PD Dr. habil. Helmut Brentel Consulting & Training in Higher Education
PD Dr. habil. Helmut BrentelConsulting & Training in Higher Education

Focus on Working Fields - Doctoral Schools and Doctoral Supervision


Concept and support of Consulting & Training in Higher Education is focussing on two core working fields of doctoral education, on

  • establishing and evaluating doctoral schools and umbrella graduate schools
  • improving research supervision and supervisor training

The issue is that most probably we will not be able to gain further development and to reach the high quality needed in doctoral education if we reduce our effort to isolated measures and actions.

What we in contrary are urgently in need of are approaches with the full set of comprehensive measures and innovative ideas in order to create high synergy effects with strong and sustainable impact.

This means to understand that an outstanding development of doctoral schools and supervision quality is not an either or. Both are highly dependent core areas in an integrated overall field.

It is not possible to develop excellent doctoral supervision and supervisor training without the guidance, moderation and support of newly structured doctoral schools, and we of course cannot speak of an outstanding doctoral school if it is is not able to design and to implement a comprehensive set of supervision measures and to provide professional supervisors training for a very supportive and productive supervision culture.

Because of many restrictions which we are facing we cannot reach all benchmarks immediately. But nevertheless we have to be definitely clear that the overall benchmark is the orientation on the best practice examples of integrated approaches of comprehensive measures and strategic planning and not to evaluate effort and performance related to limited standards and practices.

The benchmarks, the orientation for reflection and action have to come from the richness of our best practice examples in Europe and world wide. Only a demanding international comparative approach is able to shape the way to future development – and it opens sometimes a great chance for younger and easier moving universities.