University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 8809-8814
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1838
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Team supervision can be defined as the formally agreed supervision of a doctoral candidate carried out by two or more academics in the frame of a formation program. This type of co-supervision has become common practice all over Europe with the increasing demand for doctoral education. In fact, it is assumed that the advantages of co-supervision far outweigh the challenges and should be regularly considered by seasoned academics to enhance student learning. In addition, co-supervision is also thought to intellectually stimulating for academics.

The existence of two supervisors, however, can result in a complex situation if both of them are not in harmony when playing their roles. This demands special attention that becomes especially significant when co-supervisors draw from industry, professional and creative practice. However, in spite of the relevance of this issue, doctoral co-supervision remains under-explored in the academic literature.

The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) is generalist in its scope, and it currently runs 66 doctoral programs. The number of doctoral candidates has been slightly higher than 4000 for the last years. In this context, quantification of co-supervision is necessary, and to this purpose the methodology applied in this work consists of determining the number of supervisors required in the defended theses. Additionally, five modes for the doctoral supervision corresponding to UPV/EHU have been defined: (a) two UPV/EHU supervisors (2-0 mode), b) one UPV/EHU supervisor (1-0 mode), c) one UPV/EHU and one external supervisor (1-1 mode), d) one external supervisor (0-1 mode), and e) two external supervisors (0-2 mode). Obviously, cases b and d are not co-supervision modes.
A previous co-supervision study carried out for the field of pure sciences at the UPV/EHU shows that the number of supervisors per doctoral thesis within the 2014-2019 period of time varies from 1,55 to 1,76, indicating that the number of thesis with two supervisors is higher than the number of thesis with a single supervisor. Additionally, the percentage of co-supervised doctoral thesis takes values between 56% and 72%, indicating that the culture of co-supervision is well established in the field of sciences.

In order to complete that study, this works also explores the case for doctoral theses corresponding to:
a) engineering and architecture,
b) health sciences,
c) social and juridical sciences, and d) art and human sciences.

The results reveal a trend according with the increasing internationalization and industrialization of the doctoral studies at the UPV/EHU.
Doctoral co-supervision, culture of co-supervision, internal and external doctoral supervisors.