Contexts, Debates, Histories, and Futures of Postgraduate Education in Higher Education
Reimagining the development and administration of contemporary universities in the twenty-first century must include a reconsideration of the purposes, character, and effects of postgraduate education. Such a reconsideration must in turn entail interrogating the contexts in which postgraduate education is enacted, the debates attending those contexts, the histories marking the growth of key elements of postgraduate education, and also potential alternative futures for prospective initiatives and innovations in postgraduate education.
In foretelling the subsequent chapters in the handbook, clustered around five sections, this chapter assembles these contexts, debates, histories, and futures in ways that highlight that the genealogies of postgraduate education, as well as its current manifestations, are by no means consistent, even, or teleological. On the contrary, developments in one part of the world were resisted for considerable time in other parts, as illustrated by the widely divergent dates of the first awards of the PhD degree in different countries. At the same time, the chapter also accentuates the commonality and consistency of certain themes related to postgraduate education, including the expected contributions by doctorates to generating new knowledge, the sometimes countervailing pressures that such knowledge should have practical applications and implications, and currently the seemingly irresistible rise and global impact of neoliberalism in relation to doctoral study and supervision.
KeywordsDigital futures Doctoral supervision Historical perspective Managing doctoral programs Neoliberalism Postgraduate careers Postgraduate education Postgraduate pedagogy Student–supervisor relationships University contexts
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