Article

The Changing Environment for Doctoral Education in Australia: implications for quality management, improvement and innovation

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Abstract

Although there has been considerable institutional attention to quality management and improvement in Australian higher education, concerns about the quality of doctoral education persist. This paper argues that addressing these concerns will require a shift in perspective. The conventional view of doctoral education which assumes an on‐campus, full‐time student experience, with socialisation arising formally and informally through interaction with the supervisor(s) and other academics in a university department, and which prepares the candidate for academic or other full‐time research work, is increasingly recognised as problematic. The rapid growth in candidate numbers is associated with a more diverse doctoral student population, and increasingly flexible patterns of research and study. These trends are likely to continue as they are in response to major changes in the higher education environment and changes in patterns of research activity. The argument presented is that addressing concerns for quality management, improvement and effective innovation demand the development of a research‐based wholistic conceptual framework for doctoral education which integrates all aspects of the doctoral education experience, and a focus on constructing and evaluating doctoral programmes in their particular organisational settings and physical locations.

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... Although their studies do not explain the reasons for the results of the quality assessment, they discuss how the concept of quality of doctoral education can be approached-from the aspect of inputs, process, and outputs of doctoral education or from the impacts of its research environment (Herrmann, Bager-Elsborg, & Wichmann-Hansen, 2014;McKenna et al., 2014). The second group of researchers have explored the implementation of quality assurance in doctoral education in different contexts, such as in Europe (Byrne, Jørgensen, & Loukkola, 2013), Europe along with Mexico and South Africa (Fortes, Kehm, & Mayekiso, 2014), Australia (Pearson, 1999), America (Nerad, 2014a), and China . Their studies also suggest that the concept of quality of doctoral education should be considered as transformative and that doctoral education is a transformation process in which the inputs of doctoral education transform into the outputs of doctoral education in its situated research environment. ...
... The above three themes or perspectives have been used to explore the issue of quality in a broad array of research, with or without a focus on Europe-China joint doctoral education. The evidence is almost consistent in indicating that doctoral education, in general and at the site of Europe-China joint doctoral education, can be understood as a transformation process of the inputs of doctoral education into the outputs within the research environment that can be interpreted through the lens of institutional logics (e.g., Byrne et al., 2013;Nerad, 2014a;Pearson, 1999;. In line with this thinking, the quality of doctoral education can be defined through a transformative view by qualitative change it brings to participants (mainly doctoral students) inside the system and to knowledge advancement as a whole. ...
... While there is abundant literature on the quality of higher education in general (e.g., Cheng, 2016;Elken & Stensaker, 2018;Ewell, 2010;Westerheijden, Stensaker, & Rosa, 2007b), the bulk of it has focused on the quality of teaching and learning in higher education (e.g., Seyfried & Pohlenz, 2018;Westerheijden, Hulpiau, & Waeytens, 2007). Few studies have investigated the issue at the doctoral level, and fewer still have focused specifically on quality assurance in doctoral education (e.g., Byrne et al., 2013;Nerad & Evans, 2014;Pearson, 1999). Comparatively, more studies have focused on the quality assessment of doctoral education (e.g., Herrmann et al., 2014;McKenna et al., 2014). ...
Thesis
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The purpose of this research is to use the theoretical lens of institutional logics to examine the quality and quality assurance of doctoral education within its situated research environment. This work specifically focuses on the empirical setting of an international collaboration between European countries and China for the provision of joint doctoral education. The central research questions that guide the present research are 1) How can the association between the quality of doctoral education and its situated research environment be interpreted theoretically from an institutional logics perspective? 2) How has the research environment contributed to the quality and quality assurance of international joint doctoral education provided through the collaboration between European and Chinese stakeholders? By answering the first research question, the study addresses the absence of a holistic theoretical framework that can explore the transformation process of doctoral education, which in turn contributes to the quality of doctoral education in its situated research environment. The second research question tackles the need for more empirical evidence about the quality and quality assurance mechanisms of the international joint doctoral education provided through Europe-China cooperation. The research questions are answered in the study via both theoretical development and empirical analysis. In terms of theoretical output, the study constructs a robust framework for understanding the transformation process of doctoral education in its situated research environment from an institutional logics perspective. The framework is based on the premise that the quality of doctoral education is transformative and that doctoral education is a transformation process in which multiple institutional-logics inputs, derived from the situated research environment and from atakeholders’ previous experiences and backgrounds, reconcile and interact with each other until stable interactive dynamics are achieved in terms of outputs and possible outcomes. The study also captures and defines five types of ideal institutional logics in the research environment of a doctoral education system: state logic, profession logic, family logic, market logic, and corporation logic. It also identifies the institutional logics (including logics of profession, state, market, and corporation) embedded in different conceptions of quality of higher education (including exception, perfection, value for money, and fitness for purpose). In empirical terms, the provision of international joint doctoral education by Europe and China occurs in a multi-actor, multi-level collaborative context. This study finds evidence of the impacts of all five ideal types of institutional logics of doctoral education on the doctoral education systems in Finland and China. However, the extent of impact of a specific logic varies across the Finnish and Chinese doctoral education systems. Differences are evident not only in the impacts of a specific logic but also in how the multiple logics relate to one another and which variant of an underlying logic is dominant. These logic dynamics constitute the institutional environment in which international joint doctoral education is provided by China and Finland. By investigating a sample of doctoral students in Finland who are funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC), this study shows that the dynamics among the multiple logics enable the transformation process of CSC doctoral students and affect the formation of CSC doctoral students’ professional identity, their academic work and relation with doctoral supervisors. Further, through another case study of a Portugal-China joint doctoral program, this study finds that the multiple logics in the research environment of Europe-China joint doctoral education exert an influence on the development of quality assurance mechanisms in doctoral education. The study employs a qualitative research design consisting of six sub-studies. Across the six sub-studies, copious data from ninety interviews conducted in China and Finland involving 156 participants, three site observations in China, and documented material are collected and analyzed. The analysis results of the six sub-studies are reported in this dissertation and in five published peer-reviewed academic articles. The permanent address of the publication is: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-1584-9
... This expansion has been accompanied by an increase in the diversity of students in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, nationality and discipline area (Pearson 1999;Johnson et at. 2000). ...
... Like Boud and Lee (2005), our concerns are pedagogical. Like Pearson (1999), we think it is crucial to attend to the lived experiences of doctoral students. Thus we ask: To what extent have the intensified pressures to improve performance in research education actually improved the doctoral student's experience of writing and research? ...
... 9,12,[14][15][16][17] Other issues specific to hospitals are indicative of the increasing diversity of students and locations. 7,18 For example, supervisors reported conflicts of interest when students worked alongside the supervisor's colleagues in a team-based environment, 17,19 and supervisors were accused of favouritism. 12 However, teambased approaches provide mentorship to inexperienced supervisors and can reduce intense, traditional, individual supervisory relationships. ...
... 12 However, teambased approaches provide mentorship to inexperienced supervisors and can reduce intense, traditional, individual supervisory relationships. 7 Combining postgraduate research with heavy workloads in hospitals is difficult, 20 highlighting the need for support and education. 17 It is difficult for supervisors to supervise on top of demanding hospital and academic roles. ...
