Crossing borders in preparing doctoral candidates and supervisors for global research contexts

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education in a Globalized World Vol. 37

July, 2014, 352 pages
Published by
A. Kwan, E. Wong, T. Kwong, P. Lau & A. Goody

Doctoral education represents an important path for entry into the global research community. At the same time, doctoral degrees contribute to modern societies by aiming to produce competent researchers. Being a successful doctoral supervisor adhering to global requirements involves several qualities. For example, having research capabilities, being knowledgeable in and across disciplines, understanding diverse cultures, language sensitivity, cultivating interpersonal relationships, exercising mentoring/guidance skills and having appropriate knowledge of unique national and institutional doctoral regulatory systems. This paper reports on a five-year longitudinal study involving three senior academics from three different countries (England, Israel and South Africa) that collaborated on cumulative research and developmental efforts concerning doctoral education and professional supervisor development. The project emerged through four distinct phases and explicit developmental strategies while the research component involved a pilot study, qualitative reporting from participants and reflective statements by the three senior academics. Findings point to at least four implications for the global promotion of doctoral and supervisor practices: (1) When the professional development of supervisors is broadened to include global quality criteria, the effectiveness of candidates and supervisors may be enhanced; (2) Developmental opportunities emphasising doctoral outcomes and what such outcomes mean globally are important for effective supervision; (3) Universities need research-based guidelines for professional development to actively support doctoral supervisors in their various and multiple roles; (4) More explicit criteria and research are needed regarding doctoral features to promote originality, scholarship, academic rigour, research design and research dissemination in global contexts. 

Crossing borders in preparing doctoral candidates and supervisors for global research contexts

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Bitzer, E., Trafford, V. & Leshem, S.