Preliminary findings from EUA Survey on Funding of Doctoral ...

Preliminary findings from EUA Survey on Funding of Doctoral ...

ong>Preliminaryong> ong>findingsong> ong>fromong> ong>EUAong> ong>Surveyong>

on Funding of Doctoral Education in

The Bologna Process Countries

Dr John H Smith

Deputy Secretary-General, ong>EUAong>

Nice, 8 th December 2006

Policy Context for the ong>Surveyong>

Bergen Communique places emphasis on:

Improving synergies and increasing the number of doctoral

candidates taking up research careers.

Particular importance attached to meeting the needs of the

wider labour market for highly skilled professionals.

Salzburg Ten Principles: Number 10

Ensuring appropriate funding; the development of quality

doctoral programmes and the successful completion by

doctoral candidates requires appropriate and sustainable


Key Issue:

How do the present funding arrangements and status of

doctoral candidates work for and against the attractiveness

of research careers and the widening employability


The ong>EUAong> ong>Surveyong>

Target Group

Questionnaire was sent to all BFUG governmental delegates. Recipients

were asked to gather responses ong>fromong> other public agencies outside their

Ministries (Education and/or Research) where necessary, to provide an

accurate picture of national arrangements.

ong>Surveyong> Questions

The questionnaire consisted of four parts with questions on:

Structure of Doctoral Education

Status of Doctoral Candidates

Funding Channels, Mechanisms and Modes

Funding Levels

Responses Received (31)

Andorra, Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Belgium-Wallonia, Bosnia

Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland

France, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta,

Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden,

Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom (including separate response ong>fromong>


ong>Preliminaryong> Findings – Some Necessary Caveats

1. Short timeframe for survey response (one month) – some

countries where there were several funding bodies to be

consulted were not able to meet deadline (e.g. Germany)

2. Doctoral Education is under reform in many countries with

new national legislation only recently in place – hence

responses were incomplete in many cases.

3. Few responses were received on funding level support for

doctoral candidates.

4. Consequently preliminary results will be presented here as

overall trends arising ong>fromong> the responses to date.

Structure of Doctoral Education

Jurisdiction for Doctoral Education

In the majority of responses received (16), the Ministry

that had jurisdiction over both Education and Research

was the main agency responsible for doctoral education.

In 8 country responses, the jurisdiction rested with the

Education Ministry.

In a few responses, Research Councils were cited

as an important additional agency with some responsibility for

doctoral education.

In only one response (Denmark) was the Ministry for Research

cited as the main responsible agency.

Overall Finding – confirms a varied structure across Europe

in terms of jurisdiction for doctoral education.

Organisation of Doctoral Education

Overall trend – points to a move away ong>fromong> individual based to structured

programmes but further analysis required as to whether the main trend is

towards a mix of different organisational types or towards doctoral schools.

Doctoral education as Number Country

Individual based (1) 5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus,

Georgia, Malta, Montenegro

Structured programmes only (2) 3 Estonia, Lithuania, Spain

Doctoral/graduate research

schools only (3)

3 France, Liechtenstein, Turkey

Mixed (1) and (2) 10 Andorra, Austria, Belgium-

Flanders, Czech Republic, Greece,

Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Romania,


Mixed (2) and (3) 1 Norway

Mixed (1) and (3) 2 Belgium-Wallonia, Netherlands

Mixed (1), (2) and (3) 6 Denmark, Finland, Sweden,

Switzerland, UK including separate

response ong>fromong> Scotland

Status of Doctoral Candidates

Overall trend – in most countries doctoral candidates are cited as students rather

than employees although the status is, in reality, mixed. There exists a wide status

continuum ong>fromong> self financed to scholarship funded to university employees who

all usually perform tasks, e.g. as teaching assistants.

Time to degree (TTD) is invariably longer than the normal duration of

funding for doctoral education in many countries.

Status Number of countries Countries

Students only 7 Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland,

Latvia, Russia, UK including Scotland

Employees only 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark,


Mixed 17 Andorra, Austria, Belgium-Flanders,

Belgium-Wallonia, Cyprus, Finland,

France, Greece, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,

Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain,

Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey

Funding Channels, Mechanisms and Modes

Overall trend – two thirds of the respondents allocate funds as lump sum

payment ong>fromong> the government ministry. Competitive grants are also used in half

the respondent countries. But in one third of the respondent countries, the

mechanisms are mixed.

