Evaluation of Aarhus BSS Graduate School

An international assessment panel visited Aarhus BSS Graduate School for two days during the Spring of 2015. The panel consisted of four internationally renowned researchers. The panel was chaired by Professor Thomas Rønde, Copenhagen Business School, and included Professor PerOla Öberg, Uppsala University, Professor Xavier Groussot, Lund University, and Professor JT van der Vaart, University of Groningen. During the visit the panel met with among others PhD students, supervisors, programme chairs, and the faculty management team. 

The evaluation report recognises that the Graduate School is well-functioning and supportive of the individual PhD programmes in providing PhD training of high standards. Furthermore, the report points to the important role of the Graduate School in recruiting the best talent. Another important conclusion of the report is that the Graduate School is internationally oriented with a significant share of international PhD students. Furthermore, it is recognised for its awareness of the value of stays abroad at foreign universities bring to a PhD project.

Even though the report is predominantly positive, it also contains recommendations for improvements. For example, some of the larger PhD programmes offer a relatively large set of PhD courses whereas other programmes offers fewer courses. This can make it difficult for the PhD students to take courses of direct relevance to the PhD project. The panel therefore recommends that all PhD students get equal access to courses. Another recommendation concerns supervision and here the panel suggest that the student-supervisor match should be evaluated after the first year to ensure the best possible progress of the PhD project.

Furthermore, the report concludes that a longer stay at a high-ranking university is a valuable learning experience. However, PhD students often have started a family and are at an early career stage. It can therefore be difficult to finance a stay abroad. The report recommends that the rules regarding finances for stays abroad are made more flexible to include shorter stays as well as longer stays, which will be more compatible with a family life.

The PhD committee has started initial deliberations about the conclusions of the report and will continue working with the recommendations during the Fall.

Read the report from the international assessment committee here