Higher Degree Committee Members’ Perceptions of Quality Assurance of Doctoral Education: A South African Perspective

Petro Du Preez, Shan Simmonds
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 11  •  2016  •  pp. 341-365
In South Africa four key policy discourses underpin doctoral education: growth, capacity, efficiency, and quality discourses. This article contributes to the discourse on quality by engaging with quality assurance from the perspective of the decision makers and implementers of macro policy (national), meso (institutional), and micro (faculty/departmental) levels. We explore the perceptions that members of higher degree committees in the field of Education have of the quality assurance of doctoral education. Our data are drawn from a national survey questionnaire completed by these respondents at all public South African institutions that offer a doctorate in Education. The insights gained reside within four categories: positionality, policy, programmes, and people (stakeholders). Thereafter, we problematised the main results using academic freedom in a mode 3 knowledge production environment as a lens, which revealed thought provoking directions for future research about doctoral education.
higher degree committee members, quality assurance, doctoral education, academic freedom, mode 3 knowledge production, higher education, South Africa
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