Higher Education

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 741–757 | Cite as

The attainment of doctoral degrees at Flemish Universities: a survival analysis

Original Paper


This paper examines the propensity to attain a Ph.D. degree at the five largest universities in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. It provides insight into the rate at which junior scholars appointed at the universities involved attained their Ph.D.-degree, and the duration of the doctoral training period. Cox’s regression model was applied to statistically analyse the influence of a number of ‘demographic’ and ‘merit’ variables, and variables related to funding source and type of appointment of the junior scholarly staff. Large differences in Ph.D. durations and attainment rates were found across funding sources, research disciplines and types of appointments. The policy background and implications are discussed briefly.


Doctoral degree Flanders Belgium Attainment rate Survival analysis Time to degree Research funding 


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The study presented in this paper was commissioned and funded by the Flemish Council for Research Policy (VRWB). The authors are grateful to K. Vercoutere and E.␣Monard (VRWB); R. Bouillon, J.H. Houben, A. Verlinden and J. Billiet (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); M.C. van de Velde, H. Pyck, H. Page and H. Waege (Universiteit Gent); E. Spruyt (Universiteit Antwerpen); N. Rons and M. Gijsemans (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); A. De Backer (Universiteit Hasselt). The authors thank two anonymous referees for their comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO)The HagueThe Netherlands

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