Relieving Financial Constraints of Doing Postgraduate Research in Africa

Relieving Financial Constraints of Doing Postgraduate Research in Africa

Moses Muhindo Kibalirwandi (Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda), Adrian Rwekaza Mwesigye (Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda) and Clive Maate (Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0264-8.ch011


Private and public universities all canvas to enroll learners targeting community as a source of students. The parents' and learners' choice to join universities is guided by knowledge available on social media as universities are web-ranked depending on evaluation criteria of best performance. Research and publication is one of the three core activities that identify a university from other tertiary institutions after secondary education. The financial constraints in financing research for Masters and PhD students remain a drawback in implementing quality assurance policy in African universities. The major criteria used while evaluating best performing universities are: teaching, research, citation, industrial income, and international outlook. Research takes equal percentage weight as teaching in universities' web ranking. This chapter explores the possibility of financing research and publications in promoting quality assurance system, a global marketing strategy for universities.
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Introduction: Financial Constraints Of Financing Post Graduate Students Research In Africa

Attrition in post graduate studies has been associated with financial constraints where about 30-50% of enrolled students do not persist to graduate (Bair & Haworth, 1999). Research has shown that between 40-60% doctoral students do not persist to graduate. In South Africa 50% of PhD enrolled students drop out of the university within the first year of enrollment (Herman & Sehoole, 2018 and Mutula, 2011). In Australia, between 2010-2016 out of the 437,030 enrolled only 65,101 which is 14.89% of PhD students graduated from Australia public universities (Bednall, 2018). In Uganda, considering Masters of Business administration, Masters of Science in Accounting and Finance of Makerere Business School about less than 16% of enrolled students could complete within four years period (Eyangu, Bagire & Kibrai, 2014). The causes of attrition have been identified from personal, financial and institutional. From the perspective of financial constraints, post graduates students especially PhD candidates’ challenges vary along lines of gender, ethnicity, age, family responsibility and maturity. The performance of such student if not financed at an early age (below 40 years) it may be detrimental for him or her to complete and it is made worse with students enrolled on self-sponsorship in universities (eyangu, Bagire & Kibrai, 2014; Van de Schoot, 2013 and Bednall, 2018). Professor R J Nico Botha of university of south Africa arguably say that, “Throughput of post-graduates is decreasing due to financial difficulties, personal challenges, less opportunities for students to get study leave from their employers”. Throughput is the amount of work, people or things that a system deals within a particular period of time (Botha, 2016). In university, post graduate research needs to be funded otherwise attrition may continually cause waste in human resources development.

Attrition varies with discipline of study, age of students, enrollment status, family responsibilities and country (Gittings, 2018 and Herman & Sehoole, 2018). Gradual reduction in the number of students enrolled at postgraduate studies remain a drawback in personnel development at such a critical moment where university enrollment at undergraduate level is advisedly increasing as youth and adults seek to attain university education (Louden, 2010). Delay to graduate and programme termination at Masters and PhD level may also be detrimental to the university as resources, time and collaboration with funders may be disconnected since there is delay and termination rate which is undesirable by graduate students and other stakeholders. In Netherlands, PhD government rewards universities which successful present a Doctoral thesis. Each successful PhD thesis is £90,000 and this helps universities with financial autonomy (Schoot, 2013).

Economic development is significantly related to the level of achievement in formal education where professionalism is practical in institutional management and output is of high quality. It is accepted that there is no economy which can attain economic development with less than 40% literacy level. Therefore, economic development is proportionate to increased level in academic achievement of the citizens (Center for Global Development, 2002 and Tremblay, Lalancette & Roseveare, 2012). However, literacy, education and economic development can be expedited through post graduate researches to propose solutions that affect society (Blaug, 1966).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Quality Assurance: This is an educational policy as well as education system advocating for continuous improvement of higher education institutions for purpose of producing high quality widgets (knowledge and skills held by graduates to use increasing productivity). Quality assurance is therefore a universal high institutional policy to reform education system in universities and other tertiary institutions.

Financing: The act of providing funds or money for project implementation is financing.

Marketing: This is a managerial action of promoting the selling and buying of goods and services produced by the company or a firm. In this context is a managerial activity of selling services produced by the universities to the community.

Anthropoanagogy: a concept coined from two Greek words; anthropoi ( ?????p?? ) means people and Anagogy (??a????) making ?????p?? ??a???? anthropoanagogy refereeing inspiring people. Teaching should be taken as a means of inspiring people to achieve a particular professional position as guided by a professional team of individuals. This concept seeks lexicon entry into educational terminologies after establishing polemic nature of the term pedagogy basing on its historical origin from pedagogue referring to a slave who teaches a master’s child.

Research: This is a systematic investigation into materials and services in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Research is one of the three distinctive core activities done by the university. The three core activities are; teaching, research and outreach. Research makes universities unique from other learning institutions.

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