PHD in European Universities

Left to right: PhD student Daria Taradai, PhD student Oleh Ivanov, Head of PhD programme Mass Communications Yevhen Fedchenko, PhD student Anastasia GrynkoYoung Ukrainian researchers can now defend their EU-style PhD theses in partnership with EU universities.TEMPUS, an EU higher education programme, has helped to facilitate a breakthrough in the Ukrainian education system through funding significant reforms in the national higher education sector.

On October 11, 2013, a TEMPUS project aimed at reforming PhD programmes in Ukraine and Georgia held its final reporting meeting in Kyiv. The meeting participants discussed the results of the project, which implemented European practices around learning and research and reformed the higher education systems in the two countries.

???????????????While the Ukrainian post-secondary education unit (soviet “aspirantura”) operates mostly for control and qualification functions, contemporary European doctoral schools help PhD students integrate into the global research community. Within the EU-style system, PhD students have the opportunity to establish close links with a global community of peers, and have their research results and methodology evaluated by leading experts around the world. Additionally, future researchers gain not only the required field-specific skills and knowledge, but also develop abilities that are critical for a successful career. For example, they gain experience initiating research projects, presenting and disseminating research results for wide audiences, fundraising, and managing research.

This new type of doctoral school, based on the best EU standards, is now being established at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA). Thanks to the TEMPUS project and its consortium, the school has already made considerable progress, including establishing online open-access journals and refining the procedure for PhD defense and degree-granting criteria. Additionally, it drafted the “Doctoral School Code of Practice” and established a Learning Management System.

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