n South African Journal of Higher Education - Master's degree studies : expectations versus reality




During the past two decades, higher education in South Africa has been affected drastically by transformation. An issue that has specifically been influenced is master's degrees. A significant increase in the demand for access to course work master's degrees has been experienced, while universities themselves have been confronted with a new government funding framework, which specifies that course work master's students be funded differently from research master's students. In this article, I discuss to what extent the expectations of government, universities as provider institutions, and students as clients are reconcilable regarding master's degree studies. I also consider the position of the lecturer, who is expected to produce whilst being caught between the expectations of these stakeholders. The article also addresses the lack of uniformity in universities' policies regarding research-related compensation for lecturers who supervise master's degree students - both in terms of research output units or research output funds.


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