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Cooperation on Doctoral Education between Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe (CODOC)

Project description

The CODOC project (2010-2012) examined doctoral education through the lens of a more balanced development in global knowledge and the role that Europe has to play in this. Its premise involved the following factors:

• Changes in the global interconnectivity of universities due to internationalisation
• Increasing drive around the world to develop knowledge societies based on high-skilled human resources
• Growth in information and communication technology and its effects on competition and collaboration in a global market

The project was rooted in the growing cross-regional discussions on doctoral education, which have more or less been driven by Europe, North America and several other developed nations in Asia and the South Pacific. It was also inspired by the internal European discussions and rapid transformation of doctoral education in the Bologna process context. The growing international dimension in doctoral education dialogue and delivery seems to pay scarce attention to the developing world at present, where higher education and research are increasingly embedded in national growth strategies.

The project immediately targeted leaders of doctoral schools and doctoral education and disseminated outcomes to a wider pool of higher education stakeholders, including governments, research councils and donors.

The EUA-CDE both supported and benefited from this project.

The findings of the project have been published in a report  and were presented during EUA Doctoral Week at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.


Over the course of this two-year project, the consortium studied trends in doctoral education in different developing regions of the world and aim to provide occasions for enhancing collaborative doctoral education between European universities and their partners in Southern Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The project also sought to enhance the international visibility of European doctoral education and promote the premise that increased collaboration on doctoral education between European universities and these regions offers mutual benefits. Universities in developing countries can use collaborations to build capacity and to get access to know how, while European universities benefit from having partner universities in specific locations of research interest, fruitful exchange of students, opportunities to conceive curricula jointly that is of greater international relevance, and exchange of staff.

Activities and timeline

 • a survey of doctoral education trends in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to gain a better overview of doctoral education in these regions and to compare these trends with those in Europe.

• three workshops (South Africa, Asia, Latin America- venues tbc) for the exchange of experience and good practice on reform of doctoral education at institutional level and networking between higher education and research stakeholders from different regions (September 2011-May 2012)

• a final conference to disseminate the results and recommendations to a wide policy and institutional audience from around the world (Stockholm, Sweden, September 2012).

Strategic collaboration: Doctoral education trends in a global landscape
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
25-27 September 2011

Doctoral Education, Leadership and Knowledge Societies: Redefining Global Relationships
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
14-16 March 2012

Latin America
The Value of a PhD - Building Capacity and Refining Purpose
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
24-25 May 2012

Final Dissemination Conference
As part of EUA's Doctoral Week
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
23-25 September 2012


CODOC was launched by the European University Association (EUA), the University of Bonn, the Observatory on EU–Latin America Relations (OBREAL), the Karolinska Institutet (KI), the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA), the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (OUI-IOHE) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN).

Project website

For more information, visit the project website:


If you have any questions or require further information on the CODOC project, please contact Joanne Byrne or Elizabeth Colucci.

Supported by:

The project was carried out with the support of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Commission.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96