About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4431-4441
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2051

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

SUPERVISION CAPACITY, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT & ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HIGHER DEGREE EXAMINATION PROCESSES – A CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND

N.B.W. Mlitwa (Mlita)

University of Zululand (SOUTH AFRICA)
This paper reports on an exploratory study into ethical compliance issues in post graduate research assessment processes at the University of Zululand. It interrogates supervision and examination administrative procedures – with respect to related ethics guides, policies and procedures governing the examination practices. The paper examines the process followed in managing the examination of final PhD research projects. Methodologically, a qualitative research method (within the interpretive epistemology) using a case study of one faculty, with purposive sampling technique employed to select specific PG problematic examination cases in one of the largest academic faculties, was used. A sample of 3 Ph.D candidates who had submitted research for projects for examination - but could not graduate due to ethical questions on the exam process were selected from the Faculty of Arts. The Post Graduate (PG) Assessment Guide (2013) was used as a framework for this analysis. Questions of compliance in procedures for the appointment of examiners, and in dealing with re-submissions (corrections) were then raised – with findings gauged against the Assessment Guide. Mediating circumstances were also reviewed and embedded in the interpretations. Findings show that despite administrative discrepancies in the examination process, they were more of unscrupulous (and at times, incompetent) nature – more than they were fraudulent. It is clear in the findings that the 3 candidates had complied with what is expected of them, albeit, under very testing conditions – that were not of their making. If anything at all, the institution may need to deal with its’ under-performing employees. Obviously, discrepancies in the management of the examination process had an effect in the number of candidates graduating in May 2016. Where the initial examiner reports were not consolidated (not forwarded to the Faculty) as required by Section 8.6.1 of the Guide. For this direct breach, the supervisor must take full responsibility. A basis of the problem however, lies beyond the individual person’s (i.e. supervisor) capabilities (or supposed misdemeanors), but to the broader faculty systemic shortcomings. Supervisors, Heads of Departments (HoDs) and Deputy Deans (DDs) need to take more responsibility in protecting the integrity of examination processes. It starts with respecting policies and operational guidelines, not only in examination processes, but in all PG related matters. It is also fair to question the roles of oversight committees such as the HDC in this matter. It is clear in their minutes that they were aware of these systemic failures, but continued to approve non-compliant documents from certain “problem-child” departments and faculties. Quality control committees must tighten up their functions in PG oversight matters. Decline non-compliant transactions, or own up when the going gets messy.
@InProceedings{MLITWA(MLITA)2016SUP,
author = {Mlitwa (Mlita), N.B.W.},
title = {SUPERVISION CAPACITY, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT & ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HIGHER DEGREE EXAMINATION PROCESSES – A CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2051},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2051},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4431-4441}}
TY - CONF
AU - N.B.W. Mlitwa (Mlita)
TI - SUPERVISION CAPACITY, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT & ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HIGHER DEGREE EXAMINATION PROCESSES – A CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2051
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4431
EP - 4441
ER -
N.B.W. Mlitwa (Mlita) (2016) SUPERVISION CAPACITY, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT & ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HIGHER DEGREE EXAMINATION PROCESSES – A CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 4431-4441.
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