At the University of Cambridge, PhD students are not required to publish papers in order to be able to defend a thesis. One consequence of this is that some supervisors, especially in more experimental areas (e.g., some fields of biology), adopt a policy of deferring all publications until after the end of the PhD, to suck up as much of their students' time as possible for lab work.
This has a detrimental effect on the PhD's career: at the end of the PhD, he/she cannot apply to most positions since virtually all of them require publications. So the student must convince the supervisor to leave extra time for publishing during the thesis, and some supervisors are clearly against it.
In such situations, what can the PhD student do? In theory, if there was postdoc funding available for the student immediately after the thesis, this could be allocated for publishing the accumulated results, but this is not the case.
Is there a way to pressure the university to require such publications, to minimize the amount of "paying technician"1 work? How can PhD students change this perverse incentive system?
1At Cambridge, PhD students in such fields end up paying to work (as technicians), instead of being paid to work, which is a huge incentive for supervisors to keep the status quo.