Supervising Research in Higher Education: Bridging the gap between reality and expectations

6th Jan 2020

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Noluthando Makhaza

There is a lot of work that goes into postgraduate supervision at a higher education level. Therefore, academic staff inevitably require training which will set the standard and provide proper guidance as to what is expected from an academic perspective. In order to bridge the gap between reality and expectations, UKZN and Mancosa academic staff members, recently attended the module: Supervising Research in Higher Education, which forms part of the University Education Induction Programme (UEIP).

Dr Ruth Searle and Dr Thoko Mnisi facilitated the three-day module and focused on a number of learning outcomes, including:

  • Academics being aware of their roles, functions and responsibilities of supervisor and supervisee
  • Being deliberate on ethical issues related to the research and supervision processes
  •  Being able to identify relevant policies for the postgraduate sector
  • Devising a programme to meet the needs and capitalise on the strengths of diverse supervisees

“When I started the UEIP I felt that I needed guidance. I have lectured for the past ten years at UKZN, however, when I first started, there was a lot that I was expected to do without any proper guidance in terms of how you do certain things and what certain things mean. I honestly felt like I needed a space of input as a lecturer. We do a lot of giving as teachers, so to have a space where we are receiving and are students as well, is quite valuable; and that’s exactly what I was looking for. Also, to get a greater understanding of what is happening in higher education, so that I can locate myself” ~ Ms. Ntokozo Madlala

The saying ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’ has been epitomized in so many ways in the supervisory space in higher education. It is quite refreshing to witness academics who are not afraid to raise their hands and ask for guidance, so that they are able to guide and lead according to the university standards.

All our UEIP modules are available only on request. Should you wish to be part of this programme, please contact:

UKZN Extended Learning

E: [email protected]

T: +27 31 260 1234