By Fortune Abang
The Doctoral Academy of Nigeria (DAN) has called for adequate investment on the capacity building of research supervisors to boost effective supervision of postgraduate studies in Nigeria.
DAN is the capacity building and research development centre of the Committee of Provost and Deans of Postgraduate Colleges and Schools of Nigerian Universities (CPDPGCS).
The Chairman of CPDPGCS, Prof. Jonathan Babalola, made the call in his address in Abuja at the unveiling ceremony of the four-day doctoral academy training workshop for PhD Supervisors from Nigerian Universities.
The event with the theme: Enhancing the capacities of Doctoral supervisors and research supervision” was organised by the Academy.
Babalola said, “The idea stems from the fact that when the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) sends people abroad for studies, a lot of them will go and do excellently work there.
“Although the researchers want to return to Nigeria, the type of facilities they used over there were not available here, so they consider staying back against returning to develop their fatherland.
“The Academy leverages the CPDPGCS relationship with educational stakeholders and government to create opportunities, linkages, learning support and services that complement gaps in postgraduate studies with special attention to the doctoral programme.
“The overall goal of the Academy is to strengthen knowledge and skills development in the postgraduate education of Universities in Nigeria.”
He identified training of supervisors on mentorship, supervision and application of digital skills in capacity building of postgraduate students, to be among key objectives of the programme initiative.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), commended the programme to be apt in boosting doctoral educational standards in the country.
Rasheed, represented by Dr Suleiman Raman-Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission, commended the Academy for being timely in promotion of the organised doctoral system of education in Nigeria.
“The terrain of postgraduate education is definitely not one you can be very proud of, this is because of the challenges involved. The problem of postgraduate research cuts across the developing world.
“You wonder why somebody who is not well-paid uses part of his salary to do doctoral research; another major problem is the issue of supervisors of postgraduate study.
“The fact somebody is a professor does not mean he can supervise any research, when such happens students become victims of the doctoral programme.
“We hope that the DAN will positively impact doctoral education in Nigeria, in terms of its timeliness, quality and relevance of research projects and dealing with issues of plagiarism.
“With the DAN in place, we expect better output in terms of doctoral thesis, quality of relevant research findings that can impact on national development,” Rasheed said.
He further suggested that the Academy should be limited to postgraduate students alone, also doctoral research supervisors, to achieve the desired goals.
Meanwhile, the keynote speaker at the event, Prof. Ekanem Braide, President of Nigerian Academy of Science, expressed hope that the Academy would help to improve quality of life for Nigerians.
According to her, the workshop is pertinent and should be sustained, to further improve the quality of graduates produced, as well as quality of research outcomes.
“These depend majorly on the quality of supervision and mentorship received; for supervisors, there is the twin task of mentoring.
“The aim should be to equip the students with knowledge and skills, while also providing guidance for career and progression.
“I trust that this workshop will serve as major start to a significant paradigm and functional shift in PhD supervision in Nigeria,” Braide said. (NAN)