The rationale, challenges and benefits of joint degrees as a new form of doctoral education

Fourie-Malherbe, Magda ; Botha, Jan ; Stevens, Dorothy (2016)

CITATION: Fourie-Malherbe, M., Botha, J. & Stevens, D. 2016. The Rationale, Challenges and Benefits of Joint Degrees as a New Form of Doctoral Education, in M. Fourie-Malherbe, R. Albertyn, C. Aitchison & E. Bitzer. (eds.). Postgraduate Supervision: Future Foci for the Knowledge Society. Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS. 313-333. doi:10.18820/9781928357223/19.

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INTRODUCTION: The phenomenon of international joint doctoral degrees where two (or more) higher education institutions across national borders assume joint responsibility for the offering, examination and award of a doctoral qualification, is a relatively recent trend in higher education worldwide. Little research has been done on this form of doctoral education, and virtually none in South Africa where universities started exploring the offering of joint degrees about 10 years ago. For the purpose of this chapter we examined this new form of doctoral education at Stellenbosch University in South Africa – a medium-sized research-intensive university with approximately 35% postgraduate students. Our investigation was guided by the following research question: What is the rationale for engaging in joint doctorates and what are the challenges and benefits associated with this new form of doctoral education as experienced at Stellenbosch University?

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