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Trends in Doctoral Training in Europe: Conclusions from EUA projects. Alexandra Bitusikova European University Association UNICA meeting, Lausanne, 1 June 2007. MENU. EUA Profile

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Trends in doctoral training in europe conclusions from eua projects

Trends in Doctoral Training in Europe:Conclusions from EUA projects

Alexandra Bitusikova

European University Association

UNICA meeting, Lausanne, 1 June 2007

Trends in doctoral training in europe conclusions from eua projects

  • EUA Profile

  • Activities of EUA in the third cycle: from Berlin to the Salzburg Principles & the Bergen Communiqué to the London Communiqué

  • Results of the EUA Projects: Emerging issues and continuing priorities

Brief profile of the eua
Brief Profile of the EUA

  • Established in 2001 in Brussels

  • Non-governmental membership organisation

  • 800 individual University Members

  • 46 countries

  • 35 National Rectors’ Conferences Members

  • Independent Voice for the University Sector:

    • participation in policy dialogue (focus: EHEA and ERA)

    • provide input to policy dialogue through projects and surveys

    • provide services to its members

Doctoral training in the eu context
Doctoral Training in the EU context

  • Doctoral training is the main link between the European Higher Education and European Research Areas (EHEA and ERA).

  • Doctoral training is in a process of change reflecting the need to meet the challenges of the fast changing global labour market and the policy objectives of the EU, especially ambitious Lisbon objectives (magic 700.000 and 3% of investment) and the Bologna Process.

Eua activities in the third cycle from berlin via bergen to london
EUA Activities in the Third Cycle: From Berlin via Bergen to London

  • Berlin Communiqué: Doctoral Programmes defined as the third cycle

  • EUA Doctoral Programmes Project 1 (2004-2005): aim to link its activities to policy debate and to feed into the preparation of recommendations for Bergen 2005 (Maastricht, Salzburg, Report)

  • Bergen Communiqué: BFUG asked to invite EUA to prepare a report on the further development of the Salzburg principles, to be presented to Ministers in London 2007

  • London Communiqué: EUA asked to continue to support the sharing of experience among HEIs on the range of innovative doctoral programmes and other crucial issues.

Doctoral programmes in europe project 1
Doctoral Programmes in Europe – Project 1 London

  • 48 universities

  • 22 countries

  • 6 thematic networks

    • Structure and organisation

    • Financing of programmes/status of candidates

    • Quality of doctoral programmes

    • Identification of innovative practice (in terms of structures, e.g. Co-tutelles, Ecoles Doctorales, Graduiertenkollegs etc.)

    • Overview of all themes

    • Models of interinstitutional, international co-operation i.e.– Joint Doctoral Programmes

Doctoral programmes in europe project 2 1
Doctoral Programmes in Europe – Project 2 (1) London

  • Goal: policy recommendations for Ministers

  • Challenge: respect the autonomy & responsibility of universities

  • Methodology:

    • Steering Committee: EUA, Austria, France, ESIB, EURODOC

    • Terms of Reference prepared & endorsed by the BFUG

    • Identifying priority topics and design a plan of specific events

    • Outcomes of other events on key themes taken into account, including a transatlantic dialogue (EUA/CGS)

    • Questions on doctorates included in TRENDS V questionnaires

    • The Nice Bologna Seminar as the opportunity to draw all the threads together

Doctoral programmes in europe project 2 2
Doctoral Programmes in Europe – Project 2 (2) London

  • Three thematic priorities identified:

    • Focus on institutions = Master/PhD link & building critical mass through doctoral/graduate/research schools

    • Focus on programmes = supervision & transferable skills training etc.

    • Defining public responsibility/the role of the state = funding, legal/regulatory frameworks

  • 2 workshops organised around the first two topics

  • Third topic:

    • workshop on “Doctoral candidates as young professionals: funding and supporting mechanisms” (EUA/Austrian Presidency/DG RES Conf.)

    • Questionnaire sent to BFUG members on the funding of doctoral programmes & candidates

Key issues emerging from two projects organisation and structures
Key issues London emerging from two projects:Organisation and structures

  • Trend towards an increased development of doctoral/research/graduate schools embedded in research environment and achieving a critical mass. These organisational structures:

    • Include master students & doctoral candidates & provide crosscutting administrative and transferable skills development support/ or

    • Include doctoral candidates only and may be organised around a discipline or research theme & may involve several institutions.

      TRENDS V survey (920): 30% of institutions have established doctoral schools

Organisation of doctoral training in 46 bologna countries eua survey 2006
Organisation of Doctoral Training in 46 Bologna countries (EUA Survey 2006)

Overall trend – move away from individual based to structured

programmes. The main trend: towards a mix of different organisational type

or towards doctoral schools.

Access and admission
Access and admission (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Flexibility in admission procedures and full institutional autonomy - important to keep (as there is growing diversity of university missions and increase importance of lifelong learning) provided fairness and transparency is ensured.

  • The Master, with its growing diversity, remains the main, but not the only entry point to doctoral training.