Funding mechanism Number of Countries Countries

Lump sum ong>fromong>


9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus,

Greece, Latvia, Montenegro,

Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland

Competitive grants 4 Andorra, Finland, Malta, Turkey

Mixed 10 Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark,

Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania,

Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK

Special funds for



9 Andorra, Estonia, France,

Netherlands, Norway, Romania,

Switzerland, UK including Scotland

Modes of fund allocation for doctoral candidates

Overall trend - Scholarship/fellowship grants are the main mode of funding doctoral candidates,

although in half of the respondent countries salaries or teaching assistantships are also given.

However, in most cases a mix of modes is used to fund doctoral candidates.

Allocation mode Number of


Salaries only (1) 0



Teaching assistantships (3) 0


8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia,

Lithuania, Poland, Russia Scotland, UK

Mixed (1) and (2) 4 Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden

Mixed (1) and (3) 1 Montenegro

Mixed (2) and (3) 4 Andorra, Latvia, Romania, Spain

Mixed (1), (2) and (3) 10 Belgium-Flanders, Cyprus, Estonia, France,

Greece, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta,

Switzerland, Turkey

Modes of fund allocation for doctoral programmes

Overall trends – in relation to the responses received, when grants are given to doctoral

programmes, more often they are given on the basis of linkage to research projects (21)

rather than to institutions (16). But, again, it is important to note that most countries use a

mixture of funding modes.

N.B. International sources of funding were also cited in the responses ong>fromong> many countries,

particularly EU FP schemes such as Marie Curie Research Training Networks/Schemes. Nordic

countries cite the importance of regional programmes such as NordForsk.

Allocation mode Number of countries Countries

Grants for research


Grants to institutions/

academic units

9 Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, Finland,

Malta, Montenegro, Romania,

Russia, Spain, Turkey

4 France, Georgia, Liechtenstein,


Both 12 Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic,

Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Latvia,

Lithuania, Poland, Sweden,

Switzerland, UK

Funding levels of support for doctoral candidates

Weakest point of the survey results.

Very few countries provided responses on questions related to funding levels.

Some countries supplied information on the minimum to maximum amount of

public grants to doctoral candidates.

The amounts varied greatly across those European countries that responded.

Non-EU and EU New Member States generally have lower levels of funding,

below €5000 per year. In EU Member States the amounts indicated ranged

ong>fromong> €7000 to €20000 with the higher end corresponding to salaries (and

hence the status “mix” of doctoral candidates).

N.B. Internationalisation of doctoral education in BFUG countries. Great

diversity demonstrated in the responses ranging ong>fromong> 1% to more than 40%.

Broadly speaking, respondent countries fell in three categories with

international doctoral candidates constituting less than 10%, between 10 –

20%, and over 30%. The size of the country, language, cultural and historical

links with foreign countries and specific policy initiatives offer a range of

explanations for performance in these categories.

Tentative Conclusions ong>fromong> the ong>Preliminaryong> Analysis

ong>Surveyong> data demonstrates the quite varied jurisdictions and

responsibilities for the funding of doctoral education in European

countries between government ministries, research councils and other

funding agencies

ong>Surveyong> data tends to confirm that funding support is moving

towards more structured doctoral programmes with focus on

critical mass-building and research schools, on a competitive funding


ong>Surveyong> results suggest that there is a substantial gap between the

Bologna 3rd Cycle “policy push” and the limited availability of data on

essential issues, in particular the current levels of funding support

received by doctoral candidates, necessary to develop evidence-based


Implications for the implementation of Bologna 3rd

Cycle Reforms

Doctoral education is the key formative stage of a research

career (in both academic and non-academic sectors) and

hence funding problems and opportunities have to be

addressed here. Attractiveness of future career in research

is determined largely at the doctoral stage and hence the

status and financial support of the doctoral candidate needs

to offer adequate incentives.

ong>Surveyong> preliminary ong>findingsong> tend to re-inforce the need for

greater consultation and coordination at the national level

between government ministries, research councils and

other funding agencies (including European Institutions) on

doctoral programme financing and career development.

Work in Progress!

Further analysis of the survey responses is underway.

Non-responders to be encouraged to complete the


Final report will be prepared and its main ong>findingsong> fed into

the report for the London Conference.

Thanks extended to:

All respondents who have completed the demanding


Alexandra Bitusikova who has coordinated the survey at


Yukiko Fukasaku who has provided expert input to this

survey task and its analysis.

Thank you for your attention

For further information visit:

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