Lecturers' experience of postgraduate supervision in a distance education context

  • AC Lessing University of South Africa
  • S Schulze University of South Africa


After determining the perceptions of postgraduate students at a distance education institution of the guidance they had experienced, a research project was launched to determine lecturers' views on supervision at the same institution. Data collection methods included focus groups, individual interviews and document analysis. Findings indicated that supervisors experienced some aspects of postgraduate supervision as extremely satisfying. However, numerous problems were raised, for example establishing acceptable ground rules, planning the research project, poor language proficiency and design of empirical investigations. In addition, administrative problems were encountered including admission requirements of students, allocation of students to appropriate supervisors and problems relating to the examination process. From the findings, the need for training of students and supervisors; discussion around issues in the supervisory process and written policies and guidelines on postgraduate supervision emerged.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.17(2) 2003: 159-168

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eISSN: 1011-3487