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Prof. Carlos Jaime Vice-rector for postgraduate studies

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The transformation of Spanish doctoral programmes as a consequence of the EHEA: Difficulties and challenges at the UAB Prof. Carlos Jaime Vice-rector for postgraduate studies Degrees: 77 Bachellors + 101 Masters Medium-large size (2nd largest in Catalonia)

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The transformation of Spanish doctoral programmes as a consequence of the EHEA: Difficulties and challengesat the UAB

Prof. Carlos Jaime

Vice-rector for postgraduate studies

slide2
Degrees: 77 Bachellors + 101 Masters

Medium-large size (2nd largest in Catalonia)

Maybe the 1st in postgraduate students.

Some numbers:

32.000 undergraduate students 

13.000 postgraduate students

2.500 doctoral students

2.000 foreign students (not Erasmus)

225 masters

90 Doctorates

375 Thesis/year

3.100 professors & researchers

1.900 administration staff

General information about UAB

slide3

The Postgraduate School is the connection between

the university and the outer institutions

The Postgraduate School coordinates, manages and impulses all the postgraduate studies at UAB.

Located in the ancient “Masía de can

Miró”, was thought as the link between

the university and the outer

institutions gathering both the academic postgrades (like doctorate) and the

professionalizing postgrades (masters

and diplomas)

slide5

The pre-EHEA Spain (before 2005)Global view

  • Spain is different!
  • Europe recognizes Universities……
  • Spain has a given list of state diplomas.
  • Two levels of state diplomas:
  • “Licenciado” (bachelor) and “Doctor”.
  • Spanish regulation allows other diplomas……
  • with names different enough as not to create confusion (masters)
slide6

Details on the pre-EHEA #1/2

State diplomas

  • “Licenciado”: usually 5 years
  • (4 in Catalonia)
  • “Doctor”: organized in Doctoral programs
  • Doctoral program: 3 periods 1- courses > 200 h
  • 2- research work, 1 year 3- thesis, 3-4 years
slide7

Details on the pre-EHEA #2/2

University diplomas

  • Universities created their own Master degrees, as well as others (Expert, “Diploma de postgrado” -shorter- or others)
  • Master: usually professionally oriented and compete with doctoral programs. Length and requirements should be thus similar, but…. differences exist, they are much longer.
  • Expert: Definitely professionally oriented. Much shorter than the Master degree.
the pre ehea spain in images
The pre-EHEA Spain in images

Doctoral programme

Courses

200 h

Licenciado: 4-5 years

1 year

Thesis

Research

Univ. Masters

slide9
Where we are? (and where all the Spanish universities are expected to be, sooner or later)The post-EHEA Spain (from 2005)
slide10

Details on the post-EHEA

Global view

  • Three levels of official diplomas: “Grado”, “Máster Universitario” and “Doctor”.
  • Spanish law also allows other diplomas with names different enough as not to create confusion.
  • Spain is still different! The “Grado” is 4 years (in most European countries is 3 years).
slide11

Details on the post-EHEA #1/2

State diplomas

  • “Grado”: 4 years
  • “Máster Universitario”: 1 or 2 years
  • “Doctor”: very flexible
  • No given list of state diplomas, neither for “Grado” nor for “Master Universitario” (universities will become different!)
slide12

Details on the post-EHEA #2/2

University diplomas

  • Universities continue with their own Diplomas: Master, Expert, “Diploma de postgrado” and others)
  • Problem! Spanish law forbids the use of university diplomas to enter into Doctor level
  • Problem: Lifelong learning, “in and out” from academia.
the post ehea spain in images
The post-EHEA Spain in images

Doctoral programme

Master

60-120

ECTS

Grado: 4 years

Thesis

Univ. Masters

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Details on the post-EHEA doctorate

  • The Ministry joins Master and Doctor levels and creates a unique set called “Doctoral program”.
  • Two periods: formation and research.
  • Formation: usually Master but it can be any 60 ECTS credits from official masters.
  • Research: thesis development, no fixed length, almost no regulation.
slide17

