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Exploring doctoral students’ expectations of work-based skills training

Jenny Candy (University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Padmali Rodrigo (Faculty of Business and Law – Marketing and Sales, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Sarah Turnbull (Faculty of Business and Law – Marketing and Sales, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 22 January 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Doctoral students are expected to undertake work-based skills training within their doctoral studies in areas such as problem solving, leadership and team working. The purpose of this paper is to explore student expectations of doctoral training within a UK Higher Education context.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study were gathered via two focus groups conducted among doctoral students from different faculties in a post-92 UK University. Participants were selected using a snowball sampling approach.

Findings

The findings suggest that the expectations of doctoral students are contingent upon their year of study, study mode, perceived fit between training goals and available training, peer recommendations, word-of-mouth (WoM) and the scholarly support they received from their supervisors.

Practical implications

The study suggests a better understanding of students’ segmentation can help Higher Education Institutions deliver training that meets the expectations of doctoral students in a way that result in zero or a positive disconfirmation.

Originality/value

This paper develops and deepens the understanding of the doctoral students’ expectations of work-based skills training and highlights the need for universities to adapt their doctoral training according to the expectations of different student segments.

Keywords

Citation

Candy, J., Rodrigo, P. and Turnbull, S. (2019), "Exploring doctoral students’ expectations of work-based skills training", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 403-417. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-01-2018-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited