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Innovation,collaboration, and gender in national policies on doctoral education: Shapesfrom Sweden and South Africa in the 21st century
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 2011, the European Research Area (ERA) outlined several principles of innovative doctoral training such as research excellence; exposure to industry and other relevant employment sectors; transferable skills training; and quality assurance (Vittorio 2015). Similar policies and guidelines can also be found in doctoral education across the globe, where the request for innovation and societal collaboration is urgent (e.g. Association of American Universities 1998/2017; Australian Council of Learned Academies 2016; HEQSF 2013; Swedish Government Bill, 2008, 2009, 2016). At the same time, it is known that the general conditions for innovation vary across countries (Meeus & Edquist 2006), and that global policy trends are construed and organised differently at national level in doctoral education (Andres et al. 2015). Combined with the fact that gender differences have been found in many studies on doctoral education in general (Jones 2013), it is significant to ask: What are the contextual and gendered conditions for doctoral students to develop their innovative and collaborative capability?

 

In our first approach to this problem field, we will present preliminary results from our analysis of some conditions at macro level in Sweden and South Africa. From a comparative perspective, we will elucidate how expressions of innovation, societal collaboration, gender and related concepts have occurred and converged in their national policies and guidelines on doctoral education in the 21st century. We will use summative content analysis for analysing data, which implies an interpretative process of “identifying and quantifying certain words or content in a text with the purpose of understanding the contextual use of the words or content” (Hsieh & Shannon 2005, p. 1283).

 

Comparing Swedish and South African doctoral education is well justified. Doctoral education is highlighted as a means to increased innovation and collaboration with society in the national policies of both countries. However, they also differ in their organisation of doctoral education, and their societal needs (e.g. for the South African context, see: National Planning Commission 2011). We assume that these differences should reflect nationally diverse ways to conceptualise innovation, societal collaboration, gender and related concepts in policy documents on doctoral education. Also, such a comparative perspective enables deeper understanding of the contextual conditions in Swedish doctoral education.

 

For the purpose of this conference, we will delimit our literature review to Swedish studies on doctoral education. While such studies are generally rare (Elmgren et al. 2015), they are almost non-existent in relation to innovation and collaboration. Some of these studies are rather focused on research policies and institutional conditions in general (Langfeldt et al. 2015; Stensaker & Benner 2013), than on doctoral education per se. Others are more concerned with doctoral students’ conditions for societal collaboration in practice (Andræ Thelin 2009; Bienowska & Klofsten 2012; Heldal 2016; Lundqvist & Benner 2012; Bienkowska, Klofsten and Rasmussen 2016; Wallgren 2007). However, when it comes to studies on innovation, there is dearth in the research literature. But we do know that doctoral students’ creativity is not always encouraged (Brodin 2015, 2016, 2017), and that other scholars have expressed similar concerns (Wingren 2015). Such results matters, as meta-analyses show a strong correlation between individuals’ creativity and innovation and also that contextual factors influence their innovative output (Sarooghi, Libaers & Burkemper 2015). We also know that concepts such as independence, critical thinking, and communication skills are frequently associated with innovation and collaboration (Cobo 2013). Thus our will include such related concepts in our analysis.  

 

This conference contribution aims at distributing our study to a Swedish audience, while the same results will be presented at the international Quality in Postgraduate Research conference (QPR) in Adelaide, 17-19 April 2018.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-74580OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-74580DiVA, id: diva2:1210199
Conference
Högre Utbildning, Lund
Available from: 2018-05-27 Created: 2018-05-27 Last updated: 2018-05-27

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Silander, CharlotteBrodin, Eva

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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