhD on his blog (see links below). Apparently some NT PhD candidates in the UK are submitting PhD theses when they do not have a reading knowledge of Koine Greek, German, or French. Nor is it apparent that some students can understand and explain the textual variants of a passage from the Nestle-Aland apparatus. It is disappointing (although not entirely shocking) that some UK PhD candidates have come to this point. The blame can largely be placed on the universities (and I think the supervisors of these students should shoulder some of it, unless of course, the students have not heeded their supervisors warnings and advice. The latter does happen!). Hurtado explains in the third post listed below some of the pressures placed on UK universities by the government that have led to this.
As the graduate of a British PhD programme, I understand how this can happen. The situation is unfortunate and only spells problems for the future of British NT studies if those working in NT studies do not learn the tools of the trade.