Joint/double-badged PhD programs with international partner institutions.
These programs, modelled on the French "cotutelle" system offer an opportunity for UWA schools to strengthen links with international institutions as part of UWA's commitment to "internationalisation".
The primary focus of establishing joint/double-badged PhD programs is to facilitate co-operative research collaboration between UWA schools and schools at an international partner institution, It is expected that in proposing the introduction of a an equivalent number of students from the international partner institution will participate in the program and attend UWA for a portion of their studies. Accordingly, as part of the arrangements for joint/double-badged PhD programs schools are required to establish a general Student Exchange Agreement with the international partner institution
It should be noted that these programs are not provided simply to facilitate international study for PhD students. Students wishing to spend some time overseas are able to do this (with certain conditions) as part of the PhD program without enrolling in a double-badged program. It is unlikely that the University will approve a proposal to establish a cotutelle for a single student.
The process for applying to establish such a program is rigorous and best started well in advance of a student's intended commencement date. Schools are required to discuss the proposed program extensively with the proposed partner institution and provide the Board of the Graduate Research School with comprehensive documentation detailing these discussions and addressing specific areas of concern, as set out below in the section dealing with the Application Process. If the documents supplied by the school are not complete, the Board of the Graduate Research School will not consider the application.
In the following, the term "home" institution has been used to refer to the institution with which an applicant was first affiliated or is enrolled and "host" is used to refer to the institution to which they will travel to undertake part of their studies. These terms are used for the sake of clarity but the program is a "joint" one and each student will receive a degree which is approved by both institutions.
As noted above, the Board will only approve joint/double-badged programs in cases where it can be clearly established that a strong collaborative link with the partner institution already exists or is actively being developed. and that the agreement would serve to formalise or enhance this link. It is therefore necessary to have the full support of the supervisor and Head of School before proceeding with an application for a joint/double-badged PhD program. Prospective students must satisfy the usual criteria for entry to the PhD program, and must apply for candidature in the usual way. There is provision for a candidate who begins a joint/double-badged program to transfer from this program into the PhD at UWA if this becomes desirable.
Enrolled students (excepting enrolled students who have completed more than 50 per cent of their PhD at UWA already) and prospective students are eligible to be considered for enrolment in a joint/double-badged PhD program. Both international students and Australian citizens/permanent residents are eligible to participate in the program. However, candidates in receipt of international graduate research scholarships are normally not eligible to undertake the program. For candidates in receipt of Australian Postgraduate Awards or Australian Postgraduate Awards (Industry), approval to undertake the program will be required from the relevant Government department). Before a proposal is lodged, schools should contact a Scholarships Officer to discuss the matter.
By its R21/01 Academic Council approved that joint/double-badged PhD programs with international partner institutions must be set up on 'exchange' basis. This means that it is expected that each institution will "swap" equivalent numbers of candidates and mutually waive all fees for tuition during the period that a student is studying at the "host" institution.
For the purposes of funding, a student participating in a joint/double-badged PhD program whose "home" university is UWA will be liable for the usual costs of studying at UWA. That is, an international candidate will pay any fees for which they are liable at UWA each year and an Australian citizen/permanent resident is likely to (if eligible) receive Research Training Scheme (RTS) funding. Students from partner institutions will be liable for whatever fees normally apply to them at their home institution.
The French Department of Research (Ministere de la Recherche) provides special financial support, and the French Embassy in Australia offers all new PhD cotutelle the sum of $2,500.
Heads of Schools are encouraged to informally discuss proposals with the Graduate Research School, the Director of the International Centre and other staff as they see fit. Given that the main requirement for approval of these projects is that they serve to form a viable and desirable international link, it is best to seek advice from the Graduate Research School and Director as to the viability of the proposal prior to approaching another institution. If, after such informal discussion there is agreement that the proposed link is one UWA should pursue, a formal application may be lodged. The UWA International Centre Policy on Establishing Agreements with Overseas Institutions may be useful to schools at this stage.
As part of the formal application process schools are required to supply the following documents to the Graduate Research School.
The Memorandum of Agreement agreement will be forwarded to the International Centre for approval, whilst the Joint/Double-badged agreement will be forwarded to the Board of the Graduate Research School for approval.
The documents form the basis of the structure, administration and regulation of the joint/double-badged PhD program. If the program is approved, these documents will be those to which the Graduate Research School will refer in the case of any dispute or difficulty with the program. It is therefore important that they are as full and accurate as possible.
Once a joint/double-badged PhD agreement has been drawn up, a meeting with all the relevant stakeholders will be arranged if required. The purpose of this meeting will be to ensure that the joint/double-badged PhD agreement includes all information necessary to effectively administer the proposed PhD program and accurately describes the proposed program and any associated conditions.
Once all parties have agreed on the content of the document it will be considered by the Board of the Graduate Research School. If approved by the Board the proposal will, following the approval route set out in the Administrative Procedures for approval of Transnational Programs, be forwarded to the Academic Council. It is recommended that if similar processes must be followed at the "host" institution that they be undertaken at the same time.
Students wishing to be enrolled in joint/double-badged PhDs must apply for candidature in the normal way.
Students intending to attend a UWA Graduation ceremony (usually students who were associated or affiliated with UWA in the first instance) will be enrolled in course code 00860 (Joint/Double-Badged PhD). Candidates intending to attend a Graduation ceremony at the partner institution (usually students who were associated or affiliated with the partner institution in the first instance) will be enrolled in course code 00870 (Joint/Double-Badged PhD). Students must advise the Graduate Research School and Scholarships Office when they intend to spend time away from UWA.
Students' programs of study will be administered in accordance with the Joint/Double-Badged PhD Agreement. A copy of this will be provided to the student at the commencement of the joint/double-badged PhD program.
Students in the joint/double-badged PhD Program may only receive their award certificate at one institution. For example, a student who elects to attend a Graduation Ceremony at an international partner institution may not also attend a UWA Ceremony and will not be recorded in the UWA Graduation Register.
Design and award of testamur must be in accordance with the UWA Policy on Award Certificates.