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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 2: Empirical Results 71

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Part 2: Empirical Results IV. Doctoral Education in Switzerland and Norway This chapter aims at presenting knowledge about the specific Swiss and Norwegian contexts with respect to doctoral education. Thereby, the following individual case studies can more easily be situated, understood and interpreted. The chapter is divided into four main sections. In the first section, reforms and issues of reforms in relation with doctoral education of the approximately last twenty years – varying according to the country – are dealt with. Within these elements, the upcoming of the idea of doctoral and research schools is particularly stressed. In the second section, the varying legal situations of doctoral education in the examined countries are shortly presented and compared. The third section quantifies doctoral education of both countries. Besides illustrating the role of doctoral education within both national higher education systems, this section also allows introducing some wider implications dealt with in the fourth section. The latter points to some broad issues of Swiss and Norwegian higher education with which doctoral education and the related reforms are in tight interplay. IV.1. Reforms and Issues of Reform The following section provides an overview of reforms and reform issues with respect to doctoral education, which have come up over the last decades. Particular emphasis is put on the role of the national governments. Besides depicting the upcoming of doctoral education as an issue on the national reform agendas of Switzerland and Norway, this focus gives also the opportunity to illustrate the (partly changing) role of the...

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