Article
The recent trend to embed medical research at point of care has created a need for postgraduate research supervisors in hospitals who are practising clinicians and lab-based researchers. We explored the training needs of supervisors to inform the design and evaluation of a hospital-based development programme. We found that if hospital-based supervisors are to improve their practice, the programme needs to be on-site to ensure access and relevance to local issues. © 2015 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
... For those international students embarking on postgraduate research programs, those adjustment factors can add challenges to the program and potentially complicate students' academic experience. Characteristics of postgraduate research programs important to successful candidatures and retention have been discussed within the graduate research literature (Pearson 1999;Wisker, Robinson & Shacham, 2007;Lovitts, 2001), however, studies that bring together such specificities of research programs with adjustment difficulties of international students is limited (see Kiley n.p.;Lewthwaite, 1998) . In the following paragraphs we aim at bringing the two discussions togetherinternational students' adjustment and postgraduate research characteristics -to enhance our understanding of the distinct IPR students' experience. ...
... It has also been suggested that engagement with the academic community is a significant source of stimuli and development for students (Alston, et al., 2005;Wisker et al. 2007). More recently though, scholars have found that the postgraduate research experience is also being influenced by students' growing expectations to engage in academic work (Austin, 2002); this has been flagged as a broader change to higher degree research education in terms of expectations (Johnston & Murray, 2004;Pearson, 1999;Steinmetz, 2009), associated new demands from supporting institutions, and from students themselves seeking prospects for future career (Enders, 2002). ...
Conference Paper
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International student cohorts continue to be increasingly vital to higher education institutions in Australia; currently, they account for 20 per cent of enrolments. However, there is concern that over the past few years, enrolment numbers have been dropping. Reasons for this decrease may vary from: tuition fee increases, new overseas universities adding to competition, the global financial crisis, student preferences toward US and UK universities, or perceived lack of Australian scholarship support for international students. At a time when uncertainty in financial markets loom, it is crucial that recruitment, retention, and overall experience, of international student’s remain a focus in a university’s strategic intent Studies on international students highlight that adjustment is crucial to a student’s positive educational experience abroad. Cross-cultural differences and English language barriers are main factors in adjustment—influencing well-being and academic achievement. Although literature on international students is extensive, studies of international postgraduate research students is limited. Problems experienced by this cohort are heightened due to the somewhat isolated nature of research programs. The focus of this paper is on international postgraduate research students and factors that contribute to how they adjust or ‘settle in’, to their research student candidature. The research involved in-depth interviews and focus groups with a cohort of postgraduate research students in a Group of Eight, research-intensive university in Sydney, Australia. The findings revealed that students had problems with: selection of supervisors, work opportunities within the faculty, knowing what is expected of them and lack of sense of belonging as means of connecting with a broader community of peers and academics. As faculties become aware of international research student challenges, even prior to enrolment, they can provide targeted support in order to contribute to and optimize the educational experience abroad.
... This praxis is about preparing doctoral students for challenges, providing strategies for success and honing research skills . Pearson (1999) suggested a doctoral supervision framework that conceptualises doctoral education as more than an overemphasis on rules and procedures. Doctoral supervision should not simply be a collection of tasks carried out by the doctoral student. ...
Chapter
In Australia, there is a need to develop the knowledge and skills, especially in the realm of research, of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples to develop their knowledge base in a culturally acceptable manner to improve the health of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples communities. When it comes to doctoral supervision, the fact that its pedagogy is not understood is compounded by the realisation that Western academic culture does not take into account how Indigenous students are impacted on and by its approach and suppositions. This chapter explores the issues against the backdrop of Western knowledge and praxis that suggest freedom of choice within disciplinary constraints and university practice that restricts rather than promotes the capability of doctoral students to choose based on their sense of self. The literature suggests that the supervisor-supervisee relationship is critical to the process of acceptance, but the perception of what the relationship is by the academic community regarding the professional developmental process shapes and limits choices for Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples doctoral students which, in turn, may explain the low participation and graduation rates alongside high attrition rates. A discussion of how to overcome those issues adversely impacting the recruitment and success of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples into doctoral students in the health-related fields.
... Along with this sizeable benefit, the rapid increase in numbers of research degree candidates has led to several pressures for higher education providers. Key pressures include ensuring degree completion times do not exceed targets (Pearson, 1999) whilst maintaining internationally competitive research training quality and outcomes. Amidst these pressures, wide-reaching benefit can be gained by improved understanding of stress and the management of distress in doctoral candidates. ...
Article
Psychological distress is prevalent in doctoral degree training and affects students' completion time. It is crucial to monitor the amount of distress experienced and understand the causes for it to inform the type of support most needed. This mixed method study explored challenges related to candidature, self-reported progress and measures of perceived and actual psychological distress with a convenience sample of 81 doctoral candidates in an Australian university. Using validated survey instruments, participants reported higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress than age-matched general population normative data. Additionally, those who self-reported being behind or exceeding their study schedule had significantly higher scores for depression, anxiety and stress than those who reported they were meeting schedule. Conversely, stage of candidature did not affect any of these attribute scores. The responses to open-ended questions about challenges associated with doctoral study were coded and explored with an existing typology. The most frequent challenge reported in doctoral study is related to the development of generic skills, followed by management of self, including motivation. Given that not all challenges could be included in the existing typology, we recommend expansion to the typology.
... Vertical trust from PhD students' perspective may be considered in relation to PhD supervisor or lecturer. It is worth noticing that the role of supervisor recently became more complex and challenging (Pearson, 1999) and the relationship between a student and supervisor is a critical factor for earning a doctorate (Doloriet et al., 2012). According to Vilkinas (2002) nowadays academic supervisor needs to perform two roles: to be a knowledge expert and a manager. ...
... Lifelong learning gains in importance, as employees need to continuously update their knowledge and skills to face the challenges and tasks of today's turbulent economic environment (Craswell 2007;Gherardi & Nicolini 2000). Consequently, a growing number of employees has decided to become a doctoral student, return to university, acquire specialist knowledge and research skills (Pearson et al. 2004:348) and thereby enhance their chances to improve their career paths (Pearson 1999). ...
Article
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p class="Standard1">African PhD fellows who are interested in completing (part of) their research in Europe cannot always afford to leave their place of residency for prolonged periods of time. Yet, young researchers from African countries might be searching for particular guidance from experts in their field that might not be accessible in their home countries. Consequently, both PhD fellows and universities and postgraduate research institutes require more flexible educational formats that cater for these circumstances. With the growing availability and potential of online tools and methodologies, it is possible to choose from a range of options for PhD education. Communities of Learning (CoL) have emerged as an approach to support the exchange of knowledge and experience among participants on the Internet. Participants can collaborate in developing research skills, while at the same time creating a feeling of belonging, which helps individuals to establish personal ties and relations. The paper introduces the research and educational project: Community for Learning for Africa (CoLA). It was designed to help participating actors from Africa and Europe to get and to stay connected online, to collaborate in joint training activities and projects, as well as to openly exchange ideas and thoughts, all in relation to underlying PhD research trajectories via the Internet. The paper offers results from a needs assessment undertaken in spring 2015, among PhD fellows and supervisors in Africa on what they would need CoLA to include, as well as template of what CoLA could include.</p
... In these five countries heightened interest in doctoral education is set in context by a number of broad shifts that have transformed higher education institutions over recent decades. Key trends here include massification (Pearson, 1999;Pearson, Evans & Macauley, 2008), internationalisation (Nerad, 2010;van der Wende, 2007), and managerialism (Bansel, 2011, Kenny, 2008. The movement of higher education from an elite to a 'mass' system and growing flows of international students have both led to a rapid global expansion of doctoral education. ...
