UBC Graduate Profile - Diplomatie Joint PhD Degrees The UBC approach Jenny Phelps, Assistant Dean Faculty

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  • Joint PhD Degrees

    The UBC approach

    Jenny Phelps, Assistant Dean

    Faculty of Graduate Studies

    The University of British Columbia

    UBC Graduate Profile:

    • ~9,500 graduate students; 35,000 undergrads

    • More than 200 Master’s and PhD programs in nearly all academic disciplines

    • Over 2500 international graduate students from more than 100 countries

    • Ranked 30th in world’s top universities (2010 Times Higher Education University rankings)

  • PhD study at UBC

    Admission requirements

    - Master’s degree (diplôme d'études approfondies)

    OR

    - Bachelor Degree (Diplome d’Ingenieur; Gradué en

    Ingénierie Maitrise; Magistere; Licence) of very high

    standard (Bien/Trés Bien)

    AND

    - English Proficiency (TOEFL minimum = 80)

    - Evidence of research potential

    Phase I: Pre-Candidacy

    – Take all required courses – Pass a comprehensive exam – Gain approval for a research proposal

    Doctoral Students:

    – Should advance to candidacy within 2 years, and must within 3

    – Should complete all degree requirements within 5 years of

    enrolment and must within 6 years

    “Advance to

    Candidacy”

    Phase II: Candidacy

    – Complete a research project (dissertation)

    – Defend the thesis at a Doctoral Oral Examination

  • Joint and dual/double degree programs…

    • Understanding the terminology is critical:

    - ‘joint’ means a single degree is awarded

    - ‘dual/double’ means two degrees are awarded

    - ‘degree’ refers to the qualification NOT the parchment(s)/diploma(s)

    • Masters – BOTH joint & double degrees valuable – widespread, well established & understood

    • PhD – joint PhD OK – a dual/double PhD would require two theses and has little support internationally

    • The French Co-tutelle has successfully led the way for Joint PhDs for many years

    “Joint PhD” at UBC

    • UBC Academic Senate approved structure in 2009. • Must be single degree awarded • Final approval of all arrangements delegated to Dean

    of Graduate Studies

    • Three students formally admitted to Joint PhD programs thus far:

    – University of Edinburgh (Political Science) – Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar (Interdisciplinary Studies) – Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Electrical & Computer

    Engineering)

  • U 21 International Jointly Awarded PhD Degree

    “A jointly awarded PhD is a single qualification conferred upon a student

    on completion of a collaborative program of work designed, supervised &

    examined by the two universities”

    Normally characterized by:

    • meeting the academic requirements of both universities

    • agreement regarding the lead university

    • joint supervision and examination

    • a single degree awarded for one PhD thesis

    • parchment(s) issued that explicitly state that there has been joint

    supervision and examination

    Each student’s collaborative PhD program is

    • Unique to their project and goals • normally established at the outset of study

    (must occur before advancing to candidacy)

    • the subject of a separate Memorandum of

    Agreement, which is

    • approved by the student, both partner

    Universities and the identified supervisor/s

    (advisor/s) of each partner University

  • Each Joint PhD Agreement stipulates:

    • one university designated as the lead university • at least one supervisor from each university • agreed periods of residence at each university (at least one year) • assurance of access to university facilities • each university admitting the student according to their own procedures • examination procedures as agreed by the two universities • any other issues, such as coursework requirements and funding/tuition

    arrangements, that may need to be specified

    • an explicit agreement regarding how Intellectual Property Rights will be dealt with

    • the thesis normally written in the language of lead university (with a substantial summary written in the other language, if different)

    • degree parchment(s) that explicitly reflect the joint nature of the award

    Joint PhD degrees provide a mechanism for:

    • access to unique and/or sophisticated research equipment and resources, and to world class faculty

    • undertaking research of explicit global significance • facilitation of international study and experience for our PhD

    students

    • enhancement of joint international collaborative research between universities

    • access to additional sources of student financial support - including eligibility for scholarships/awards at both participating universities,

    • enhanced recruitment of excellent graduate students • development of personal attributes of international leadership,

    partnership and global engagement

  • UBC Joint PhD enrolment procedure

    After gaining preliminary support from the two supervisors…

    • A “Joint PhD Agreement” form must be jointly developed between student & supervisors (information may ultimately

    be transferred to French ‘co-tutelle’ agreement format)

    • Draft agreement sent to Dean of Graduate Studies for review and revisions

    • Student must apply and be accepted to the specific UBC PhD program (may be prior to or simultaneous with Joint PhD

    Agreement development)

    • Agreement circulated for required signatures at both universities; one original must be on file in FGS Dean’s office.

    Upon graduating

    Normally results in one parchment from each

    university, both carrying notation along the

    lines of:

    “Awarded as a single degree under a Joint PhD

    arrangement with ”

  • Challenges/concerns…

    • The ‘parchment problem’

    - two parchments/diplomas does not mean two ‘degrees’

    - the degree parchment(s) must clearly reflect the joint nature

    of the single award

    • ‘Double-dipping’

    - not relevant to the Joint PhD if it is seen as a single degree

    • Issues of Intellectual Property Rights can be difficult to manage so must be resolved at the outset (and returned to if

    & when necessary)

    …Challenges/concerns

    • Doctoral degree structures are quite different in different systems and this can make arrangements complex. For example…

    - in North America, often 2 years coursework, more breadth,

    comprehensive exams, longer duration, funding sources (many by

    TAs & RAs)

    - Europe – 3 yr UG degrees, little required PhD coursework, direct

    entry from UG, shorter duration

    • Joint PhD degrees are time consuming to manage and should be reserved for the very brightest students who will specifically benefit

    from the access to joint supervision and international research

    locations

  • Benefits and opportunities for students

    Joint PhDs enhance considerably the students’ research and

    employment opportunities on an international scale

    • Clear benefits are access to:

    - an academic research program enhanced by the collaboration of

    two different high-quality research environments and cultures

    - training and facilities of two research-intensive universities

    - the added value of international networking

    - a head start in future career planning, networking and professional

    development