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The Research Supervisor's Expertise or Postgraduate Student Preparedness: Which Is the Real Concern?

Lizeth Roets, Delene Botha, Leana van Vuuren

Abstract


The increased number of postgraduate students has contributed to an increased need for competent researchers locally and internationally. This raises questions about the supervisor’s competency and need for training on the one hand and the competency and preparedness of the registered postgraduate student on the other.

Eleven supervisors from a school of nursing participated in a nominal group discussion in an attempt to identify the problems experienced in their supervisory practice. The highest ranked problems identified were the need for training for themselves, students’ lack of critical thinking skills and knowledge regarding the scope of postgraduate studies, the high workload of supervisors and the level of language proficiency of students.

The conclusion was that compulsory, content-focused educational programmes should be created to provide supervisors with the knowledge and skills required for the supervisory task. Managing their high workload requires supervisors to apply aspects of project management, time management and additional supervisory styles, and these topics should form part of these educational programmes. These programmes must also include elements such as assisting and/or referring students who lack critical thinking skills, language proficiency, computer literacy as well as general preparedness for postgraduate studies for comprehensive assistance.


Keywords


research; supervision; supervision training; postgraduate students

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/2520-5293/1463

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