Research capacity implications for government, universities and disciplines from research into Australian PhD theses and their graduates’ scholarly, professional and community impacts
Evans, Terry and Macauley, Peter 2010, Research capacity implications for government, universities and disciplines from research into Australian PhD theses and their graduates’ scholarly, professional and community impacts, in Proceedings of the 2010 World Universities Forum, Common Ground, [Davos, Switzerland], pp. 1-14.
The authors (with colleagues) have conducted research into Australian doctoral education for over a decade. Two recent projects have produced as part of their outcomes: a database coded by discipline of all Australian PhD theses (dissertations) from 1987–2006. This paper commences with an overview of this work in terms of its purposes, research methods and outcomes. It is contextualized in terms of the current Australian and international debates about the nature, substance and impact of doctoral education on nations, societies, communities and economies. The paper presents some analyses of trends in the 1987–2006 Australian PhD theses. The period 1987-2006 covers several major changes in university education in Australia from the impact of the establishment of the Unified National System in the early 1990s, through the implementation of the Research Training Scheme (RTS) from 2001, the deliberations and demise of the Research Quality Framework (RQF), the rise of Excellence in Research Australia (ERA), through to the review of research training and the research workforce in Australian universities by the House of Representatives. The paper presents and tabulates a variety of trends from the bibliometric and bibliographic data, in particular those relating to the ebb and flow of PhDs in particular disciplines. The implications for national, institutional and disciplinary planners and policymakers with interests in the development and sustainability of research capacity are discussed.
Field of Research
130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective
939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category
E2.1 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
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