Institutional And Student Related Factors And Doctoral Studies Completion Rates In Education At Selected Public Universities In Kenya
The current study was conducted to investigate institutional factors,assess supervision process related factors, examine teaching/learning resources, assess different modes of study- full time or part time and to determine student related factors that influence completion rates of doctoral studies in education selected public in universities in Kenya. Descriptive survey design was used.The total number of participants were 115(62.09%) of a total of 184 lecturers/heads of departments in the three universities studied. The number of doctoral students who participated were 388 (67.29%) of 579 doctoral students registered between the years 2009 to 2013 in the three universities. A questionnaire, document analysis guide and interview guide were used to collect data for the study. Validity of the research instruments was based on construct and content validity. The reliability of the research instruments was determined by a test- retest method on a pilot study sample. Pearson’s Product Co-efficiency (r) was 0.969. Quantitative data was coded and analyzed using SPSS. Data from field notes was transcribed and organized to themes. Some data was coded and tallied based on their similarities and presented using descriptive statistics such as tables, percentages frequencies and graphs. The study found out that about 50% of the teaching staff at the selected public universities were tutorial fellows- who cannot supervise PhD hence inadequate staff. Libraries lack adequate relevant T/L resources and ICT connectivity. Family responsibility, job commitment and lack of adequate writing skills derail most candidates. Academic discipline and mode of study did not appear to be a significant influencing factor. The universities’ policies are that a doctoral degree course should take a minimum of three and a maximum of five years. The average completion time between 2001 and 2008 was nine years but kept on reducing to about six and half years. Completion rates is between 50% and 70% with female candidates generally having slightly higher completion rates. Completion rates for candidates registered from 2009 onward are still far below 50%.There is no significant difference in time to degree between male and female candidates. The five factors studied (institutional administrative factors, supervision process, Teaching/learning resources, different study programmes and student related factors) contributed 65.7% of the effects of institutional and student related factors influencing doctoral studies completion rates. The study concluded that key factors influencing doctoral completion rates and time –to- degree include but not limited to policies and programme requirements, inadequate number of supervisors and individual student factors including socio economic and lack of thesis writing skills. The findings of the study will provide useful information to policy makers towards making informed decisions. Based on the foregoing research findings, the study recommended that public universities ought to employ adequate number of qualified lecturers and improve Teaching/Learning resources.
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