President Donald Trump's former foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, had a tough time passing his PhD thesis, according to the Guardian.
Page was failed not once but twice, and following his second failure, he accused the examiners of "anti-Russian bias".
The examiners did not foresee Page's failure, initially believing he would be easy to pass.
[Andrusz] said it actually took “days and days” to wade through Page’s work. Page “knew next to nothing” about social science and seemed “unfamiliar with basic concepts like Marxism or state capitalism,” the professor said.
The viva was no better for Page:
“Page seemed to think that if he talked enough, people would think he was well-informed. In fact it was the reverse,” Andrusz said. He added that Page was “dumbfounded” when the examiners told him he had failed.
Given 18 months to revise and resubmit his paper, Page returned in 2010 but met the same fate.
Although this essay was a “substantial improvement” it still didn’t merit a PhD and wasn’t publishable in a “learned journal of international repute”, Andrusz noted. When after a four-hour interview, the examiners informed him he had failed again, Page grew “extremely agitated”.
Page eventually passed his thesis after Andrusz and Duncan stepped aside, citing Page's accusations of anti-Russian and anti-American bias.
[The School of Oriental and African Studies] refuses to identify the academics who eventually passed Page’s PhD thesis, citing data protection rules.
In a statement, Soas said it had “proper and robust procedures for the award of PhDs”. It added: “All theses are examined by international experts in their field and are passed only where they meet appropriate high academic standards.”