CODOC Cooperation. Thomas Ekman Jørgensen. Partners: The project is carried out with the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme - PDF

CODOC Cooperation on Doctoral Education between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe Thomas Ekman Jørgensen The project is carried out with the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme Partners: Copyright

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CODOC Cooperation on Doctoral Education between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe Thomas Ekman Jørgensen The project is carried out with the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme Partners: Copyright 2012 by the European University Association All rights reserved. This information may be freely used and copied for non-commercial purposes, provided that the source is acknowledged ( European University Association). Additional copies of this publication are available for 20 Euro per copy. European University Association asbl Avenue de l Yser Brussels, Belgium Tel: Fax: A free electronic version of this report is available through With the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme of the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. ISBN: CODOC Cooperation on Doctoral Education between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe Thomas Ekman Jørgensen The project is carried out with the support of the Erasmus Mundus Programme Contents Acknowledgements 5 Executive summary 6 I. Introduction convergence, collaboration and capacity building 8 II. The project 10 III. Survey results 13 IV. Collaboration 20 V. Capacity building 26 VI. Conclusions 34 Annex 1 Regional reports 36 Annex 2 Project partners 51 References 54 4 Acknowledgements CODOC has been the first EUA project to engage partners in four different regions of the world, a truly cross-cutting initiative that anticipates the changing global cooperation landscape in higher education and research. The project could not have been realised without the efforts, perspectives and insight of the partners, which represent diverse organisations and institutions. From Asia, EUA would like to thank the ASEAN University Network (AUN), and in particular Director Nantana Gajaseni, for her commitment, open-mindedness and admirable work ethic. Thanks are also due to Vipada Jan Kanchanasorn and the rest of the AUN staff for their support in making the Bangkok workshop a memorable success and for setting the bar high in terms of workshop quality. Vipada Jan Kanchanasorn also deserves thanks for her excellent work on the regional report for East Asia. From Southern Africa, special thanks are due to Piyushi Kotecha and her team at the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA), who engaged in this project at an important time in their growth as an association and as a critical player in the region. The workshop in Johannesburg would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Coco Belgrab and Fadzayi Chambati, who made things run smoothly, as well as Helene Perold and Karen Peters, who contributed to shaping the programme as well as the outcomes. SARUA s determination to bring doctoral education to the forefront of the Southern African regional higher education agenda has been admirable, and it is hoped that the global perspectives and partners established through CODOC will be a valuable resource in SARUA s future growth. The insight provided into African higher education development has been invaluable. In Latin America, EUA thanks the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (OUI-IOHE), and in particular Roberto Beltran, the Director of the OUI-CAMPUS Programme, and his dedicated assistants Silvana Guerrero and Ana Ojeda for their support and their efforts to promote the initiative through their regional network. Nicolas Patrici of the European Union-Latin America Observatory (OBREAL) has also played an important role in the project and has contributed considerable insight to the project events from both a European and Latin American angle. Dr Luis Miguel Romero Fernández provided valuable input in a report about the situation in Latin America. Special thanks go to Professor Vahan Agopyan from the University of São Paulo for his extraordinarily kind collaboration and hospitality as host for the Latin American workshop. In Europe, warm thanks are due to Günther Manske and his research team at Bonn ZEF and Anders Gufstafsson at Karolinska Institutet. Their institutional perspectives and research have been critical in balancing the project and finding a European logic and rationale for more balanced international doctoral education collaboration and capacity building. EUA is deeply grateful to the CODOC Advisory Board, which has contributed actively to the project events and provided valuable external input and regional expertise: Dave Woods, Supachai Yavaprabhas, Fernando Chaparro, Just Vlak and Mary Ritter. Finally within EUA, thanks are due to all who managed and supported the project within the secretariat. EUA looks forward to the continued cooperation with the CODOC partners as it further supports doctoral education reform and internationalisation in Europe through the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE). 5 Executive summary The starting point for the CODOC project was the need to develop a new, global approach to doctoral education, taking into account the development of new means of communication and easier physical mobility, but also the need to build research capacity across the world to meet global challenges. In this spirit, the project attempted to examine and promote creative and mutually beneficial modes of collaboration to foster a more equitable global research community. For this purpose, the project looked at three world regions with developing, emerging and developed countries, namely East Asia, Latin America and Southern Africa. It compared how doctoral education was developing within these regions, and related the findings to developments in Europe. The project methodology was based on regional reports, a survey of universities in East Asia, Southern Africa and Latin America and three workshops. This approach has been possible due to close cooperation between university networks in the four regions concerned: OBREAL and OUI- IOHE in Latin America, SARUA in Southern Africa, AUN in East Asia and EUA in Europe. 