An innovative course that aims to produce a new generation of doctoral supervisors kicked off this year at three South African universities. The plan is to roll out the free course to other universities to raise the country’s PhD output.
The seven-week course was piloted at Rhodes University, the University of Fort Hare and Durban University of Technology. (...) - University World News, by Ishmael Tongai, 04 May 2013, Issue No:270
Rising tuition fees means postgraduates think twice about continuing their studies.
The near trebling of the cost of undergraduate degrees in England this academic year has made some postgraduate fees seem almost bargain basement by comparison. So what have universities done? They have started to raise them. (...) - by Liz Lightfoot, The Guardian, Wednesday 6 March 2013
Director lays out workforce initiatives geared towards early-career scientists.
For years, the US National Institutes of Health has struggled with promoting non-academic career tracks for biomedical scientists, gauging the supply of PhD holders and demand for research jobs, enticing under-represented minorities into science and establishing funding avenues for early-career researchers. Hoping to bring some evidence-based clarity to these issues, NIH director Francis Collins asked two working groups of the NIH Advisory Committee to study the issues and make recommendations. They released their recommendations in two reports in June; Collins responded in December. (...) - by Gene Russo, Naturejobs, Nature 493, 443-444 (2013)
Biomedical Careers - Although some social scientists and biomedical researchers have complained that U.S. universities are training far more graduate students and postdocs than will ever find jobs in academic research, and others argue that any potential oversupply will find jobs in industry or other sectors, almost everyone agrees: The current training system takes too long and isn't designed to prepare young biomedical scientists for nonacademic jobs. So last week, the National Institutes of Health announced a plan to prepare scientists for a range of careers, move students through their Ph.D.s faster, and bolster the pay of postdocs. Officials say the changes are not aimed at reducing or even stabilizing the number of graduates but are intended to improve the training experience. (...) Science, Vol. 338 no. 6113 p. 1405 , by Jocelyn Kaiser, 14 December 2012
In its first ten years, the US National Postdoctoral Association has helped to raise the profile of postdocs. But championing their cause still presents challenges.
Before Alyson Reed became head of the US National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), she had only the vaguest ideas about what a postdoctoral researcher does. (...) - Nature (Naturejobs) | 489, 461-463 (2012) | 19 September 2012 | by Karen Kaplan
Analysis of doctorates prompts concerns over adequacy of scholars' training, reports Jack Grove
Questions have been raised about whether many scholars are "little or no better qualified than those they are teaching" following an analysis of the latest data on how many academics have a doctorate.
In the study, Malcolm Tight, professor in higher education at Lancaster University, found that just 45.7 per cent of academic staff appeared to possess a doctorate. (...) - By Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 1 November 2012
Are confidence and real world knowledge the key to impacting on government? Mariell Juhlin, Puay Tang and Jordi Molas Gallart find that academics working with government benefit from an ‘expert’ effect as having an academic background enhances credibility when dealing with policy colleagues.
The good news for anyone with a PhD or studying for a PhD is that having a doctoral degree equips social scientists in Government with both greater confidence and ability to apply a whole range of methods and solutions to real world problems. In addition to this “expert” effect, having a PhD did also enhance the credibility of the holder in interactions with policy colleagues as well as with external academics. The fact that social scientists with a Masters or a PhD also had higher positions within the Civil Service (controlling for age, gender and years in service) suggests that higher qualifications, and the skills associated with these, are valued by Government employers. (...) Blog Impact of Social Sciences, Oct 12, 2012
Reportage à Harvard et au Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) aux États-Unis, où étudiants et enseignants français nous font partager leur expérience de la pédagogie américaine au regard de leur parcours en France, alors que ces universités d’exception bénéficient de moyens faramineux pour accompagner leurs étudiants. Dépaysement garanti à l'heure de la rentrée universitaire française. (...) - educpros.fr
La majorité des universités de recherche du monde occidental ont été créées sur le modèle de l’Allemand Wilhem von Humbold : liberté académique et recherche scientifique au cœur de l’enseignement supérieur.
Un article du Chronicle of Higher Education, publié le 25 février dernier, nous apprend que les Allemands accordent une grande importance au titre de Ph.D., car ce titre est synonyme de mérite personnel, une preuve de détermination, de volonté et de persévérance pour mener à terme des études de haut niveau sur un sujet spécifique. (...) - Blog L’éveilleur, Mars 8, 2013
Luanda - Les Universités "Agostinho Neto" (Angola), Newcastle (Royaume Uni) et l'ONG Institut Planet Earth (PEI) comptent lancer prochainement un Centre pionnier de Recherche de Doctorat pour la durabilité, à Luanda, en Angola. (...) Angola Press, 05/03/2013
The German minister for education and research finds herself this evening with no university degree. After a long-running investigation into accusations of plagiarism in Annette Schavan's 1980 Ph.D. dissertation, the University of Duesseldorf today revoked the German minister's doctoral degree (link in German). Because Schavan completed her Ph.D. on an accelerated program, she did not earn any other university degree. (...) - ScienceInsider, by Gretchen Vogel on 5 February 2013
Emerging regions have robust collaborations, but need more researchers.
Researchers are in demand in east Asia, Latin America and southern Africa — regions not considered traditional scientific powerhouses — where doctoral-degree holders tend to leave academia for government or the private sector, says a report. CODOC — Cooperation on Doctoral Education Between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, published on 4 October by the European University Association (EUA) in Brussels, examined international collaboration across fields at universities to assess efforts to build research capacity. It documents ample international collaboration at universities in east Asia and an increasing number in Brazil and Mexico, but notes the need for more research investment in southern Africa to expand such efforts. Thomas Jørgensen, head of the EUA's council for doctoral education and author of the report, says that increasing collaboration hasn't made it any easier to retain academic faculty members at universities in the three emerging regions. But early-career scientists who are willing to leave their home countries can find posts that match their research specialities, he says. “The need for early-stage researchers is desperately there,” adds Jørgensen. - Naturejobs,
The postgraduate system in the UK's universities is failing to produce the number of highly skilled staff needed by a modern economy, according to the Higher Education Commission, which says the system is geared towards attracting overseas students rather than training more UK students, reports Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
The commission’s report warns that the UK is falling behind in investing in research and calls for urgent reform of the postgraduate sector, saying that in its present state it will cause long-term problems for the UK's economy. A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said: "We recognise there are some concerns." (...) - - University World News, BBC, 28 October 2012
Germany's Minister for Education and Research Annette Schavan is facing serious accusations of plagiarism from the University of Düsseldorf, which granted her Ph.D. in 1980. In a report leaked to two prominent German media outlets over the weekend, a university reviewer concludes that Schavan's dissertation includes many passages that display "the characteristics of a plagiaristic approach."- by Gretchen Vogel, ScienceInsider,15 October 2012
Un court article publié dans le journal interne de l’Université Laval nous a interpellés. On peut y lire que lors d’une journée carrière destinée aux étudiantes et étudiants des cycles supérieurs, François Y. Doré, adjoint du vice-recteur aux ressources humaines et directeur du Bureau des affaires professorales et du personnel enseignant et de recherche, présentait aux participants le marché de l’emploi en enseignement universitaire :
« … Les perspectives d’emploi sont excellentes dans pratiquement toutes les disciplines pour au moins les dix prochaines années. Pendant cette période, les universités canadiennes devront remplacer 21 000 professeurs qui partiront à la retraite ou quitteront l’enseignement, le scénario le plus pessimiste étant l’engagement de 9000 professeurs et le plus optimiste, de 15 000. » (...) - Université de Sherbrooke