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Master & Doctoral Education in Europe: Key Challenges for Quality Assurance Lesley Wilson Secretary General, EUA Quality Assurance in Postgraduate Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Master & Doctoral Education in Europe: Key Challenges for Quality Assurance Lesley Wilson Secretary General, EUA Quality Assurance in Postgraduate Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Master & Doctoral Education in Europe: Key Challenges for Quality Assurance Lesley Wilson Secretary General, EUA Quality Assurance in Postgraduate Education ENQA Workshop, Brasov, March 2009

2 …2… I. – Starting Point: A Decade of Reforms in Europe The Bologna Process – Improving the quality of European higher education: Bachelor, Master, PhD The European Research Area – better job opportunities & more rewarding careers for young researchers The « modernisation » of universities – more autonomy for universities but also growing accountability requirements.. The new internationalisation of European HE

3 II. What the Communiqués say (1) Bologna 1999: system based on 2 main cycles, undergraduate and graduate The first cycle – minimum of three years The second cycle should lead to the master and/or doctorate degree Prague 2001: programmes should have different orientations & various profiles >academic, individual & labour market needs Berlin 2003: necessary to go beyond the 2 cycles to include the doctoral level as the third cycle …3…

4 4 II. What the Communiqués say (2) Bergen Communiqué (2005): integrating the The Salzburg Principles (EUA, 2005) Synergy EHEA/ERA, Doctoral level to be aligned to QFs EUA invited to prepare a report on the further development of the Principles, to be presented to Ministers in London 2007 London Communiqué (2007): Doctoral Programmes in Europe (EUA, 2007) Variety of doctoral programmes but avoid overregulation Improve status, career prospects & funding for early stage researchers EUA to continue to support the sharing of experience

5 III. – Where are we now after a decade of reforms? (1) the Master level Master – sandwiched between the Bachelor and the PhD 2nd cycle not well understood and not yet up and running everywhere Multiplicity of purposes, 3 main types: taught courses with professional orientation, research intensive masters, variety of courses for returning learners Not always readible everywhere, eg plethora of titles, problems with ISCED classifications, with sectoral qualifications etc. …5…

6 6 III. Where are we now ? (2) Doctoral Education Main link between the EHEA and ERA Universities have the main responsibility;providing training in & through research is a core task Also explains the growing importance of universities in meeting national & European goals Drivers of change: Global competition & changing labour markets EU policies (Lisbon, ERA Green Paper, Modernisation Agenda for Universities etc.) Bologna Process Different purpose, structures, organisation, and funding than the 1st & 2 nd cycle

7 III. A decade of reforms (3) the new wave of European internationalisation Based on the Bologna reforms and the nature of research in 21st century Strategic international cooperation enhances the attractiveness of European universities Master, doctorate & post doctorate phase are crucial elements of successful internationalisation – attracting the best students & young researchers Master programmes are increasing taught in English & targeted at international students Doctoral schools & structured doctoral programmes attract larger numbers of international students …7…

8 IV. Quality Issues & challenges for Quality Assurance (1) at Master level Making the master readable across 46 Bologna countries – establishing clarifty of types, titles & nomenclatura – towards a shared terminology for different types of masters Finalising National Qualifications Frameworks Ensuring the development of learning outcomes for different types of programmes Requiring guidelines for developing learning outcomes also as part of collaborative provision The master is the most marketised level: selection for entry & funding issues require attention to ensure equitable access …8…

9 IV – Quality & challenges for QA (2) doctoral level Doctoral education is th e third cycle of education & the first stage of a researchers career Traditionally the core responsibility of universities Major reforms are underway, major debate on the key elements consituting quality at doctoral level in this new context, e.g. Structured programmes & doctoral/research/graduate schools – different models - to achieve critical mass, enhance interdisciplinarity/Inter-insitutional cooperationetc. Improved arrangements for supervision and assessment Ensuring transferable skills development - to enhance awareness or research skills acquired & improve employment possibilities inside & outsde academia …9…

10 IV – Quality & challenges for QA (2) doctoral level (cont.) Responsibilities, organisation & financing arrangements differ from those of the 1st, 2nd cycles Results of an EUA survey carried out among govts for the 2007 London Ministerial meeting: Ministries of Education, of Research, Research Councils = varied juridictions Move away from individual based to strucutured programmes & more doctoral schools/research schools = mix of different organisational forms Status of doctoral candidates differs from country to country Funding channels, mechanisms & modes vary enormously - for candidates & programmes …10…

11 V - Examples of different situations & different responses across Europe UK: Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes (QAA) = system wide principles & practices, applied in an institutional context Germany – only one state (Lower Saxony) has introduced guidelines for the accreditation of doctoral progrmmes France: doctoral education can only take place in doctoral schools, accredited by the state, and subject to evaluation by the national agency responsible for both HE & Research In many other countries the state still approves the establishment of progammes leading to a PhD degree …11…

12 V. Examples of different situations & different responses across Europe (2) Finland: steered by a few central governmental regulations & delegated to the universities; national mechanisms for evaluating national graduate schools in receipt of special funding; Denmark: new law (2007) specifies that PhD training is organised by PhD schools that are regulated nationally; university decides, no external accreditation Norway: either institutional or programme accreditation, if the former, the latter is not necessary... …12…

13 VI - Another element of quality - improving career opportunites for young researchers European Charter for Researchers & Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers Open recruitment & portability of grants Social security & pension needs of a mobile population Attractive employment & working conditions Enhancing the training, skills & experience of researchers UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers Irish Universities PhD Graduates skills …13…

14 Conclusions & Questions: Masters The master level is not yet stabilised across Europe the role of NQFs learning outcomes for different types of masters What about the regulated professions Particular challenges with joint programmes – most are at master level The Master/PhD link – career researchers,innovators & entrepreneurs: not just limited to 3rd cycle Sometimes graduate schools include the master level, sometimes only the doctorate level – articulation between the two is crucial …14…

15 Conclusions & questions: doctoral education The 3rd cycle differs radically in purpose, content, structures from the other 2 cycles Structures are in flux & changing fast – no one model & structured programmes do not exist everywhere What should be the role of QA agencies that in many countries do not have responsibility at present? QAA/AERES examples – looking at insitutional arrangements in the context of specific missions? Coordination with other players crucial is crucial …15…


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