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
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>
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.
The questionnaire consisted of four parts with questions on:
Structure of Doctoral Education
Status of Doctoral Candidates
Funding Channels, Mechanisms and Modes
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
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
In a few responses, Research Councils were cited
as an important additional agency with some responsibility for
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
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,
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/
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,
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
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
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
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