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Enhancing completion rates of mini-dissertations for a professional master's degree: An integrated approach

Massyn, Liezel
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    Abstract Due to various forces of change, namely globalisation, funding, the shift to lifelong learning and the need for highly skilled employees, there is pressure on higher education institutions to produce more postgraduate students. Constraints in the higher education sector, among others a lack of sufficient and experienced supervisors and a more diverse student population, have led to concerns related to the completion rates of research projects. The higher education literature identifies various strategies to tackle the challenges associated with the failure to complete postgraduate programmes on time. The article argues that an integrated approach should be used to reduce the completion times of dissertations. It uses a case study as an exemplar of how challenges could be dealt with in an integrated way. The case, an MBA programme, consists of a coursework component and mini-dissertation (compulsory research project). Many students successfully complete the coursework component but struggle to complete the mini-dissertation. It is recommended that specific problem areas be addressed by layering support at various levels of a programme. Consideration should also be given to the most appropriate time to introduce support mechanisms without overburdening already overworked supervisors and students.


  • 주제어

    Completion rate .   Perseverance .   Attrition .   Mini-dissertations .   Postgraduate students .   Support.  

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