n South African Journal of Higher Education - Are doctoral studies in South African higher education being put at risk? : leading article

Volume 29, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Inasmuch as many attempts are being made in South Africa to increase the doctoral throughput rate, it appears as if the rush to produce doctoral (PhD) qualifications might just be the biggest risk that confronts the pursuit of doctoral studies. The author argues that, in the quest to accelerate the number of doctorates produced in the country, higher education institutions (HEIs), in particular administrators and - to a lesser extent - supervisors, run the risk of trivialising doctoral education: because of an over-emphasis on throughput rates alone, the purpose of the doctorate is assigned to a mere exercise of technical compliance and completion. In this article, the author offers a word of caution as to what the doctorate should not be subjected to if such a high-level achievement is to remain an aspiration of those serious about knowledge construction, reconstruction and deconstruction.

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