1 These networks and associations gave access to a wide range of universities in those regions. At the outset, partners in each region compiled a report, giving an overview of the situation in their particular region. The survey was then partly based on information in the reports, and covered a broad spectrum of issues concerning doctoral education in order to gain an idea of the main convergences and divergences between the regions. Based on the survey results, three regional workshops were organised in order to collect and discuss concrete case studies that would validate and elaborate on those results. The survey results yielded a basic understanding of the type of institutions within, and some of the main differences between, the four regions. The most striking revelation was the strong common trend towards upgrading university staff through doctoral education. In all regions, universities planned for steep increases in the number of staff with doctorates, and in many cases institutions actively encouraged their staff members to obtain a doctoral degree. Expected increases in the number of staff with doctorates were very ambitious, and the growing labour market demand for doctoral qualifications could aggravate problems faced by universities in retaining their staff. This point was underlined by another finding from the survey as regards the careers of doctorate holders. It was found that a considerable number leave universities after obtaining their degree to pursue careers as researchers or managers in government and in the private sector. On a positive note, very few doctorate holders have positions for which they are definitely overqualified. The survey also collected views on the role of doctorate holders in society. Here, there was a remarkably uniform discourse about the need for countries at all stages of development to train researchers to make further development towards a knowledge society. The report also highlights the importance of collaboration and capacity building. The survey showed that doctoral education was a very high priority for respondents in their internationalisation strategy. Participants in the workshops illustrated this with several concrete examples of collaboration, usually between a research-intensive university in the North and a Southern partner engaged in capacity building. The survey showed a higher number of collaborative ventures with Europe than with the US. It was emphasised that the main incentive for undertaking such collaboration should be to secure complementary benefits, such as opportunities for Northern universities to access natural laboratories (for instance geographical locations with high biodiversity) and for capacity building by Southern universities. Where collaboration was successful and enduring, it was usually built on common research interests. While the collaborative efforts were driven by the research staff, support from the university leadership seemed to be critical for their sustainability and ensured that research partnerships gave added strategic value to the whole institution. Both the surveys and workshops confirmed that government support, particularly in terms of funding, significantly improves the capacity to sustain international collaboration. Crossborder funding like that of the EU Framework Programmes would be highly beneficial as an added incentive. As regards capacity building, the most important issue discussed in the project was how to attain the critical mass of research needed to foster a research environment that nurtures doctoral education. Some countries attempt to meet this challenge on the systemic level, concentrating research capacity in a few research-intensive institutions, which are meant to supply the whole system with doctorate holders. 6 1 See Annex 2 for partner descriptions. Many universities engage in networks or partnerships with institutions with higher research capacity in other regions, in order to benefit from the critical mass there. In order for these partnerships to promote capacity building, they often entail a strong element of common institutional development, in which the partners aim to nurture a common understanding of issues such as good supervision and research ethics, as well as sharing their know-how in management and common programme development. Another important aspect of capacity building, especially concerned with knowledge transfer, is the exposure of doctoral candidates to other sectors and academic cultures. Exposure to the private sector in particular is central to establishing university-industry relations, which enhance the human resource development of all the partners involved. Investment in capacity building must be comprehensive. Much of the funding seems to be earmarked for the mobility of doctoral candidates in order to provide them with experience from other research environments. However, their mobility needs to be combined with the development of research environments, including the necessary infrastructure and human resources for growth and sustainability. Dialogue between institutions and the development of supervisory capacity is especially important. The conclusions of the CODOC project point to three major areas of convergence across the regions examined: 1. convergence in the discourse on doctoral education, emphasising its role in the knowledge society; 2. convergence in growth patterns with increased demand particularly from the university sector, but also from the non-academic labour market where the growing demand for doctoral staff might seriously worsen existing problems of staff retention within universities; the partner associations. The section on East Asia underlines the investments made in several countries in the region to establish research-intensive universities and engage in internationalisation. The section also demonstrates how some governments in East Asia are granting more autonomy to universities. The section devoted to Southern Africa focuses more on the discrepancies within the region, in which South Africa is by far the major provider of doctoral education. Within South Africa itself, disparity persists partly because of the country s past. The section concludes that the region needs more investment in research to provide better infrastructure, more funding and particularly more regional collaboration. The section on Latin America emphasises the concentration of research capacity in a small group of universities in the continent s major cities. It also examines specifically how Brazil and to some extent Mexico stand very much apart in terms of higher research output. The section argues for more collaboration with a clear capacity building purpose, in order to overcome the considerable challenges in the region concerning the retention of researchers. Finally, the section concerned with Europe demonstrates how the continent has been going through a process of modernisation of doctoral education, to a large extent promoted by the establishment of common structures for education and research in the Bologna Process and in the European Research Area. Despite important challenges, particularly relating to the retention by universities of their research staff, a converging global system of doctoral education has the potential to develop a worldwide research community that will fully embrace the richness of human knowledge and address the global problems facing mankind. 