The “new doctorate” in the UAB #1/3

We have settled:

  • Number of positions per doctorate
  • Pre-enrolment at the UAB level (Graduate School)
  • Centralized control of diplomas
  • Selection procedures
  • Maximum 5 students/supervisor
  • Formation complements (< 30 credits)
slide18

The “new doctorate” in the UAB #2/3

We have settled:

  • Configured around research lines
  • A board (+ coordinator) manages the doctorate
  • Yearly follow up (at least oral presentation)
  • Length limited to 3-4 years
  • Part-time students: 6 years
  • Board can extend one more period
  • UAB can allow one third period
  • Rights and duties for students and supervisors
slide19

The “new doctorate” in the UAB #3/3

We have settled:

  • Supervisor: accredited research experience.
  • Co-tutelle: minimum of 9 months at UAB.
  • (agreement signed within the first year)
  • Thesis as set of papers (minimum 2 papers).
  • Examination board: 3 members from 3 different institutions (maximum one from UAB).
  • If “failed”, must apply again to be admitted.
  • Board members with research experience.
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The key stone of the “new doctorate”

The board:

  • Responsible for the admittance of new students.
  • Accepts the thesis proposal.
  • Responsible for the yearly follow up.
  • Should solve any non regulated affair.
  • Proposes the members for the defence board, with the approval of the department.
slide22

The supervision: new vision

  • Traditional supervision: one-to-one (tête a tête) relationship between supervisor-supervised
  • New vision: reduce as much as possible the one-to-one relationship
  • The supervision is controlled by a team of “experts” (board), that controls both students and supervisors. Composition? Variable.
  • Yearly follow-up.
  • All the procedure is centred into the board.
slide23

One example: sociology

  • Only one board
  • Objectives of the board: to evaluate and to facilitate the contact between the students.
  • Both students and supervisor must present a yearly report.
  • Reports will be defended publicly in seminars, once a year.
  • Reports + public defence = final evaluation.
  • If negative evaluation = out!
slide24

Another example: chemistry

  • A total of 4 boards (25 new students per year).
  • Both students and supervisor must present a yearly report.
  • Reports will be defended publicly in seminars for as much as 10’ and the discussion may last not more than 10’.
  • The committees will act two times a year.
  • Reports + public defence = evaluation.
  • Negative evaluation = out!
slide26

The Postgraduate school

Manages and controls all the doctoral

studies at UAB

(both academically and administratively)

slide28

The new vision #1/3

Results from Network 1

  • Doctoral students are not only trained for research but also by research (subtle but important change).
  • Essential skills for a more competitive and dynamic knowledge-based European economy.
slide29

The new vision #2/3

  • New Doctoral programmes must have educational objectives, while previous programmes have only (or mainly) research objectives.
  • Definition of what being a Doctor means is needed.
  • A relative disconnection between research and Ph.D. thesis emerges (difficult to admit for traditional university professors).
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The new vision #3/3

  • This brings about the concept of:
  • A Ph.D. thesis is finished when the educational objectives have been achieved, not when the research project has been finished.
  • Time, very long time, will be needed for accepting the new situation.
  • Students accept rather well this new vision.
  • Professors are more reluctant to this change.
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The challenges

The future

  • Contract students/supervisor/UAB
  • Unit for Formation and Employment of fresh doctors:
  • - Formation in transferable skills useful for
  • the “external world”
  • - Gathering of information on fellowships,
  • job opportunities, etc.
  • Program for the Supervisor professional development
thank you very much for your attention
Thank you very much for your attention

Vicerectorat d’estudis de postgrau

Edifici U. 08913 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)

Tel (+34) 93 581 2997

Fax (+34) 93 581 2000

Web: www.uab.es/postgrau

Mail: vr.estudis.postgrau@uab.cat

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