How Effective Are Doctoral Schools? Organisational Characteristics and Related Objectives


In: Cardoso S., Tavares O., Sin C., Carvalho T. (eds) Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Education. Issues in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp 175-202.

Lukas Baschung

Since about two decades, new organisational units called ‘Doctoral schools’ suggest activities to doctoral students, like further education, multiple supervision or career promotion, in addition to the traditional apprenticeship model. A large variety of organisational forms has been established. Based on public management literature and data dealing with Swiss higher education, the present chapter examines doctoral schools’ effectiveness by paying attention to their objectives and organisational structure. Results show that exogenous factors, like the form of the network collaboration, type of inception and developmental stage, indeed have a certain impact on the doctoral schools’ effectiveness. However, it also seems possible to compensate exogenous factors, which a priori do not represent the best preconditions for effectiveness, by endogenous factors like resource availability and common purposes.