Conditions for learning and supervision in doctoral education
In the aftermath of new forms of steering and funding, doctoral education is under transformation. The formalization of doctoral education, along with changing conditions for research, have consequences for supervision and doctoral students’ learning. How does this development affect doctoral students, supervisors, and academia in general, which is dependent on doctoral education for its broad and multifaceted mission? Doctoral students are expected to develop creativity, critical thinking, independence, and communication skills for the future of both academia and the wider society. But what does this actually mean? How is such learning developed, and what are its prerequisites in various contexts?
Developmental research in Africa
At AHU, we continuously conduct developmental research in collaboration with researchers from several countries in Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. The research projects aim at developing postgraduate education in these countries in order to contribute to sustainable societal development, including reducing poverty and increasing equality. One of these projects is financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR), and it aims at encouraging social innovations among Masters students in East Africa. In collaboration with researchers from, e.g. Kenya and Uganda, there is another ongoing study based on internationally comparative analyses of examinations in doctoral education. In parallel, we also employ a study with South African researchers in which we analyse the literature on doctoral education from a gender perspective.
Would you like to know more? Contact Eva Brodin.
Doctoral education determined by the requirements of research
Supervisors’ projects and research grants are today increasingly used as the foundation for doctoral education. This blurs the boundaries between supervision and project management, and between education and research production, which may obscure the doctoral students’ learning and development towards independence. For some time now, we have been conducting research on doctoral education and supervision in the medical faculty at Lund University. Similar to other medical faculties in Sweden, the very large population of doctoral students found here (ca 1200) is to a large extent financed by the supervisors’ external project funding. We are interested in what this entails for the doctoral curriculum, supervisors and supervision, and the students’ learning.
Would you like to know more? Contact Anders Sonesson.