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(2017). Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Supervising Graduate Students Enrolled in African Universities. International Journal of Education and Practice, 5(3): 29-39. DOI: 10.18488/journal.61/2017.5.3/126.96.36.199
In a globalizing economy, education is key to competitiveness and
economic growth. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is playing catch up in terms
of investing in the human capital needed to participate effectively in
the world economy. The Sub-Saharan region is currently engaged in what
has been termed as a “catch-up” period as is reflected in rapid growth
in investment in education at all levels, with an increased recognition
over the last decade of the need for increased number of graduates at
the tertiary level. This expansion has implications on the quality of
training and research. Key among the factors that can help enhance
quality is supervision. Currently, in many countries in SSA, graduate
training and research is largely self-paid and students make significant
sacrifices to obtain advanced degrees with the expectation that they
would finish on time and secure lucrative careers. With this
expectation, supervisors have an enormous task of ensuring quality
mentoring. It is a privilege to hold a faculty position and supervise
students; nonetheless, this comes with a great responsibility associated
with great expectations from the students. The expectations are
targeted to supervisors and the institutions of learning. Although
there is still an imbalance on power relationships between supervisors
and students, especially in developing countries, supervisors still need
to understand and know the student expectations. This way, they can
build professionally and healthy long lasting relationships than can
spread beyond the supervision period. This paper discusses the issue of
supervision, with a focus on different approaches to delivering quality
supervision, students’ needs and expectations, and how these can be
addressed based on authors’ experiences working at universities from a
developing country perspective.
This paper presents an extensive review that faculty and students will
find handy as part of quality graduate training. With the increasing
number of graduate students, higher education institutions must hone
their role and provide both ethical and leadership to mold excellence in