Universidad del País Vasco, UPV-EHU (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 4305-4310
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
The establishment of three cycles for higher education in the Bologna Process is the key element of this overarching framework. These cycles can be best understood by reference to internationally acceptable descriptors which have been developed jointly by stakeholders across Europe – the so-called “Dublin descriptors”. In particular qualifications that signify completion of the third cycle are awarded to students who a) have demonstrated a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field, b) has demonstrated the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity, c) have made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, some of which merits national or international refereed publication, d) are capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, e) can communicate with their peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise, and f) can be expected to be able to promote, within academic and professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society. Therefore, these third-cycle descriptors encompass the outcomes of research-based and professional doctorates, but they do not refer to particular forms of study.
Even if faculties usually have doctoral programs, in most of the cases they do not cover all the previously mentioned descriptors since most of the formation of the Ph students takes place in the bosom of research groups. In this sense, it must be underlined that in the Spanish universities research groups are not officially required to have specific formation plans for their students. In this context, the work herein presented consists of the design of a formation program for the Ph students elaborating their thesis in EIDOS: a group researching on Materials Science in the University of the Basque Country, with a internationally-contrasted long trajectory.
During the last years, EIDOS has been building its own management style inspired by the EFQM model. In fact, we have a process map with three main activities, and the formation of the doctorates is one of them. Therefore, this formation program is part of this key process. Thus, the purpose of this plan is double, as it is operative and diagnostic. This is, the EIDOS program for doctoral students has been designed to ensure a high-quality formation for the students, and at the same time it is a tool to evaluate the fulfilling rate. The design is based on a four-year period, and consists of several specific skills of our research topics that are linked to the third-cycle Dublin descriptors. Additionally, this work also describes the implementation of this program on several doctoral students during 4 years. The assessment has been carried out in terms of the achievement of autonomy, and the efficiency of the plan has been assessed both by senior evaluation and auto-evaluation by using a global indicator. The results are rather good (a fulfilling rate higher than 75%). The work herein presented also describes the adopted improvement actions to get better results, in accordance with the EFQM spirit of excellence and innovation.
Doctoral students, formation plan, EFQM, excellence, autonomy indicator, innovation.