From the Chronicle of Higher Education website (originally from University World News): “More Countries Are Asking Whether They Produce Too Many Ph.D.’s, Says New Report.”
According to Rymer, one issue stimulating debate about Ph.D. education is the view that, at least in some disciplines, universities are producing too many Ph.D. graduates.
. . . In a 60-page paper published by Australia’s Group of Eight research-intensive universities, Rymer describes the rise of the Ph.D. in universities across the globe, the reasons why nations want more and more Ph.D.’s, the increasing diversity among doctoral students, funding constraints facing universities and efforts to improve the quality of research training.
He notes that questions have been raised about the number of Ph.D.’s a country produces, or their quality, or the relevance of the training students receive given the employment opportunities on offer.
There is also questioning of whether the intention to increase the number of Ph.D. graduates will be at the expense of their quality and whether the rewards of having a Ph.D. compensate for the costs of acquiring one.
. . . with an increasing proportion of the population holding the qualification, its “elite” nature tends to disappear “as does the premium that can arise from having a credential that very few other people possess.”