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Improving the Quality of Doctoral Education. Should we put it on ICE? Professor Joe Luca Dean, GRS Edith Cowan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving the Quality of Doctoral Education. Should we put it on ICE? Professor Joe Luca Dean, GRS Edith Cowan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving the Quality of Doctoral Education. Should we put it on ICE? Professor Joe Luca Dean, GRS Edith Cowan University

2 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) 4. Summary 5. Q&A

3 CRICOS IPC00279B Edith Cowan University

4 ECU Facts Established 1902 as a Teacher’s College University status in 1991 Graduate Research School (GRS) ~6 years ago 819 PhD and 738 MBR degrees since 1991 ~600 PhDs & 200 Master by Research ~28,000 students 460 FTE staff in teaching/research or research only positions 62% of academic staff hold doctorates, 16% Master by Research

5 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene i. What’s happening in Australia? ii. PhD numbers & destinations 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) 4. Summary 5. Q&A

6 Government Legislation The Higher Education Support Act 2003 Australian Quality Framework (AQF) Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

7 Good Practice Principles (DDOGS) – Proposed Principles being developed as Reference Points noted in the Standards that should be addressed by Universities for accreditation/under audit Six Good Practice Principles + 37 Sub-Principles 1. Admissions 2. Candidature support 3. Employability skills 4. Research culture 5. Supervision 6. Examination

8 Proposed Legislative and Developmental Processes Legislative Higher Education Standards Framework Good Practice Principles (DDOGS) Developmental Good Practice Framework (DDOGS) Good Practice Guidelines (DDOGS)

9 Research Training Scheme (RTS) For HDR (Higher Degree by Research) candidates - Research Doctorates & Master by Research Dominant funding influence in Australia  Completions 50%  Total research income 40% &  Research publications 10% http://www.education.gov.au/research-training-scheme

10 PhD Pathways Each institution is developing their own strategy Funding is key driver! Future of Honours? ICE Environment YearsPathway 3 + 2 + 3Master Degree 3 + 1 + 3Honours 4 + 3Embedded Honours 3 + (1 + 1) + 3Bologna Model. Macquarie university (UG/PG hybrid) 4 + (1 + 3)Integrated or Structured

11 Universities Australia “the sector wears the nicks, scars, cuts, and grazes inflicted upon it by years of stop-start funding reflecting frequently- changing political priorities, policy restlessness and an operating environment impossible to predict from one budget to the next” Ms Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive, Universities Australia Address to the National Press Club of Australia Wednesday 11 March 2015

12 Oz Summary Lack of direction Standards in draft format Driven by funding

13 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene i. What’s happening in Australia? ii. PhD numbers & destinations 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) 4. Summary 5. Q&A

14 Number of Doctoral Completions (Australia) Information taken from Australian Bureau of Statistics Total from 1999-2013 = 80,587

15 Ratio of Researchers in Business vs. Higher Education Department of Health and Ageing, Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research, Final Report February 2013, p. 223

16 OECD (2014) Business Collaboration with Research Institutions 2008-2010 % of product, by country

17 Fix the PhD “No longer a guaranteed ticket to an academic career, the PhD system needs a serious rethink.” “Widening concerns about dismal job prospects are dissuading the brightest candidates from the PhD route” Nature | Editorial Volume 472 Number 7343 April 21, 2011

18 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) I. ICE Environment II. Impact III. Candidate Development IV. Engagement 4. Summary 5. Q&A

19 The Iceberg Principle 1. ICE only forms in the correct Environment 2. Tip of the iceberg is what we see  Visible Outcomes 3. Most of the iceberg is hidden, and has  Impact  Candidate Skill Development  Engagement

20 I mpact C andidate E ngagement Doctoral Education on ICE Real World ProblemsIndustry Collaboration Interdisciplinarity International Awareness Mobility Self-Promotion Career Planning Professional Skills Research Skills Thesis Publications Completion Rates, TTD Careers Graduate Satisfaction Employer Satisfaction Impact & Engagement Strategies Candidate Development Strategies ICE Environment Networking Visible Outcomes ICE Environment ICE Environment ICE Environment

21 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) i. ICE Environment ii. Impact iii. Candidate Development iv. Engagement 4. Summary 5. Q&A

22 ICE Environment Aligns with established standards, guidelines & QA principles UK Quality Code Irish Good Practice Guidelines Salzburg Principles Good Practice Framework for Research Training in Australia etc… ICE Environment

23 Highlight areas of concern & excellence Institutional KPI’s - completion rates, TTD, TTA, supervisor compliance, staff qualifications Exception reports - confirmation & completion Research Experience Questionnaire - local & national Supervisor performance tracking National Benchmarking Other metrics.. Where is Change Needed? ICE Environment

