This paper discusses specific attributes of the so-called Snowflake generation, or rather Generation Z (Gen Z), which recently began entering the higher education (HE) system. Gen Z graduates will start to submit their postgraduate or Ph.D. studies applications soon. It remains a question whether the HE institutions and supervisors are prepared to reflect Gen Z’s unique attributes in study programmes settings/management and supervisory styles. The first part of the paper discusses the Gen Z specifics and their learning styles in the HE context. Subsequently, an overview of Ph.D. studies and their development in recent years follows. The last chapter discusses supervisors and supervisory styles as the most prominent factor influencing Ph.D. candidates’ dropout rates and satisfaction.
The conclusion is that we must develop procedures at various institutional levels to educate, support, or even supervise the doctoral supervisors and to adjust our doctoral programmes to better reflect the changing nature of today’s Ph.D. education. To improve the performance indicators, but also candidates’ satisfaction and well-being, the institutions must implement procedures that go far beyond considering the supervisor’s research records, expertise in a given field, or match between supervisor’s and candidate’s research interests. Non-functional aspects like the alignment of supervisory and learning style should gain more attention to better reflect the specifics of Gen Z candidates.
Keywords: Higher Education, Post-graduate, Supervision, Supervisory Styles, Generation Z, Snowflakes