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New EUA Publication on PhD Programmes

European University Association. Doctoral Programmes in Europe’s Universities. Brussels: EUA, 2007.  ISBN : 9789078997047. Pages: 43.

The European University Association (EUA) has recently produced a study that identifies the current challenges for doctoral programmes and young researchers in Europe. It specifically analyses quality (access, programme management, supervision, assessment, learning outcomes, mobility), the role of higher education institutions, and the role of the state. In addition to pointing to current trends in doctoral study, such as new management, learning outcomes, and alternative types of programmes, the report emphasises the work key stakeholders must take to attract the best young research talent from around the globe. National funding policies are splintered due to poor coordination between government, research councils, and other funding bodies. Further, doctoral programme quality is weak in such aspects as access, researcher mobility, supervision, and assessment.

This report is particularly helpful in the light of the current Bologna Process debate on the third cycle of European higher education. Its findings are based on the Bologna Process Follow-up Group that has tracked this subject as well as a survey of national ministries of education.