School of Humanities and Social Sciences hosts colloquium on the policies and practices governing the quality of postgraduate research training at USIU-Africa

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Prof. Mulinge (in black coat) taking participants through the results of the study on postgraduate research at USIU-Africa. The colloquium was attended by members of faculty and postgraduate students.

By Sarah Masila

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, USIU-Africa's School of Humanities and Social Sciences hosted a colloquium session conducted by Prof. Munyae M. Mulinge, Professor of Sociology at USIU-Africa, alongside Dr. Josephine N. Arasa, Associate Professor of Psychology at USIU-Africa. The session, which took place at the Deputy Vice Chancellor –Academic Affairs’ Board Room at the Chandaria School of Business was primarily focused on the analysis of the policies and practices governing the quality of postgraduate research training at USIU-Africa.

Discussing the results of their study, Prof. Mulinge and Dr. Arasa noted that the University did not have a standard policy on the training of postgraduate students, and that adherence to existing policies was low.

“Without a standardized policy on the training of postgraduate students, we run the risk of undermining the quality of postgraduate research at the institution. Currently, we only have poorly coordinated school or departmental policies and guidelines that regulate some aspects of the training process. However, our study indicated that levels of knowledge of and adherence to existing policies and practices is low among faculty and students,” Prof. Mulinge said.

The study also pointed out a variety of challenges that were affecting the quality of postgraduate research training, which included the lack of a standardized university-wide policy and guidelines; reliance on Adjunct faculty as supervisors; the teaching of research methods and the shortage of qualified, experienced and active research faculty, among others.

In their recommendations, Dr. Arasa and Prof. Mulinge highlighted the importance of strengthening the training process, with one of the major initiatives being the development, approval and adoption of a university wide policy and practices document; offering of a comprehensive and appropriate formal training especially to new and promising supervisors on the technical, ethical, professional and administrative aspects of supervision and the reduction in the number of supervisees allocated to adjunct faculty.

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