Exploring perceptions of coursework masters students regarding research supervision process at a selected, University in KwaZulu-Natal.
Background: Research supervision process at postgraduate level is expected to transform research candidates into knowledge producers and managers, with research supervisors playing an informed supportive role in their research journey. More importantly, the dynamic and complex environment of today is demanding a change in conventional research supervision processes. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe perceptions of coursework masters students on research supervision process in a selected university, in Kwazulu-Natal. Methodology: This study adopted a positivist paradigm and a quantitative, descriptive approach. Non-convenience sampling method was used to select participants. ere used in this study. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University Ethics Committee numbered HSS/0363/012M. Data was collected using an instrument with items adopted from a number of instruments. Test-retest reliability was done to establish the reliability of the instrument and the Cronbach‟s alpha test was above 7. Descriptive statistics were used to describe data from this study and inferential statistical methods were used to test relationship among variables. Results: The findings revealed that participants (87.8%) had high level of expectations from the research process. The majority of respondents (83.25%) reflected satisfaction with resources available to support their research projects, with a mean of 3.33 out of 4. However, about half (53.5%) stated that financial support for their research projects was inadequate. The majority of participants (66.1%) perceived support from research supervisors at moderate level, and 32.1% perceived it as high, while 1.8% perceived it as low. Although positive, the majority of participants (67.8%) were less satisfied with the intellectual climate within the school to support their research projects, with an overall mean of 2.712 out of 4. Computed total scores of outcomes of research supervision reflected that the majority of 71.4% perceived outcomes as high with 28.6% perceiving outcomes as moderate. Recommendations: Although the findings were generally positive, data suggested the need to develop the research supervision capacity of some of the supervisors to improve the quality of service provided to students. Some participants suggested a need to use technology to support students as well as adoption of a cohort research supervision model considering that the school had a number of emerging research supervisors.