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MBChB Entry - General Discussion and Questions

Elaith

Lurker
On the application page, mine changed from waitlist to declined, so I guess there's no hope left of getting off waitlist anymore?
 

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blip

Member
I completed the requirements of a 120 point MPhil Degree with the Univerity of Waikato in February of 2019.

I provided the substantively updated thesis in response to the reports of examiners to the University of Waikato for sign off in Febtuary.
I cc'd Stuart McCutcheon for good measure -- I met the requirements for enrolment in MBChB 2019 prior to the program start date.

I don't know if anybody was enrolled into MBChB after I was refused. They shouldn't have been. That would have been my place, they took.

This year I was asked to supply evidence of completion of the MPhil by end November.

I provided evidence that had met all of the requirements for the Degree.

I requested confirmation that the evidence had been received / I requested to know if further evidence was required.

My application was declined on the grounds that I had not provided evidence of completion.

I was supplied with an appeals process. I requested to know the grounds by which the University of Auckland thought it could decline my place.

I was informed by Mel Cross that I needed the degree to have been *conferred* so since it hadn't been *conferred* the University of Auckland didn't have evidence of completion.

I pointed out in the appeals process that other studnets were offered places without being required to supply evidence their Degree had been conferred (becuase their qualifying Degree hadn't been conferred).

Then I was told that wasn't the reason my application was declined!

(Indeed. It was a flimsy excuse).

Nobody can tell me what I did not do that I was required to do to complete the MPhil. What requirement did I not meet? What University Calendar Requiremetn for the Degree did I not meet by February 2019?

Nobody can tell me.

Instead people sit around throwing flimsy excuses on things that are irrelevant (pretending to be too stupid to parse their own Regulations) and refusing to process my application properly.

If the University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences don't think that the rules apply to them...

That is seriously disturbing / seriously concerning.

I am hoping that things are sorted out swiftly. By Stuart McCutcheon and / or Dawn Freshwater.

Otherwise... What should I do?

I can't think of much of anything to do but to shine the light of day... Pass this information on to other Universities.

Harvard, Stanford, all the potential future collaborators... International Students should know before deciding whether they want to risk investing in a Degree where the people in charge of it (admitting people and then conferring people out the other end) don't feel they need to follow their own regulations.

It is a very sad thing.

I hope things are put right, swiftly.

Concerned.
 

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Crow

Moderator Band 🦧
Moderator
Hi blip, your story sounds eerily similar to a past user on here - have you actually been awarded an MPhil, or have you personally decided you met the requirements when the university hasn't?
 

Cathay

🚂Train Driver🚆
Emeritus Staff
...
Otherwise... What should I do?
...
Hi there, I'm having a little trouble understanding your circumstances. What I think is happening here is you are applying via the Graduate category to Auckland's MBChB programme, using your MPhil from Waikato, is that correct?

To help us understand your situation better, we need some more information - what would be your GPA for the MPhil? Have you done another degree before the MPhil, within the last 5 years, that you can apply with? What was your UCAT ANZ result, and were you invited for an interview?

Also: has Waikato conferred the degree (or at least approved your thesis) now?
 
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blip

Member
The University of Auckland advised me February 2018 that completion of ungraded Graduate Research Degrees (e.g., 120 point MPhil, 360 point PhD) would suffice for eligibility requirement. Since these are ungraded degrees GPA is calculated from the last 2 years of full time study towards completed qualifications.

It was on this advice that I chose to enrol in the 120 point MPhil with the University of Waikato.

There was a kerfuffle around my GPA calculation in my 2018 application for 2019 start - but I think we are all on the same page now. According to the University of Auckland algorithm on how the GPA is to be calculated (*best* 120 points per year including summer school papers that are stage 2 and above) my GPA is 8.6. The University has had my GPA information (from previously conferred degrees) from the time of my first application in 2018 for 2019 start. They rank order listed me both years. I am led to believe the only issue (once my GPA / rank order score was correctly calculated) is eligibility requirement.

I am required to have 'successfully completed' the MPhil in the 'normal' time. The intention seems to be that you complete 1 year of study normally, in 1 year (e.g., rather than working on a part time basis). You know, some people take 5 years of whatever to do a 360 point PhD. I submitted my thesis for examination in 2018 and the University said the couldn't find a regulation that said they couldn't send it to examiners. So they sent it to examiners. The examiners reports came back. The Calendar Regulations provide the outcomes of examination. The only outcome of examination that is based in the reports of the examiners (as the Calendar Requires) is that my thesis is accepted subject to substantive changes to be completed within 10 weeks.

