EUA doctoral initiatives
The European Universities Association engages with a range of activities and projects related to researchers.
- EUA Trends reports
- EUA Bologna Process Follow-Up seminars
- Doctoral Programmes Project (2004-2005)
- DOC-CAREERS: from innovative doctoral training to enhanced career opportunities
- EUA doctoral workshop on access, recruitment and admission
The Trends Project is designed to gather reliable information about how the European Higher Education Area and European Research Area have developed within Europe. Since 1999, five reports have been published.
EUA were charged by the Bologna Process Follow-up Group to run series of follow-up seminars on doctoral programmes to feed into the recommendations on the doctoral qualification as the third cycle in the Bologna Process.
The European Universities Association set up the Doctoral Programmes Project in 2004 ‘to contribute to the debate on research training in the European Higher Education and Research Areas by demonstrating examples of good practice and preparing recommendations for action based upon the pooling of experience of its members.'
The project has also had an impact on wider academic and policy-making communities across Europe through two major conferences addressing doctoral training:
Download the final report: Doctoral Programmes for the European Knowledge Society
Following this project the EUA have undertaken a series of activities within the DOC-CAREERS project based on the recommendations from this project.
‘DOC-CAREERS: from innovative doctoral training to enhanced career opportunities’ is a European Universities Association follow-up project to their doctoral programmes project, which focuses on doctoral careers. This new study explored the relationship between doctoral training programmes and career development and employability prospects for doctoral candidates. It underlined the need to incorporate demands from a highly diversified labour market directly in the planning of doctoral programme structures; introduce case studies among employers to highlight such demands; and focus on mobility as an inter-sectoral as well as a cross-border activity.
Three workshops addressed specific themes within the main objectives of the project: generic skills, mobility strategies, and good practices between universities and industry to enhance research career opportunities. The report on the project will be available late 2008.
In October 2007 EUA ran a workship on Doctoral Programme in Europe: access, recruitment and admission. The outcomes were that:
- the general trend in Europe is from a liberal and often individually-based intake towards a more selective, competitive and restrictive selection, organised in a transparent way by doctoral schools or other organisational structures
- funding remains a problem, with recognition that additional funding is needed for transferable skills training, conference attendance and career development
- the internationalisation of doctoral education brings new challenges. Assessing authenticity and/or equivalence of foreign diplomas requires a lot of extra resources
- despite the increasing use of English as a lingua franca, the language barrier still exists
- in order to improve recruitment, admission and selection processes, more surveys among doctoral candidates and supervisors should be carried out to understand the needs and of the doctoral community.
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