29 October 2010 | Position

Salzburg II – Recommendations

European universities’ achievements since 2005 in implementing the Salzburg Principles

In 2005, the Salzburg Principles were established in the Bologna Process as the basis of the reforms for doctoral education. In the half decade that has passed since then, Europe’s universities have carried out wide-ranging reforms in this area, most notably by establishing doctoral schools. The achievements and experiences of Europe’s universities affirm and enrich the original principles.


The recommendations, including a series of clues to success and obstacles to clear, have three over-arching messages.

First of all, doctoral education has a particular place in the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area. It rests on the practice of research, which makes it fundamentally different from the first and second cycles.

Secondly, doctoral candidates must be allowed independence and flexibility to grow and develop. Doctoral education is highly individual and by definition original. The path of progress of the individual is unique, in terms of the research project as well as in terms of the individual professional development.

Lastly, doctoral education must be developed by autonomous and accountable institutions taking responsibility to cultivate
the research mindset. Institutions need flexible regulation to create special structures and instruments and continue advancing European doctoral education.

These recommendations are meant as a set of guidelines for a diverse landscape of doctoral schools and programmes, rather than a standardised checklist.

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