Article
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https://www.informingscience.org/Publications/3689?Source=%2FJournals%2FIJDS%2FArticles%3FVolume%3D0-0 Aim/Purpose: This article offers a conceptual summary and critique of existing literature on doctoral writing and emotion. The article seeks to intervene in current debates about doctoral writing by re-positioning it as an affective-political practice. Background: Over recent decades public interest in the doctorate has expanded as it has become re-framed as a key component of national success in the global knowledge economy. It is within this context that the practice of doctoral writing has crystallised as an object of interest. While researchers have examined the increased regulation, surveillance, and intensification of doctoral writing, often this work is motivated to develop pedagogies that support students to meet these new expectations. At this point, there has been limited attention to what broad changes to the meanings and practices of doctoral writing feel like for students. Methodology: The paper offers a conceptual review that examines the ways in which doctoral writing tends to be understood. A review of literature in the areas of doctoral writing, doctoral emotion, and critical studies of academic labour was undertaken in order to produce a more comprehensive understanding of the political and emotional dynamics of doctoral writing. Contribution: It is intended that this conceptual research paper help researchers attend to the emotional context of doctoral writing in the current university context. Critical studies of academic work and life are identified as a possible platform for the development of future doctoral education research, and the conceptual tool of “affective-politics” is advanced as a novel frame for approaching doctoral writing research.
... Nonetheless, this relationship is under challenge because of the various changes taking place at the HE sector, which are associated with governmental agendas, the emerging of new degrees and universities, and the increased diversity of students. 7 In order to maintain good research supervision quality under these challenges, many approaches have been proposed by researchers and universities, such as the introduction of progress reports, symposia on research studies, and departmental presentations. Although submitting interim reports can be useful at the PhD level, this approach is seldom feasible and/or effective at undergraduate or Masters levels, as projects may run for few weeks or months and students may not have enough data and/or time to generate an interim report. ...
... Sadly however, as Pearson (1999) noted some 15 years ago, 'the continuing debate about the status of professional doctorates shows how the view of the traditional PhD is entrenched as primarily an individual student's research project … and how inherently conservative the response to change has been despite the extent of innovative initiatives'. Some antagonists of the professional doctorate have pointed to its perceived lack of scholarly rigour compared with the PhD (Maxwell 2011;Wellington and Sykes 2006). ...
Article
Objective This paper seeks to stimulate discussion and debate about the future of doctoral education for nurses in Australia. Setting A large Magnet recognised acute care private hospital in New South Wales and a large regional university in Australia. Primary argument Healthcare today and into the future is increasingly more complex and requires ever more highly skilled healthcare professionals to meet the challenges of providing safe, quality care. Doctoral research and education based in the workplace and designed to improve healthcare while skilling up nurses and other professionals in research methods has never been more relevant and appropriate. Conclusion Nurses have generally not seen the PhD as the best fit for their higher professional development. The professional doctorate offers a compelling and dynamic alternative to the more academic focus of the PhD and prepares ?inquiry-driven leaders? for tomorrow?s challenges.
... Nonetheless, this relationship is under challenge because of the various changes taking place at the HE sector, which are associated with governmental agendas, the emerging of new degrees and universities, and the increased diversity of students. 7 In order to maintain good research supervision quality under these challenges, many approaches have been proposed by researchers and universities, such as the introduction of progress reports, symposia on research studies, and departmental presentations. Although submitting interim reports can be useful at the PhD level, this approach is seldom feasible and/or effective at undergraduate or Masters levels, as projects may run for few weeks or months and students may not have enough data and/or time to generate an interim report. ...
Article
Conventional research project supervision is not always compatible with current challenges facing higher education, such as students’ diverse backgrounds, increasing demands, and multidisciplinary research interests. Additionally, research students may experience isolation at different stages of research. To help students coping with these challenges, approaches such as progress reports, departmental presentations, and co-supervision have been introduced. Community of practices (CoP) are alternative approaches that if successfully adopted may improve the students’ learning experience. These communities were developed as knowledge-based social structures between groups of people sharing goals and interests. Considering the importance of CoPs as a strategy to engage students and researchers to work collaboratively; this study aims to investigate the impact of a formal CoP on the students’ learning experience at different levels of study.
... Nonetheless, this relationship is under challenge because of the various changes taking place at the HE sector, which are associated with governmental agenda, the emerging of new degrees and universities, and the increased diversity of students. 7 In order to maintain good research supervision quality under these challenges, many approaches have been proposed by researchers and universities, such as the introduction of progress reports, symposia on research studies and departmental presentations. Although submitting interim reports can be useful at the PhD level, this approach is seldom feasible and/or effective at undergraduate or Master levels as projects may run for few weeks or months and students may not have enough data and/or time to generate an interim report. ...
Research
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Background Conventional research project supervision is not always compatible with current challenges facing Higher Education, such as students’ diverse backgrounds, increasing demands and multidisciplinary research interests. Additionally, research students may experience isolation at different stages of research. To help students coping with these challenges, approaches such as progress reports, departmental presentations and co-supervision have been introduced. Community of practices (CoP) are alternative approaches that if successfully adopted may improve the students’ learning experience. These communities were developed as knowledge-based social structures between groups of people sharing goals and interests. Considering the importance of CoPs as a strategy to engage students and researchers to work collaboratively; this study aims to investigate the impact of a formal CoP on the students’ learning experience at different levels of study. Methods: Six months qualitative evaluation study. Participants included 2 PhD, 5 Master and 2 undergraduate students (level 6) from the School of Pharmacy at a British University. Participants were asked to interact face-to-face and online using Diigo as a virtual learning environment to share and discuss problems and questions related to their on-going work, including the finding of research articles. Qualitative data was gathered from two focus groups and an in-depth thematic analysis of the online interactions was carried out. Results All participants at undergraduate and Master level felt that their learning experience was boosted by the sharing of knowledge and resources. Closer look at the data reveals that most of the production and interactions were made by the largest group (i.e. Master students). This group believed that Diigo helped them in building up their research knowledge by sharing information online which also enriched their face-to-face (f2f) discussions. In contrast PhD students felt that the CoP did not significantly help them to develop their knowledge. Conclusions The development of a small CoP helps students to gain knowledge and improves their research productivity by sharing experience and skills. The CoP was effectively supported by Diigo, which provided a good platform for data sharing and a culture of collaboration. The CoP had an overall positive impact on the students’ learning experience and research.
... As Green (2012) observes, curriculum is a "missing term" within these doctoral education contexts. There have been calls to broaden conceptualisations of the spheres and players involved in the provision of research training (Pearson, 1999;McAlpine and Norton, 2006;Cumming, 2010), potentially bringing structured programmes and the cross-discipline or university-wide context into view, but discussion of curriculum to date has mostly been confined to professional doctorates (Malfroy and Yates, 2003;Wellington and Sikes, 2006). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe an experiment in a non-credit bearing series of social philosophy workshops offered to social science and humanities disciplines in an Australian university. Design/methodology/approach The paper outlines the design rationale and learning objectives for the workshop series. The data set includes qualitative student responses to 501 post-workshop questionnaires and 14 in-depth qualitative responses to a follow-up online questionnaire. Findings The data suggest that social philosophy methodology curriculum offered within a multi-discipline peer context can facilitate an appreciation among students of the centrality of theory and the value of diverse discipline approaches in research. The last part of the paper explores what underpins this – a kind of un-learning or uncertainty regarding the veracity of different philosophical approaches to research, tied to a de-centring of research subjectivity that allows for the co-existence of multiple voices. Language learning, the inclusion of post-modern perspectives and an unbiased presentation of a wide range of thinkers within a challenging intellectual context are central to this. Research limitations/implications The emerging trend towards university-wide doctoral training offers opportunities for useful innovations in research education. University-wide social philosophy curriculum can play a role in facilitating constructive negotiation of theoretical complexity both within and across social science and humanities disciplines. Originality/value The contemporary social science and humanities research context is a challenging space, characterised by intra-discipline methodological plurality, and the risk of marginalisation by more dominant instrumentalist, end-user and science-driven perspectives. The trend towards bringing different methodological perspectives together within inter-disciplinary research and team supervision of doctoral students can lead to conceptual misunderstanding and research delays. The capacity to negotiate and translate conceptual perspectives, often within complex research relationships, has then become an increasingly important academic skill. Within this context, university-wide doctoral training has emerged, but there has been little discussion of doctoral curricula beyond that devised for professional doctorates within the discipline in the non-US higher education literature. This paper contributes to emerging scholarship on research education by describing the sorts of relational, textual and conceptual processes that might be created in the multi-discipline social science and humanities context to produce an appreciation for the different philosophical foundations of research knowledge.
