While the origins of the process of creating the European Higher Education Area can be traced back to the statements of the Sorbonne (1998) and Bologna (1999), in which, as in all subsequent conferences of the Ministers of Education, the research as one of the functions of higher education, specific doctoral studies did not begin to be regulated until a few years later.
We can consider as a starting point of its reorganization the communique signed on September 19, 2003 at the meeting of ministers of education held in Berlin, to which forty countries adhered, in which the importance of the training of researchers and their the need for it to be carried out in a third cycle with its own entity. At the meeting held in Dublin on March 23, 2004, the common framework of qualifications for higher education was approved, considering that a student would complete his third cycle or doctorate when he was able to promote, in academic and professional contexts, a significant development of the knowledge. The communiqué of the Ministers of Education after the meeting in Bergen, held on May 19-20, 2005, pointed out that “the fundamental component of doctoral training is the advancement of knowledge through original research”, considered that it was It is necessary to organize structured doctoral programs, with transparent supervision and evaluation, which correspond to the usual workload for the third cycle, which – according to the analyzes carried out in different countries – was 3-4 years full time.
European universities were also recommended to avoid excessive regulation in doctoral programs. In the subsequent conferences of Education Ministers of London (2007), Louvain (2009) and Vienna-Budapest (2010), these lines continued to be emphasized, highlighting in particular the need to increase the number of people with research skills and that, if If the doctorate programs were to provide high-quality disciplinary training, they also had to be complemented by interdisciplinary and intersectoral training. At the last ministerial conference, which took place in Bucharest on April 26 and 27, 2012, the PhD level was attributed a fundamental role as a link between the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area. In this document, it is expressly proposed to adopt two recommendations prepared by the European University Association: the “Salzburg II Recommendations” (2010) and the “Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training” (2011), derived from the “Report of Mapping Exercise on Doctoral Training in Europe” – Towards a common approach “(2011). The basic ideas that these documents provide about doctoral studies can be summarized in these lines:
Search for research excellence, encouraging the new academic generations to be creative, critical and intellectually autonomous.
Organization of an attractive intellectual environment, which enables the formation of independent doctoral candidates capable of being responsible for their own projects, as well as providing opportunities for professional development.
Adoption of interdisciplinary research options, favored by an open research environment and in a culture that offers opportunities for exchange between different disciplines and stimulates interdisciplinary approaches.
Openness to industry and other sectors of work, such as the business world, public administrations, cultural institutions, NGOs, etc.
Stimulation of mobility and international exchanges, through collaborative research, co-supervision and double degrees. Mobility will be promoted through scientific meetings and short and long research stays.
Training in transferable skills from research to the world of work.
Implementation of specific quality assurance systems and procedures for the third cycle, which ensure not only the quality of the research environment, but also promote transparent and responsible procedures for admitting, supervising and awarding the doctorate degree.
These suggestions and recommendations emanating from European organizations have been taken into account specifically when designing this new PhD program in Education. On the other hand, we have also reviewed current foreign examples, from countries of the European Union and the United States. Models of doctoral programs of Anglo-Saxon universities have been analyzed (for example, the Institute of Education in London, the universities of Birmingham and Glasgow, in Great Britain and several North American universities), which seem to be inclined mainly towards the organization of doctorate programs denominated