The main goal of the Project is to help acknowledge doctoral studies as an important "third" cycle of education, to define a framework for increasing the quality of all doctoral studies and to develop tools and methods for assessment, validation and certification of the knowledge and skills of PhD students.
The overall objectives of the network are to establish the principles of effective, high quality, Europe-valid doctoral studies and to create the tools for doing this through analysing the existing systems, exchanging experiences and disseminating good practices among all partners.
The main project activities are:
1. Creating a European Thematic Network Doctoral Education in Computing (ETN DEC), preparatory phase:
- Project formal launch. Establishing a Management Group (MG), Evaluation Board (EB), Expert Groups (EGs), Work Groups (WGs). Developing the terms of reference and working practices.
- Analysing the existing systems and exchanging experiences in Doctoral education.
- Preparing questionnaires for the purpose of identifying both the generic and subject-specific competences which successful doctors in Computing must possess using the methodology of the Pilot Project "Tuning Educational Structures in Europe".
- Launch meeting.
2. Developing the "third" cycle of education - the doctoral degree in Computing
- Studying and analysing the results of the questionnaires about generic and subject-specific competencies.
- Developing comparable curricula and syllabi for the main Doctoral study programs in Computing.
- Developing comparable syllabi in Computing and Informatics for PhD students of other disciplines.
- Developing teaching materials and e-Learning courses for the main subjects of the comparable curricula.
- Organising and conducting 2 Workshops and 2 Summer schools for PhD students.
- Creating a WEB database of PhD offerings in the field of Computing.
- Creating a WEB database of PhD holders in the field of Computing.
3. Developing a Quality Assurance System in Doctoral Education
- Developing a conceptual model of the quality assurance system in the PhD studies, in accordance with the requirements of EN ISO 9001 2000. Conducting a virtual seminar.
- Implementing the system model at the universities and institutions of the European Thematic Network considering the specifics at each one of them.
- Developing tools and methods for assessment, validation and certification of the knowledge and skills of PhD students. Conducting a virtual round table.
4. Evaluating and disseminating project results. Planning the future activities of ETN DEC.
- Periodical evaluation - by the Evaluation Board.
- Interim results evaluation at the end of each project year - by the Evaluation Board and an external evaluator.
- Evaluation, analysis and dissemination of end results of the project - by an external evaluator at a European level.
- Organizing virtual round table discussions, seminars on Doctoral Education.
- Organizing and conducting annual international conferences on Education in Computing.
- Dissemination of project results to institutions who teach doctoral students of other disciplines to help them in the organization of their PhD studies and curricula.
- Periodically publishing the achieved results in newspapers, magazines and brochures.
- Planning the future functioning of the ETN DEC. Devising the project Business plan.