About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5834-5840
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1388

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain


A. Teixeira1, M.J. Rosa2, J.F. Mendes1, J.A. Rafael1

1Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
2CIPES/DEGEIT - Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
The European policy for higher education, namely the Bologna Process, and the national assessment and accreditation agencies have played a crucial role in establishing quality assurance (QA) policies and practices in higher education institutions. Hence, in recent years internal QA systems have been developed within European universities, with the goal of assuring and improving the quality of universities’ processes, especially teaching and learning.

Despite all these developments, doctoral education has been left a bit apart from internal QA systems. Indeed, there is still a significant number of universities that so far have not incorporated this level of studies into their QA practices. Doctoral education is considered to be a bridge between research and education, which tends to make the development of adequate QA mechanisms harder, since the teaching and learning and the research and scholarship parts of the doctoral degrees need to be taken into account simultaneously if we intend to assure and improve their quality. This is a challenge when designing and implementing QA mechanisms for doctoral education, and one that the University of Aveiro choose to embrace. As such, the university’s doctoral school decided in 2016 to start designing a QA subsystem (SubGQ_PD) for their doctoral education offer, aligned with its internal QA system.

Assuming that a doctoral programme comprises a set of doctoral courses and research work, the university’s doctoral education QA system tries to answer the following question: how to assure and improve the quality of these two components? Regarding the doctoral courses, the system focus on the strong and weak points of the curricular units (number; type; programmatic contents; teaching and learning approaches; assessment methodologies; teaching staff; academic results), with the goal of acting correctively if needed, while also sharing the best practices.

The quality of the research work takes as unit of analysis the doctoral student and considers three different dimensions:
i) the scientific evolution of the work;
ii) the supervision;
iii) the resources available.

A set of forms – designated as reports – have been designed to operationalise the system, the main goal being to simplify the flow of information collected from the different actors, while allowing for the information to be available for all actors when needed. The whole system is based in four phases: diagnosis, improvement, implementation and supervision.

In the academic year 2016/17 the university has put in place the part of the system concerning the research work. Different actors intervene at different levels, including the students, their supervisors, other members of the academic staff, the programme director, the organic unit director and the Doctoral School’s director. This paper intends to describe the implementation of this part of the doctoral education QA system, including the steps followed, the challenges faced and overcame and the main results obtained. So far, the implementation allowed to identify good practices in the research work component, as well as to detect some problems related to the progression of the scientific work, the supervision and the lack of some resources, which were target for further analysis and corrective actions.
author = {Teixeira, A. and Rosa, M.J. and Mendes, J.F. and Rafael, J.A.},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1388},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1388},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5834-5840}}
AU - A. Teixeira AU - M.J. Rosa AU - J.F. Mendes AU - J.A. Rafael
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1388
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 5834
EP - 5840
ER -
A. Teixeira, M.J. Rosa, J.F. Mendes, J.A. Rafael (2018) IMPLEMENTING AN INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM FOR DOCTORAL EDUCATION, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 5834-5840.