A Cotutelle Doctoral Degree refers to a doctoral degree program that is undertaken jointly at Flinders University and an international higher education institution.
In practice, this means that the PhD student (domestic or international) is:
Flinders can either be the home institution (where the student commences their candidature and spends the majority of their time) or the host institution.
Refer to the Cotutelle Arrangement Procedures for full details of the requirements involved in a cotutelle arrangement.
Cotutelle doctoral degrees are an excellent way to commence and build collaborative relationships with international institutions around strategically aligned research projects. In addition to the collaborative aspect, they raise Flinders’ profile internationally and help ensure Flinders is matching international standards for PhD programs.
For students, there are also a number of benefits regarding access to resources, expertise and perspectives that are not available at Flinders. In this way, they add to the attractiveness of undertaking a PhD at Flinders.
Flinders also receives completion funding for cotutelle candidates who are hosted by Flinders and complete their joint doctoral degree.
A cotutelle agreement must be developed for each student to ensure agreement about and guide the cotutelle candidature. Agreements cover admission requirements, supervisory arrangements, examination processes and the timing of the candidature periods at each institution. It will be signed by both institutions, the student and supervisors.
Some international institutions also require a program or overarching agreement to establish a basis to negotiate agreements for individual students. Program agreements are also useful where a longer-term arrangement is desired and multiple students and supervisors will be involved over the term of an agreement.
Flinders has templates for both levels of agreements which can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing a cotutelle agreement requires the following:
Partner institutions must be reputable and have established procedures regarding cotutelle arrangements and / or doctoral regulations. We also seek to partner with institutions that have an equivalent level of rigor in their processes to ensure that Flinders’ requirements regarding quality research outcomes are met.
It is easier to develop agreements with institutions with which we have previously held cotutelle arrangements. There is a list of current Partner Institutions at the bottom of this page.
Cotutelle arrangements require some time and investment to establish, particularly to develop an agreement with a new partner institution. For supervisors, this often involves regularly liaising with their colleague at the partner institution and the student to work through any issues and ensure we have the information needed to develop a cotutelle arrangement.
They also require supervisory and research project resourcing investment by the College. For example, supervisors are involved in joint supervisory meetings with their co-supervisors and students while the student is at the partner institution and are likely to be more involved in the examination process due to an oral defence. Further, cotutelle students will require relevant project resources and the general resources provided to HDR candidates such as space, printing etc.
The 12 month tuition fee waivers provided to hosted international students also mean that Colleges are foregoing international tuition fees that would have otherwise been dispersed to the College.
Students are generally responsible for fees at their home institution and will receive a 12 month fee waiver to cover the tuition fees at the host institution. Some partner institutions will require students hosted under cotutelle arrangements to pay administration (or other similar) fees. Flinders provides a 12 month fee waiver to students hosted via a cotutelle arrangement and does not charge students amenities fees.
Students are usually responsible for funding travel, visa, health insurance cover, accommodation and other associated costs. This may be covered through a scholarship from their home institution, college/faculty or school funding, or other project-related funding sources or grants. Alternatively, many students have self-funded their host institution research visits, it depends on the circumstances of each individual student, the institutions and the research project. The Office of Graduate Research manages a Cotutelle Travel Grant to which Flinders’ students can apply for the cost of flights to and from the partner institution. However, other than the Cotutelle Travel Grant for Flinders’ students, neither Flinders or the Office of Graduate Research have a centralised cotutelle fund.
The flow charts highlight the key steps in developing a cotutelle arrangement and the admission of a cotutelle student where Flinders is the host institution:
The first step in the process is to complete the Supervisor New Cotutelle Proposal Form which provides necessary background information about the proposed arrangement. Individual student enquiries, can be referred to Cotutelle Information for students.
This process can take between four to six months and is partly dependent upon whether Flinders has previously held an agreement with the partner institution. Organising cotutelles also involves multiple parties in both institutions, including students, supervisors, cotutelle coordinators, delegates and legal teams, which can also impact on the timeframes for development.
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