Higher Education Policy

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 493–514 | Cite as

Collaborative Doctoral Education: University-Industry Partnerships for Enhancing Knowledge Exchange

  • Lidia Borrell-Damian
  • Timothy Brown
  • Andrew Dearing
  • Josep Font
  • Stephen Hagen
  • Janet Metcalfe
  • John Smith


This paper summarises the findings of the first stage of a pan-European study of collaborative doctoral training, which has examined programmes involving private sector partners. While studying for a doctorate has traditionally been seen as preparation for a job in academic teaching and research, for many candidates today (currently around 50%) this is a prelude to a wide range of careers. New programmes aim to offer the rigour of the conventional doctorate while giving more exposure to the nature of research in other sectors of the economy. Our analysis has revealed that these programmes are increasingly driven by the development of more strategic approaches to collaborative research and knowledge exchange. On the basis of the experiences reported by stakeholders, the paper suggests working practices and supporting policy measures that can address the (potentially conflicting) requirements for a high quality of education, sound research and adequate preparation for diverse career pathways. The paper also highlights the need for better data on, and more systematic tracking of, career pathways to improve confidence in the quality and suitability of all types of doctorate courses.


doctoral programmes professional development research utilisation 



The authors acknowledge the European Commission contribution to this project sponsored under a Specific Support Action within the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme. The authors also acknowledge the support provided by Edwige Chassagneux, who performed much of the work associated with the corporate interviews while separately studying for her Ph.D. under the French CIFRE system.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidia Borrell-Damian
    • 1
  • Timothy Brown
    • 2
  • Andrew Dearing
    • 3
  • Josep Font
    • 4
  • Stephen Hagen
    • 5
  • Janet Metcalfe
    • 6
  • John Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.European University AssociationBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Mobile Communications Centre for Communication Systems Research, University of SurreyGuildfordUK
  3. 3.European Industrial Research Management AssociationParisFrance
  4. 4.Departament d’Enginyeria Química, ETSEQ, Universitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragonaSpain
  5. 5.University of Wales, Caerleon CampusNewportUK
  6. 6.Vitae, CRAC, Sheraton House, Castle ParkCambridgeUK

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