The experience of becoming a PHD.

Show simple item record Hadingham, Jennifer Ann 2012-02-28T08:59:24Z 2012-02-28T08:59:24Z 2012-02-28
dc.description.abstract The development of the next generation of researchers is a priority if South Africa is to make a significant contribution to the international knowledge economy and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in international research circles. In the context of this knowledge economy, researchers are increasingly being recognised as agents of economic growth. In order to be competitive, therefore, an extensive pool of active researchers needs to be cultivated. One way of doing this is to promote and develop doctoral capacity at the country’s universities. This entails, among other things, a move away from the traditional focus on what the supervisor does, to a more student-centred understanding of how the doctoral candidate experiences the process, and by implication, how this impacts on their research contribution. In this qualitative study, thirty doctoral candidates from the Faculties of Science and Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, were interviewed in order to establish firstly, how they had experienced their supervision at this level, and secondly, whether or not these experiences had influenced the successful completion of their doctorates. One of the principal findings of the research was that the role of the supervisor was not central to the achievement of their degree; rather, many of the doctoral candidates asserted a significant level of agency in both identifying and making contact with experts beyond their university-appointed supervisors in order to supplement their access to relevant knowledge. In the majority of cases, this was encouraged by the supervisors. Such enterprises represent a marked departure from the traditional models of supervision in the Science and Humanities faculties. In the case of the former, the customary co-supervision arrangement is increasingly being augmented by student-initiated collaboration with authorities located outside the formal boundaries of the institution. The traditional Humanities model of supervision is also transforming from a one-on-one relationship to a style characterised by multiple supervisors, each from separate but cognate disciplines. The research suggested that these emergent models are eclipsing their predecessors as doctoral candidates increasingly recognise the value of extending the breadth of their disciplinary exposure beyond the confines of the university. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject PhD en_US
dc.subject Doctorate en_US
dc.subject Supervision en_US
dc.subject Postgraduate studies en_US
dc.subject Narrative inquiry en_US
dc.subject Communities of practice en_US
dc.subject International knowledge economy en_US
dc.subject Agency en_US
dc.subject Power en_US
dc.title The experience of becoming a PHD. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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