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University students want more interaction with supervisors

FILE PHOTO: Makerere University 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Graduate students at Makerere University have expressed the need to have more interactions with their supervisors which they say will help them graduate on time.

In an interview with URN, Ambrose Katungi Muhwezi, a Master of Public Health Student on Distance learning said students have minimal interface with lecturers and supervisors, which often keep students without much progress in their research.

Katungi was speaking at the sidelines of the week-long proposal-writing workshop for graduate students at the Makerere University School of Public Health held at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.

The workshop has been underway since Monday March 4th 2019. In attendance has been graduate students under supervision at the proposal/concept writing stage, including those who have overstayed on their respective programs.

Katungi says students at a Masters level usually find it difficult to progress with their research due to limited interaction with supervisors. He wants more emphasis to be put on workshops intended to have supervisors open up to students.

Jeniffer Achan, a second year (full-time) student of Masters of Public Health at Makerere University contends that for one to fulfill the requirements from the course, they are required to conduct research. But she made it clear there are challenges with writing the research.

Moses Kigozi, a second year Masters of Health Services Research student says some other students who find difficulty in research end up hiring mercenaries to do work for them.

He argues however that majority of the graduate students have competing demands that sometimes make it impossible for them to concentrate on the research and end up hiring people to do it for them.

Professor Rhoda Wanyeze, the Dean of the School of Public Health says the benefits of this workshop has seen an increase in the number of students who graduated in 2019 by about 100%, a practice that other Universities and Colleges need to take on.

She says the school is seriously considering fully institutionalizing specialized seminars for dissertation and proposal writing for in order to enable their students to go through the academic system quickly, understand their work better and also not to have the temptation to seek for mercenaries.

Prof. Wanyeze told URN that the specialized seminars arise out of observations that majority of graduate students were stuck in the system and had not progressed well due to limited knowledge of proposal and dissertation writing.

According to Professor Wanyeze, although there are students who are lazy, a big percentage passes the course works and exams but find some challenges with dissertation writing.

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