Within 10 weeks of receiving the outcome of examination I supplied a thesis that had been substantively updated in response to examiners reports to the University in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree.

So... I supplied evidence. The supplied evidence was: The reports of the examiners. The University regulations (that say the outcome of examination is required to be based in the reports of the examiners). I also supplied the information that I supplied a thesis that had been substantively updated in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree. In fact, I cc'd Stuart McCutcheon the thesis I submitted in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree 24 February 2019 as evidence I had met eligibility requirement before classes started in 2019. He said I had not been selected so it was irrelevant. But selection is *on the basis of eligibility* so I don't understand.

Point is that successfully completing a Graduate Research Degree means that you have met the requirements / regulations for the Degree. I simply don't understand what else it could mean.

I have supplied the evidence of meeting the requirements.

EVERYBODY. Refuses to accept / acknowledge that I have met the requirements. I heard a succession of flimsy excuses after flimsy excuses. Nobody has pointed out to me the regulation I apparently didn't meet. The requirement I apparently didn't meet.

The thesis was submitted to the University of Waikato (cc Stuart McCutcheon) 24 February 2019.

Well in advance of my application to study MBChB in 2019 for 2020 start.

The University of Auckland had NO GROUNDS TO REFUSE TO ENROL ME -- A SUITABLY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE.

Only flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse.

They are required to follow their rules / regulations. Surely. Otherwise... Their Degrees don't / won't / can't mean anything.

I am afraid for the University.

I am afraid for Medicine and Surgery in New Zealand.
 

frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
blip
I feel for your situation, I really do. The medical admissions process at both universities is ludicrously arbitrary at times, and you're not the first to have felt like they're ignoring their own rules.

My advice would be to ring and schedule an appointment to talk to whoever the head honcho is. The unis get an insane amount of emails from people trying to get into medicine, many of whom are essentially tyre-kickers who have zero chance of getting in - so they're pretty used to deflecting emails. They're much more reasonable in person when you can plead your entire case to one person all at once.

I'm a PGY2, so it's been the thick end of a decade since I had to negotiate the admissions process. But some things never change - like the admissions administrators being nightmares to deal with for anyone who isn't a bog-standard HSFY/OLY1 or grad entrant.

Give them a call, set up an appointment to talk to them. It'll get you a lot further than a protracted email argument
 

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blip

Member
I am wary of in person meetings for two reasons:

1) The potential for abuse. Bribes. Sexual favors. You get the idea.
2) People are typically more reactive (less deliberative) and more emotional (less rational) in person than they are when they can take time to read and take time to formulate a response.

The activity I am asking (follow your own rules) is one that requires rational deliberation rather than big eyes and pleading. One would hope. Surely decisions about who to admit are made on the basis of rules that have been instituted in the name of fairness and equity rather than on the basis of who they *feel like* admitting?

Surely.

Thankyou for the suggestion, though.

I agree that meetings can be important. I have interviewed, however. I was informed last year that I did above average for applicants in my category (general graduate).

I would be tempted to say that the University is discriminating against me on the basis of disability. But if I say that then apparently the burden of proof is on me to prove that they are refusing to follow their regulations *because I have disability* rather than refusing to follow their regulations *simply because they don't follow their regulations whenever they don't feel like following their regulations*. There is nothing to be gained making this be about disability.

But I do think it is unwise to apply under equity criterion. I think equity criterion is that the Medical Admissions Committee themselves choose to employ only for the purposes of bypassing their selection algorithm whenever they choose.

I haven't seen any evidence for it being used for anything else.

As I said in my thesis. That their regulations require them to accept. In fulfilment of regulations for the Degree. And in fulfilment of requirements for admission for 2020. They were required to admit me in 2020. They have no grounds to exclude me.

Again.

It is because disability (and other equity criterion, too) are super-hard to develop in ways that genuinely do seem fair rather than offering an unfair advantage for people to exploit. It seems really really hard to understand how to make sense of it. If you choose to apply under disability (and do not have a very obvious and very circumscribed issue where accommodations are super obvious and super easy) then it is too hard for people to know how to deal with it / what sense to make of it.

So... I decided NOT to apply under disability equity criterion. What would the point be, anyway, since the only 'advantage' or 'benefit' isn't about increasing representation it is about something something to do with helping you get an interview if your GPA is too low? My GPA is 8.6. I don't need GPA accommodations.

