Navigating the Academic Odyssey: Exploring the Role of Supervisors in Supporting Postgraduate Students
Theophilus Adedokun
Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Funsho Oyetunde-Joshua
North-West University, South Africa
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postgraduate students
postgraduate journey

How to Cite

Adedokun, T., & Oyetunde-Joshua, F. (2024). Navigating the Academic Odyssey: Exploring the Role of Supervisors in Supporting Postgraduate Students. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 7(1), 1-18.


Postgraduate supervision entails an intensive, one-on-one academic relationship between the supervisor and student. Through this relationship, the supervisor facilitates the student's scholarly development. This study investigates supervisors' roles in supporting postgraduate students from the students’ perspective. This study through in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 doctoral and masters students at two universities seeks to investigate how postgraduate students perceive and undergo guidance from their supervisors. The factors analyzed include the role of networking and motivational supports provided by supervisors during postgraduate students’ research journey. This study explores the ways supervisors provide career mentoring and networking to prepare students for postgraduate careers, and how they inspire and emotionally assist students through inherent research challenges. The findings identify strengths in supervisory support and areas needing enhancement. The findings indicate that many students desire more hands-on help with methodology and writing and career mentoring emerges as an area where postgraduate support falls short of expectations. The study recommends that supervisor trainings be provided for supervisors and intending ones, and such trainings should be focused on writing guidance, networking, advising and motivation. By implementing such programs, universities can empower supervisors to optimally assist students, thereby enhancing experiences and outcomes.

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