22 SES 15 B, Looking Ahead: Current Shifts in Trends, Practices and Preferences (Part I)
Symposium Part I, to be continued in 22 SES 16 B
The discussion about the transition of doctoral studies in Germany is a discussion full of contradictions. One the one hand, Germany is characterised by a high share of graduates transitioning into doctoral training – especially in fields like chemistry, biology, and medicine – and a high share of doctorate holders employed outside academia as compared to international standards (e.g. Consortium for the National Report on Junior Scholars, 2017). On the other hand, German science policy actors still strongly focus on the definition of an ideal-typical research doctorate and its function as an entry ticket for an academic career (e.g. Leopoldina et al., 2017). While for example in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia doctoral degrees e.g. in terms of research, professional, and industrial doctorates are formally codified (e.g. Kehm, 2020; Kot & Hendel, 2012) – reflecting that doctoral education does not exclusively serve the reproduction of scientific workforce – no such distinction does currently exist in the German higher education and science system. Moreover, a possible distinction between doctorates that are more research-oriented and those that are more profession- or practice-oriented is discussed at most marginally or with regard to specific research fields such as medicine (Leopoldina et al., 2017). Our contribution empirically explores contemporary differentiation in the purpose of the doctorate by using survey data from the German National Academics Panel Study (Briedis et al., 2020). We analyse current practices of doing a doctorate which suggest that a functional differentiation is already in place, although it does not become manifest in the type of degree. By applying latent class analysis, we first identify typical patterns of research, practice, and professional orientation among doctoral candidates. In a second step we show how these patterns vary across research fields. Conceptually we build upon studies about the distinction between different types of degrees (e.g. Kehm, 2020) as well as more general diagnoses about the transition of the doctorate (e.g. Enders & De Weert, 2004; Nerad, 2020). Against this backdrop and our empirical findings we discuss potential implications for the development of the doctoral degree in Germany.
Briedis, K., Lietz, A., Ruß, U., Schwabe, U., Weber, A., Birkelbach, R., & Hoffstätter, U. (2020). Nacaps 2018 Daten-und Methodenbericht zur National Academics Panel Study 2018. Consortium for the National Report on Junior Scholars. (2017). 2017 National Report on Junior Scholars. Statistical Data and Research Findings on Doctoral Students and Doctorate Holders in Germany. Enders, J., & De Weert, E. (2004). Science, Training and Career: Changing Modes of Knowledge Production and Labour Markets. Higher Education Policy, 17(2), 135–152. Leopoldina, Acatech, & Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. (2017). Doctorate in Transition. https://www.acatech.de/publikation/promotion-im-umbruch/download-pdf?lang=en Kehm, B. M. (2020). Reforms of Doctoral Education in Europe and Diversification of Types. In S. Cardoso, O. Tavares, C. Sin, & T. Carvalho (Hrsg.), Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Eudcation. Social, Political and Student Expectations. (p. 85–104). Palgrave Macmillan. Kot, F. C., & Hendel, D. D. (2012). Emergence and growth of professional doctorates in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia: A comparative analysis. Studies in Higher Education, 37(3), 345–364. Nerad, M. (2020). Governmental Innovation Policies, Globalization, and Change in Doctoral Education Worldwide: Are Doctoral Programs Converging? Trends and Tensions. In Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Education: Social, Political and Student Expectations (p. 43–84). Palgrave Macmillan.
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