Sitting together: a supervision resource for doctoral students and supervisors
International students provide significant economic, cultural and social benefits for universities in Aotearoa, New Zealand and African research cohort is one that is expanding fast.
Dr Stephanie Doyle, from the Faculty of Education at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), has investigated the supervision experiences of this group of students’ and their supervisors at VUW and Massey University, across a number of different disciplines. The project was co-funded by our Central Regional Hub.
The main report - Supervising African Doctoral Students: Enhancing
Intercultural Supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand - provides insights into doctoral supervision that will be particularly useful to supervisors involved in intercultural supervision, as well as those involved in doctoral supervision in general.
The report suggests useful topics for a supervisor to explore, such as their student’s history, current circumstances and future goals, the supervision relationship and writing. It also provides specific questions aimed at clarifying understandings and expectations.
Students contributing to the project have made their own recommendations for successful supervision, which include the following:
- Staff and student inductions should cover the culture of the student and New Zealand culture to enable an understanding of both.
- Supervisors should be aware of their students’ broader identities and financial, cultural and language challenges.
- Staff should be aware of the difficulties of those whose background discourages disagreeing with supervisors, and enable them to voice opposing views.
- Emphasis should be placed on the value of students asking questions.
- Students and staff need to clarify expectations in terms of the work required for the proposal, the research and thesis.
- Supervisors should visit the student workspace to see how they are progressing.
- An awareness of funding pressures is needed – and hence the need for supervisors to address writing and editing procedures early in the process.
- Read more about the project and access - Sitting Together: A Supervision Resource - on the project space