Demystifying the Blame Game in the Delays of Graduation of Research Students in Universities in Ghana: The Case of University for Development Studies (Published)
Research students` thesis is a fundamental component of the University life after completion of their course work. Post graduate research students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) are expected to complete their programme within two years and three years for masters and PhD regular respectively but are mostly not able to do so due to delays in thesis write-up. Since its inception, the University has made strides in graduate studies. Regrettably however, graduate students have consistently complained of not graduating on record time. This has been a source of worry with the resultant blame games as to who actually contributes to the delays in thesis completion and graduation. The foregoing debate is the underlying motivation for this article as it tries to bring to the fore the reasons behind the delays of research students in not graduating on record time in UDS. This study adopted qualitative case study methods to collect and analyze data. Post graduate research students; delayed from graduation, continuing students, supervisors/administrators and graduated research students constituted respondents for this paper. Primary and secondary sources of data were employed for the study. Purposive sampling was adopted to sample 25 participants spread across gender, type of programme and mode of study. Findings revealed that successful completion of the thesis work had a direct bearing on a harmonious relationship built on trust, cooperation and hard work between the student and supervisor. Also, it was found out that supervisors were assigned more students to be supervised than they could have sufficient time and attention for. On the other hand, research students were found to combine work with their studies that limited the time they spent on their thesis thereby leading to the delay completion and graduation. The study therefore concluded that both students and supervisors contributed to the delay in graduation of research students in the university. The researchers recommended that enrolment into post-graduate programmes in the university should be reduced to match the number of qualified and experienced lecturers/supervisors available for graduate studies so as to make supervision of research work more manageable and that management of the university should sanction students who by their own making fail to graduate on record time from their programmes.