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The Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Miruka, stated that this project whose focus is on the last five (5) years, from 2016 to 2020, has the potential to completely change the manner in which post-graduate matters are handled. Other Co-PIs of the project are: Prof. Stanley Omuterema, Dr. Iddah Ali Maulid, Dr. David Barasa and Dr. Collins Odoyo

“Some of the areas we looked into were postgraduate training in Kenya, the research process in MMUST and the status of postgraduate completion,” said Dr. Miruka, adding that ‘low completion rates’ is a problem that is in many institutions, not just in MMUST.

According to the study, students’ weaknesses or incapacities, inappropriate supervision processes and inappropriate research environment are some of the factors that lead to low completion rates.

One of the Co-PIs, Dr. Collins Odoyo, in his presentation talked about the strategies that the research project proposed for improving postgraduate completion rate at MMUST.

“There are some strategies that the University has already put in place. MMUST has provided students with hands-on opportunities such as Seminars. The University has an adequate number of lecturers to supervise students as well as a well-equipped library and ICT resources.

The proposed strategies include encouraging Postgraduate students to find appropriate mentors who can help them in their research journey. There is also a need to design more friendly institutional policies and increase the number of senior academic faculty members. It was also noted that clear guidelines for supervisors on supervision of postgraduate students should be set and adhered to. The researchers further recommend that MMUST should offer financial supportor scholarships to postgraduate students, establish relevant functioning ICT equipment to support research work in MMUST, setup relevant facilities like labs and workshops and widen supervision to include theonline mode.

The Director Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala, pointed out that the University Council is very pleased with what MMUST is doing and has agreed to add more money for research. Additionally, he highlighted the issue of Webometrics Ranking where he said that there is need to publish research output for global visibility. “When we publish our work, we have a chance of attracting bigger funding because we have evidence of what we are doing,” he stated.

The Director Corporate Communications and Marketing, Dr. Lydia Anyonje, talked about communication in research, pointing out that post graduate students and their supervisors need to have clear information flow between them. She also pointed out that the dissemination component of research is critical if society has to benefit from research.

“The community has to be able to make sense of what you have done in order to make use of it,” she said.

The Director Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Consolata Ngala, said that this project will help in ‘patching a few nuts’ with regards to students’ completion.

“From a study I did in 2020, I found out that supervisors may be contributing to the student completion rate. Therefore, as we train students, we also need to train postgraduate supervisors,” she said.

 Ms. Mary Wangari WambuguMr. Wilberforce Shiundu

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