Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

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Compared results

The comparative results and those for each country participating in this project —carried out using the answers to the MIRROR questionnaire from 7,074 postgraduate students in Sweden, 3,826 in Finland, 1,390 in Ireland and 1,001 in Catalonia— include the following:

PDF International Postgraduate Students Mirror

The main conclusions are as follows:

The postgraduate student profile

In all four countries there is more or less an equal balance between female and male postgraduate students. According to areas of knowledge, the proportion of male students is higher in Technical subjects. 

In terms of age, students are younger in Ireland and Catalonia than in Finland and Sweden, where there is an important number of postgraduate students over 35. 

Students in Ireland and Sweden spend 30-39 hours a week studying, whereas in Finland and Catalonia this figure is 20-29 hours. 

Doctoral dissertations

In relation to the format of the dissertation, in Ireland and Catalonia, dissertations most often take the form of a monograph, while in Finland and Sweden collections, the large majority of dissertations are written in English. In Catalonia they are most frequently written in Catalan and Spanish.

Postgraduate students on their studies

In general, students make a positive assessment of their postgraduate studies, they consider them to be stimulating and they feel accepted as members of teams doing joint research. Relative to this latter point, students in Finland and Catalonia feel less integrated.

In general, postgraduate students in Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Catalonia consider that their postgraduate studies have helped them to develop research skills and provided them with a better understanding of methodologies and scientific theories.

The majority of students consider that supervision of their postgraduate programme is satisfactory in all four countries, although slightly less so in Finland. Nevertheless, there is an important number of students who consider that their supervisors have only shown sufficient interest in their studies and that little discussion has been given to theoretical and methodological aspects.

In relation to courses taken, the view of students in Finland and Sweden is positive, whereas for students in Catalonia less than half of the courses are useful or relevant to the research they are carrying out.

In general, students assess their postgraduate studies as either good or excellent (84% of those surveyed in Ireland, 78% in Sweden, 74% in Finland and 71% in Catalonia). The majority of students would repeat their postgraduate studies, although 14% in Finland and Catalonia would not or probably not do so compared to 15% in Ireland and 19% in Sweden.

In relation to employment, 64% of students in Catalonia are concerned about finding work, followed by Ireland (35%), Finland (32%) and Sweden (25%).