The Irish Structured PhD An exercise in Benchmarking and/or Internationalisation? G. Honor Fagan Chair of IUA Deans of Graduate Studies Group Benchmarking Benchmarking studies anything that will result in continuously pursuing improvement and excellence to meet student customer expectations. It compares the information to "best-in- class." It gives objective measurements of effectiveness. (Benchmarking: A Tool for Continuous Improvement, by C. J. McNair, CMA and Kathleen H. J. Leibfried, p. 2) Benchmarking can look at roles, processes or strategic issues. It is information intensive and focused on measurement. Business Approach to Benchmarking Benchmarking is the process of determining who is the very best, who sets the standard, and what that standard is – too absolutist So a number of years have been spent continuously looking to international best practice, trying to identify who presents the best in research training. The Key Players Irish Universities Association (IUA) IUA 4th Level Group (Deans of Graduate Schools) Higher Education Authority (HEA) Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) Research Councils - (IRCHSS) and (IRCSET) Health Research Board Others The Policy Context OECD Review „doubling of PhD‟s‟ 2003/04-13 (quantity and quality, major change required in both) Bologna Seminar on “Doctoral Programmes for the European Knowledge Society” (Salzburg, 3-5 February 2005) (10 principles) IUA, „Reform of 3rd level and creation of 4th Level Ireland‟ (securing competitive advantage in the 21st century (2005)) IUQB Good Practice in the Organisation of PhD programmes- Guidelines 2005 „Graduate Education Forum –Key Guiding Principles‟ 2006 (HEA/Research Councils) Salzburg made relevant to Irish context The development of graduate education will contribute to the creation of a world-class education system and the transition to a more knowledge driven society. The development of a quality graduate education system will be reflected by the following features: - The best possible graduate education experience for students - The development of a „rounded‟ individual in order to meet the challenges of the workplace. - A graduate education environment that is internationally attractive - A four year programme with apprenticeship and taught courses and structured entry and exit points - The professionalisation of supervision. - PhDs of a calibre that makes them sought after internationally - Increased number of PhDs - Infrastructure and capability to achieve ground breaking research - Collaboration, where appropriate, to deliver complementarity - Uniquely differentiated collaboration between academia and enterprise in its widest sense. International Benchmarking IUA 2004 Conference - was effectively a benchmarking exercise to help guide the development of and innovation in Irish graduate education. This conference led to the 2005 IUA submission to government,, „Reform of 3rd level and creation of 4th Level Ireland‟ (securing competitive advantage in the 21st century (2005)) The conference proceedings explicitly present and discuss the UKGRAD programme and NSF‟s IGERT and the Councils follow with strategic funding. 2008 - IUQB/IUA Conference 2009 IUA - The Irish PhD Strategic Initiatives and Benchmarking HRB PhD Scholars IRCSET and IRCHSS Graduate Research Education Programmes (GREPs) HEA‟s PRTLI4, SIF 1,, SIF2, PRTLI5 (International Panels, Competitive) IUA statement on Structured PhDs HEA Review of Structured PhD Education (2008) -doubling numbers achieved - data on completion rates …. - definitions - strategic funding (PRTLI 5 and smart economy‟) PRTLI5 The Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI5): Benchmarking - 2.84 It is expected that Higher Education Institutions will liaise with appropriate stakeholders/end users in the development of their structured Ph.D. education projects. National developments arising from the HEA Structured PhD Education Review should guide development of initiatives and any international benchmark/model upon which the initiative is based or informed by should also be identified. The structured PhD Competitive Funding towards collaboration for increasing quality and effectiveness. What is the Irish Structured Doctorate? Answer to quality benchmark? During 2008, the seven Irish universities came together to agree on the context, components and definition of the Irish structured doctorate. In 2009 the IUA issued a statement on the context and the definition of the developing Irish structured doctorate. Definition –Irish Universities Association (a) The core component of a structured PhD programme is the advancement of knowledge through original research; at the same time the structured PhD is designed to meet the needs of an employment market that is wider than academia; A high quality research experience, training and output consistent with international norms and best practice; To support the original research activity, the following elements are included: • a formalised integrated programme of education, training and personal and professional development activities, • the development of discipline-specific knowledge, research skills and generic / transferable skills, • declared outcomes and graduate attributes in line with national and international best practice; Definition (continued) Supervision by a principal supervisor(s), normally with a supporting panel approved by the institution; Progress to completion is formally monitored against published criteria and supported by formal institutional arrangements in line with national and international best practice; Successful completion and examination of the research thesis is the basis for the award of the PhD degree; Registration is normally for four years for a full- time student. (IUA Statement, 2009) HEA Additions for Strategic Funding (PRTLI 5) Purposes Any structured PhD programme to be supported in full or in part by the PRTLI Cycle 5 will contain subject specific education and generic and transferable skills training Appropriate placements, rotations and assignments across wide sectors of the economy are eligible for inclusion as part of the structured PhD programme Supervision will be provided through a principal supervisor with a supporting panel Funding will be provided