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Students’ Perspectives on Postgraduate Supervisory Practices

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The main aim of this study was to investigate postgraduate students’ perspectives of their supervisors’ supervisory practices in terms of and ethics, personal commitments and positive climate. The study employed a descriptive research design and involved a total of 209 postgraduate students from two local public universities in Malaysia. Data were collected through the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with eight students. The findings revealed that on the whole, postgraduate students perceived their supervisors as displaying moderate supervisory practices in terms of ethics, personal commitments and positive climate during the supervision process. The findings also revealed that there were no significant differences in the students’ perceptions with regards to gender and discipline but a significant difference was recorded with regards to locality. Interview sessions, however, revealed that some students felt uneasy with regards to confidentiality of information kept by their supervisors whilst others highlighted that they would appreciate more prompt and constructive feedback from their supervisors. Students also pointed out that they looked for a nurturing and positive climate during supervision as some supervisors often made the supervision session rather intimidating. The findings imply that supervisors need to work together with their students and facilitate the supervision process in a positive and nurturing climate so that students can complete their thesis on time and develop as confident members of their learning communities.
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Keywords: Postgraduate Students; Postgraduate Supervision; Supervisory Practices

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia 2: School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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