24 How to Make Changes? Even a great idea that will benefit everybody, will not necessary be approved at committee meetings!! Some rules for achieving change  Use good reliable data!  Get high level support  Be transparent  Inform and communicate with as many people as possible before presenting at meetings  Lobby and get buy-in  Be aware of boundaries, perceived ownership and traditions!  Don’t antagonise committee members ICE Environment

25 GRS Key Milestones Chronological order over 6 years 1. Focus on Research Culture 2. SOAR 3. Supervisor Register 4. Supervisor Training (& National Grant) 5. Confidential Comments through Progress Reports 6. National Benchmarking 7. Good Practice Framework (National Grant) 8. Candidature Management Policy 9. Integrated PhD & One PhD Code 10. Flexible Delivery ICE Environment

26 Coffee mornings Special Seminars e.g. Demystifying Your Thesis Research Week 3MT – Three Minute Thesis Writing Retreats Family days Comprehensive training calendar InSPIRE – inter-university conference  http://www.WAresearch.com http://www.WAresearch.com http://intranet.ecu.edu.au/research/for-research-students/research-training-and- resources/research-training-workshops http://intranet.ecu.edu.au/research/for-research-students/research-training-and- resources/research-training-workshops 1. Research Culture ICE Environment

27 www.WAresearch.com

28 InSPiRE (29 June - 3 July 2015) Week-long postgraduate conference-style event Training and PD for PhD and Master candidates Brings together all five WA Universities and hundreds of postgraduate students InstituteTheme MonMurdochThe Research Writing Circle TuesNotre DameSupervisory Relationships WedUWAOpportunities and Responsibilities in Research ThursECUCommunicating and Promoting Your Research FriCurtinPathways to Your Future

29 2. SOAR Centre Support, Opportunities, Advice, Resources 10 doctoral candidates employed each semester Peer-to-peer support service for: Research skills Career support Transition and support One-to-one appointments and group workshops ~450 face-to-face appointments, email, phone and SKYPE interactions per year ~400 SOAR session participants for 60-70 sessions per year Great ISB results! ICE Environment

30 SOAR: One-One & Workshops Data analysis using SPSS Content analysis using Nvivo Qualitative data analysis, including image analysis in MAXQDA Questionnaire design MATLAB programming LATEX for preparation of thesis, posters and books EndNote and referencing Thesis formatting Ethics applications for human research Focus groups Tips for working in Australia for international students MyPLAN demonstrations Etc..

31 Supervisor compliance is a legal requirement (Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research). Require: Qualifications (PhD) Research Active Training Experience (Completion) Checked by line managers and Scholarship committee Supervisor Register changed practice at ECU From 25% to 94% compliance! Supervisor Reports available by Faculty and School showing percentages and numbers 3. Supervisor Register ICE Environment

32 Supervisor Performance & Capacity

33 Three varieties i. Supervisor Compliance Training ii. Improving Supervisor Practice iii. Principal Supervisor Accreditation 4. Supervisor Training

34 i. Supervisor Compliance Training Compulsory - 3.5 hours every three years Monitored by Supervisor Register Content Rules, policies and guidelines New initiatives and directions Web resources Support services Scholarships available Performance & Funding allocations Open forum ICE Environment

35 ii. Improving Supervisor Practice

36 Research Supervision Toolkit OLT project grant in Oct 2011 with 5 partner institutions National online toolkit to help improve supervisory practice Support materials & case studies that explore dilemmas of supervision practice http://researchsupervisiontoolkit.com/ ECU eBook with over 100 tools and case studies

37 Project Management Approach to Supervision ICE Environment

38

39 iii. Principal Supervisor Accreditation By invitation only - fast tracking! Training seminars with invited guest speakers from the senior supervisor group Practical experience of engaging in supervisor practice Inclusion on a supervisor panel (Honours, MbR or PhD) As an associate Shadowing experienced supervisors with students at various stages of candidature Assessment through a reflective journal and presentation ICE Environment

40 5. Confidential Comments Progress reports submitted every 6 months  jointly by supervisor and candidate Both can submit confidential comments Only sent to Dean of Graduate Research School Response sent by email, with option of follow up meetings Get 20-30 each semester

41 5 year cumulative completion rates for Australian universities based on Government data Cohort reported 2003 commencing (Master by Research & Doctoral) 9,268 commencing in 2003 4,062 recorded as complete in 2008 Summary Completion rate varies from 15% - 68%, Avg = 44% Avg years to complete varies from 3.8 to 6.1, Avg = 4.9 6. GRS National Benchmarking Exercise ICE Environment

