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UB PhD Students Lectured on Completing their Research on Record Time

By Moki S. Mokondo in Buea for Fako UK/Fako News Centre

A cross-section of PhD students in the University of Buea, Cameroon, have benefited from a public lecture to enable them complete their studies on record time. The guest speaker during the occasion, Prof. Samuel Kale Ewusi of the United Nations University for Peace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stated a number of guidelines the students should respect if they have to complete their studies within the stated time.

Addressing the students on Friday December 8, 2017, Prof. Ewusi told them to be able to clearly identify and state the problem they want to investigate before setting out into the research. To achieve this, he explained that they have to read widely on what other scholars have done in the area so that they can identify where there are gaps that need to be filled.

According to the Professor of Peace Studies and International Relations, reading widely will help the students to fine-tune their topics and research questions to exactly fit their research objectives. He added reading extensively enables the researcher to also identify the research method(s) that would best provide data to provide solutions to the problem they set out to investigate.

Amongst other things the researcher should take note is closing the gap during their review of literature and selecting their supervisors. After explaining the importance for researchers to review what scholars have recently said on the subject they are investigating, he maintained that selecting a supervisor that will effectively guide students complete their work is very important.

He noted many PhD students in Africa abandon half way because their relationships with some supervisors. He therefore cautioned them to track the records of supervisors before choosing them. He also advised that the students can independently work with other professors who can help guide them complete their work without necessarily informing their supervisors. According to him, some supervisors hardly spend time to effectively read and guide their students to complete their research.

Prof. Ewusi who is Director, Africa Regional Programme, United Nations University for Peace, said a good PhD student should co-teach and publish with his supervisor as part of his/her training into teaching in higher education. He noted that some supervisors can open their students into their networks if they create favourable relationships between them.

The public lecture ended in an intellectual exchange between Prof. Ewusi and the students. Students asked questions and shared some of the experiences they are already encountering with their supervisors. The moderator during the exchange cum Head of Department, Department Journalism and Mass Communication, Dr. Kingsley Lyonga Ngange, also shared his experiences completing his PhD in an African setting. He advised the students to persevere with the challenges in the process and focused on the prize which is their acceptance into PhD as their ultimate gold.