Adelaide, 8 April 2014: UPM’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS) established its international connection at the recent Council of Deans and Directors of Graduate Research (DDoGs) meeting. The meeting took place the day before the Quality Postgraduate Research conference on 9-14 April.
According to the council’s convenor, Professor Laura Poole-Warren, the DDoGs’ mission is “to promote excellence in research training and scholarship high standards for all higher degree by research programmes”. Professor Poole-Warren is also the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Training) and the Dean of Graduate Research of UNSW, Australia.
“The DDoGs plays a significant role in interacting with the government through dialogues and expertise in the development of policy, standards and reference points related to research training,” she explained further.
UPM was represented by Associate Professor Dr Noritah Omar, the Deputy Dean (thesis and publication) of SGS. Dr Noritah, who participated in the discussion session on ‘Internationalisation of Higher Degree Research: Issues for Dean and Directors’ and a forum on ‘Are we training too many PhDs in Australia?’, found the meeting interesting and thought-provoking. “The meeting showed how serious the council is about driving quality in postgraduate research,” she said.
The meeting was also attended by the General Manager of the Australian Department of Education, who gave an update of the Australian government’s support in enhancing the quality of postgraduate research training. Among highlights of the update was a focus on selection criteria when recruiting graduates. This included interpersonal and communication skills which tops the list, followed by passion/knowledge of industry, drive, commitment, and attitude.
The DDoGs meeting also highlighted Graduate Research Good Practice Principles, with emphasis on admission requirements and processes, support for graduate research candidates with regard to completion time, scholarly activities in developing research and employability skills during candidature, supervision guidance, support in publication and dissemination of research, and thesis examination requirements.UPM’s former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International) and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Professor Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris, who also attended the QPR conference, is very proud that UPM was represented at the DDoGs meeting. “That SGS was there by special invitation is an honour for UPM, and marks a significant recognition of our efforts,” she asserted. “There is much for SGS to learn from our Australian counterparts,” she added.