TOWARDS AN STANDARIZATION PROCESS OF A HIGH QUALITY DOCTORAL EDUCATION STAGE
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:One of the most important challenges of the twenty-first century society is higher level education. The social and economic context of today's society demands for qualified and competent people who can perform in different professional fields. The educational institutions should adapt to this reality and offer a high quality education, even from the earliest stages of training in primary school to higher education at university.
In the present context of global economic crisis, unprecedented changes in the previous decades point out the imminent need for staff training to the doctoral degree since future PhD staff will be the real motor driving the society out of the crisis. The models of the economic growth resulting from the globalization of capital and from the production activities in recent decades do no longer allow an important part of the developed economies to project growth rates needed to maintain social welfare levels. Therefore, governments have to define policies and actions aimed at accelerating economic growth to pay attention to the research, development and innovation in enterprises in order to play a good role in a global market competence field.
Consequently, the doctoral training stage will be in the spotlight in the following years since it will have to meet the needs that society researchers demand for those profiles that can increase business productivity and economic growth. Thus, in recent years the interest in doctoral studies has increased for the creation of job profiles with a high level of readiness to stop being targeted to university lecturer profiles and meet the demand of doctors in private companies to enhance the economic growth of society through knowledge using research, development and innovation as tools. However, the doctoral stage at universities is conducted in a completely arbitrary way, absolutely linked to the profile of the director of doctoral thesis and most of the times far away from the needs of the society. Nowadays, we are attending to significant changes in education related to the Bologna process where quality and uniformity must be ensured in all the educational stages. Furthermore, doctoral education, as the last and highest educational stage, must be analysed and formulated in a similar way.
In this paper, we will be evaluating the current state of the formation stage of PhD students and their relationship with the doctoral supervisor. The presented work shows the lack in the final stage of education in which there is no regulating action of the process of the supervisor and of the PhD student. We analyze the different profiles of doctoral supervisors found in Spanish universities and evaluate the educative needs of future PhD students. Finally, we propose an initial training stage for the thesis supervisors to guide their involvement in the leadership work of ensuring maximum transfer of knowledge and skills to graduate students. Thus, the work is a step towards the progress in the investigation of the quality of research and standardization of the process of obtaining a doctoral thesis as a claim to the future needs of our current society, which will use knowledge as an economical catalyst.
Keywords: Professional education, globalization, doctoral degree.