The role of supervisor - supervisee relationship and completion of graduate research: a case of the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University
Kharono, Irene Sarah
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In the study, I sought to explore the role of supervisor – supervisee relationship and completion of graduate research at CEES, Makerere University. In particular, the relationship that leads to completion of research and the student graduates on time. The failure for some students to complete their graduate research and graduate has been largely attributed to the role of supervisor – supervisee relationship. Three specific research objectives guided the study. To find out what graduate students and supervisors expect from their supervisor – supervisee relationship so as to complete the research and graduate; to find out what supervisors and supervisees perceive in the role their relationship has in completing research so that the student graduates; and to find out the role Communication with the supervisor or supervisee has in completion of graduate research and the student graduates. The study took a purely qualitative paradigm to facilitate deeper understanding of the problem through face to face interactions with participants. It was therefore a case study with data collected from 18 informants from 07 supervisors of graduate research (lecturers) as well as 11 supervised students’ research from the CEES of Makerere University. Data were collected using interview research questions by audio recording with the participants’ permission. The data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the themes formulated in accordance with the study objectives. The researcher found that supervisors as well as supervisees expected to have much time for research but they experienced challenges such as inadequate time for supervision because of unavailability and inaccessibility of supervisors and supervisees in the supervisor - supervisee relationship , it came to notice that; work related issues experienced by both the supervisors and supervisees, and related issues like family, financial constraints, distances caused limitation of time that was expected to be used in research supervision. The participants in the study suggested majorly that the graduate research be started on as early as one started course work or soon after coursework but with a timetable monitored by the schools, and it would be proper for supervisors to do refresher training in handling graduate research supervisor - supervisee relationships. The study recommended that supervisors be motivated by giving them a monetary allowance for the work of graduate research supervision as the teaching load. The researcher concluded that for supervisor – supervisee relationship to succeed, CEES and indeed Makerere University had to consider Graduate Research specially and monitor supervisor - supervisee relationships during and after school and facilitate them fully for stakeholders i.e. students, the university and the nation to benefit from the work done.