As the complexities of the PGT landscape becomes ever clearer, as the challenges at institutional level are debated and policies are shaped to address the realities for students and HEIs, there has been little attention paid to PGT at the programme level, to the voice of PGT Programme Directors and Administrators, who deal with the day-to-day realities
International higher education is a rapidly changing environment and is affecting many aspects of doctoral education, especially training structures (UKCGE, 2015) and thesis models (Jump, 2015, Council of Graduate Schools, 2016). Given the role played by assessment in assuring quality and the current good reputation of UK doctorates (Clarke and Lunt, 2014), it was timely for the Council to focus on making some cross-country comparisons of doctoral assessment as a first step in documenting consistent and divergent practice, in parallel evaluating the strengths and challenges of current assessment processes, in the UK and internationally.
The Council was delighted to welcome 144 delegates to the conference — including over 40 representatives from countries outside the UK, such as, Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Spain and the United States — together with plenary speakers from Australia, the United States and Germany
The traditional examination format for PhD degrees in the UK is the chapter-based dissertation as the basis for oral examination. However pressures to publish prior to thesis submission and hence to allow incorporation of publications as well as other artefacts within the assessment paradigm are challenging this conventional approach.
The role, remit, form and structure of graduate education remains a significant matter for government, policymakers and the higher education community. It is at the nexus of national and international policy changes in research, innovation, immigration, the professional skills agenda and funding for higher education.
There was a time when the doctorate was regarded as a highly specialised and niche undertaking to be entered into by a relatively small number of individuals in an atmosphere of cloistered calm and quiet. These days have long gone.
Higher doctorate awards are offered by many UK HEIs and yet have received very little attention with respect to comparing procedure, standards and practice, or indeed what purpose they serve and the benefits that flow from them (for the awarding HEI and the academics concerned)
This report on the Professional Doctorate (PD) in the UK was commissioned by the UKCGE to inform debate on the design, validation, audit and relevance of PDs to the needs and aspirations of the doctoral candidate, the requirements of Universities, the industrial and professional employers and society at large.
This report is based on a survey conducted in March 2010 aimed at establishing an overview of current trends in practice among UK institutions with respect to addressing issues of confidentiality as they pertain to PhD theses in the UK