Forces & Forms in Doctoral Education – Kassel 2009

Higher education authorities from six continents and 21 countries have crafted specific, action-oriented recommendations that call upon policymakers worldwide to support doctoral education as an increasingly powerful way to help solve the world’s great challenges.

 The detailed recommendations call for sharing expertise and capacity between more developed and less developed educational systems through innovative, nonprofit networks; creating standardized classification systems for doctoral programs across disciplines; and encouraging educational systems to allow the kind of risk-taking in doctoral research that leads to major discovery; among other recommendations.

These and other recommendations were developed collaboratively March 23-27 at the “Forces and Forms of Change in Doctoral Education Worldwide” Workshop, held in Kassel, Germany. “The Policy Potential of Innovation and Internationalization in Doctoral Education” was the third in a series of conferences on doctoral education developed by Professor Maresi Nerad, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington Graduate School in Seattle, Washington. The 2009 workshop was co-hosted by Professor Barbara Kehm, the International Centre for Higher Education Research at the University of Kassel.

Working together

“Working together, network members created a kind of roadmap toward our collective desired future for doctoral education worldwide,” Dr. Maresi Nerad, CIRGE Director.
Three task forces explored and reported on internationalization and inequality in the distribution of intellectual capital; diversity in all its forms relating to doctoral study; and intellectual risk-taking, such as conducting research outside the mainstream.

Workshop participants are now actively communicating policy recommendations to affect the changes needed to help doctoral educational globally reach its fullest potential; to stimulate action affecting the cross-national flow of highly educated professionals; to move toward a more equal distribution of high quality doctoral education around the world; and to enhance many facets of economic, educational, and social cooperation.

Sponsors and supporters

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and a number of German private and public funders contributed to make the workshop a success: the German Research Foundation (DFG), Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft; ZEIT-Stiftung; Thyssen Foundation; the Hans Böckler Stiftung, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); and the University of Kassel.

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