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​Image: Sofia Sabel

High quality at the graduate school product and production development

​The Swedish higher education authority has given Chalmers graduate school product and production development good assessments both in terms of the high scientific quality, and the connection to working life outside the academy.
​The adjudicating group, consisting of subject experts, doctoral students' representatives and working life representatives, believes that there are good conditions for keeping a high quality of the doctoral education product and production development. Among other things, they write in the report that the supervisors "collectively report an impressive scientific publication", and that "research in the current environment has such a quality and scope that postgraduate education can be conducted at a high scientific level and with good educational conditions".
 
It is also believed that the design, implementation and examination of the education ensures that the doctoral students "show intellectual independence, and scientific honesty as well as the ability to make research ethical assessments".
 
The research topic is inherently applied, and the assessment group mentions the good connection to working life outside the academy, and that most PhDs continue their career in the business sector after graduation. Professional skills are integrated into postgraduate education, for example through a career planning course.
 
All doctoral students at Chalmers take GTS courses (Generic and Transferable Skills). These courses also receive a special mention when it comes to the doctoral student's continued career opportunities both within and outside the academy.
 

Doctoral student perspective

The report also examines the education from the doctoral student's perspective. The report describes that there is a doctoral student council and a doctoral student ombudsman as well as social activities for doctoral students.
 
There is occupational health care, employee interviews, employee surveys and safety rounds for the Chalmers-employed doctoral students, and follow-up discussions on the doctoral studies for all doctoral students. Surveys show that the doctoral students generally experience a good work environment, but there are also indications that some experience high stress levels.
 
The report group also writes in its report that a "gender equality perspective is taken into account, communicated and anchored in the content, design and implementation of education". But that one had been helped by more concrete measures and aspects of gender equality linked to research tasks and the choice of research persons.
 
Overall, it is considered that doctoral students are given the opportunity to take an active role in the work of developing the content and implementation of the education, and that the education ensures a good physical and psychosocial work environment.
 
Göran Gustafsson, who is the director of studies for the graduate school product and production development, comments on the evaluation:
 
- We are, of course, very pleased to have received the status of high quality from ​the Swedish higher education authority. But we also see that there are things where we can improve ourselves and those areas we will naturally work harder with.

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Published: Wed 24 Apr 2019. Modified: Fri 26 Apr 2019