  • Greater attention has to be paid to social dimension of the third cycle (equality of access to the third cycle)

Supervision and assessment
Supervision and assessment (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Supervision and assessment – still a major topic of debate:

    • Arrangements based on a contract btw PhD candidate, supervisor and institution with rights and responsibilities = good practice in many HEIs

    • Multiple supervision encouraged

    • Supervision should be recognised as a part of workload

    • Increased need for professional skills development for supervisors (training of supervisors)

    • Assessment of the thesis – objective and transparent, done by university expert committee (pref. with international rep) without the supervisor as a member – needs further discussion; public defense

Transferable skills development
Transferable skills development (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Transferable skills training should be an integral part of first, second and third cycle

  • The aim at the third cycle: to raise awareness among doctoral candidates of the importance of recognising and enhancing the skills that they develop and acquire through research, as a means of improving their employment prospects & career development inside & outside academia

  • Adequate funding of transferable skills training – crucial

  • Teaching transferable skills should be recognised in evaluation of academic staff involved.

Research careers
Research careers (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Universities together with public authorities share a collective responsibility for promoting attractive research careers for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

  • Status of doctoral candidate= early stage researcher (out of 36 countries responding in survey in 24 countries status is mixed; in 9 countries candidates have status of a student, in 3 countries – status of an employee)

  • Whatever the status is, it is crucial that the candidate is given all commensurate rights (healthcare, pension, social security)

Internationalisation and mobility
Internationalisation and mobility (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Universities are encouraged to enhance their efforts to support mobility at doctoral level as a part of their institutional strategy (joint programmes, co-tutelles, European doctorates, transsectoral mobility, internationalisation inside universities such as recruiting more international staff, organisation of int. summer schools and conferences; using new technologies for e-learning or teleconferences, etc.)

  • Mobility has to be recognised as an added value for career development of ESRs.

Development of new doctorates
Development of new doctorates (EUA Survey 2006)

  • A range of innovative doctoral programmes are emerging as a response to the changes of a fast-growing global labour market (professional doctorates, industrial doctorates, European doctorates etc.)

  • Diversity of doctoral programmes reflects diversity of European HEIs that have autonomy to develop their missions and priorities

  • Consensus: original research has to remain the main component of all doctorates

  • Further debate on new doctorates as well as new vision of the doctorate is needed.

F unding legal regulatory frameworks eua survey
F (EUA Survey 2006)unding, legal & regulatory frameworks:EUA Survey

Target Group

Questionnaire sent to all BFUG governmental delegates. Recipients

were asked to gather responses from the relevant ministries and other public

agencies to provide a picture of national arrangements.

Survey Questions – 4 parts:

  • Structure of Doctoral Education

  • Status of Doctoral Candidates

  • Funding Channels, Mechanisms and Modes

  • Funding Levels

    Responses Received (37)

    Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Belgium-Wallonia,

    Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

    Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,

    Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,

    Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United

    Kingdom (including separate response from Scotland).

Summary of the survey
Summary of the survey (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Doctoral Education is under reform in many countries with new national legislation only recently in place – hence responses were incomplete in many cases.

  • Survey data demonstrate quite varied jurisdictions and responsibilities for the funding of doctoral education in European countries between government ministries, research councils and other funding agencies.

  • Survey data tend to confirm that funding support is moving towards more structured doctoral programmes with focus on critical mass-building and research schools, on a competitive funding basis.

  • Survey results suggest that there is a substantial gap between the Bologna 3rd Cycle “policy push” and the limited availability of data on essential issues, in particular the current levels of funding support received by doctoral candidates, necessary to develop evidence-based policy

Funding levels weakest part of the survey
Funding levels: weakest part of the survey (EUA Survey 2006)

  • Very few countries provided responses on questions related to funding levels.

  • Some countries supplied information on the minimum to maximum amount of public grants to doctoral candidates.

  • The amounts varied greatly across those European countries that responded. Non-EU and EU New Member States generally have lower levels of funding, below €5000 per year. In EU Member States the amounts indicated ranged from €7000 to €20000 with the higher end corresponding to salaries (and hence the status “mix” of doctoral candidates).

  • 17 countries reported on the increase of funding levels in recent years.

  • 18 countries monitor completion rate (data provided by universities or special agencies)

Implications for the implementation of bologna 3rd cycle reforms
Implications for the implementation of Bologna 3rd Cycle Reforms

  • Doctoral education is the key formative stage of a research career (in both academic and non-academic sectors) and therefore, funding problems and opportunities have to be addressed here. Attractiveness of future career in research is determined largely at the doctoral stage and hence the status and financial support of the doctoral candidate needs to offer adequate incentives.

  • Survey preliminary findings tend to re-inforce the need for a coordinated approach and action at the national level between government ministries, research councils and other funding agencies (including European Institutions) on doctoral programme financing and career development.

Nice bologna seminar results
Nice Bologna Seminar – Results Reforms

  • Final Conclusions and Recommendations:

Trends in doctoral training in europe conclusions from eua projects Reforms