Postgraduate Supervision workshop at UKZN
In a drive to increase postgraduate enrolments, the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance held a Postgraduate Supervision seminar aimed at equipping staff with the skills needed to efficiently supervise postgrad research students.
The three-day seminar, facilitated by Brighton University’s Head of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Professor Gina Wisker, was initiated by the School’s Dean and Head, Professor Anesh Singh, in response to the College of Law and Management Studies goal of improving postgraduate enrolments.
‘The University’s drive towards postgraduate qualifications has shown that the School is not meeting its enrolment targets. Upon investigation I found out that the reason staff is not meeting its enrolment targets is because they are not equipped to take on large numbers of postgraduate students,’ said Singh. The aim of the workshop is to capacitate supervisors to manage larger numbers of students individually or in cohorts.
Singh explained that this observation led to consultation with academics in higher degrees and SANTRUST’S Chief Execute Officer, Dr Anshu Padayachee, and ultimately to the co-ordination of the training initiative.
‘My aim in hosting this seminar is that staff gain confidence and the skills to take on more postgrad students so that the School can make a valid contribution to UKZN’s goal of pre-imminence in research,’ said Padayachee.
During the three days, the workshop unpacked various concepts and methodologies involved in postgraduate supervision, including:
· Supervisory challenges in South Africa
· University policy on the appointment of staff to supervise postgraduate research students
· Factors enhancing or preventing effective supervision
· Dealing with difference- in learning backgrounds, disciplines, culture, gender etc
· Supervision styles and models for effective supervision.
· Establishing sound research projects and processes.
Padayachee said when she was approached by the Dean about this project, SANTRUST was keen to offer their services training academic staff.
‘I am very impressed by the thirst for knowledge that the academics have as we are here to boost the existing capacity to ensure that staff study for their PhDs and produce more postgraduate students,’ she said.
Economics lecturer, Mr Christian Tipoy said the workshop had helped him as a supervisor and a doctoral student.
‘I have learned a lot through this workshop in terms of how to deal with my masters students as well as how to manage my relationship with my supervisor. I have also learned of new research methods and concepts that I am looking forward to using for my thesis,’ he said.
Following this strategic initiative, the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance looks forward to an improvement in postgraduate enrollments next year.