Examination phase of the Master’s thesis: a plausible cause of delayed completion of graduate studies at Makerere University, Uganda
Oonyu, Joseph C.
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This paper investigates the influence of the examination stage of student theses on the completion time of graduate studies at Makerere University, Uganda. The assessment is based on the administrative data of 504 Master’s degree students in the 2000 to 2008 enrollment cohorts at the School of Education, Makerere University. The total elapsed time from submission of a thesis for evaluation to a viva voce was adopted as a measure of the examination period. Additionally, the period from viva voce to submission of the final thesis was investigated. The analysis included frequency distribution, summary statistics, and a Pearson Chi-square test. A median examination period of 11 months (range, 1–55), in the results, is a lengthy one when compared to the two-year stipulated duration of Master’s studies at the University. Subsequently, the fact that about six in every ten students (59.9%) submits a final thesis beyond a months’ period after a viva points to further delays in the review process of students’ reports. No significant variations in the submission period were observed by student characteristics. In sum, the findings underscore the need to strengthen administrative support systems, particularly aspects related to the review process of student’s reports, to ensure students’ timely completion of graduate programs.