EUA Council for Doctoral Education

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Presenting “The Doctoral Debate”: commentary and analysis on trends in doctoral education

As EUA-CDE marks its 10th anniversary, we are pleased to offer a new forum for exchange. Doctoral education professionals, experts and academic leaders are invited to share their diverse perspectives and experiences in our rapidly-evolving field.

Welcome to “The Doctoral Debate”, EUA-CDE’s new online forum showcasing articles on the latest trends and approaches in doctoral education in Europe - all through the voices of very different doctoral education professionals, experts and academic leaders. Europe’s universities are uniquely rich in diversity, and therefore offer an array of perspectives and practices. In doctoral education, this is especially evident in the diverse programmes and approaches that have been developed over the past decade to keep pace with rapid evolutions and to strengthen research excellence.

Since 2008, EUA-CDE has been a key player in shaping discussions on these trends and approaches. On the occasion of our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to offer “The Doctoral Debate” as a place for commentary and analysis on the many issues that are relevant to doctoral education today. These include institutional structures, policies and practices, collaboration, and the links between doctoral education, research and innovation, industry and society. In particular, “The Doctoral Debate” will give special attention to new and emerging topics that are of interest to the doctoral education community and will fuel the work of EUA-CDE in the years to come. Each month you will find new articles and commentary from experts in the field, and we encourage any doctoral education professional or expert from a university that belongs to EUA-CDE to write to us with ideas. Not only do we want to hear what topics interest you, but we want you to write as well.

Today, “The Doctoral Debate” kicks off with three articles that address doctoral education from very different angles. Sven Hendrix from Hasselt University in Belgium looks at an issue that is at the top of the European and institutional agendas today – research integrity and ethics. He addresses one aspect that especially affects early career researchers: how to fairly protect both whistle blowers and those they accuse of research misconduct.

Jussi Kivistö from the University of Tampere in Finland looks at doctoral education reform in his country, showing the importance of university autonomy and the role of Europe-wide exchange in developing doctoral education. In his article, he explains how the Salzburg Principles and Recommendations provided guidelines for doctoral education reform in Finland.

Karen Francois from Vrije Universiteit Brussel addresses the role of inter-institutional cooperation and the sharing of diverse expertise and practices. She gives first hand insight into FLAMES, a network project between the five Flemish universities. She points out some of the necessary conditions to make such cooperation between institutions a success.

We hope you enjoy these first articles and we are looking forward to stimulating “The Doctoral Debate”, as always, together with our very rich and diverse membership.

EUA-CDE

This article reflects the views of the named authors only. If you would like to respond to this article by writing your own piece, please see The Doctoral Debate style guidelines and contact the CDE team to pitch your idea.

About the author

Alexander Hasgall is Head of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education. Before assuming this position, he coordinated the “Performances de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales” programme of the Swiss University Rectors’ Conferenceand was based at the University of Geneva. Alexander received his Doctorate in History at the University of Zurich on the history and discourse of transitional justice in Argentina.

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