... A professional doctorate holder would not normally aspire for employment in a university though a good case can be made for professional doctorate holders to be hired by universities. A body of Australian professional doctoral literature has developed in Australia (see, e.g., Brennan, 1995;Ellis, 2006;Lee, Brennan, & Green, 2009;Malloch, 2010;Maxwell, 2011;Maxwell, Hickey, & Evans, 2005;Maxwell & Shanahan, 1996, 2001McWilliam, 2003;Neumann, 2005;Pearson, 2006;Stock, 2013;Trigwell, Shannon, & Maurizi, 1997;Voudouris & Hunter, 2011). Some international comparative studies have been undertaken (e.g., Kot & Hendel, 2012;Servage, 2009;Whitechurch, 2009). ...
Chapter
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Australia has been a leader in doctoral education over the last two decades. Proponents of the doctor of education (EdD), among others, in the early 1990s led the development of a range of awards termed “professional doctorates” (Maxwell & Shanahan, 1996), which were intended to contrast with the traditional PhD. The latter was then considered more academic, the former more professional, in orientation. A professional doctorate holder would not normally aspire for employment in a university though a good case can be made for professional doctorate holders to be hired by universities. A body of Australian professional doctoral literature has developed in Australia (see, e.g., Brennan, 1995; Ellis, 2006; Lee, Brennan, & Green, 2009; Malloch, 2010; Maxwell, 2011; Maxwell, Hickey, & Evans, 2005; Maxwell & Shanahan, 1996, 1998, 2001; McWilliam, 2003; Neumann, 2005; Pearson, 2006; Stock, 2013; Trigwell, Shannon, & Maurizi, 1997; Voudouris & Hunter, 2011). Some international comparative studies have been undertaken (e.g., Kot & Hendel, 2012; Servage, 2009; Whitechurch, 2009). A key doctoral education meeting place for 20 years has been the Quality in Postgraduate Research series of conferences held in Adelaide (see http:// www. qpr. edu. au/).
... Both academic supervisors and doctoral students have reported mixed emotions about the dissertation -more specifically, the usefulness of the traditional dissertation structure in preparing students for conducting independent research as well as for diverse career opportunities. Isaac, Quinlan, and Walker (1992) noted that faculty at doctoral-granting institutions view the dissertation as an essential part of a PhD program; however, some faculty members, policy-makers, and students have suggested alternatives to the dissertation or at least the need for a critical examination of this component of doctoral education and training (Geiger, 1997;Lipschutz, 2006;Pearson, 1999). Some current dissertation approaches in fields such as marketing, finance, and the sciences require students to write a series of research papers, an approach that is more similar to the scholarly writing and publication process (Baker Sweitzer, 2007). ...
Article
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As part of a longitudinal study, we examined Stage 3 of the doctoral student experience by further testing and refining the notion of a parallel process of identity development as student and scholar in doctoral education. We relied on a framework that integrates developmental networks and sociocultural learning to explore the types of learning and interactions students engage in to persist through Stage 3. Our results indicate that this identity development process is prompted by two program milestones in Stage 3: the dissertation and the search for employment. In comparing the experiences of students who pursued faculty appointments with those who pursued administrative careers, we found similarities and differences. We discuss these results and offer future directions of research and practice.
... Impact of Cross-Disciplinary Culture 2011), where there is a suggestion that the ostensibly collegial student-supervisor relationship more nearly resembles that of master and slave. Focus on supervisors has also considered interactions using dialogues (Cargill, 1996;Pearson, 1999;Wisker, 2005Wisker, , 2012 and how supervisors learn from being examiners (Wisker & Kiley, in press). The supervisor is not the only provider of support for doctoral students. ...
Article
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Global increases in the numbers of postgraduate students, their growing cultural diversity, and an emphasis on skill development and time to completion are accompanied by an increase in the numbers of supervisors and a professionalization of the training and development processes for both postgraduates and supervisors. Much research on supervision considers variations in practice from the perspective of the traditional functional, dyadic relationship. Other work considers power relations, research communities, and cultural diversity. This research focuses on 'fields of tensions' in discipline culture, identified by supervisors and facilitators on a supervisor develop-ment program on which both authors have taught. The research makes use of data from partici-pant assessment responses, or course papers, and focused interviews with participants. 'Fields of tension' emerge in the design, actioning, and completion of the research project and in the shape and expression of the thesis, which we argue are inflected by the different disciplinary cultures in which supervisors and students locate research. Disciplinary differences and 'fields of tension' also emerge in the perceptions of differences in supervision, expectations of roles, relationships, and balances of power in the supervisor-student relationship. This paper examines the cultural differences in academic disciplines and how this is reflected in the supervisory process. We sug-gest that open sharing and discussion of such disciplinary differences and 'fields of tension' in supervisor development programs can enable vital, valuable, metacognitive awareness of supervi-sion and research practices for supervisors and their students.
... The goal is not simply to support good supervisory relationships, as in improvement narratives, or to defend them against bureaucratic control, as in the over-regulation view, but to foster an explicitly pedagogic approach within it, as well as to review the primacy of the supervisory relationship within doctoral education (Johnson, Lee, and Green 2000, 146). Supervisors are understood to operate within a wider space which encompasses a range of players including post docs, technicians, academic colleagues, industry, university support staff and research students (Pearson 1999;Boud and Lee 2005;McAlpine and Norton 2006;Cumming 2010). ...
Article
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With the massification of higher degrees, the efficiency gaze has fixed on students and supervisors, or on their relationship, as the ‘problem’ to be managed, in need of administrative regulation, skill improvement or perhaps emotional management. This critical review of a selection of higher education journal articles on doctoral supervision published in the past 20 years within the UK, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands aims to summarise what we have learnt about ‘the problem of supervision’ to date, and to suggest possible ways forward in light of this within the changing doctoral education climate. The review observes four distinct conceptual frames that prescribe how research education is thought in these contexts, each taking in a specific understanding of what constitutes ‘good supervision’, with implicit relations drawn between academics, doctoral candidates, academic developers and government. The review highlights the importance of the challenge mounted to the conception of supervisors as distant masters with sole responsibility for research outcomes. At the same time, the article argues that a de-contextualised, psychological lens dominates educational thought about research education and innovation, pointing to the need for a greater emphasis on content and context learning within future research and practice around doctoral education.
