Joint Doctoral Supervision across Countries: Changes, Challenges and Considerations

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Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education (Innovations in Higher EducationTeaching and Learning, Volume 6), 2016, pp. 259 - 280
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Many universities international activities have increased enormously in volume, scope, and complexity in recent years (Altbach & Knight, 2007; Altbach, 2015) with education providers seeking more innovative ways to provide education across boundaries. Joint doctoral degrees are one example of such an initiative, focusing on international collaboration between institutions. Joint doctorates can provide richer and more rewarding learning experiences for PhD students, supervisors and colla- borating institutions. However, all the parties involved also need to be aware of the potential challenges and considerations that underpin effec- tive outcomes, as well as the key differences between joint degree docto- rates and doctorates with more traditional approaches. It has been pointed out that the literature on joint degree programmes is ‘thin’ pro- viding limited information for institutional leaders (and other parties involved in their setting up and conduct) who may be contemplating joint degree initiatives (Michael & Balraj, 2003). This chapter draws on a unique case study of a joint doctoral programme that operates across continents and academic cultures to illustrate the challenges and consid- erations that should be borne in mind prior to entering into joint doctoral arrangements. Various ways in which the associated challenges may be overcome are also suggested in order to support effective outcomes for all the parties involved.
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