The right to award doctoral degrees

The right to award doctoral degrees



Since 2017, not only professors can award doctoral degrees, but also associate professors can do so. This week, an evaluation of the expanded right to doctoral defence was published. Delft University of Technology and Maastricht University are among the universities with the most non-professors who have the so-called ius promovendi.


The researchers also looked at the quality of supervision of PhD students. This has not deteriorated. The availability of a larger number of supervisors mainly offers opportunities, they argue. The specific expertise of a supervisor can, for example, lead to “more focused and intensive supervision”.


In the interviews, different views on the expansion emerged. There are associate professors who regard the ius promovendi as a career move, but there are also some who see it as a ‘sop’. According to them, it “may have a delaying effect” on a future promotion to full professor because an intermediate step in their career has been added. Some scientists would for that reason refrain from applying for ius promovendi and would rather aim for professorship.


According to the researchers, it is important that unambiguous standards are set . Maastricht University, for example, awards the right  “generically” to associate professors and the University of Amsterdam also awards it “in exceptional cases” to associate professors. Minister Dijkgraaf has already said that he will look into the matter.


HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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