DAN spotlights need for investment in postgraduate research supervision

By Debbie Nduba
DAN workshop

The Doctoral Academy of Nigeria (DAN) has called for an adequate investment in the capacity building of research supervisors to boost effective supervision of postgraduate studies in Nigeria.

This, the body said, is part of its five-point objectives aimed at training postgraduate supervisors on mentorship, supervision and application of digital skills on doctoral candidates.

Chairman, Committee of Provosts and Deans of Postgraduate Colleges and Schools in Nigerian Universities (CPDPGCS), Prof Jonathan Babalola, disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony of the Doctoral Academy of Nigeria in Abuja.

The ceremony, a 4-day training workshop on Ph.D research supervision is holding between 29 September - 2 October, 2021 at the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC) conference hall.

DAN said such objectives will also include offering high impact research methodology training for postgraduate students with particular reference on doctoral candidates and providing skills for academic writing, publishing and career development training and opportunities for networking among postgraduate students.

The event, with theme: “Enhancing the Capacities of Doctoral Supervisors and Research Supervision,” organised by the academy had its overall goal in strengthening knowledge and skills development in postgraduate education of universities in Nigeria.

“The idea stems from the fact that some people who are being sent abroad for studies by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), a lot of them go and do excellent work there. Although the researchers want to return to Nigeria, but the type of facilities they used over there might not be available here, they consider staying back,” Babalola said in his speech.

According to him, the academy leverages the CPDPGCS relationship with educational stakeholders and government to create opportunities, linkages, learning support and services that complement gaps in postgraduate studies with special attention to the doctoral programme.

In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, commended the programme, adding that it has been pertinent in boosting doctoral educational standards in the country.

Represented by his deputy, Dr. Suleiman Raman-Yusuf, the NUC ES also commended the academy for timeliness in promoting the organised doctoral system of education in Nigeria.

“The terrain of postgraduate education is definitely not something one can be very proud of. This is because of the challenges involved; the problem of postgraduate research cuts across the developing world.

“We hope that DAN will positively impact doctoral education in Nigeria, in terms of its timeliness, quality and relevance of research projects and dealing with issues of plagiarism,

With DAN, we expect a better output in terms of doctoral thesis, quality of relevant research findings that can impact on national development,” Rasheed added.

The President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Ekanem Braide, in her address, expressed hope that the academy would help to improve quality of life for Nigerians.

According to Braide, the workshop was very apt and should be sustained to further improve the quality of graduates produced, as well as quality of research outcomes.

 “I believe that this workshop will be of functional impact and serve as major paradigm and functional shift in Ph.D. supervision in Nigeria.

 “For supervisors, there is a twin task of mentoring, which majorly is dependent on quality of supervision and mentorship received,” she stated.

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