Analytical Framework for Researching Doctoral Education and Training Based on a Comparison of the Australian, German and US Models

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Christian SCHNEIJDERBERG, University of Kassel, Germany
Comparative studies about doctoral education and training mostly focus on disciplinary differences within a country or on analyzing cross-country commonalities and differences on the policy level. A common challenge faced by comparative studies of doctoral education and training is the methodological approach due to empirical diversity, and, as a consequence, analytical depth of results. Accordingly, despite the many studies we know little about effects and mechanisms determining the outcomes of doctoral education and training, as for example the ongoing debates about completion, attrition or drop-out, and time-to-degree show.

In the presentation it is argued that a better understanding of the design of doctoral education is the key to better understand the complex interrelationships of individual and structuring features. Based on a comparative case study of the three distinct types of the Australian, German, and US models of doctoral education and training an analytical framework was generated, composed of seven characteristics: 1) admission and recruitment, 2) primary status, 3) study load (differentiating between curriculum and tailored courses), 4) work/study obligations, 5) completion requirements, 6) quality (evaluation and assessment), and 7) future employment and career. The analytical framework can be used as a multidimensional grid for the study of determinants and outcomes of doctoral education and training.