UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge by unesco2

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									UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge
Trends and Issues in Post Graduate Education: A Global Review
Heather Eggins, Staffordshire University UK

2 Encompassing Aim A search for quality, efficiency and effectiveness

Problems • Of definition • Of availability of data

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The Global Context
Powerful impact • Knowledge society • Demand for highly skilled, mobile labour • International market economy • Globalisation of world science and technological development • Human capital of postgraduate quality recognised as a valuable asset

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Explosion of doctoral numbers
Registered doctoral students 2003/5 US 837,000

China 165,000 UK 111,000

Japan 75,000 France 70,000 India 65,000 Powell and Green 2007

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Government Decisions
• Direct link to GDP South Africa • Policy to establish broad educational base Singapore, Korea, China, India • Funding a) To institutions b) To students

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Government decisions (2)
• Setting of annual target numbers for students Brazil, Finland • Proposals for new types of postgraduate degrees Brazil • Delivery of doctoral degrees • Doctoral schools • Specification of role and funding • Evaluation • Provision of social guarantees Estonia

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The consequences of mobility
• Growth in international students • Constant ebb and flow of postgraduate students • Loss of human capital • Outward flows From less developed countries • Inward flows To developed countries BUT the ebb and flow is dynamic and shifting

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Efforts to stem or reverse the brain drain
• Establishment of a research and technology infrastructure • Growth in budget for research Tunisia 1% GDP Establishment of high status, well paid academic profession • Promotion linked to research findings and publications • Collaborations with international partners • ‘National Researchers System’ Bonuses for research, regularly evaluated – Mexico

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But…
• The spectre of: Low salaries Continuous political and economical instability Frequent persecution of intellectuals and repression Lack of government support for research and for universities

The role of the universities
• Doctoral schools e.g Estonia • Graduate schools

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• How best to establish suitable organisational structures for high quality doctoral programmes

• Development of structured programmes
• Research methods • Transferable skills training

• Quality assurance • Europe EUA report – Bologna third cycle
• Equality of access • Flexibility in admissions • Assurance of “fairness, transparency and objectivity”

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Supervision and quality assurance
• Guidelines for supervisors • Training in supervision to be undertaken • Expectation of publications in good quality journals – China • Code of Practice for research programmes – UK • Workload models • The importance of quality assurance • Kite marking for the global market

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Government policy can affect the delivery of doctoral education
Example of Australia
• Shift to adoption of outcomes model of funding • Marked increase in doctoral students – 37,685 in 2004 • Diversification of doctoral studies • Long completion times and high attrition rates addressed • Emphasis on measured outcomes • Universities encouraged • To make more careful selection of students • To monitor students more clearly • To make sure the topic was manageable • To make sure the right supervisors were appointed

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Curriculum Change
Relevant areas of study commonly included are: • Research methods • Transferable skills development • Studies in professional applied activities E.g - teaching - supervising research papers - reviewing research papers • Publishing articles Alongside the research and compilation of a thesis

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Diversification of Post graduate courses
• Doctorates • Traditional • PhD based on published work • ‘Practice-based’ doctorate • ‘New Route PhD’ • Joint doctorate • Professional Doctorate

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Characteristics of the Professional Doctorate
• Focus on embedding research into professional practice • Alternative means of “achieving the same advanced level of study and contribution” (UKCGE 2005) • “A programme of advanced study and research which… is designed to meet the specific needs of a professional group external to the university and which develops the capability of individuals to work in their professional context” (UKCGE 2002)

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Diversification of Post Graduate Courses
• Masters’ Degrees Tailored to the professions • MBAs (Master of Business Administration Global coverage of Association of MBAs • Traditional Masters’ as a step towards doctorates

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Diversification of delivery and audience
• Online learning • Distance learning • Face-to-face • Virtual mobility • Lifelong learning

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Recommendations
Within a context of political and economic stability • Broad educational base • Investment in research • Policies to support higher education • Evaluation and monitoring of programmes • Quality assurance • Careful choice of supervisors, with encouragement to publish • Workload to reflect time needed for supervision • Careful choice of students and research topics

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Questions to consider
• The place of postgraduate skills in the developing world • Does the diaspora help to solve the brain drain • How best can a sound knowledge base be established in all continents • How best can developing countries make use of the expansion • How far is personal gain a main driver in the global labour market • What is the likely future of e-learning and open learning • What are the effects of league tables on global higher education

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Conclusion
• The issue is one of human capital • Each country should have the opportunity to become part of the knowledge society • Loss of human capital, lack of resources and lack of research infrastructure creates further imbalances • The trends are towards further expansion of postgraduate education, further diversification, further globalisation and further policy control and regulation by governments.


								
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