UKZN Economics Group Contributes to Improving Writing Skills of Postgrad Students
Promoting and improving academic writing abilities of postgraduate students was on the agenda as the Macroeconomics Working Group (MWG) in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF) hosted an Award Giving Ceremony for Best Papers in a Writing Competition organised in partnership with UKZN Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD).
Acting Dean of Research in the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor Harold Ngalawa thanked HEARD for supporting the initiative and the students for working towards improving their academic writing skills.
‘We received a very high amount of quality papers. That shows that the students invested a great deal of time and effort in preparing their submissions. The MWG started this competition after observing that our postgraduate students are struggling to express themselves when writing their dissertations,’ said Ngalawa.
‘We sat down as a research group and decided to make a contribution in solving this writing problem. So, we decided to put together a writing competition in which we asked postgraduate students to submit research papers which were then assessed by a panel of judges who selected the winning papers,’ he said.
‘Academic writing is a skill that is acquired over time; we need to help our students hone this skill. We negotiated with HEARD and they agreed to fund the competition to the tune of R20 000,’ he added.
A paper titled ‘The Effectiveness of Bilingual Learning on the Academic Performance of First Year Economics Students’ co-authored by Ms Lenhle Dlamini, Mr Kudakwashe Chipuza, Mr Doctor Sangweni and Ms Sanaya Meherjina, won the first prize of R8 000.
Mr Adebayo Kutu was awarded the second prize of R6 000; Mr Joeseph Akande received the third prize of R4 000; and Mr Akinola Gbenga came fourth and was awarded R2 000. Each of the winners also received a certificate, a school bag and a flash disk.
As a joint winner of the best paper award, Ms Lenhle Dlamini presented the winning paper which aimed to prove that students taught in their native language combined with a second language could improve the students’ performance versus students who attend tutorials conducted in their second language.
The SAEF Dean and Head of School, Professor Mabutho Sibanda commended the MWG for their contribution to the UKZN research space and acknowledged that the initiative benefited the University immensely.
‘We know that most students go through the MWG for their research proposals and the group provides critical input to those proposals. I applaud the Group’s work in spear-heading a lot of research projects within the University. I would also like to thank HEARD UKZN for the support as they are always available to help when it comes to research activities,’ he said.
HEARD was represented by its Head of Research, Dr Kaymarlin Govender.
Words by: Sibonelo Shinga