April 2017 ended with some extremely good news for KLU: The German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) released its recommendation in favor of granting the university the right to confer PhD degrees. Professor Jan Becker, Dean of Research, talks about past efforts and next steps.
What does the Science Council’s recommendation mean to KLU?
It means a lot to everyone here at KLU. By acquiring the right to confer PhDs, the university will meet a major milestone in its development. We will be playing in a totally different league: of the 120 private universities in Germany, only 13 have the right to confer PhDs.
It also shows that we are on the right track with our scientific orientation. In its recommendation, the Science Council considered the number of professors, the quality and quantity of scientific publications, and cooperation with other academic institutions, etc. They deemed all of these variables to be top level at KLU!
How long did KLU prepare for this major accomplishment?
Every academic and structural decision made in recent years had this goal as its underlying motive. We have appointed several renowned, experienced professors to enhance our academic impact. We’ve set strict standards for our scientific work. And we have established institutional cooperations to encourage interdisciplinary development.
We are extremely happy that the Science Council has recognized our efforts. The recommendation pointed out that KLU not only has an excellent scientific profile in logistics and management, but that by entering into scientific cooperations and appointing three professors who research and teach at both KLU and our partner institutions, we found an innovative way of implementing the criteria.
What will happen next?
The institution that must actually grant the right to confer PhDs to KLU is the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research. This is why they asked the Science Council for a recommendation. With the positive evaluation by the Science Council, we all are very confident that the Ministry will follow the recommendation and take the necessary administrative steps. If everything goes smoothly, we should have the right to confer our own PhD degree by the end of this year.
And does this mean any changes for future PhD students?
There will be very few changes but at the same time, one big difference. Today KLU offers a PhD program in cooperation with other universities: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Copenhagen Business School, University of Hamburg, and Leuphana University Lüneburg, among others. The PhD students take courses and conduct research at both universities, but receive their degrees from the partner university. In the future, we will be able to confer a KLU doctorate. I’m sure that many of our current PhD students will take advantage of the opportunity to transfer from the cooperation programs to the KLU PhD program.
Meet our current PhD students.