... There have been government-funded reports on doctoral education (Cullen, Pearson, Saha & Spear 1994;Parry & Hayden, 1994;Pearson & Ford, 1997;Trigwell and others, 1997;McWilliam, and others, 2002;Neumann, 2003); government policy reviews that included aspects of doctoral education (Kemp, 1999;West, 1998); conferences on doctoral education (for example, the Quality in Postgraduate Research conferences, the Professional Doctorate conferences, and more specific conferences such as the Research on Doctoral Education conference at Deakin 2002 and the Australian Association for Research in Education mini-conference on Defining the Doctorate in 2003); special issues of journals (for example, the Australian Universities' Review (38, 2 & 43, 2) in 1995respectively, Higher Education Research and Development (21, 2) in 2002 in 2002); books (for example, Green, Maxwell & Shanahan (Eds.), 2002;Bartlett & Mercer (Eds.), 2001;and Holbrook & Johnston (Eds.), 1999), as well as many articles, papers and chapters in various locations. Within this important work there has been considerable focus on the theory and practice of doctoral education, especially concerning contemporary circumstances and conditions, or particular elements of policy and practice (for example, Brennan, 1998;Evans, 1995Evans, , 2000Evans, , 2001Evans, , 2002Evans & Pearson, 1999;Holbrook, Bourke, Farley & Carmichael, 2001;Johnson, Lee & Green, 2000;Kiley & Mullins, 2002;Lee, Green & Brennan, 2000;McWilliam & Taylor, 2001;Pearson, 1996Pearson, , 1999Pearson & Brew, 2002;Seddon, 2001). However published work that takes a broader social and historical view of the PhD is however much less evident and more limited in scope (see, Coaldrake & Stedman, 1998, pp. ...
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This paper reports on an aspect of a pilot project in 2003 by the authors comprising a bibliographic analysis of all (51,000+) Australian PhDs. The pilot work provides both data and methodological bases for a larger project that investigates the nature and development of PhDs in Australia as they evolved in the context of economic, social and educational changes. This paper reviews the evidence from the bibliographic data held in library catalogues of PhDs in each Australian university. It provides a review of the numbers and range of PhDs in Australia for each decade from 1950 to 2000. This is contextualised in terms of the changes to Australian tertiary education over the period and other factors that contribute to the rise of PhDs in Australia.
... In the case of doctoral education, there is relatively little literature on the subject from within the distance education community. Yet, Pearson and Ford show that from outside of distance education there has been a good deal of de facto distance education practised in doctoral education (Pearson, 1999;Pearson & Ford, 1997). This has occurred from the start of PhD programs in Australia in the 1940s. ...
... Nevertheless, perceptions of the status of the award vary both in the academic community and in the professions. Some of the concerns about parity of quality and standards have been traced to differences in the time requirements for completion, entry qualifications and the length of the final thesis (Ellis and Lee, 2005;Neumann, 2005;Pearson, 1999). ...
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Professional doctorates are becoming increasingly well established in UK higher education, with a growth in the number and diversity of programmes being offered. Several institutions have now developed professional doctorates which are targeted at criminal justice professionals. Although there is an increasing body of research which has examined the impact of professional doctorates, this has tended to focus on the more established programmes, such as education, engineering and business administration. This article explores the role of professional doctorates in the specific context of the Criminal Justice Sector. It provides an overview of the relationship between higher education and criminal justice institutions and explores some of the tensions between academic and administrative criminology. It compares recruitment, programme structures, curriculum content and assessment across selected programmes and considers how these reflect complex sets of relationships between different higher education institutions and different professions within the sector. It concludes with a discussion of the future role of professional doctorates in the sector and analyses the implications for higher education institutions and criminal justice professionals, and for criminal justice education and training as a whole.
... Steps towards research quality improvement in the MGSM are occurring within the context of a rapid expansion of doctoral enrolments in the management discipline at large (Pearson, 1999), as well as institutional and national developments in doctoral quality assurance. Further, the nature of the student group, together with the characteristics of the management discipline, mean that student induction into the research process and the management discipline are different from the needs of other disciplines. ...
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Governments play an important role in providing an appropriate national framework and structure for the development of doctoral education. Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility for quality supervision processes lies with institutions, in particular with their departmental units and their policies and processes (DETYA, 1999c). This paper presents a case study of recent developments in the quality enhancement of doctoral supervision in the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM). In doing so it looks at three areas in particular: (1) the key role of infrastructure support, including the introduction of a code of practice in doctoral supervision; (2) the induction and acculturation processes; and (3) supervision quality, including the selection, development and training of supervisors. The aim of the developments is to make a recognized private process more public and transparent. MGSM currently enrolls a significant number of doctoral students and the enhancement of their doctoral experience is a key priority. The paper concludes by highlighting key issues for future development.
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Peer learning is defined as a reciprocal learning relationship among peers for their mutual benefit. This form of learning is now commonly used at undergraduate level within Higher Education internationally. However, less is known about how peer learning pedagogies can support the education and development of doctoral researchers. Initial evidence suggests that peers can help build a ‘researcher’ identity through social interactions where perspectives and experiences are shared. This study adds to these initial findings by exploring the benefits of an online peer learning scheme for postgraduate research students in a Scottish university. Results from this study suggest that peer learning pedagogies can help to develop a sense of community, enable honest conversations, boost motivation and provide a forum where postgraduate research students can learn from the experiences of others. These benefits emphasise the need to reconceptualise postgraduate research as a less solitary and isolating process by recognising the potential of peer-support and peer-learning pedagogies.
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The results of a survey of the international community of scholars and professionals involved in the practice and study of doctoral education are reported. Its purpose was to identify the most influential publications in the discipline and its most influential writers. The use of citation analysis as a method is discussed, and the reasons for rejecting it are explained. Instead, an online questionnaire was developed and participation invited through an email circulated via the mailing lists of a number of relevant and regularly-held conferences across the world, a number of relevant Jiscmail mailing lists, a number of relevant LinkedIn groups and other channels. A total of 151 individuals accessed the questionnaire, although not all completed it in full. In addition to identifying the most influential publications and the most influential writers in the discipline of doctoral education, the paper also analyses the gender patterns of the authorship of the identified publications. The range of influential publications items including books (109), articles (94), short works/chapters (12) and reports and other items (34) addressing a broad range of topics. The most common countries from which first authors were drawn is Australia, the UK and the US. Of the most frequently 13 nominated works, all but one had first been published after 2000, and five of them had male first-authors and the remaining eight female. Of the 16 most influential writers identified by respondents, all but two are female and the list includes individuals drawn from five countries (Australia [8], UK [4], US [2], Canada [1] and Aotearoa/New Zealand [1]). The article provides a guide to influential (and potentially useful) literature for use in development activities designed for research students, their supervisors and others involved in the practice and management of doctoral education. It also identifies areas for further research.
Article
Purpose Doctoral degrees are generally the highest level of education provided by educational institutions in Western countries. Nevertheless, doctoral degree holders – i.e. Philosophiae Doctors (PhDs) – struggle to find a job that matches their knowledge and expertise. This article investigates the effects that PhDs' satisfaction with different attributes of educational services has on their ability to obtain employment either in academia or outside it. Design/methodology/approach Secondary data were accessed from a nationwide survey performed in Italy between February and July 2014. More than 16,000 people who achieved a doctoral degree between January 2008 and December 2010 were involved in the analysis. The four-years' time-span was justified by the need to avoid potential biases produced by a short time lapse between data collection and the awarding of the respondents' doctoral degree. A logistic regression model was designed to shed light on the relationship between doctoral degree holders' satisfaction and their ability to find employment. Findings This study results suggested that the attributes of educational services had varying effects on the doctoral degree holders' ability to obtain work. More specifically, the perceived quality of research and methodological courses delivered by educational institutions and the quality of the technologies and digital resources available at the host university were found to positively affect the ability of doctoral degree holders to get a job in academia. Conversely, the satisfaction with the quality of the teaching activities was positively related to the doctoral degree holders' employability outside academia. Practical implications The quality of educational services provided to students attending a doctoral degree course affects their ability to find work. Enhancing the quality of educational services may reduce the risk of unemployment amongst doctoral degree holders. Originality/value To the best of the authors' knowledge, few attempts have been made to investigate the interplay between the quality of educational services and doctoral degree holders' employability.