42 Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Project awarded to ECU in 2011 Developed with Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) 7. Good Practice Framework for Research Training in Australia ICE Environment

43 Rationale To promote continuous improvement for research training Provide institutions with a template for Systematic reviews Identifying areas of strength Identifying areas for improvement Sharing good practice principles & processes Systematic benchmarking ICE Environment

44 GPF Dimensions 1.Governance 2.Program and Outcomes 3.Selection and Admission 4.Supervision 5.Candidature Management 6.Responsible Conduct of Research 7.Candidate Support 8.Supporting Career Progression 9.Examination

45 GPF & Gap Analysis available http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/good-practice-framework-for-research-training (ECU) http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/good-practice-framework-for-research-training http://olt.gov.au/resources, search resource library for “Good Practice Framework for Research Training” (OLT) http://olt.gov.au/resources ICE Environment

46 GPF Structure ICE Environment

47 2. Program and Outcomes Dimension: The institution has a program that requires candidates to produce quality research as part of their HDR degree program........... Components: 2.1 Program Review 2.2 Candidate Performance 2.3 Tailored Coursework and Research Training Skills 2.4 Professional Skill Development 2.5 Candidate Feedback Mechanisms External Reference Points DDoGS Good Practice Guidelines

48 Good Practice Framework

49 Good Practice Guidelines Establishing Good Practice guidelines to exemplify good practice and support HDR program quality Aligned to specific Components of the GPF Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Examiners Editing research thesis Admissions guidelines Candidature management Induction Ensuring appropriate supervision Selecting examiners Supporting dissemination ICE Environment

50 Gap Analysis Check institutional claims about its research training objectives To what extent are these being achieved? What is the institution good at? What must be improved? What would be good to improve (Opportunities)? Use results for continuous improvement and benchmarking ICE Environment

51 Gap Analysis at ECU ICE Environment

52 Benchmarking with the GPF GPF provides a framework for institutions to compare and contrast processes and performance in specific areas of research training Focus on areas of concern e.g.  HDR Pathways  Supervision, Etc Share examples of good practice ICE Environment Booth, S. (2013). Cross-Institutional Benchmarking Project In Higher Degree Research (HDR) 2013

53 Performance Indicator Areas of Good PracticeAreas for ImprovementAreas for Sharing 2.1: HDR Program Evaluation Sector: US is much more transparent in program reviews VU: 5-yearly review for professional doctorates All: HDR program reviews All: HDR graduate attributes are very generic Curtin: Research plan VU: Research leader forum; Thesis quality measure; Research plan ECU: GS program reviews 2.2: Candidate Outcomes ECU & Curtin: Inter-university summer school ECU: Portfolio UTAS: Research week conference VU: PhD mini conference All: Tracking and measuring candidate outcomes All: Candidates working with others beyond their immediate research area ECU & Curtin: Inter-university summer school ECU: Portfolio UTAS: Research week conference VU: PhD mini conference 2.3: Coursework & Research Training Skills Sector: UK have a ‘new route PhD’ ECU: Doctorate skills development program, including learning plan UTAS: Learning plan Curtin: Essential facilities guide UOW: Integrated PhD course All: Developing online communities for skill development ECU: Learning plan UTAS: Research plan; Learning plan Curtin: Essential facilities guide ECU: To set-up meeting with UOW to discuss integrated PhD course All: Propose a model for an integrated PhD: OLT project 2.4: Professional Skill Development ECU: Gap analysis and research education coordinators RMIT: HDR Big Day Out UTAS: Graduate Research Officer VU: Research training booking system All: Needs analysis in HDR could be strengthened ECU: Gap analysis and research education coordinators UTAS: Graduate Research Officer position description 2.5: Candidate Feedback Mechanisms UTAS: Graduate management meeting VU: Annual feedback forum All: Following up with exit surveys and attrition VU: Annual feedback forum All: Consider attrition project with OLT 2. Programs and Outcomes (Benchmarking Exercise)

54 8. Candidature Management Policy New Policy introduced in 2014  Four year rule for PhDs  Two years for Master by Research Required to control time to completion Main offenders where scholarship students! Candidates can be excluded at Confirmation of Candidature milestone  6-9 months of candidature ICE Environment

55 Integrated PhD (1+3) Alternative model to traditional PhD More applied, engaged with focus on impact Admission requirements - Master by Coursework or 4 year UG First year:  Cohort based – core units with students from all disciplines  Research and professional skill development  Develop research proposal, with milestone for entry into the three-year thesis ICE Environment

56 Year 1 – Integrated PhD Semester 1 Research Project 1 (Core) Writing and Reading Skills for Researchers (Core) Research Methods (Faculty Based) Semester 2 Research Project 2 (Core) Communicating and Promoting Research(Core) Elective

