STRATEGIC FACTORS INFLUENCING THE COMPLETION RATE OF DOCTORAL STUDIES IN KENYA: A CASE OF SELECTED PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA
Purpose of the study: The study examined whether strategic factors can influence the completion rate of doctoral studies of public universities in Kenya. The specific objectives were to examine the influence of research information infrastructure, supervision process and mode of study on completion rate.
Statement of the problem: The number of applicants for doctoral programmes in many universities in Kenya has continued to rise over the years. However, acquiring a doctoral degree is a daunting task for many students in Kenya. Many students take a considerably longer period to complete their theses or fail to complete them at all.
Research methodology: The study adopted the descriptive research design. The study population was 3618 doctoral students (1504 from the University of Nairobi, 1196 from Kenyatta university and 918 from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology). The sample size was 361 that was calculated using the Yamane formula.
Findings: The study established that research information infrastructure is positively and significantly related to completion rate (β=.413 p=0.000). It was found that the supervision process is positively and significantly related to completion rate (β=.248 p=0.000). In addition, the mode of study was found to be positively and significantly related to the completion rate (β=.382, p=0.000).
Recommendations: The study recommended the university install internet on all the premises, enable students to read online books and other publications for free on the university digital platforms, facilitate the university digital resource platforms to be easily accessible to everyone, and the university to support information management skills. There should be specialists to facilitate easy access to the needed information from the digital resource platforms of the university. There should be a supportive mentorship supported by the supervisors/university to PhD students. In addition, there should be timely feedback from the supervisors and supervisors to allow students to consult anytime if a concept is not well understood. In addition, it is recommended that students be treated equally by the supervisors/university regardless of the mode of the study. There should be different types of courses designed to suit students’ requirements and university to allow them to choose their mode of study based on their schedules.
Keywords: Strategic factors, research information infrastructure, supervision process, mode of study, Completion Rate, Doctoral Studies, Public Universities, Kenya
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