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Curriculum

The internationalisation of the curriculum can take various forms, ranging from basic language changes to complex collaborations:

    The internationalisation of the curriculum can take various forms, ranging from basic language changes to complex collaborations:
  • Offer all courses in English and include a course for PhD students to improve their English writing and presentation skills.
  • Check course material on the variety of literature, making sure it comes from a range of countries, with special attention for academic work from developing countries.
  • Organize seminar series, workshops, or similar events for PhD students in which international guest lecturers participate.
  • Organize events specifically aimed at PhD candidates from other countries and research networks.
  • Develop and implement digital, long-distance learning tools. Digital means of learning promote blended learning and foster time- and location-independent ways to participate as an international PhD student.
  • Example: Erasmus Graduate School for Social Sciences and Humanities has developed three MOOCS as well as several E-learning courses [Link1] [Link 2].
  • Make international mobility and participation a compulsory part of the PhD trajectory. This requires the allocation of funds and ways to validate the work done abroad.
  • Example: Funding made available by Loughborough University (Midlands Graduate School) for overseas international visits and international conference attendance.
  • Organize international collaboration in the form of joint or double degrees, whereby part of the programme takes place at a foreign institution.
  • Example: The Global PhD Partnerships of the Leuven International Doctoral School for the Humanities and Social Sciences are a good example of this. One Leuven researcher or a team of researchers can apply for a four-year doctoral track, to be supervised in cooperation with one peer or several peers at a partner institution. Approval of the candidate is inseparably linked to a guarantee of co-funding by the international partner for at least two years of the doctoral grant [PhD Partnerships]
  • Example: The Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Programme of Leuven International Doctoral School for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The aim is to give foreign students the opportunity to conduct PhD research in a ‘sandwich’ system, which means that 50% of the research takes place at KU Leuven and 50% at the home institution of the scholar, supported by a local co-promoter. The scholarships are offered to proposals that deal with a development-relevant research topic, preferably linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. The PhD degree is awarded by KU Leuven.
  • Example: PhDnet ‘Literary and Cultural Studies’, developed at the University of Helsinki. Members of the PhDnet pursue their doctoral studies at six partner institutions, where their projects are jointly supervised. Moreover, they are awarded degrees within a co-tutelle framework. The PhDnet offers a clearly structured three-year doctoral programme with a distinctively international orientation [PhDNet].
Best Practice

The Train-the-Trainer programme of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki offers training in university pedagogics and academic supervision to make sure that supervisors of international candidates are fully aware of the specific challenges and needs [Pedagogical Courses].

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