Graduate School formats and functions

Groenewald, Johann ; Steenekamp, Cindy (2016)

CITATION: Groenewald, J. & Steenkamp, C. 2016. Graduate School Formats and Functions: A Case Study, in M. Fourie-Malherbe, R. Albertyn, C. Aitchison & E. Bitzer. (eds.). Postgraduate Supervision: Future Foci for the Knowledge Society. Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS. 99-121. doi:10.18820/9781928357223/06.

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Chapters in Books

INTRODUCTION: This chapter explores the reasons for the success, in the area of doctoral studies, of the recently established Graduate School in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at Stellenbosch University (SUN), South Africa. First we provide a brief history of the establishment of the FASS Graduate School which includes a description of the institutional developments leading to the release of funding for this HOPE project initiative. (We use the term ‘graduate school’ in referring exclusively to doctoral programmes.) We also look at recent national policy developments that catapulted doctoral education to the position of a strategic enabler in the South African science and research system, as well as some of the recommendations for increasing doctoral production in South Africa. The greater part of the chapter is devoted to a description of the structure and functions of the Graduate School. The discussion explores the meaning of fulltime study as a key component of successful PhD programmes. Next, the recently developed notion of graduate enrolment management (GEM) is introduced as a heuristic device to describe the operations of the Graduate School. The provision of continuous programmatic support is unpacked as a specific form of support of which the content as well as the timing is determined by the stage of study. In the last section, the outcomes of the FASS Graduate School are presented and evaluated, concluding with a summary of the reasons for the success of the Graduate School and an attempt to articulate some general lessons that could be learnt from this enterprise.

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