Chapter
For Indigenous Australian doctoral students, developing the core competencies required for successful completion of their PhD is commonly undertaken at what Nakata has insightfully termed ‘the cultural interface’ (Disciplining the savages: savaging the disciplines. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2007a). While not specifically concerned with doctoral literacy development, Nakata and colleagues (Martin G, Nakata V, Nakata M, Day A, Stud High Educ 42:1158, 2015) develop the theoretical groundwork for considering how the core competency of ‘written communication’ can be understood at this cultural interface, suggesting that there is a need for supervisors and others involved in doctoral training to consider a pedagogy that engages Indigenous persistence in tertiary study and that does not fall into deficit thinking or political correctness.
Chapter
In this chapter, we identify five important life dimensions necessary to keep in balance, or avoid a distressing imbalance, during your postgraduate research journey: employment, mental well-being, physical health, social interaction and spiritual well-being. We argue that there is a difference between your productivity (outputs) and your productive capability (capacity to produce desired outcomes). A work/life imbalance can stifle your productive capability thereby compromising the necessary fuel that drives your performance over an extended period of time-term. If you focus only on your research and little else, you will soon burn out and wonder why you are losing interest and motivation and possibly falling behind on your research plan.
Chapter
The doctorate of nursing practice has been referred to as a pipeline with varying educational parameters that will either expand or constrict the flow of nurses through the advanced practice nursing pathway. There is also a concern expressed that the reduction in the number of nurses graduating with a PhD will impact on the discipline of nursing. If scholarship is at the heart of what a profession is, then clinical scholarship must be central to the nursing discipline (Boyer, Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990). The discipline’s philosophy, theory and practice are intertwined and as reflected in Boyer’s ideas, scholarship in nursing can come from four scholarly activities: discovery, integration, application, and teaching. The evolution context from first to second to third generation professional doctorate is explored. Further, advanced practice nursing practitioners need to communicate the distinctiveness of their scholarship and contributions to the public with greater clarity and emphatic certainty.
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La formación de investigadores ha cobrado gran relevancia en el marco de la sociedad del conocimiento, a partir de la fuerte expansión de los pos- grados en Latinoamérica. La dirección de tesis como práctica educativa es considerada por la literatura como uno de los factores de mayor peso en la formación de investigadores y en la probabilidad de que los estudiantes completen o no sus programas doctorales. Este trabajo expone el estado del conocimiento sobre la dirección de tesis. La literatura la conceptualiza como una práctica educativa en la que el director asume un rol activo en la promoción del aprendizaje del tesista. Esta conceptualización permite valorar cuáles son las estrategias de enseñanza efectivas y pensar el aprendizaje de la investigación como el resultado de la interacción tesista- director, y no sólo a partir de las competencias del alumno.
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Abstract Background & Aims: Regarding the rapid increase in the number of doctoral students in nursing, evaluation of PhD course to ensure quality of education is necessary. By the assessment of doctoral program from the viewpoint of the students, this study aims to provide a clear picture of the educational quality of this course. Material & Methods: In this descriptive study, 64 doctoral students recruited by census from the nursing and midwifery schools of Tabriz, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran University of medical sciences were surveyed. Quality of PhD nursing course was evaluated by international questionnaire of QCSI (quality criteria, standards and indicators ) in three dimensions of educational programs, faculty and resources. Data was analyzed by descriptive statistics using SPSS-PC (v. 13.5). Results: The mean score of doctoral students’ point of view in the three parts of educational programs (48.4±3.17), faculty (31.42±2.03) and resources (18.95±2.76) was moderate. In the dimension of educational programs, components of emphasizing the research ( 49.3 ±0.67) and teachers’ support of students ( 3.32 ± 0.64) were more satisfied by students. The students were dissatisfied with the adequacy of faculty members (1.37 ± 0.77) and relevance of doctoral courses with nursing profession (1.84 ± 0.66). In the faculty dimension, students had been criticized the teachers’ performance for the supervision of dissertations (1.15 ± 0.60), and teachers’ knowledge (1.67 ± 0.87). In the resource dimension, students were dissatisfied of the adequacy of financial resources (1.95 ± 0.75) and necessary infrastructure for research (1.98 ± 0.66). Conclusion: Regarding the intermediate quality of doctoral course of nursing in the dimensions of curriculum , faculty and resources , revising the content of courses , increasing the number of faculty members and improvement of the resources are necessary to improve the quality of the course.
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Researcher development has become increasingly relevant in the context of the current knowledge society, particularly due to the important growth of graduate studies programs in Latin America. Advising a Doctoral thesis as educational practice is considered in academic literature to be one of the most important factors for researcher development and for the probability that graduate students finish their doctorate programs. This article puts forth the current state of knowledge about advising a Doctoral thesis. Academic literature has conceptualized this process as an educational practice in which the advisor assumes an active role in fostering the graduate student's learning. This conceptualization allows us to assess which teaching strategies are effective and to consider learning about research to be the result of the advisor-student interaction and not only to stem from the student's competencies.
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This is an exploratory conceptual paper regarding the ontological and epistemological premises that are present in the enrollment of Indigenous peoples in doctoral programs at higher education institutions (HEIs). The paradoxical nature of navigating through distinct points-of-view about two distinct cultural perspectives, that of the doctorate representing a culminating recognition of a professional culture based on Western tradition and the norms and values of Indigenous cultures. There are personal risks involved in undergoing an education predicated on conflicting messages paradoxes represent from prior personal and collective experience and from institutional dicta and expectations. This paper looks at how an individual brings these elements together in a transformative manner that accepts or rejects governmental preference for enhanced participation by Indigenous peoples in doctoral education programs.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role and the scope of knowledge management (KM) in doctoral education, in the emerging knowledge economy (KE) context, and the recommendation of a framework for KM in doctoral education. Design/methodology/approach An extended literature analysis was contacted to elaborate the role and the scope of KM in universities and research institutions in the context of global KE, and the role of knowledge workers, including doctoral students, as well as, the current directions for doctoral education. Literature analysis is followed by synthesis of the proposed framework for KM in doctoral education toward KE. Findings A framework for KM in doctoral education is proposed, which could be used to enhance quality of doctoral studies and could lead to research optimization and innovation growth. Finally, proposals are recommended for enhancing KM in doctoral education and utilize doctoral students as knowledge workers and change factors toward the notion of global KE. Originality/value The paper is an effort to start filling the literature gap in the emerging but under-researched subject of KM regarding doctoral education in the context of KE, with the purpose to enhance quality of doctoral studies and capture the socio-economic development advantages that come from training such a highly skilled workforce.
Chapter
Internationally, the importance attached to the PhD has grown over the last couple of decades. This heightened attention has not only been about the traditional role of the PhD, namely to provide a future supply of academics but is also about the role that higher education is perceived to play in the knowledge economy, specifically concerning high-level skills (Cloete, Sheppard, Bailey, & MacGregor, 2015).
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Governments play an important role in providing an appropriate national framework and structure for the development of doctoral education. Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility for quality supervision processes lies with institutions, in particular with their departmental units and their policies and processes (DETYA, 1999c). This paper presents a case study of recent developments in the quality enhancement of doctoral supervision in the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM). In doing so it looks at three areas in particular: (1) the key role of infrastructure support, including the introduction of a code of practice in doctoral supervision; (2) the induction and acculturation processes; and (3) supervision quality, including the selection, development and training of supervisors. The aim of the developments is to make a recognized private process more public and transparent. MGSM currently enrolls a significant number of doctoral students and the enhancement of their doctoral experience is a key priority. The paper concludes by highlighting key issues for future development.
