Challenges Confronting the Quality of Postgraduate Research Supervision and Its Effects on Time-to-Degree and Throughput Rates: A Case of a South African University

Lorna Holtman, Geofrey Mukwada


Quality of academic research supervision is one of the major determinants of time-to-degree and throughput rates. Quality of supervision is key to the nature of guidance that the student receives from the supervisor. This research study was part of a bigger study that aimed at investigating the conditions that influence time-to-degree and throughput at the University of the Western Cape. A lime survey was conducted, requiring respondents to complete an emailed questionnaire online, while interviews were conducted with randomly selected academic research supervisors and administrators. The research study investigates the roles and responsibilities as well as the different approaches that supervisors adopt in nurturing their students. The study identified the constraints that undermine the quality of supervision and how these might be addressed from the viewpoint of the supervisors. The results indicate that postgraduate supervision takes a variety of forms and approaches and is largely determined by the research experience of the supervisors as well as how the supervisors themselves were supervised.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n6p179

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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