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How shall we know them? Capturing the diversity of difference in Australian doctoral candidates and their experiences.

Version 2 2024-06-03, 08:24
Version 1 2014-10-28, 09:23
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 08:24 authored by M Pearson, J Cumming, Terry EvansTerry Evans, P Macauley, K Ryland
Although there is general agreement that doctoral students and their experiences are diverse, in what respect this is true is in question. Most institutional practices in the collection of data in this regard have been established to satisfy government reporting requirements and concerns, such as funding, participation and equity, and efficiency. Missing is more detailed and nuanced quantitative data and analysis, complementary to those of qualitative studies, to illuminate the nature and extent of doctoral student diversity and the effects on the quality of their candidacy. Drawing on select data and findings from a national survey of Australian doctoral candidates conducted in 2005, the article questions the utility of commonly used categories for quantitative data collection and analysis, and their use as the basis of (sub)groupings to represent doctoral diversity. In so doing, it presents a more complex picture of doctoral candidature that depicts the idiosyncrasy of the individual experience, as well as generic characteristics. Central to the argument is that doctoral candidates are diversely different, bringing varying goals, expectations, career histories and family and community responsibilities beyond the academy, that shape their engagement with their candidacy.

History

Journal

Studies in higher education

Volume

36

Pagination

527-542

Location

Oxon, England

ISSN

0307-5079

eISSN

1470-174X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal, C Journal article

Copyright notice

2011, Taylor & Francis

Issue

5

Publisher

Routledge