22 SES 08 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Over the past three decades, higher education has expanded considerably in Finland as well as in all over the world. Undergraduate education has been part of “massification” of the university (Trow 1974) but also the number of post-graduate qualifications, in particular the "doctor production", has grown significantly. Today more than 1700 doctors graduate annually in Finland which is 30 per cent more than at the beginning of the 2000’s. The significance of the doctoral education has grown more important in the prevailing higher education (HE) policy. In the current funding model of the universities the number of the doctoral degrees is an important criterion for the universities and for the units. Since 1996 doctoral education has been developed systematically by organizing national graduate schools. New type of graduate schoolswith several doctoral programs in every university were introduced in the beginning of 2014. The objectives of the reforms have been to integrate doctoral studies more tightly into universities’ research strategies and profiles as well as to accelerate studies and make them more professional (Academy of Finland 2012). However, Finnish doctoral students are still pursuing their studies in varying conditions and life-situations.
The massification of the HE has meant that undergraduate students’ backgrounds have become more heterogeneous in age, previous educational path, social and cultural background and in study aims (Aittola 2001; Välimaa 2001). However, this does not mean, that meritocracy in higher education has become the reality. Children of highly educated parents are still applying and getting a student place in universities more often than the brood of the less educated parents (Nori 2011; Rinne, Haltia, Nori & Jauhiainen 2008).
The admittance into university and success in studies is not simply a matter of good motivation, study skills or talent, but also of social selection, an adequate cultural and social capital and habitus (Reay, Crozier & Clayton, 2009; Wakeling 2005; Bourdieu 1996). There are plenty of studies conserning heritability of education, but they are limited principally to the undergraduatestudents. Studies concerning doctoral students published in Finland mainly address learning practices, guidance and evaluation (e.g. Vuolanto & Pasanen 2007), as well as the doctors' employment(Ministry of Education 2010). There is no study available examining the selection or inheritance of doctoral education in Finland. However, some research on the subject has been done in other coutries (see e.g. Wakeling 2005; Mullen, Goyette & Soares 2003).
In our paper, we present the research project in which we examine the selection of students in doctoral programmes in Finland. We are interested in the continuation of the social selection even after the master's studies and what is the selection like (in relation to the selection in the master’s studies). An interesting question is, whether “the long arm” (see e.g. Rubenson 2007) of the family is extended up to a doctor’s degree. The aim of this study is to clarify: (1) social backgrounds and life-situations of the doctoral students in Finland in the beginning of the 21st century, (2) what kinds of effects the cultural, social and economic capitals of the families have on educational selection, when students are starting their postgraduate studies increasingly younger age? (3) where do the postgraduate students come from regionally? (4) differences between the faculties and the fields of study in regard to the social backgrounds and the gender of the postgraduate students. The goal is to draw a comprehensive picture of the Finnish doctoral students in the 2010s.
Academy of Finland, 2012. Towards quality, transparency and predictability in doctoral training. http//www.aka.fi/Tiedostot/Liitetiedostot/Doctoral_training_2012_en.pdf Aittola, H. 2001. Academic life and the pressure of massification. In J. Välimaa (Ed.), Finnish higher education in transition: Perspectives on massification and globalisation. Jyväskylä, Finland: University Printing House. Bourdieu, P. 1996. The State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power. Cambridge: Polity Press. Ministry of Education 2010. Tohtoritarve 2020-luvulla. Ennakointia tohtorien työmarkkinoiden pitkän aikavälin kehityksestä. [PhD need in the 2020s. Anticipation of a long-term development of PhDs labor market.] Mullen, A.L., Goyette, K.A. & Soares, J.A. 2003. Who Goes to Graduate School? Social and Academic Correlates of Educational Continuation after College. Sociology of Education 2003, Vol. 76 (April), 143-169. Nori, H. 2011. Keille yliopiston portit avautuvat? Tutkimus suomalaisiin yliopistoihin ja eri tieteenaloille valikoitumisesta 2000-luvun alussa. Turun yliopiston julkaisuja C:309. [For whom will the university gates open? A study of the selection for admission to Finnish universities and fields of study in the beginning of the 21st century.] Reay, D., Crozier, G. & Clayton, J. 2009. ‘Strangers in Paradise’: Working class students in elite universities. Sociology 43(6), 1103-1121. Rinne, R., Haltia, N., Nori, H. & Jauhiainen, A. 2008. Yliopiston porteilla. Aikuiset ja nuoret hakijat ja sisäänpäässeet 2000-luvun alun Suomessa. Suomen Kasvatustieteellinen Seura – Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia – Research in Educational Sciences 36. [On the gates of the university. Adult and young applicants and admitted-ones in the 21st century in Finland.] Rubenson, K. 2007. Participation in Adult Education: The Nordic Welfare State Model. In Rinne, R., Heikkinen, A. & Salo, P. (eds.) Adult Education – Liberty, Fraternity, Equality? Turku: Suomen Kasvatustieteellinen Seura, Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia 28. Trow, M.1974. Problems in the transition from elite to mass higher education. In Policies for Higher Education. Paris: OECD, 51-104. Turner, R.H. 1960. Sponsored and contest mobility and the school system. American Sociological Review, 25(6), 855-867. Vuolanto, P. & Pasanen, H-M. 2007. Toteutuuko tohtorikoulutus paremmin tutkijakouluissa kuin niiden ulkopuolella? Tiedepolitiikka 3/2007, 7-22. [Is doctoral training better organized in graduate schools than outside them?] Välimaa, J. 2001 (Ed.) Finnish Higher Education in Transition – Perspectives on Massification and Globalisation. Jyväskylä: Koulutuksen tutkimuslaitos. Wakeling, P. 2005. La noblesse d’etat anglaise? Social class and progression to postgraduate study. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 26, No. 4, September 2005, 505-522.
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