New Joint Award PhD Program Between Monash Arts and a Prestigious European University

A project originally initiated through the German Program of the Faculty of Arts at Monash has finally come to fruition, following the recent signing of an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Award PhD Program between Monash Arts and Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Philosophy and Humanities.

Established in 1948 to promote intellectual freedom in post-war Europe, Freie Universität Berlin is one of the leading and most prestigious research universities in Germany with strengths focused on the humanities and social sciences.  Its performance is ranked in the top 50 (2012 – 29th) in the world for Arts and Humanities according to the Times Higher Ed World University Rankings.

The Joint PhD Program with Monash Arts will provide a unique learning experience for candidates in an overseas environment, as well as promote and intensify cooperation between the two institutions.

‘This is an exciting opportunity for students at both universities’, said the Dean of Arts, Professor Rae Frances. ‘They will have the chance of input from leading experts in their field at two of the world’s major research universities. They will also have the opportunity to form international networks with other students and academics, and to experience life in another country.’

Candidates enrolling in the program will benefit from the co-supervision of academics from both institutions, with the thesis to be researched and written at both institutions.  Successful graduates from the program will receive the jointly awarded degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The signing, which took place in the Goldener Saal (golden hall) of the Praesidium of Freie Universität (the headquarters of the allied forces after WW II) was witnessed by Monash’s Dr Chandani Lokuge currently the Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair in Australian Studies (summer 2012) at the Freie Universität.

This new program builds on existing partnerships with Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) and Università di Bologna (Italy) which also provide for joint PhDs.  A further Joint PhD program is in the planning stages with Warwick University (UK).