Chapter
This chapter is in two parts. The beginning section by Gina Wisker explores postgraduate supervision and research, with particular reference to literature and African American women’s writing, while the next section by Marion Treby tracks a specific PhD research journey, a specific example of postgraduate study on African American women’s writing. The journey is nested in a discussion about the principles and practices of supervising such work. As such, some of this essay is generalisable, in terms of explorations of supervisory interactions and research in practice, specifically in literature. It is also individualistic in terms of the example offered by Marion of her own research journey, conducted under Gina’s supervision but increasingly, of course, exhibiting the autonomy and independence of a good scholar, and making entirely new fusions between disciplines (music and literature) and new contributions to knowledge.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on two closely related themes in postgraduate research: the experiences of non-traditional students and the challenge of diversity. The idea of inclusive education at PhD level is barely developed. However, increased diversity in the backgrounds and purposes of students studying for a research degree potentially destabilises notions of the autonomous scholar (Bartlett and Mercer, 2000; Johnson et al., 2000). The ‘scholar’ in the traditional discourse of the PhD internalises the authority of the academy (Hindess 1995) through submitting to intellectual mastery (Bourdieu, 1990) rather than opposing it. In this chapter I show how some research students come to see themselves and the university system in a more equivocal light. The second theme relates directly to the experiences of non-traditional students. Traditional PhD students are assumed to be full-time, funded, recently graduated and oriented towards entry into academic or other research careers. In contrast, non-traditional students are post-experience, working, part-time and often self-funded. The chapter explores how diverse individual research students draw on gender and class identities in describing their route into postgraduate research. Their identities as research students are mediated through locations outside the academy in ways that render the idea of the autonomous individual being initiated into the academic realm problematic.
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This chapter reports on the results of a four-year longitudinal study of PhD students and their supervisors, from which the evidence gained suggests that the students tend to focus on the PhD in terms of a product to be completed (in terms of writing a thesis and peer-reviewed journals), whilst the supervisors tend to concentrate more on the process of learning and scientific development, placing the student's contribution into the wider disciplinary discourse. The structural observations from the concept maps generated within this research are that the students perceive the PhD as a linear structure, whereas the supervisors are more likely to generate a cyclic structure to illustrate the dynamic, iterative processes of research more generally. Further structural elements emerge from the analysis of the maps, indicating the need for holistic understanding of the content, structure, and meanings in concept maps and their relationship with safe spaces for the development of critical thinking.
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Theories of the "knowledge economy" view knowledge, and particularly new knowledge, as a critical resource to enhance a nation's economic growth. Governments around the world have invested in doctoral education expansion. Reforms in doctoral education are being shaped by the changing needs of society, of research modes, and of a changed labor markets for PhD holders. The reform elements strive for excellence, expansion, quality assurance, accountability, and international and inter-sector network building. The expansion in doctoral studies has gone hand in hand with an increased flow of international doctoral students, the wish to become a world-class university, and the adoption of more standardized structures and practices of doctoral education. This paper ends with a number of promising reform practices that may be useful for South Africa's expanding doctoral systems, such as the introduction of postgraduate schools that help implement and initiate innovations in doctoral education on a campus with an eye to high quality.
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In recent years, both the demand for and the supply of graduate education have blossomed throughout higher education. While this development can be perceived as beneficial for universities and postgraduate research institutes, an increasing number of scholars have pointed towards the potential challenges it presents. More specifically, Pearson (1999) argued that the “massification of graduate education’ (p. 270) has not only provided opportunities, but also created difficulties in a system previously accustomed to offering doctoral education to a relatively small set of participants. Similarly, research is no longer an activity that is merely conducted by a selected amount of individuals within specialized institutions. Instead, it has become part of employees’ normal activities during their everyday working environment (Lee and Boud 2003). It can be argued that this trend is paired with a growing pressure on employees to learn continuously throughout their careers. In other words, employees need to update their knowledge and skills constantly in order to face the challenges and tasks of today’s turbulent economic environment effectively (Gherardi and Nicolini 2000). As a result, a growing number of employees are returning to uni for doctoral research, which will provide them with “specialist knowledge and research skills” (Pearson et al. 2004, p. 348) and thereby enable them to achieve better results in their careers. Additionally, the aim of professional doctorates is often not to start an academic career, but rather to support their.
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Background: Conventional supervision is no longer compatible with the current challenges facing the higher education sector1. Community of practice (CoP) is one approach that can be adopted to help students avoid isolation by facilitating informal interaction with peers and other networks of support. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of creating a formal CoP with students from different levels of study in supporting each other to develop their learning and research output. Method: This was a qualitative study and involves the generation of qualitative data from two focus-groups. The sample is constituted by 2 PhD students, 5 students at Master level and 2 undergraduates at level 6 (third year students) from the School of Pharmacy at Kingston University. Domain, community and project (Figure 1) are the three elements that shape up a CoP; researching the role of powder technology in tablet manufacturing was the domain used to define the identity of this community. Sharing interest and practice within this domain, evolved discussion which would help students to learn from each other. Communication was established face to face (f2f) and via a VLE known as “Diggo”. Results and Discussion: Participants believed that working in a group would boost their learning experience by sharing knowledge. Analysis of the data on Diigo showed that 95 posts have been shared between mid-April to mid-September (Figure 2). Most of these posts were shared by students at master level with minimum contribution by the undergraduate and PhD students. PhD students thought a CoP was not designed for them to learn as they are experts in their field. On the contrary, master students believed that Diigo helped them to build up their research knowledge by sharing information online and referring to them in their f2f discussions. In a conclusion, this small scale study demonstrated that working within a community will foster pharmacy students’ learning experience.
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La formación de investigadores ha cobrado gran relevancia en el marco de la sociedad del conocimiento, a partir de la fuerte expansión de los pos-grados en Latinoamérica. La dirección de tesis como práctica educativa es considerada por la literatura como uno de los factores de mayor peso en la formación de investigadores y en la probabilidad de que los estudiantes completen o no sus programas doctorales. Este trabajo expone el estado del conocimiento sobre la dirección de tesis. La literatura la conceptuali-za como una práctica educativa en la que el director asume un rol activo en la promoción del aprendizaje del tesista. Esta conceptualización per-mite valorar cuáles son las estrategias de enseñanza efectivas y pensar el aprendizaje de la investigación como el resultado de la interacción tesista-director, y no sólo a partir de las competencias del alumno. Researcher development has become increasingly relevant in the context of the current knowledge society, particularly due to the important growth of graduate studies programs in Latin America. Advising a Doctoral thesis as educational practice is considered in academic literature to be one of the most important factors for researcher development and for the probability that graduate students finish their doctorate programs. This article puts forth the current state of knowledge about advising a Doctoral thesis. Academic literature has conceptualized this process as an educational practice in which the advisor assumes an active role in fostering the graduate student's learning. This conceptualization allows us to assess which teaching strategies are effective and to consider learning about research to be the result of the advisor-student interaction and not only to stem from the student's competencies.
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A significant feature of contemporary doctoral education is the continuing trend for research and research education to migrate beyond discipline-based institutional teaching and research structures. The result is a more diverse array of settings and arrangements for doctoral education linked to an increasingly global research enterprise. Recognising the complexity of what is a distributed environment challenges some commonly held assumptions about doctoral education and its practice. Drawing on data gathered in an Australian study of PhD programme development in Australia carried out in 2006-2009, the article describes the fluid and complex arrangements forming the ‘experienced environments’ for doctoral candidates, an environment that can afford them varying opportunities and challenges for completing their candidacy. Some implications for doctoral education are discussed.
