Doctoral Education in Knowledge Economies

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In many respects, globalisation has to drawn various social contexts across the world into a single vortex and created a complex, lucid and global sociological condition. This progressively emerging new social condition across the globe has made a fundamental impact upon the traditional understanding and the production of knowledge. This change has been brought about by the demand to meet the ever-increasing needs of the global knowledge economy. In this new environment, the utilization of tradable knowledge is seen as major contributing factors in societal evolution of the global citizenry.

This paper will outline and discuss the sociological context of the global knowledge economy and the way in which it has come to impact upon doctoral education across the globe. The thesis of this paper is to lay claim for an “emergent doctorate”, which I argue, is an innovative response in higher education to the new social context of the globe. I will establish a case for the emergence of this new doctorate with reference to some major initiatives in doctoral education. Predominant among these initiatives are: the changes in the nature of research, flexible linkages to industry, diversification of PhD design and expected outcomes, flexibility to include new areas of human endeavour, increased part-time candidature, international mobility, relationship to e-learning, inter-disciplinary and cross-functional team work and work-place-based research. Related to these developments is also the socio-educational phenomenon of “professional doctorates” in the 1990’s and their differentiation to the traditional PhD. In comparing the weaknesses and strengths of the two types of doctorates, I will demonstrate the collective contribution of the two types of doctorates have made to the emergence of the “new doctorate” to meet the needs of the new global knowledge economies.


Keywords: Doctoral Education, PhDs, Professional Doctorates, Knowledge Economy and Higher Education, Knowledge Economies and Doctorates, Higher Education, GLOBALISATION
Stream: Knowledge
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr Ruwan Palapathwala

Senior Lecturer, Education, Trinity College the University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

DR. Ruwan Palapathwala holds Masters Degrees in Philosophical Theology and Adult Education Theory and a PhD in Religious Studies. Currently is completing a second PhD in Doctoral Education Policy and Practice. He lectures in Asian Religions in the United Faculty of Theology of the Melbourne College of Divinity and in Education and Religion and Culture at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne. He has published widely on the intertextuality of the Holy Books, globalisation for the common good, interfaith dialogue, terrorism and religious fundamentalism, suffering, ageing and spirituality in later life.

Ref: H08P0418