Published: 01-10-2012 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:29

New report examines changes in international PhD landscape

[NEWS 25 September 2012] A new report published by the European University Association (EUA) and presented at the EUA Doctoral Week at Karolinska Institutet examines how the provision of doctoral education is changing. The report examines and compares developments in doctoral education in East Asia, Southern Africa and Latin America and related the findings to changes taking place in Europe.

The report outlines that while there is diversity in terms of doctoral education provision across and within regions, there are a number of "areas of convergence" between them.

These include:

Discourse: Doctoral education is becoming an increasingly important aspect of national research policies. Universities and governments worldwide view doctoral education more and more as a key element in strategies to develop knowledge societies.

Growth in the number of doctorates: Although the different world regions studied have undertaken different levels of investment in doctoral education, there has been an overall steady rise in the numbers of doctorates awarded in the last 10-15 years. It is also clear within this context, however, that a number of new "knowledge hubs" are emerging (such as in Brazil), where governments are investing heavily in graduate education in order to boost research capacity. In Europe, this growth has been linked to the development of a European knowledge society and the integration of research-trained staff in many different sectors. In the other regions studied, it has been fuelled by the wish to equip more university staff with doctoral degrees. The report stresses that in order to sustain this growth it will be necessary to build research and supervision capacity for doctoral education in universities.

Collaborations: Despite growing international competition to develop research, the report finds that there is an increasing emphasis on building collaborations in doctoral education. All regions concerned with capacity building view collaboration as the main means of building capacity. Likewise, some of the more research-intensive universities are collaborating with a wide portfolio of partners as they seek global presence and access to "natural laboratories" - natural environments that are excellent for studying certain phenomena.

View the full report: Cooperation on doctoral education between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe

More information on the EUA Doctoral Week is available here:

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The European University Association (EUA), as the representative organisation of both the European universities and the national rectors' conferences, is the main voice of the higher education community in Europe. EUA's mission is to promote the development of a coherent system of European higher education and research.