Doctoral rate declines

| Paul de Kuyper

The amount of PhDs who obtain their doctorate within five years is decreasing. The doctoral rate was stable at 60 percent for a short while, but in the last two years it has dropped to 55 percent for the doctoral candidates who started in 2008 and to 53 percent for those who started in 2009.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

The numbers on the declining doctoral rate are listed in a management report of the Executive Board. They describe the speed with which so-called employee doctoral candidates obtain their doctorate; external doctoral candidates working for external companies are not part of the statistics.

According to Patrick Hoetink of the Strategy & Policy department, a clear explanation for the declining doctoral rate has not yet been found. The UT together with the Twente Graduate School is looking into whether there are any demonstrable causes.

The UT wants to increase the rate, for example through monitoring. Last year the new doctorate policy has come into effect. According to the board, any effects of the policy will only become apparent in the long-term.

Above national average

With a doctoral rate of 55 percent for the year 2008 the UT obtained a result above the national average of 46 percent, however, as statistics from the VSNU, Association of Iniversities of the Netherlands show.

No decrease in doctoral degrees

A declining doctoral rate does not mean that less people obtain their doctorate at the UT. 241 doctorates had been estimated for 2014. At the beginning of the December, expectations were that the year would end with 232 doctorates. A record. In 2013, 221 researchers obtained their doctorate at the UT.