Doctoral education shapes the academy – what shapes doctoral education?

Maja Elmgren, Eva Forsberg, Åsa Lindberg-Sand, Anders Sonesson

Research output: Contribution to journalPublished meeting abstractpeer-review


For universities all over the world, the strategic importance of doctoral education has increased over the last decades. Both locally and internationally we can observe growing activity in three interrelated areas of doctoral education: policy, knowledge formation and practice. Doctoral education is moving and has become a concern for the field of educational development. In a recent Swedish report on quality and leadership in doctoral education1 we elaborate on the many different ways in which doctoral education is essential for the regeneration, legitimacy and development of the academy and all its practices. We also describe how doctoral education to a large extent is built upon and integrated with other academic practices; primarily research but also undergraduate education and public outreach, and as a consequence is highly dependent on the organisation, infrastructure and quality enhancing processes of these. This reciprocal relationship and interdependence between the academy and doctoral education is under-studied and recent and future changes to doctoral education, at the policy as well as at the practice level, could mean considerable and unpredictable consequence for the academy. In our report we identify an on-going shift in power over Swedish doctoral education – away from the academy and towards the political arenas and funding bodies. This shift has reshaped both content and form of doctoral education. There is a marked risk that such changes could undermine the academy’s capacity to fulfil its mission. In this paper we will discuss conditions and recent developments that is currently shaping doctoral education in Sweden and describe the mechanisms at work. We will end by addressing a few areas of particular concern for educational development 1Elmgren, M., Forsberg, E., Lindberg-Sand, Å. & Sonesson, A. (2014). Ledning för kvalitet i forskarutbildningen. Sweden, The Association of Swedish Higher Education,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-274
JournalICED 2014. Educational Developments in a Changing World: Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventConference of the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED), 2014 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 2014 Jun 162014 Jun 18
Conference number: 10th

Bibliographical note

in symposium (Lycke, K) "Developing doctoral education – experiences and perspectives"

Department affilation moved from v1000887 (CED - Centre for Educational Development) to v1000942 (Division for Higher Education Development) on 2016-03-31 08:48:46.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Educational Sciences


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