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Topic: The Global Ph.D.
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,657
Registered: 12/3/04
The Global Ph.D.
Posted: Jul 3, 2014 8:53 AM
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From The Chronicle of HIgher Education, Thursday, July 3, 2014. See
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/03/conference-considers-internationalization-phd-programs#sthash.59qAxjZJ.dpbs
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The Global Ph.D.

By Holly Else for Times Higher Education

Internationalizing the doctoral training process could help to
overcome negative perceptions about the employability of Ph.D.
students outside academia, said participants at a recent conference.
Universities in several countries are beginning to think of new ways
to cater for the rising number of overseas doctoral students,
speakers at the European University Association's annual meeting on
doctoral education told delegates in Liverpool.

International doctoral students offer a "cost-effective" way for
institutions to build international links. But problems surrounding
complex visa rules, falling domestic student numbers and the cost of
running international joint doctoral programs remain.

The number of domestic doctoral candidates at Australia's University
of Queensland started dwindling in 2008, according to the head of its
graduate school, Alastair McEwan. To compensate, the university has
enrolled international students, who now make up about 40 percent of
the doctoral student body.

The shift is "most dramatic" in engineering, architecture and IT,
where departments are "heavily reliant" on overseas students, he
said. He added that the university is investing in this area because
Ph.D. students "are absolutely critical" to research output and are
"a very cost-effective way to promote international linkages."

McEwan said that the benefits international doctoral candidates bring
to the institution "cannot be overestimated". Their presence offers
students a "breadth of knowledge about other cultures."

"That is an important transferable skill that should be part of a
student's employability development. Internationalization of the
Ph.D., or international interactions, could help us overcome some of
the negative perceptions about the employability of Ph.D. students
outside academia," he added.

But he said that having overseas students enrolled on doctoral
programs was a one-dimensional method of internationalization. "The
next stage is to start thinking about other ways," he said, adding
that the answer did not lie in Ph.D.s that are run jointly with
overseas institutions.

"These come with a high overhead as they are very hard to manage....
I'm not convinced that this is the most efficient or effective way to
manage things in the long run," he added.

American institutions are also seeing a rise in the number of
overseas doctoral candidates in science, technology and engineering
subjects. The vice provost and dean of Cornell University, Barbara
Knuth, said: "We should be concerned in the U.S. in terms of [what]
our doctoral pool will be for economic development purposes."

She said that the nation's immigration policies are "complex and
quite limiting."

"Doctoral students are eager to come to the U.S. to study, but we are
not very good at encouraging them to stay after their degrees," she
added.

Cornell is now working to internationalize the doctoral experience
for all students. Internationalizing the Ph.D. process would help to
expand a graduate's professional networks and employability, she said.

At the institutional level, it will broaden intellectual discoveries,
help academics to address complex global problems and increase the
visibility and exposure of the institution globally, she said.

Jean Chambaz, president of the University of Pierre and Marie Curie
in France, said that universities needed to move beyond memoranda of
understanding when it comes to working together internationally.

"We need focused, balanced programs on questions of common interest
that include multilateral doctoral candidates and staff circulation,"
he told delegates.
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