PhDs from the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University obtain placements at the best universities in Europe

The Department of Political Science at Aarhus University is among the best in the world at producing PhD graduates who gain employment at prestigious European universities. However, the department lags behind when it comes to women PhDs.

Department buildings seen from above Photo: Aarhus BSS
Department of Political Science at Aarhus University Photo: Aarhus BSS

According to a new study in European Political Science, the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University ranks third in the number of PhD graduates to find appointment at the best universities in Europe. Oxford University takes first place, followed by London School of Economics.

Similarly, Harvard University takes first place in the number of PhDs who gain employment at the best North American universities. Oxford University is the only European university to feature in the North American ranking.

The Department of Political Science at Aarhus University places eighth if the two rankings are combined.

"This is great news, and it confirms that our PhD degree programme is of an extremely high standard. The study results are especially encouraging, because they also show that we are delivering more PhDs into jobs than would be expected looking at just the size of our department."

Our PhDs also find jobs outside academia

However, employment in academia is not everything, according to Helene Helboe Pedersen:

"Rankings like these will always have deficiencies, and these are important to bear in mind. We’re pleased that our PhDs find employment at prestigious universities, but we also want our PhDs to find appointments outside academia, where their skills and their knowledge are also useful. Employment in the private or public sector also bears witness to the quality and relevance of our PhD degree programme," says Helene Helboe Pedersen.

More women in academia

Furthermore, the rankings show how PhDs are faring in terms of gender. All of the universities have more men than women PhDs who find jobs at good universities.

However, there is a slight positive trend, in that the number of women appointments is increasing.

At the Department of Political Science in Aarhus, women PhD graduates account for only 24.6% of appointments at prestigious universities. Helene Helboe Pedersen is not surprised:

"I note that we’re not nearly as successful in appointments of women PhDs. Unfortunately, this is not surprising, as we already know that more women opt out of a career in academia. We have strong focus on ensuring support and encouragement for all talents in our programme. With regard to gender, we recently completed a study of the possible barriers to women at our department, and we’ve subsequently launched a series of initiatives that we hope will break with the existing pattern."

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