This article addresses why and how mobility has become central to the EU’s idea of doctoral education, aiming to reconstruct, in a historical perspective, the gradual conceptualisation of mobility as a policy idea. This process began with the discussion of academic mobility in the 1970s, when the European Communities had as yet no responsibility in the field of education, which resulted in the Erasmus Programme. In the late 1990s, the Bologna Process strengthened the discussion, substantially contributing to a consideration of mobility as a policy tool and the establishment of a mobility strategy. In connection with the EU research policy, the integration of doctoral studies into the Bologna Process is specifically analysed. The article concludes with some open questions, including the potentially negative consequences of the instrumentalisation of higher education for the concept of mobility.
How has mobility become central to the EU’s idea of doctoral education?
A brief overview of the history of a policy idea
Global perspectives on advocating for change in doctoral education
George A. Martinez, Maresi Nerad, and Elizabeth Rudd
This workshop report summarises the potentially far-reaching deliberations and results of a conference of experts in doctoral education from around the world. The conference was organised jointly by the U.S. Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Seattle and the German International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) at the University of Kassel. Participants discussed critical issues in the globalisation of doctoral education, including global inequalities, diversity in types of students and modes of study, and intellectual risk-taking, and they sought to develop proposals for policy. The focus of the conference was on the research doctorate. This essay reports on the activities, discussions, and conclusions of the workshop. One of the task forces illustrated issues in the intellectual risk-taking faced by graduates by performing a highly realistic vignette written by a South African professor. We begin our workshop report with this vignette as a way to begin to frame the key issues.
Making social scientists, or not? Glimpses of the unmentionable in doctoral education
David Mills and Julia Paulson
Recent research on doctoral education in the U.K. has revealed the increasing number and diversity of academic relationships that shape the lives of research students, and students' own role in activating, mobilising and maintaining these relationships. Higher education policy reforms promoting doctoral 'skills training', interdisciplinary communities, thematic centres and supervisory teams, all create new networks for students to negotiate. Often beneficial and supportive, this article explores the 'unmentionable' consequences of relationships that gradually go awry.
This study began as a project exploring the everyday experiences of doctoral students and early career researchers in the Social Sciences within the U.K. As the research unfolded, we began to encounter accounts of neglect, exploitation and denigration. While such stories have long been part of postgraduate life, their seeming persistence in the face of robust quality assurance and supervisory codes needs further exploration. We offer three portraits of difficult doctoral journeys to explore these 'unmentionable' experiences and explore whether they are linked to growing institutional and career pressures on academics to prioritise research 'productivity'.
‘I’m like a snail carrying my entire house with me’
Doctoral fellows’ experiences of a mobile life
Lisbeth Kristine Olesen Walakira and Susan Wright
EU policies promote mobility as a part of contemporary doctoral education. EU-funded doctoral candidates are expected to move country, establish international research networks; travel for workshops, conferences and research stays abroad; and collaborate across disciplines as well as work in other sectors during their doctoral training. As far as EU policies are concerned, competence in all these ‘mobilities’ is essential for future knowledge workers in a competitive, global economy. But how do doctoral fellows themselves experience mobility? A survey of 3,410 EU-funded doctoral fellows shed light on their experiences of geographical, sectoral, interdisciplinary and social mobility. It showed that many PhD candidates are excited by the opportunities they see in their doctoral programmes, but they often experience tensions between their professional and personal desires.
Part 4: Universities in the Knowledge Economy
Pavel Zgaga, Corina Balaban, Miguel Antonio Lim, Janja Komljenovic, Amélia Veiga, António M. Magalhães, and Jakob Williams Ørberg
strategies for doctoral education. In the wake of the creation of the European Higher Education Area, in which I myself was involved, these efforts culminated in what became known as the Salzburg Principles ( European University Association 2005 ). What
Multidisciplinary peer-mentoring groups facilitating change?
A critical educational praxis perspective
Melina Aarnikoivu, Matti Pennanen, Johanna Kiili, and Terhi Nokkala
doctoral supervision. As David Boud and Alison Lee (2005) assert, however, this is not sufficient: to respond to the numerous policy pressures on doctoral education, a new discourse and focus on pedagogy is needed. For this, Boud and Lee have suggested the
Jessica Belue Buckley and Søren S. E. Bengtsen
) (2020), Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Education: Social, Political and Student Expectations . Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 410pp., ISBN: 978-3-030-38045-8 The edited volume provides to the literature a rare and
Constructing Anthropologists: Culture learning and culture making in U.S. doctoral education
In the tradition of anthropological reflexivity, this article examines how the structure of early doctoral training contributes to the construction of particular kinds of anthropologists. Based on research conducted in an anthropology department in the U.S.A. during the late 1990s, the experience of the transition from undergraduate to doctoral studies is explored as simultaneously a process of culture learning and culture making, with power relations expressed, imposed, and contested through language. The implications for questions animating current anthropological debates, including calls for 'public anthropology', are considered.
Mobility as homelessness
The uprooted lives of early career researchers
This article discusses three kinds of mobility among early stage researchers: geographical mobility, mobility between disciplines – or interdisciplinarity – and cross-sectoral mobility. It focuses on how PhD fellows engage with and negotiate experiences of mobility. These types of mobility have largely been presented as inherently beneficial in mainstream policy discourse, but this article presents a more nuanced picture of mobility, showing the challenges of mobility, as experienced and articulated by PhD fellows and some of their supervisors. The research is based on twenty-six interviews with PhD fellows and principal investigators involved in two types of flagship doctoral programmes: the ITN in Europe, and the IGERT in the United States. The main finding is that PhD fellows associated all three types of mobility with feelings of homelessness.
Enacting inclusivity in the preparation of emerging scholars
A response to programme reform in higher education
Saran Stewart, Chayla Haynes, and Kristin Deal
This article explores how three doctoral candidates enrolled in the discipline of Higher Education gained an understanding of social justice, equity-mindedness and diversity in the academy. Prior to the admission of these three students, two faculty members had reformed the doctoral programme to align it with the principles of inclusive pedagogy. They created a conceptual framework for the redesign of the programme's mission, curriculum and pedagogy. Echoing an article that those faculty members wrote about the programme, the authors use a collaborative autoethnographic approach to share their experiences of the programme. Just as the faculty members engaged in a fictitious dialogue with their source of inspiration, bell hooks, the authors engage in a conversation with the programme chair about their pursuit of education as the practice of freedom.