Doctoral programmes in Europe’s universities/watching Europe from the USA

The Chronicle of Higher Education (5 September 2007) is profiling a new European University Association (EUA) report titled Doctoral Programmes in Europe’s Universities: Achievements and Challenges. The report can be downloaded (in PDF format) here.

It is also worth noting that while the Chronicle is ostensibly an objective news source, it is worth tracking too for it regularly has choice quotes from representatives of key American institutions (universities, associations, political bodies) that are both surveying and responding to competitive impulses from other regions of the world. This Chronicle story, for example, states:

Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, whose member institutions are primarily in the United States and Canada, has been a close observer of the transformations taking place in European higher education. “The challenge across the board in Europe is to find ways of putting in place administrative structures at an institutional level that will provide quality assurance but also stimulate innovation, and improve and advance the quality of the students’ experience,” she said.

European governments have been explicit about their ambitions for improving their international competitiveness through greater research capacity, and the changes taking place in Europe are undoubtedly making graduate programs and universities there more competitive, Ms. Stewart said. “I think that’s good for American graduate schools and universities,” she said. “We thrive on competition — we compete with each other, we understand how to compete.”

Thus you can partially acquire an understanding about dominant American logics, regarding the global geopolitics and economics of higher education restructuring, by reading the subscription-based Chronicle, and the high quality (and free) Inside Higher Ed website. And on a related note, where are the European media outlets that survey developments in the European Higher Education Area, let along the rest of the world? The Times Higher is far too UK-centric, and the Financial Times does a good job but it is a business newspaper. Interestingly the Chronicle‘s daily update is also sent out via email to subscribers at approximately 6:30 am (Eastern Time Zone in the US), just in time to be read when the US higher ed community begins waking up their computers. Between it, and Inside Higher Ed, American actors seem to be relatively better informed about what is going on at a broad scale than are the Europeans. I am happy to be corrected if you think I am wrong.


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