57 CISCO Virtual Classroom just implemented High fidelity campus to campus video conferencing Multiple cameras with TelePresence Synchronous access for remote students on any computer or mobile device Recording for asynchronous connections with instant searching facility on key words More focus needed on flexible delivery! ICE Environment 10. Flexible Delivery

58 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) i. ICE Environment ii. Impact iii. Candidate Development iv. Engagement 4. Summary 5. Q&A

59 Thesis Topic Selection What is the primary driver for admissions? The quality of the student The thesis topic Mixture of Both Aim for Impact - Universities for the public good! National research priorities Our Future World (CSIRO, 2012) End Poverty (United Nations Millennium Development Goals) Impact

60 Link with industry, community and government  Research impact Helps develop professional skills and career options Top up funding from industry supports stipend or research project Once project approved it is promoted and advertised  In reverse to our current system http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/graduate-research-opportunities http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/graduate-research-opportunities Industry Engagement Scholarships Impact

61 ECU had 21 separate doctoral codes for the traditional PhD  Would have been 84 codes with new Integrated & Joint PhD codes  Difficult to maintain and audit Funding was allocated to Schools on enrolment load, has now changed to supervisor load  Schools were reluctant to share their supervisors as they would not get funded! Helps promote interdisciplinary research environments One PhD Code Impact

62 Universities Urged to get with Profit Drive Programs “Business groups have joined Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in calling for university research to be more aligned to producing economic benefit” Australian Financial Review, Aug 11, 2014 Impact

63 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) i. ICE Environment ii. Impact iii. Candidate Development iv. Engagement 4. Summary 5. Q&A

64 1. Quality Thesis + 2. Skilled Researcher  Candidate Development! Candidate Development At the completion of the PhD we need

65 MyPlan 1. Skills development & career plan to help Identify required skills for their research Identify required skills for future careers with meaningful Professional Development Monitor and record skills being used eg PM! Develop an online profile eg Linkedin 2. Candidate-Supervisor agreement – Clarify Expectations! 3. Publication plan 4. Supervisor meeting record Candidate Development How to implement? Resistance from supervisors

66 Other Strategies for Candidate Development Integrated PhD Research training program (Open Badges?) Career Development workshops (in collaboration with career services) SOAR for career planning Industry network series (in collaboration with Office of Research & Innovation) INSPIRE - week long postgraduate conference-style event with five universities Candidate Development

67 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) i. ICE Environment ii. Impact iii. Candidate Development iv. Engagement 4. Summary 5. Q&A

68 www.WAresearch.com

69

70 iPREP Industry and PhD Research Engagement Program  Help promote the uptake of doctoral graduates into industry  For PhD candidates who have submitted thesis for examination  Interdisciplinary teams working with an industry partner for 6 weeks 5 Perth based universities and the State Government

71 http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/StatementDetails.aspx?listName =StatementsBarnett&StatId=9251

72 Engagement

73 PhD scholarships that link thesis topics with research in industry, community and government Help develop candidates professional skills and career options Funding from industry supports the stipend or research project Once project is approved by scholarship committee, supervisor (and GRS) promote the project Application requires a research impact statement http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/graduate-research-opportunities http://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/graduate-research- school/graduate-research-opportunities Engagement Industry Engagement Scholarships

74 International Engagement Joint PhDs Onshore/offshore models of delivery Mobility programs eg AsiaBound International scholarships (Inbound)

75 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) 4. Summary 5. Q&A

76 The correct environment Impact Engagement with Industry Candidate Development Should we put Doctoral Candidates on ICE?

77 I mpact C andidate E ngagement Doctoral Education on ICE Real World ProblemsIndustry Collaboration Interdisciplinarity International Awareness Mobility Self-Promotion Career Planning Professional Skills Research Skills Thesis Publications Completion Rates, TTD Careers Graduate Satisfaction Employer Satisfaction Impact & Engagement Strategies Candidate Development Strategies ICE Environment Networking Visible Outcomes ICE Environment ICE Environment ICE Environment

78 GRS ICE Chart 1 110 Real World Problems Industry Collaboration Interdisciplinarity International Awareness Mobility Career Planning Professional Research Self-Promotion Networking Skills Quality Drivers

79 Closing Comments? Do all Doctoral Candidates need to be on ICE?  Traditional pathways are still valid for some Does industry understand the value of PhDs?  How can we educate them? Do supervisors understand the best options for different candidates and skills needed?  How can we educate them?

80 1. Introduction 2. Setting the Scene 3. Doctoral Education on ICE (GRS Key Milestones) 4. Summary 5. Q&A

81 Thank you


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