for a maximum of four years full time equivalent Professional doctorates are not excluded from the consideration of structured PhD definition – alternative forms of theses are also acceptable. (HEA, 2009) Quality in Irish Structured Programmes Now an array of funded IUA 4th Level website. structured PhD DRHEA website programmes in the Irish Universities involving: Benchmarking Inter-university cooperation Cohorts Placements, rotations, innovation focus. Professional skills and advanced specialist skills Strongly themed. International Panel selection and approval Critical mass NUI Maynooth as case study Quality in themed inter-institutional programmes (Case study) Currently there are a number of In response to the PRTLI 5 call for recognized themed structured expressions of interest our inter--institutional programmes priority research institutes have already in place, namely been involved in consolidating : HRB PhD Scholarship four coherent and concentrated Programme; national graduate programmes DRHEA PhD Programme in The (Bioanalysis and Therapeutics Economics and Finance; Structured PhD Programme (with DCU leading); Digital Arts and PRTLI4 Network Mathematics Humanities (TCD leading); Graduate Programme (with TCD); Telecommunications Graduate NIRSA Structured Graduate Initiative (TCD leading); and Programme; Smart Society, Smart Economy An Foras Feasa Humanities, (UCC leading). Separately, but Technology and Innovation interlinked, students in Structured PhD; Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, National Graduate Programme in Economics, Social Sciences and Environment and Climate Change. Engineering will avail of specialist modules and master classes through DRHEA. Mainstreaming To avoid creating a two-tier system of graduate education, and so that the benefit of structured support for research students should not be the preserve of a minority, it is envisaged that by September 2010 all first year students will be registered on a four year full-time (or on a 6 year part-time) credit- based structured PhD programme. Taught Credits The structured PhD is to be comprised of 360 credits over a four year period (or part-time over a six year period). The taught credits are taken into account in the annual review progress and the titles of modules and assessment grades of Pass, Distinction or Did Not Complete are inserted in the student‟s transcript. The student‟s original research as presented in the thesis (or in such form appropriate to their discipline) is the sole means of assessment for the award of the PhD. Benchmarking through Internationalisation? leading to, and embedded in, NUI Maynooth‟s Graduate School international mobility. incorporates both – Given the global element doctoral the cross-border type of education now necessarily internationalization (where involves integrating an international, intercultural and finance allows in the form of global dimension as a key international travel purpose. funds/supports for lab visits, Practices to ensure quality in each new technology familiarisation themed/subject specific graduate and conference presentations) programme range from selecting and the less expensive an „excellent‟ international programme of a similar size and internationalization at home relevance and benchmarking their (benchmarking with world programme against the specifics class research centres, of this to the use of external technology enhanced sharing examiners from the relevant of specialist knowledge with internationally top ranked international research graduate programmes. networks of excellence, close co-operation with programmes abroad, and provision of doctoral level modules Framework for the NUI Maynooth Graduate School Developed in cognizance of the current global context and with reference to Global Networks Forces and Forms of Doctoral Education Worldwide founded in 2006 (Towards a Global PhD? 2008) and in accordance with the Banff Principles of Graduate Education (2007). Understanding of best practices globally, learning from differences, promoting quality and engaging stakeholders to improve and advance graduate education (Banff Principles of Graduate Education,2007) have all been taken on board in its tailoring. The outcome of these considerations has produced a model that has been developed through emulating the best of the US and Finnish models. Adaptation of two models The NUI Maynooth Graduate School falls somewhere between the programme offerings of the United States institutionalized Graduate School (there is one Graduate School governing all features of the structured programmes at NUI Maynooth) and the Finnish network model which is particularly well embedded in the international research system and offers a number of good examples of excellent inter-institutional and international cooperation. The highly specialized networked graduate programmes developed for GREPs, PRTL4 and 5 exemplify the Finnish thematic approach, while the overall governance structure in our school follows the US model (with fewer taught modules and taken throughout the programme specifically tailored to support the research project). We propose to benchmark ourselves against more than one national model, benchmarking different aspects against specific national models. For example completion rates are benchmarked against the UK model, where completion is a strong focus, monitored closely and where timely completion is essential. However, we have a 4 year completion expectation to ensure that the quality of the graduate education does not deteriorate. Benchmarking We propose to benchmark our internationalization and international linkages using features of the Finnish model where they measure internationalisation by: Use of international lecturers Student participation in international conferences Student exchanges Participation in EU/international doctoral networks International joint research programmes. Questions Do benchmarking metrics actually improve quality? Which ones do? For whom? Who do benchmarking metrics serve? Quality for a few? Cohort Funding. A two tier system? Mainstreaming quality improvements for all (disciplines)? (SIF 2 v PRTLI5) An exercise in Benchmarking and/or Internationalisation?
"Statement of Purpose Phd Operation Research"