So I applied under 'General'. So the University said I didn't get a place because my GPA was too low.

At which point we needed several rounds of appeals to prove the fact that I could calculate my GPA according to their own algorithm while they pretended it was too hard for them.

WTF.

The problem has been that they have been thinking that I have been asking them to violate their own regulations and offer me a place.

Instead, it is that I have been asking them to follow the reasons / rationales for their regulations and offer me a place.

I didn't ask them to not apply the rules to me. I asked them to consider my application in light of the reasons for their rules.

E.g., Otago only considers disabilty as reason to *exclude* an otherwise qualified candidate. I was asking them to update their rules / regulations into more recent centuries. To remove the aspect of discrimination, at least, by refraining from asking about disability status until *after* offers of place have been sent out (accommodations to be negotiatied as part of acceptance of offer of place).

I only asked Auckland to follow it's own rules and I did not apply under equity criterion. I am seeking no accommodations. I don't have to disclose anything at all. It is nobodies business (except they already know because they advertised that they cared about this for the purposes of inclusion and diversity).

So now they refuse to apply the rules to me.

I do understand they genuinely do have problems with diversity. They like to think that fairness means everybody is all the same (the same courses the same cohort) so they can rank them. They are having a hard time coming to terms with the introduction of ethics and verbal reasoning as something valuable to Medicine / Surgery this year (UCAT represents a significant advance on UMAT for diversity).
 

Pump

Regular Member
I am wary of in person meetings for two reasons:

1) The potential for abuse. Bribes. Sexual favors. You get the idea.
What?? No I personally don't get the idea. This is such a strange and bizarre reason to be wary of an in-person meeting. If anything, the person you are meeting (let's say head of the admissions process) has everything to lose if they were to offer you "bribes" or "sexual favors" as you could easily go public and out them for it. It's a weird level of paranoia to fear in-person meetings for this reason

I do understand they genuinely do have problems with diversity. They like to think that fairness means everybody is all the same (the same courses the same cohort) so they can rank them.
Yeah no. There's a variety of alternative entry schemes (one of which you sound like you could have qualified for) that aims to promote diversity. Looking back historically, the medical class is supremely more diverse nowadays than they were 40-50 years ago.

This story just sounds eerily similar to another we had a month or two ago. It's turning into a personal blog with no real room for discussion as there is heavy pushback from OP. Not only that, the same points keep getting repeated in an almost obsessive manner. I think frootloop has provided reasonable advice, so I wonder if any mods could provide further advice and lock it down before the discussion spirals even more into just one person's personal blog
 

blip

Member
This will be my last post - but I will check in case people do want to offer suggestions / advise. When I respond to suggestions / advice I am not meaning to *dismiss* the suggestions and advice. Rather, I am meaning to *incorporate* it into my thinking. But I don't want to dominate the thread, for sure.

I have posted here under various names associated with various applications over the years. I forget passwords / emails I registered with etc.

This is more relevant than you may suppose, however, Pump. You see, you come out as a PGY2 or whatever and then you need to see about having your application processed for specialist training. With the General Pratitioners or the Surgeons or whatever. And you need for various people to sign off that you have done various things that you have or have not done as the case may be.


There is in fact a culture whereby senior people often do behave badly by conveying strongly (perhaps overtly lying) to the effect that people are required to give them favors or bribes or emotional support or brownnose to them or whatever whatever on demand. Violate the labor laws. Etc etc.. That if people won't do these things (won't violate regulations) then they will refuse to sign them off / refuse to process their application etc.

Outside Medicine our Prime Minister has recently said, on one occasion, that she wasn't going to meet with a group of people to discuss a particular issue because the particular issue was being worked out via a process. She was concerned that meeting was a way of circumventing process.

Similarly, I have concerns that when a lecturer, for example, fails your work and insists on a meeting, that sets of pretty serious alarm bells for me.

There needs to be a process of independent and objective people who are capable of reasoning about regulations and about whether regulations have been followed. There needs to be fairness. There needs to be accountability.

Otherwise I am very afraid for the Universities of Auckland and for Medicine and Surgery in NZ.

I would be honored and privaledged to get to meet the VC. Not in the context of deciding whether or not I have met the requirements for the MPhil. My person is irrelevant. Similarly the Auckland selection criterion selected me. They are simply refusing to offer me a place because they are refusing to accept the evidence that I have completed my MPhil and have only been able to offer weak and flimsy excuses about things that are not reelvant to the regulations for my Degree.

Anyway, enough from me. I am sure many will agree.

