n South African Journal of Higher Education - Mentorship as a strategy to improve research output at tertiary institutions : a case study of University of Johannesburg

Volume 25, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The problem explored is the relatively low research output at a merged Higher Education Institution (HEI). The re-landscaping of how HEIs operate, has impacted on merged institutions, especially those of a comprehensive nature, that are facing the challenge of improving research output. This article is based on research conducted for a Master's study. In this article, the focus is on capacity building as a strategy to develop human resources in the field of research, using mentorship, with the aim of improving research output. The researchers explored a formal research mentorship programme (REMP) at tertiary institutions using a case study and adopting a mixed method approach. The case study was conducted at a merged HEI in Gauteng, viz. the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The study, via a survey and semi-structured interviews, obtained views and perceptions from academic staff members and deans, with regard to the implementation of a formal REMP. The results (from the interviews with the deans) reveal that an informal, spontaneous and collegial type of mentoring was preferred. However, these views differed with that of the findings of the survey (conducted among academic staff), which showed that a majority of the respondents favoured a formal REMP and they also believed that REMP guides young academics in terms of the research process and methodology. Based on some of these findings, a formal REMP is recommended.

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