Research higher degree completion rates in African universities are relatively low. Most graduate research students complete their degrees outside the stipulated degree completion time. The study attempted an investigation of the underlying causes of this state of affairs using the case study of the oldest university in East and Central Africa, Makerere University. The study was guided by three themes, institutional factors, student-based factors and supervisor-related factors. The study findings suggest that the student research administration architecture is not supportive of timely completion. Delays in submission of external examiner reports, lack of steady study financing, student full-time employment and low research supervision capacity across graduate departments at Makerere University are some of the leading causes of low research degree completion rates. The study recommends an overhaul of the graduate research administration structure, increase in graduate scholarships and increased research supervision capacities and a diversification of graduate degree training formats.
Many courses and degrees require that students write a short thesis. This book guides students through their first experience of producing a thesis and undertaking original research. Written by experienced researchers and advisors, the book sets out signposts and tasks to help students to understand what is needed to succeed, including scoping a topic, managing references, interpreting data, and successful completion.For students, the task of writing a thesis is a transition from structured coursework to becoming a researcher. The book provides advice on:What to expect from research and how to work with a supervisorGetting organized and approaching the work in a productive wayDeveloping an overall thesis structure and avoidance of mistakes such as inadvertent plagiarismProducing each major component: a strong introduction, background chapters that are situated in the discipline, and an explanation of methods and results that are crucial to successful original researchHow to wrap up a complex project with an extended checklist of the many details needed to be checked before a final submission Producing and managing a thesis for the first time can be a daunting task, and this reader-friendly guidebook provides a framework for students to do their best.