Unisa online - Challenges for postgraduate students
Dr Wei Ho (Senior Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering), Dr Simon Dhlamini (Department of Physics) and Prof David Kruger (Senior Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering)
We often hear about the successes of postgraduate studies, but, we do not normally hear about the challenges and difficulties. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering under the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) held a seminar to address these challenges.
Dr Simon Dhlamini of the Physics Department highlighted some of the challenges that postgraduate students encounter, such as conflict, culture, distance, funding, language, management, time, and priority, to name a few.
He also emphasised two main factors that could lead to difficulties in the research process:
He also stressed the responsibility that students should take on. Among these responsibilities are:
He argued that “good working relationships make the journey even more enjoyable”. Moreover, to be successful in research, students need to learn to cope with criticism, actively seek it out, listen to valid, constructive criticism and ignore destructive and pointless criticism. He concluded by quoting Albert Einstein when he said: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be research.”
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