n South African Journal of Higher Education - The pains and gains of supervising postgraduate students from a distance : the case of six students from Lesotho

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



South African policy emphasises internationalisation and the recruitment of learners from other countries, with particular focus on countries of the South African Development Community (SADC). While such advocacy is legitimate, there are some negative factors which impact on the efficiency and the smooth running of teaching and learning of international students. Common problems range from - among others - physical distance, communication, financial implications and insufficient background in and experience of research. <br>The purpose of this article is to reflect on the experiences of the supervisor(s) and the challenges faced by six Lesotho students enrolled for a part-time master's degree at the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD) at the University of the Free State. What started off as a normal master's degree study, proceeded into a phase of pain when students failed to complete their minidissertations in the allocated time. This period became equally challenging to the supervisor whose roles had to change to being counselor, parent and mentor. <br>The report is based on the voices of the students, as well as on one of the authors' experience and observations as the supervisor of this group. A post-evaluation survey was done to gather information from the students.

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