Aligning doctoral education with local industrial employers` needs: a comparative case study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGermain-Alamartine, E., Moghadam Saman, S. (2020) Aligning doctoral education with local industrial employers` needs: a comparative case study. European Planning Studies, 28(2), 10.1080/09654313.2019.1637401
Doctoral education was primarily designed to answer the human resources needs of academia. However, nowadays, increasing numbers of doctorate holders seek employment outside academia. Accordingly, doctoral education can be one of the means by which universities take part in the development of industry in their regions. This study explores whether and how doctoral-level skills are being adapted to the needs of local industrial employers in two different contexts. Two research and science parks situated next to research-intensive universities in Sweden and Spain were chosen as cases for an exploratory and comparative study. In these parks, local industrial employers conduct R&D activities that make them potentially attractive destinations for doctoral graduates. Similarities in the cases were found regarding the process of adaptation of doctoral education at the adjacent universities to meet the industrial employers’ needs in the parks. Discrepancies are also highlighted regarding stages of development, institutional settings, geography and culture. Implications for several stakeholders are formulated to improve the process analysed in the study concerning better alignment of doctoral education with industrial employers’ need for generic skills.