Novice Doctoral Supervision in South Africa: An Autoethnographic Approach

Patricia Lindelwa Makoni


This paper presents an autoethnographic, narrative analysis through self-reflection of my own personal transition from doctoral student to doctoral supervisor. An evaluation of the importance of the PhD in South Africa, the role of doctoral supervisors, and characteristics of good supervisors was undertaken; against which my personal experience was assessed. This paper was important in challenging whether institutions of higher learning in the country are adequately preparing young academics to become independent, effective doctoral supervisors. Some of my recommendations include the need for universities to come up with PhD supervision development programmes, as well as to consider alternative supervision models so as to facilitate mentorship of new doctoral supervisors, to ensure the attainment of PhD standards. The limitations of this paper are that, the researcher and subject, are one and the same person, hence there may be concerns of objectivity.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Patricia Lindelwa Makoni

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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