Dilemmas of Completing Doctor of Philosophy Thesis in Ghanaian Universities: A Multi-Case Study Perspectives (Published)
Even though previous research stressed the importance of doctoral degree to the universities there is limited multi-case research that explores factors affecting postgraduate’s completion of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis in public and private Universities located in different settings. To fill this gap in the literature, a qualitative multi-case study into perspectives of six PhD students in two Ghanaian universities was conducted for a period of six months. One research question directed the study. The interpretivist philosophy informed the choice of the methodology. The students and the universities were purposively selected for the study. Data were gathered using semi-structured individual interviews. Both within and across interpretative analysis was used. The findings of the study revealed among others that students’ busy schedules at workplaces and supervisors inability to provide feedback on time delayed completion of PhD thesis within stipulated period. It was recommended that the Dean of graduate studies need to organize workshop on time-management for PhD students to enable them grasp the skill of balancing occupational and academic activities. Management of the universities should improve remuneration for thesis supervision to motivate supervisors to offer the necessary assistance to research students.
A Strong Wind of Change: Ways in Which Doctoral Programs Are Slowly Adjusting Their Sails (Published)
This study explored the perceptions, structure and their impact on the final thesis of the EdD and the PhD (Education) and allowed a comparison of the UK and US. This report focuses on the qualitative component of a mixed methods study. EdD Program leaders in the UK and US were interviewed, and the transcripts were analysed allowing categories to be developed. The Donabedian model of structure, process and outcomes organised the findings. The main findings were: the EdD and PhD were perceived as equivalent qualifications; the main difference was the lack of a taught component in the PhD (Education) in the UK. No clear pattern was identified in the structure of the final dissertation and an examination of the final thesis across UK and US programmes was one of the final recommendations
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.