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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(4), 1175-1194.
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Postgraduate supervision in a South African transforming academic environment: A reflexivity approach

Obianuju E. Okeke-Uzodike
Durban University of Technology, South Africa

The pace of global transformation places a great emphasis on the need for development, with higher education identified as a key agent in the development of a knowledge economy. Higher education systems have been challenged with providing the necessary skilled person-power to complement the changing labour market. Postgraduate supervision is a vital tool in building institutional research capacities, reputation, financial support and developing skill amongst peers, and between supervisors and candidates. Thus, the effectiveness and efficiency of postgraduate supervision processes determine to a large extent the quality of output and the extent of skills transfer. This article is based on a training course focusing on strengthening postgraduate supervision, attended by the researcher. The primary objective of this article is to examine the concept of postgraduate supervision within a transforming academic environment. Specifically, the article examined how aspects of the supervision process enhance skills development and knowledge transfer. Data for the study were collected through a personal narrative inquiry approach and thematically analysed, with meaning construed alongside related literature. The findings show that postgraduate supervision is characterised by various factors which determine the degree of skills transfer and development. The study provides insights into aspects of supervision that if not well managed, may compromise the objective of skill development. It contributes to the on-going discourse in supervision pedagogy and recommends careful consideration of the dynamic changes that may impact the level of educational transformation and skills development in the knowledge economy.
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Author: Dr Obianuju (Uju) E. Okeke-Uzodike is a senior lecturer in the Department of Applied Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Riverside Campus, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She lectures in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs at DUT. Her research spans general areas of business and management studies with a specific interest in human capacity building.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9301-7172
Email: obianujuo@dut.ac.za

Please cite as: Okeke-Uzodike, O. E. (2021). Postgraduate supervision in a South African transforming academic environment: A reflexivity approach. Issues in Educational Research, 31(4), 1175-1194. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/okeke-uzodike.pdf

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Created 15 December 2021. Last correction: 15 December 2021. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]