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Cambridge's one-on-one teaching model is based on exploiting graduates

July 04, 2019 / Sandra Cortijo

Recently, I was having coffee with a final year PhD student about to submit his thesis. He was excited because he had just finished giving his first ever lecture. He had finally been able to prove himself and experience what his future job might entail. Yet when we met later, he seemed downcast about the experience. It had taken him five hours to write his first 45-minute lecture and several more to prepare the handouts and PowerPoint but he was just paid for the single hour that he was in the room. Afterwards, students emailed him with follow-up questions, and some asked to meet with him to talk about the content. He obliged all of them, but was not compensated for any of it.