Doctoral Education: a dilemma of quality and quantity?

The Annual Meeting of EUA-CDE is the largest and most comprehensive event dedicated to European doctoral education. It is an opportunity for all stakeholders in doctoral education from Europe and beyond to meet and exchange ideas and practices as well as stay informed on the latest trends.

What is good doctoral education and what is it good for? These questions are being asked by all stakeholders, in the European institutions, national governments, by university leadership, and in individual research groups.

The number of doctoral candidates and graduations rose steeply in the past decade, partly due to national policies, but also due to an overall high level of investment in research and development. The higher numbers of doctoral candidates have been a challenge in itself for universities. Moreover, societies are becoming increasingly complex; culturally, economically, and socially. There is still a need for persons trained through research to produce new knowledge and this need makes doctoral education more than relevant today. But is the quality of provision adequate, and are the graduates well prepared for the diverse careers, opportunities, and challenges that await them?

The conference looked how universities are ensuring the quality and relevance of doctoral education today, and what it will take to continue ensuring it in the future.

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  • Thursday 16 June 2016

    Welcome Address

    Josep Anton Ferre Vidal Rector, Rovira i Virgili University
    Francesc Diaz, Director of Postgraduate and Doctoral School, Rovira i Virgili University

    Plenary I: Quality and Quantity in Doctoral Education

    Doctoral Education and Research Policies in Ireland

    Eucharia Meehan, Irish Research Council
    Lisa Looney, Dublin City University, Ireland

    Doctoral Education and Research Policies in the Czech Republic

    Jiri Nantl, Central European Institute of Technology, Czech Republic
    Petr Dvorak, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

    Breakout Sessions I

    I.a Beginners’ session

    Alexandra Bitusikova, EUA-CDE Senior Adviser

    I.b Session on how to set up a doctoral school

    Mick Fuller, EUA-CDE Steering Committee

    I.c Graduates trajectories, a view from researchers

    Presentation by Kirsi Pyhalto Oulu University, Finland, Lynn McAlpine, McGill University, Canada, amd Montserrat Castelló Badia, Ramon Llull University, Spain

    I.d Paper session on “Stakeholders’ engagement”

    “Balancing Gravitas and Special Topics: Reaching out to Society through Novel Means”. Claudine Leysinger, University of Zurich, Switzerland. (The video which accompanied this presentation is available here)
    “Think globally and act jointly. Clever usage of EU programs for the development and implementation of structures supporting doctoral education. Which structures and measures are necessary to support this approach?”Christiane Wllner, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany & Angelina Taneva-Veshoska, Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy – IECE, FYR Macedonia

    I.e Paper session on “Skills”

    "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: Employer-Doctoral Researcher Engagement Facilitated by Cross-Institutional Collaboration”,Dawn Duke & Pam Denicolo, South East Physics Network, UK
    "Kaunas University of Technology Doctoral School Examples of Networking with Research and Industry", Kalinauskaite Rima, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

    Plenary II: Quality and Relevance of graduates

    Janet Metcalfe, VITAE, United Kingdom
    Martin Dehli, actori GmbH, Germany

    Launch of EUA-CDE paper “Taking Salzburg Forward” and presentation of CDE activities 2014-2015

    Thomas Ekman Jrgensen, Head of Council for Doctoral Education, EUA-CDE

  • Friday 17 June 2016

    Plenary III – Governance and institutional structures

    Jeremy Bradshaw, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Gul Guner-Akdogan, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, Turkey
    Anna Chrostowska, University of Pau, France

    Breakout Sessions II

    II.b Paper session on “Structures”

    “Doctoral Education: Improving quality while increasing quantity, a case study of a UK University”. Diane Houston & Suzie Morris, University of Kent, UK
    Ghent University’s “quality framework for doctoral education’: from the central level to the faculties. A case-study from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences”. Nele Bracke & Johan Van de Voorde, Ghent University, Belgium

    II.c Paper session on “Careers”

    “Career preparation and development: perceptions of PhD candidates and institutional implications”. Lisette Schmidt Allison OReilly, University of Vienna, Austria
    “The (added) value of a PhD? Career planning for junior researchers”. lse Van Damme Stefanie Kerkhofs Nele Nivelle, Hasselt University, Belgium

    II.d Paper session on “Research environments”

    “Some remarks on the necessary symbiosis of quality, quantity, and variety”. Hans-Joachim Bungartz, Technical University of Munich, Germany
    “Researcher Professional Development: A student-centred approach to engaging students with their own career requirements”. Campbell Reid, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

    II.e Paper session on “New national developments”

    “Results and perspectives of doctoral education at a leading Hungarian University”. Peter Szalay, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
    “Revolution in Germany’s System of Higher Education - Right to award doctorates for Universities of Applied Sciences in the State of Hesse”. Karim Khakzar, Hochschule Fulda – University of Applied Sciences, Germany

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