The research schools in the Netherlands score highly in the international arena. According to researchers in other countries the Dutch PhD trajectory is one of the best in the world. The one negative point is that doctoral candidates do not always finish in four years.
Of those who start PhD research in the schools, 75 percent go on to complete this and get their PhD. This is a higher rate than the rest of the world. But the length of time it takes doctoral candidates remains a problem. Only five percent of the AIOs (trainee research assistants) finish within four years. The average amount of time is five years for completion. ‘But this is a problem the world over,’ says Oost.
Given the success of the research schools, Oost finds it remarkable that the more education oriented graduate school is on the rise in the Netherlands. ‘Our system works well. Graduate schools will start to compete with each others, while the foreign scientists have just emphasised that it is the nationwide cooperation between the research schools that they value.’ / HOP, SvO