The formation of doctoral education

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

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This report has been translated from Swedish and adapted for an international audience. The original report, Leadership for quality in doctoral education1, was commissioned by the Association of Swedish Higher Education.
Here we describe and discuss doctoral education as policy, practice and as an object of knowledge, and highlight a number of questions that are important for the management and leadership of doctoral education, today as well as in the future. The policy trends, changing circumstances, and challenges we discuss here are to a large extent international. Sweden specifically, with its long history of government regulation of doctoral education and swiftness to adapt to the ideas of the knowledge economy, provides an interesting case.
We represent two different Swedish universities, three disciplines and four contexts. Together, we have held positions as heads of department, directors of doctoral studies, faculty board members, quality coordinators and educational developers. We have developed and given courses for doctoral supervisors, doctoral students, and leaders of doctoral education in most subject fields. Our research includes assessment practices in doctoral education, the practices of peer review, leadership and management of doctoral education, and the European higher education curriculum reform. Furthermore, we have personal experiences of supervision, supervisor collegia, and the practices of peer review within different subject fields. As a result, we have gained a broad insight into the diverse practices of doctoral education and supervision, and into the different ways in which policies may affect fields of research and doctoral education
By describing, contextualizing, contrasting and problematizing doctoral education we aim to provide support for the continued development of this level of education.
We are very grateful to The Association of Swedish Higher Education’s Expert panel for quality assurance queries and to the participants at the conference Leadership and quality in education, research and doctoral education for constructive comments on various drafts of this report.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherJoint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, Lund University
Number of pages101
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-87833-82-3
ISBN (Print)978-91-87833-81-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 31

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Educational Sciences


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