Friday, January 27, 2023

“PhD candidates are cheap labour!” M’sian PhD candidate shares how studying PhD in Malaysia can be torturing

Social News"PhD candidates are cheap labour!" M'sian PhD candidate shares how studying PhD...

Being a PhD candidate means that he or she has successfully passed their qualifying exams and is just one step away from earning their doctorate degree.

Despite all the glory and achievement, a PhD candidate recently took it online to share how they are being exploited by the industry and the system in Malaysia.

According to a confession to Malaysian Pay Gap, an Instagram page that advocates for salary transparency, a PhD candidate share that he is earning about RM2,000 a month without EPF, medical benefits as well as transportation allowance.

“After graduating, I immediately went through a fast-track program that allows me to skip my Masters and get on board as a PhD candidate,” the user said.

Low pay and heavy workload

Elaborating further, the user said he is currently in the biotechnology field and his faculty acknowledges him as a staff. However, they refuse to give him any benefits as usual staff.

Meanwhile, he shared that his contract says he would have to work 5 hours per week, but the reality is that his lecturers would make him handle classes and tutorial lessons that would accumulate over 15 hours per week while claiming that it was ‘all for his experience’.

“On a typical week, I’d have to go to the lab as early as 3 am to get work done, handle classes from 8 am to 4 pm, then finish some of my other experiments till as late as 10 pm”, he added.

Source: Sapienza University

Only join a PhD programme if you are ready

The user then said that outsiders might not understand the struggles he is facing as they would only think he is attending classes and going for exams.

“The workload and challenges I face severely demotivate me and slow down my progress and there are several times where I contemplated taking my own life when I’m still in the lab at midnight,” he said.

“Other countries would treat their PhD candidates with respect and actually give good benefits. If you’re wanting to continue pursuing your studies in Malaysia, I suggest you prepare yourself as you’ll be subjected as cheap labour.”

After having experienced this, the user advised scholars out there to think twice before joining the PhD programme, especially if they are doing it in Malaysia.

“Do not do a PhD if you do not have the passion, strong support system and a stable mental health. It really drains everything out of you,” he said.

For all PhD holders out there, did you go through what this user has? Share your thoughts!

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