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Challenges in Postgraduate Studies: Assessments by Doctoral Students in a Swedish University

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Author(s): Eugene E. Ezebilo

Journal: Higher Education Studies
ISSN 1925-4741

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The success of research students largely depends on their relationship with supervisors. If the students encounter lot of problems it may impinge on their academic potentials. This study examines the challenges facing doctoral students and how they have coped over time. How supervisor-student relationship could be improved is discussed. The data originated from personal interviews that involved doctoral students at one of the universities in southern Sweden and were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The challenges faced by international doctoral students include less access to sources of information and cultural shock. It was inadequate guidance and mentoring for the indigenous students. For the female respondents it was challenges associated with confidence in presenting research works to the scientific community and confidence regarding having what it takes to complete doctoral studies. It was inadequate guidance for the male. The coping strategies used by the respondents include seeking for help from colleagues and asking for more support from supervisors as well as learning the Swedish language. The findings will contribute to the knowledge regarding how to improve supervisor-student relationship to help increase successes in doctoral education.
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