Profiling exiting postgraduate students\' performance and experiences

  • RM Albertyn
  • CA Kapp
  • EM Bitzer


Transitions in an era of globalisation and universal change impact on postgraduate training of students at higher education institutions. This study aimed to determine completion rates for postgraduate programmes in Education at one higher education institution, to identify the students\' needs and to investigate their experiences of postgraduate studies. Questionnaires were administered to students who had graduated and who suspended their studies between 2000 and 2006 (n=78). In this cohort, more Ph.D. students completed their studies and in a shorter time than M.Phil. students. The research component was regarded as the most difficult aspect of postgraduate studies. The need for supervision support in research skills was noted by more M.Phil. students than Ph.D. students. Academic input of assessing progress and evaluating quality were regarded as the most important supervision need for students. Personal attributes, support from supervisors and institutional support are noted as factors contributing to success. Addressing the postgraduate students\' needs is essential in an era characterised by transition to ensure accountability and quality within higher education.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 22 (4) 2008: pp. 749-772

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eISSN: 1011-3487