Research collaboration across the 1992 divide: the views of postgraduate research students from pre-and post-1992 institutions

Previously, it was shown that undergraduate student experience is enhanced by collaborations in teaching between institutions across the 1992 divide (Freestone et al., 2012) and thus postgraduate research experiences were hypothesised to be similarly enhanced. This study investigates the views of Ph.D students regarding collaboration between institutions. Ph.D students from a UK pre-1992 institution, the University of Oxford and from a UK post-1992 institution, Kingston University were randomly selected and semi-structured interviews, questionnaire responses and field notes were used. The opinions with regard to attending two collaborative research institutions were positive and optimistic from both groups, however, the reasoning and opinions differed. Kingston University, being a modern university was perceived by its students to have a more relaxed attitude in its research community. Collaborative institutions were favoured due to the more specialised laboratories however the travel between institutions may be a burden. Ph.D students from the University of Oxford are keen to establish international collaborations to enable more exposure to other laboratories abroad. They consider disadvantages to be about the intellectual property that comes with collaborative ventures. Both the pre- and post-1992 institutions studied mutually agreed that the expanded opportunity to learn additional novel research methods is an asset for the research graduate.

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