Peace.
 

Cathay

🚂Train Driver🚆
Emeritus Staff
It was on this advice that I chose to enrol in the 120 point MPhil with the University of Waikato.

I submitted my thesis for examination in 2018 and the University said the couldn't find a regulation that said they couldn't send it to examiners. So they sent it to examiners.
That's quite a confrontational tone there... May I ask why it was this way? Did your supervisor support your submission? Was your supervisor happy with the thesis you were submitting? Was your supervisor aware you had intended to submit your thesis in a single year? I'm struggling to understand why it was that when you submitted your thesis, the university had to look for a regulation to deny the submission.

Within 10 weeks of receiving the outcome of examination I supplied a thesis that had been substantively updated in response to examiners reports to the University in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree.

So... I supplied evidence. The supplied evidence was: The reports of the examiners. The University regulations (that say the outcome of examination is required to be based in the reports of the examiners). I also supplied the information that I supplied a thesis that had been substantively updated in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree.
Just trying to understand what's actually happened... What happened after submitting the revised thesis? Did the revised thesis get accepted by the University of Waikato? Does the University of Waikato agree that you have completed the requirements of MPhil? Has the University of Waikato approved you for graduation?

He said I had not been selected so it was irrelevant. But selection is *on the basis of eligibility* so I don't understand.
Okay.... Had you been offered a place in Auckland medicine subject to completion of the MPhil? Because selection isn't *just* on eligibility. It's also competitive in that all eligible candidates are ranked by GPA + UCAT + Interview, and successful candidates are offered places in the medicine programme.

If, because of issues around your MPhil, you weren't in that candidate pool and didn't get offered a place, then unfortunately you wouldn't be able to just enroll in the medicine programme - and will instead have to work with the admissions people on how you should go about gaining such an offer. I've noticed you have been using "application" and "enrolment" quite interchangeably in your posts, but they are not the same thing for medicine - eligibility to apply is NOT eligibility to enroll.
 

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Cathay

🚂Train Driver🚆
Emeritus Staff
This is more relevant than you may suppose, however, Pump. You see, you come out as a PGY2 or whatever and then you need to see about having your application processed for specialist training. With the General Pratitioners or the Surgeons or whatever. And you need for various people to sign off that you have done various things that you have or have not done as the case may be.


There is in fact a culture whereby senior people often do behave badly by conveying strongly (perhaps overtly lying) to the effect that people are required to give them favors or bribes or emotional support or brownnose to them or whatever whatever on demand. Violate the labor laws. Etc etc.. That if people won't do these things (won't violate regulations) then they will refuse to sign them off / refuse to process their application etc.
I don't think those are the same things. Workplace bullying is a serious issue for the medical profession, and I can sort of see how you connected those dots, but I'm not seeing how that's really applicable to your situation regarding university admission. As an applicant having a meeting with an admissions person, you are more akin to a patient than a junior colleague - you're not stuck working with them everyday, whether you get in or not, and if they suggested anything inappropriate, there's nothing to stop you going public and outing them. If you haven't even started your medical degree, you would have a lot less to lose by going public, than a junior doctor in surgical training who has done 6 years med school + however many PGY years it took them to get on the surgical training programme (generally a lot more than 2) + however far they are in their surgical training.

There needs to be a process of independent and objective people who are capable of reasoning about regulations and about whether regulations have been followed. There needs to be fairness. There needs to be accountability.
Sure, but there also needs to be communication, and mutual understanding - communication is a two-way street, after all. You seem to have said a lot about how you think you have met requirements and how you think you should be admitted to Auckland MBChB; there seems to be a lot missing about your working relationship with your research supervisor and with the University of Waikato, and the actual status of your MPhil according to the University of Waikato (rather than just your own perceived status of having completed requirements.)

As the saying goes, there are always two sides to every story. At this point, having heard your side of the story, I'd be quite interested to hear their side. You'd be surprised how different the two sides of a story can be, in the case of a communication breakdown (which I suspect has happened between you and your supervisor, between you and the University of Waikato, and between you and the University of Auckland.)

Being able to see things from the other person's perspective (a branch of empathy) is an important skill for a prospective health professional. ;)
 

Cathay

🚂Train Driver🚆
Emeritus Staff
I wrote you a reply but I can't figure how to PM it. Haha.
Oh I haven't enabled PMs. Feel free to reply here instead.
 

blip

Member
Since you asked me to. I will answer your questions. I respect your opinion and value the fact that you shared it. Especially your second post. I hear you. I agree that these are important skills and I am willing to work on improving them.