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The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Australia has burgeoned to the extent that in the 1990s more than half of Australian universities have introduced the award and more than 550 students have enrolled. A survey of EdD provision found that, although literature provided by universities indicated that the awards were professional in orientation, the structures of the awards were typically academic: coursework plus thesis with the majority being one-third coursework. The nature of the awards was likely to be academic in the majority of cases. Questions raised by these findings underpinned the rethinking of the nature of professional doctorates via an argument that placed the context of the professional as central, with the culture of academia being less central. The reconceptualisation is explored further through a consideration of policy issues including the nature of programmes and the relations between academics and professionals.
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Our concept of quality control -- arrived at over a period of more than 5 years -- can be defined: Quality control is an objective system designed to determine that the performance of components in a radiology system is or is not as labeled by the manufacturer.
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This paper presents information about the organisation and administration of graduate education in universities in Australia and other countries. Sources of information were publications, interviews with staff in universities and other relevant organisations, and questionnaires. Particular emphasis is placed upon graduate programs, administration and infrastructure, supervision, completion, and quality. Several recommendations are proposed about the need for graduate schools/faculties, a national graduate organisation, detailed data bases, increased funding, research, evaluation, and above all, effective supervision.
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Assessment of student performance and the evaluation of courses and teaching are critical elements in the teaching‐learning environment and are central to each higher education institution's mission of preparing students for the future. There are increasing internal and external pressures for institutions to review and improve their practice in this area. While a vast knowledge‐base exists to inform good practice in assessment of student performance, change in practice seems to be slow. A framework for improving assessment practice, based on a simple quality management model, is provided as are some examples which illustrate application of the model/framework. Some suggestions are also made about support mechanisms and resources required for effecting significant improvement to practice.
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A discussion of the process and problems of supervising a doctoral candidate examines the nature of the task and relationship, the stages of research (defining the topic, design, gathering material, writing, defense, and dissemination), criticism and intellectual growth, and references and sponsorship. (MSE)
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It is argued that professional doctorates such as the Doctor of Education degree have value as a means of reconstructing the relationship between theory and practice, by demanding a reconstruction of university research relationships with practitioners. In turn, this requires that universities change their conceptualization and teaching of research. The evolution of programs at two Australian universities is discussed. (MSE)
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The university's value, we claim, lies in the complex relationship it creates between knowledge, communities, and credentials. Changes contemplated in either the institutional structure or technological infrastructure of the university should recognize this relationship. In particular, any change should seek to improve the ability of students to work directly with knowledge-creating communities. We offer a couple of examples of currently successful Internet-supported teaching that suggest how technology can do this. Then we explore some hypothetical institutional arrangements that might enable the university to take the fullest advantage of these emerging technological possibilities.
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Supervision of postgraduate students remains an area of concern to university administration, to supervisors, to student unions and the individual research student. Many studies have examined student dissatisfaction with supervision. However, there is also considerable uneasiness among academic staff about the extent of their supervisory role and functions. In a series of workshops in several tertiary institutions problem areas were discussed with supervisors, both experienced and inexperienced; and practices and strategies were explored which facilitate effective supervision. Those provisions for and approaches to supervision which supervisors have found to be effective are presented and discussed as they apply at the institutional, departmental or individual level.
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Teaching and research are the primary functions of academics in all academic disciplines in all Australian universities. Scholarship is expected of all academics whether in the university or college sector. Under a new policy Australian higher education institutions have to develop educational profiles that will describe their strengths in teaching and research. The federal government, and indeed, institutions, are developing and using performance indicators to distribute resources. Some of these, e.g. number of publications, number of research grants, and number of Ph.D. graduates are disadvantaging the Humanities. This paper addresses differences in four disciplines, Chemistry, Engineering, English and Law as they are described by other researchers and emerge from a questionnaire study at an Australian university.
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The existing international literature on higher education centers on the transition from elite to mass higher education, the changing relationship between governments and universities, and the differentiation of the institutional fabric of national systems. These important institutionalized concerns lead to an unbalanced research agenda if other basic features are not pursued. Two additional fundamental features need expanded attention: substantive academic growth, with its roots in the research imperative and the dynamics of disciplines; and innovative university organization, a sharply growing concern among practitioners as universities seek greater capacity to change. Proliferating at a rapid rate, modern academic knowledge changes fields of study from within, alters universities from the bottom-up, and increases the benefits and costs of decisions on the inclusion and exclusion of various specialties. The long-term trend from simple to complex knowledge, arguably more important than the trend from elite to mass higher education, forces universities to position themselves between knowledge expansion and student expansion, with emphasis increasingly placed on the knowledge dimension. Innovative universities explore new ways of organizing knowledge and of more effectively exploiting the fields in which they are already engaged. Greater awareness of new means of knowledge organization will help universities make wiser choices in the twenty-first century.
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Ph.D. student numbers have been increasing in Australia as has government interest in the economic and social outcomes of graduate education (Moses 1994, Cullen et al. 1994). Yet the position of Ph.D. students can still be seen as marginal within universities and the institutional organisation of Ph.D. education as problematic. This situation can be related to the highly individualistic nature of research and supervision which is both a barrier to and part of the argument against efforts to examine and discuss in general the processes of research training and supervisory interactions across disciplinary and departmental boundaries. This article positions all Ph.D. students, in all fields of study, as learners in a form of professional education -a perspective which offers a way out of this apparent dilemma. Drawing on data from a study reported in Cullen et al. (1994) the following topics are explored: Ph.D. students as learners of the knowledge and skill of the professional practice of research and scholarship; the role of the supervisor in assisting students to become independent practitioners; and the complementary professional role of student participation in the academic community. Implications for policy and practice to professionalise Ph.D. education and enhance the quality of the student experience are discussed.
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In his sociological study of the construction of the academic world (1984), Pierre Bourdieu reminds us of the difficulty of studying the field in which one is engaged, and also the necessity of understanding better the conditions under which research, teaching and educational institutions are produced. Bourdieu's work on universities continues his longstanding interest in questions of practice and social theory, and provides important pointers to understanding both the construction of the field and those of us who work within it. This paper ~ takes up in a small way Bourdieu's invitation to investigate the ever-present struggle to produce the university and its practices by focussing on the context for introduction and practice of the Education Doctorate (EdD) in Australia. The development of the EdD has occurred at a time when the field of the university is undergoing considerable pressure to restructure and thus the normative system around which legitimacy and value systems in the field 2 are organised is quite publicly under challenge. Indeed, the introduction from 1991 of professional doctorates, including the EdD, can itself be seen as part of the process of creating change in and for the sector. In the first part of this paper, I explore the ways in which the introduction of professional doctorates illuminates practices by which hierarchy among the different disciplines in the field of the university is established, maintained and interrupted. To understand the potential significance of the introduction of the Education Doctorate in Australian universitiesDand these degrees are the fastest growing area in higher degreesDit is necessary to focus on two distinct 'layers' of analysis: the university field as a whole into which a professional doctorate has been introduced in the 1990s and specifically the practices involving students and staff of professional doctorates engaged research education and training, particularly the EdD. The introduction of professional doctorates in Australia in the 1990s provides an excellent opportunity to examine how new practice within a field becomes necessarily connected to the existing normative processes by which the field is
Quality in postgraduate research: The changing agenda Quality in postgraduate research: Managing the new agenda From facts to action: Expanding the educational role of the graduate division
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Realising the university
  • R Barnett
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Beyond the first degree Master's degree programs in American higher education Higher education: A handbook of theory and research A silent success: Master's education in the United States
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