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Doctoral Education’s Reform in Switzerland and Norway

A Public Management Analysis

Lukas Baschung

Since the beginning of the 21 st century, doctoral education has gained an increasingly important place on the reform agenda of higher education institutions and also at national and European policy levels. By paying particular attention to the characteristics and role of recently emerged Doctoral and Research Schools, this book examines on a broad empirical basis what this reform consists of in two small but scientifically and economically successful countries – Switzerland and Norway. This reform also raises the question to what extent power shifts take place regarding the doctoral process. Thus, does the «Thesis director» lose his or her power at the expense of other actors? Observed shifts are characterised through components of varying Public Management Narratives. In order to consider existing variety, case studies have been chosen on the basis of four variables – type of national political system, size and type of higher education institution and type of scientific discipline. This methodological framework allows not only illustrating variation in the reform process and its causes but also the development of a new University Governance Scheme.

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Part 1: Setting the Field 7

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Part 1: Setting the Field I. The Reform’s Initiation and First Analysis This first chapter is divided into two main sections. The first section deals with the arrival of the issue “doctoral education” on the European reform agenda at several levels, whereas the second section develops doctoral education’s analysis in scientific literature. I.1. The Arrival on the Reform Agenda Within a few years doctoral education in Europe developed from a non- issue to an object of policy making. “The doctoral level of training, learning and work has been a stepchild for many countries as well as for European policies until recently. In recent years, a sense of urgency emerged as far as expansion, institutionalization and financial support for doctoral study are concerned” (Teichler 2006: 36). Thus, it is not anymore considered an affair between the doctoral student and his professor or department. But it became a hot topic at the institutional, national and even supra-national level (Kehm 2006). I.1.1. European Movements At the European level, doctoral education is put on the agenda in the framework of two different but complementary policies. The European Union is the creator of the first policy, the “Lisbon Agenda”. This policy aims at achieving an extremely ambitious goal for Europe, namely “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and a greater social cohesion” (European Council 2000: 5). Several strategies shall help to achieve this goal. One of them is the...

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