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A comparative investigation of the perceptions and labour market experiences of Saudi PhD graduates qualified in the United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia

Albehiji, Amnah 2021. A comparative investigation of the perceptions and labour market experiences of Saudi PhD graduates qualified in the United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This research explores the perceived labour market value of international doctoral degrees on Saudi PhD graduates, from the perspectives and experiences of graduates who gained their PhDs from UK or Saudi universities and sought employment in Saudi Arabia. The study draws on Bourdieu’s (1986) notion of cultural capital, but expands this to the international context, underlining the importance of global cultural capital (Kim, 2016), balanced against local cultural capital (Jarvis, 2019) in the labour market. The research was influenced by a critical realist approach and adopted a qualitative methodology to inquire into the experiences and perspectives of the graduates. The study was based on 48 qualitative semi-structured interviews, with male and female Saudi PhD graduates in Biology and Management from UK and Saudi universities. The findings indicated that professional development was a key motivation behind PhD study and that doctoral qualifications were believed to lead to positive employment outcomes in Saudi Arabia, although this was dependent on labour market sector. In particular, it was felt that the PhD graduate was valued in the public sector, but was considered overqualified and expensive in the private sector. International PhDs were regarded as especially valuable in relation to labour market outcomes, with international graduates acquiring forms of global institutionalised, embodied, and social capital which were considered to place them in a privileged labour market position. The findings also indicated that gender impacts on PhD study and employment, highlighting aspects of both structure and agency, which reflect recent progressive developments relating to gender equality in the country.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 December 2021
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2023 02:46

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