College of College of Graduate Studies

College of Graduate Studies at the forefront of postgraduate supervision

The second cycle of Unisa’s Supervisor Capacity Development Programme was launched during a ground-breaking online event attended by 1 190 of the university’s supervisors. The programme, which is offered as a twelve-week-long offering of didactic and workshop-style lectures, is aimed at equipping supervisors with supervisory skills to effectively support postgraduate students with wide-ranging competencies that include (but are not limited to) research skills needed to support postgraduate students with writing proposals, chapter development, grant writing and entrepreneurial development.

Invitations to the programme were extended to current and prospective supervisors and alumni with master’s and/or doctoral qualifications. Candidates of the programme had one thing in common: a commitment to making a contribution through being part of the university’s supervisor community. By the end of the programme, the supervisors will be competent in enabling postgraduate students to be more knowledgeable in their research skills and studies. The online nature of the course also provides opportunities for supervisors to access recordings after the sessions.

Prof Tennyson Mgutshini, Acting Executive Dean: College of Graduate Studies

The programme is a response to many of the challenges permeating postgraduate studies and supervision such as first-year dropout rates, non-completion of proposals, poor publication and grant attainment rates among the postgraduate students, and the unsustainably low supervisor-student ratio. Quality supervision is part of the needed solutions in making a difference. Hence, following this programme supervisors will be able to contribute to the lives of students by equipping them with the needed skills to successfully attain their qualifications. In addition, they will be able to guide students through subjects that will have societal impact, which will be an advantage for employment and contribution in the labour market through the candidates’ research. Importantly, supervisors will also be in a community of peers where they can discuss and tackle various challenges experienced during postgraduate supervision.

The programme is also in line with the Council on Higher Education’s doctoral review audit which identified that supervision needs greater attention. The programme is therefore an appropriate response to this audit. It is expected that the programme will produce many quality supervisors who can supervise effectively and have a profound impact in growing the master’s and doctoral graduate numbers. This will be a massive contribution towards our economy and the institution as a whole.

To become a part of this programme, click here.

This initiative is a result of joint sponsorship by the Department of Higher Education and Training and the University Capacity Development Programme.

Click here to watch a recording of the launch event.

* By Hanli Wolhuter, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Graduate Studies & Musa Buthelezi, Intern, College of Graduate Studies


Publish date: 2022/06/10