Praise for Irish ‘professionalising’ postgraduate research education

A new international report has commended Irish higher education institutions for ensuring both the standard of awards, and the quality of student experience, by ‘professionalising’ the delivery of postgraduate research education and training in Ireland.

The report was published by an international expert team within the European University Association.

The expert team investigated the level of implementation of the National Framework for Doctoral Education (NFDE), identified examples of good practice within the Irish higher education sector and provided recommendations on further implementation and deepening the practice of provision.   

The report recognised that Irish higher education institutions have reformed their doctoral education in line with developments in continental Europe through broad consultation, and the provision of a coherent set of guidance documents through the NFDE. 

The report makes a number of recommendations regarding the future course of doctoral education:

• Enhance collaboration between institutions in doctoral training;

• Improve the student representation in governance;

• Improve career development supports offered;

• Work with alumni and employers to develop ‘soft skills’ training;

• System to track the careers of research graduates;

• Revamp the current NFDE Advisory Forum to build a community of practice;

• Improve the promotion of the ‘Irish doctorate’ abroad.