At my university (in Germany), a discussion is going on for some months. The issue is that some (professors and PhD students) want to establish a policy that, prior to the oral defense of their PhD thesis, candidates should have access to the (written) assessments of their thesis by the examiners (that is the main supervisor and further professors/experts). Others are against this, and want to keep things as they are – the candidate holds their oral defense without prior knowledge of the assessments.
To clarify: the thesis examiners assess the PhD thesis. Afterwards, the defense is held; it is an event open to the public where the PhD candidate first gives a presentation, presenting their PhD research results. Afterwards, the examiners will ask the PhD candidate critical questions about the thesis and beyond. Based on the thesis itself and the quality of the presentation and questions answered, the grade is then decided by the examiners.
This discussion is going on for quite some time now, and no side seems to be able to convince the other that their take on the PhD defense is the better. I personally don’t see any real downside to making the assessments accessible to the PhD candidate, but then on the other hand I am “only” a PhD student and have no real experience with thesis defenses yet.
My question is: Are there any universities that already have a policy like this in place and if so, is it beneficial for the PhD candidates?