By Philip G. Altbach September 7, 2011 3:46 am EDT

A recent OECD report on doctoral education points to an oversupply in some countries—mainly in North America and Europe. The report notes that many PhD holders cannot find academic jobs and that perhaps there is an overproduction of doctorates. It is useful to have global attention paid to doctoral education, which has expanded significantly in recent years, but largely without planning or coordination in most countries. The expansion no doubt reflects two realities—the desire of many universities to offer doctoral degrees as a way of increasing their prestige as a research university, and the need in many countries to boost the number of doctorates to provide teachers for rapidly expanding higher education systems. It is quite likely that surpluses for some are matched by shortages for others.

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