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An entrepreneur to define a quality standard for the French doctorate

Laurent Cousin

According to Christian Philip, the author of a report on partnerships to build between universities and Grandes Écoles, the definition of such a standard should in particular help combat “heterogeneity in the quality of PhDs trained."

In his report on partnerships to build between universities and Grandes Écoles recently submitted to Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Christian Philip, professor at the University of Lyon III, recommends confiding the mission of defining a quality standard for the French doctorate to an entrepreneur.

Appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, this entrepreneur would make suggestions “first to approve such a goal and the target figure of desired progress." The person would then suggest measures to taken to “define a quality standard for the French doctorate and verify that outlets exist for PhDs.” Such a standard would especially help combat “heterogeneity in the quality of PhDs trained."

In his report, Christian Philip expresses regret that “grandes écoles” students are not attracted to doctoral studies and pinpoints corporate responsibility for this situation. The measures put in place to palliate this phenomenon are “insufficient.” An example is the graduate student consultants – a good idea” but too limited in its implementation “due to the lack of missions offered by companies.”

He also calls for the "necessary" rapprochement between national research organizations and training institutions as well as between Universities and “Écoles” to enhance the dissemination of research.
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