My understanding is that in both 2018 and 2019 my rank order list score was high enough for offer of place as general graduate -- but my application was declined on the grounds that I was ineligable to apply since I had not completed a qualification from a NZ University within the last 5 years.

The University of Waikato didn't have to look for a regulation to deny submission, but they chose to.

I think that is because normally (as in typically) students are bullied / coaxed / cajoled into believing that they are required to labor for 12 months or 1 1/2 years before submitting a 120 point MPhil thesis for examination.

But I was required to complete the qualification in the `normal' time (by Auckland) and I wasn't sure what Auckland would regard to be the `normal' time and so I submitted the thesis for examination after less than 12 months of labor.

My supervisor had a screaming tantrun that I wasn't allowed to submit without her permission and she did not give her permission!

Universities differ on this, but the Univeristy of Waikato regulations do not require me to have my supervisors permission.

The Faculty was very upset and declared that I had submitted `early' so the thesis should not be sent out for examination.

The Dean rightly pointed out that the regulations stated the Degree (including the examination period) was required to take 1 year - but there was nothing in the Calendar Regulations to say whether that was a Calendar Year (12 months) or an Academic Year (34 weeks).

The Dean rightly pointed out that there was nothing in the regulations to say the student was required to work for any length of time at all before sending a thesis out for examination (but you can't start working on it before your enrolment start date).

But so before it went out for examination my supervisor and the Faculty at the University of Waikato had decided it couldn't possibly pass because it was too early and it would send a bad message to other students. So people really had their hearts set on my being failed for my impertinence. Especially my supervisor.

The reports of the examiners were returned to the University in December. Everyone said I was required to keep working for at least 6 months before sending it out for another round of examination (so taking the 1 1/2 years before submitting it for examination as is typical or normal or common for University of Waikato studnets completing the MPhil).

The issue is that the University Calendar Regulations state that the Dean makes the final decision on the basis of the reports of the examiners. There is no basis for me to have to re-enrol or to re-submit for another round of examination in the reports of the examiners. They do not say I should do these things. They also did not return the thesis to the candidate as the Regulations require if they intend re-enrolment. Their examiners pack informed them they could seek reimbursement for thesis return costs. They did not seek reimbursement. They did not reject the thesis.

The reports of both examiners were consistent with only one outcome: Outcome c. That the University is required to accept a substantively updated thesis from me within 10 weeks of the outcome of examination.

I labored on the substantive changes and provided theses to my supervisor with the relevant forms for sign off and she refused. Eventually I emailed the School of Graduate Research on 24 February along with Stuart McCutcheon the substantively updated thesis in fulfilment of regulations for the Degree.

If we want to get particularly fussy: It was supposed to be lodged in the library in hardcopy no later than 22 March. Normally usually typically or standardly (but not required by the Calendar) the Univeristy Department authorises Copy Shop to invoice the Department for the costs of hardbinding. The University refused to do this for me. The hard copies were not printed. The thesis was not lodged. That is the only regulation that was violated. Because I didn't have several hundred dollars to pay for the hardbinding costs myself (when I was told the department would meet those costs prior to enroling in the Degree).

Anyway: I think what is happening is that the Univerity of Waikato is waiting on the VC of Auckland to acknowledge that I have in fact me the requirements for the MPhil Degree. Whether they like or loathe the fact that Waikato offers a 120 point MPhil (and nobody can force me to do a PhD for entry to MBChB with Auckland) Waikato has one in their Calendar and I completed it.

I think the Auckland Faculty people think I have cheated, somehow. But I met the regulations they set. I invested years and years of money and study and research and work into meeting the normal standard regulations and having my application processed properly along with everyone else for General Graduate at Auckland.

And apparently my rank order list was high enough (once they properly calculated my GPA). But everyone just denies it. 'Keep working x, we won't sign you off, yet'. Then by the time they get around to signing me off they will pronounce me 'too slow' and 'too late'. This was the only way, I believe. I know nobody likes it, but it was the hoop that Auckland set. I did it. Minimum, normal, standard time. They have no grounds to refuse to refuse to acknowledge I completed the requirements in February of 2020 they have no grounds to refuse to enrol me.
 

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Crow

Moderator Band 🦧
Moderator
As per last time: this isn’t going to get anywhere, and you won’t accept any advice from anyone on MSO - that’s been made very clear. Further posts related to this matter will be deleted as per discussion by the moderation team. Thank you.
 

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