3. convergence in the interest shown in strategic collaboration, with universities engaging in several collaborative ventures either to develop capacity and attain critical mass of research, or to cement the global presence of researchintensive institutions. In order to give a more detailed overview of the four regions, this report also contains an annex devoted specifically to each of them in turn, which are based on the reports submitted by 7 I. Introduction convergence, collaboration and capacity building Doctoral education has become central to higher education and research policies. In Europe, for example, reforms in doctoral education have been a critical component of the Bologna Process and deemed vital to creating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, according to the European Commission s Europe 2020 strategy. 2 Doctorate holders should be trained through research yet capable of embarking on any of a broad range of careers, thus making the sectors they join more knowledge-intensive. In emerging and developing countries, increased attention is being paid to policies concerning doctoral education, as the rapidly expanding university sectors of those countries require more staff trained to conduct research and more robust research capacity. At the same time, the nature of higher education and research in the global arena is changing. Earlier decades saw clear US dominance in terms of providing graduate education and attracting international students, with universities in Europe, Australia and Japan next in line. Nowadays, Brazil, China and India have emerged as notable hubs of knowledge and are challenging the notion of a Northern hegemony in this area although they have far from broken it. In addition, other emerging countries are also investing considerably in graduate education and displaying remarkable growth trajectories with regard to PhD and research output and a general capacity to attract international talent. Graduate education is thus becoming multipolar and the centre of gravity is gradually moving away from the North Atlantic. Despite this race for research prowess, doctoral education is simultaneously becoming more collaborative on a global scale, as ease of communication, sharing of data and physical mobility have improved drastically within recent decades. What seems like a diffuse landscape for the provision of doctoral education is actually driven by strong currents of convergence in which the same issues and developments can be seen across different continents. The link between economic growth and investment in research and development is now cited as an almost universal truth, often regardless of national and regional contexts. Despite differing demographic outlooks, Northern countries and Southern countries alike are emphasising the fact that local knowledge is essential when it comes to solving any region s particular challenges, from water recycling in Singapore to prevention of malaria in Southern Africa. In ageing societies, a common approach to the problem of a shrinking workforce is to encourage the upgrading of qualifications and productivity by investing in doctoral education and subsequently injecting researchtrained professionals into the economy. The aim of this is to enhance innovation and added value and ultimately have a smaller active workforce produce more. By contrast, in societies where the demographic imbalance is tipped towards large cohorts of young people, the higher education sector finds itself under pressure to deliver better teaching to more students. The answer here is to upgrade the qualifications of new and existing research and teaching staff through research training. Emerging economies face the challenge of educating large cohorts as well as addressing ambitions to flourish as knowledge economies. In both scenarios, doctoral education has an important role to play. Doctoral candidates produce a large part of the research output of universities, whether through sizeable research teams or individual contributions. Moreover, doctoral candidates are likely to comprise the most mobile group of researchers, thus forming the backbone of much research collaboration. While these scenarios are largely concerned with national developments, they run parallel to a growing awareness of global problems. Climate change and food and energy supply are just three very clear examples of such problems, which reach beyond local research agendas. Attempts to respond to these challenges are almost unequivocally seen as requiring highly innovative approaches. In order to foster such innovation, young researchers need doctoral education that forges international partnerships, pools resources and provides dynamic and responsive research training. 8 2 European Commission (2010), Europe A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The CODOC project s underlying premise was that the new links between the global North and South imply more than Northern universities just initiating collaboration with new international players. One can identify a more explicit and articulated interest on the part of Northern universities in engaging in capacity building relationships with universities in developing countries across Southern Africa, East Asia and Latin America. The project attempts to illustrate how these relationships can be mutually beneficial, sustainable, and strategic facets of the international agendas of the universities involved. They form an important part of a varied portfolio of collaboration. Such long-term institutional partnerships might indeed prove (and should prove) to be a competitive advantage for those countries and institutions that cultivate them. This report will show how recognition of the importance of doctoral education has increased considerably in four world regions East Asia, Southern Africa, Latin America and Europe and how this is subsequently affecting universities and higher education systems in these regions. It summarises a project which has included internationally leading universities from advanced knowledge economies, as well as institutions taking initial steps to develop their research base. The report aims to demonstrate how doctoral education at the global level is knitted together in a pattern which is becoming more convergent, more complex and more inclusive. 9 II. The project 10 Precedents and vision The introduction to this report describes how the CODO
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