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UKCGE International conference in doctoral development and training Oxford: 30-31 March 2015 An international perspective on the structured doctorate Gill.

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Presentation on theme: "UKCGE International conference in doctoral development and training Oxford: 30-31 March 2015 An international perspective on the structured doctorate Gill."— Presentation transcript:

1 UKCGE International conference in doctoral development and training Oxford: March 2015 An international perspective on the structured doctorate Gill Clarke and Ingrid Lunt Australia England Germany India Norway Scotland Spain United States

2 ‘International comparisons in PG education’: report summary Context for each country: HE environment and geo-political situation Three themes: quality; access; employment outcomes Case studies on seven countries Main report: how England performs compared with other countries Conclusions ________________________________________________________________________

3 General observations from HEFCE report Recognition of value of PG degrees: personal, societal, economic Initiatives to strengthen PG education and institutions Many shared characteristics among the countries… …yet each has a unique set of circumstances that affect PG education Impossible to generalise but can identify strengths and challenges ________________________________________________________________________

4 Outline for today’s session History and rationale for increased structure What does increased structure in the PhD look like? – Diversity of training models – PhDs and professional doctorates Examples of national initiatives to promote structure and ‘excellence’ Why embark on a PhD? Conclusions: – Impact of increased structure on graduate outcomes – Sustainability of the structured model ________________________________________________________________________

5 History and rationale for increased structure Development of the PhD from late 20 th century, with increasingly structured degrees Influences: – Professional doctorates (1990s) – Government initiatives Purposes: – Employability for growing number of graduates – Improved success rates ______________________________________________ League of European Research Universities, 2010, 2014 Wilhelm von Humboldt

6 What does a more structured PhD look like? It depends…on: – Entry route – Form of doctorate – Field of study – Mode of study – Funding source – Institutional structures and regulations Models are diverse and have evolved in response to different priorities ________________________________________________________________________

7 3.5-year self-funded PhD, enrolled in institutional Doctoral College and part of faculty Graduate School. Shared research methods modules with master’s students. Switch to part-time mode beginning of year 3 to combine study with part-time work for financial reasons Four examples of structured PhDs BA Int. M physical sci 1+3 AHRC funded PhD in a collaborative doctoral training partnership of 4 universities (multi-site DTC). Intensive master’s training in research methods supported by online materials; some travel to partner institutions.; formal ‘upgrade’ from master’s to doctoral degree at end of first year or leave with MPhil Entry route Training model M Soc Sci 4-year EPSRC funded Industrial PhD; research topic generated by industrial partner; candidate concurrently PhD candidate and company employee; training split between university (research methods and professional development) and industry (approved modules, e.g. industrial relations); one institutional and one industrial supervisor. 4-year BBSRC funded PhD in single institution DTP; part of faculty graduate school; shared research methods modules with PhD candidates from five strategic research areas; programme includes 3-month ‘PIPS’ professional internship, working in an area unrelated to PhD topic BSc biol sci

8 Examples of national initiatives - Germany Excellence initiative: Primary aim to improve research quality Funding streams for ‘Graduate Schools’, ‘Clusters of Excellence’ and ‘Institutional Strategies’ Has led to expansion of and increased structure in PhD training Impact of introducing greater differentiation between universities Hartwig, 2011; Kehm, 2009; Kehm and Pasternack, 2009 ________________________________________________________________________

9 Examples of national initiatives - Norway Higher Education Quality Reform 2002 Development of research schools and research training networks Major evaluation of PhD education in 2012 considered quality, efficiency and relevance Introduction of the ‘common PhD’ Professionalisation and standardisation of doctoral education: – credits of courses, including generic skills – More focus on non-academic employability – Progress milestones to improve completion ________________________________________________________________________ Kyvik and Tvede 1998; Thune et al, 2012

10 Examples of national initiatives - Spain International Campus of Excellence programme Reduction in PhD enrolments to improve completion Working towards EU2015 goal to establish international and inter-university doctoral schools Diploma de Estudios Avanzados (DEA) (research training) replaced by Master’s entry requirement for PhD Increased structure in last 10 years ________________________________________________________________________ Government of Spain, 2010

11 Why embark on a PhD… …given the decrease in PhD graduates entering academia? – Differentiation in the job market? – Higher salary? – Career progression? – Personal development? – Passion for the subject? ________________________________________________________________________

12 For discussion… National PhD initiatives often linked with improving research quality, yet candidates may not be integrated in research environment Increasing differentiation between universities: – what is the impact, if any, on PhD training? – what are the consequences of current funding streams? How sustainable is the structured model? Are structured PhDs consistently delivering on timely completion and employability? ________________________________________________________________________ Lunt, I., McAlpine, L. and Mills, D. (2013). Lively bureaucracy? The ESRC’s Doctoral Training Centres and UK universities. Oxford Review of Education, 40:


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