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Thursday, 15 October 2020

List of interviewees for Doctoral Review released

CONVERSATIONS: During the upcoming Doctoral Review site visit at CPUT interviewees can expect to be asked about their experiences of the processes involved in the doctoral qualifications. CONVERSATIONS: During the upcoming Doctoral Review site visit at CPUT interviewees can expect to be asked about their experiences of the processes involved in the doctoral qualifications.

As required by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), the Quality Management Directorate at CPUT, together with the Faculty Coordinators, have compiled the interviewees’ list ahead of the planned virtual visit from 19 to 22 October.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in CHE conducting this year’s Doctoral Review online and interviews will be conducted through Zoom meetings. The aims of the interviews include the gathering of additional clarity and information on what institutions included in their Institutional Self-Evaluation Report submitted earlier this year.

“The panel will triangulate the interviewee responses, together with their different opinions and views, and draw their own conclusions from the process,” says National Review of Doctoral Qualifications Institutional Coordinator is this at CPUT, Dr Siyanda Makaula. “The identified interviewees are expected to answer truthfully and honestly, and as a result the process is confidential, and anonymity is respected.” 

Interviewees can expect to be asked about their experiences of the processes involved in the doctoral qualifications. “The interviews will be managed by the chairperson of the panel and will not take more than an hour for each group. An invitation will be sent out by the CHE, inviting interviewees to join the panel in Zoom sessions,” adds Makaula. “These questions should be open, concise and clear, not rhetorical or infused with explicit or implied comments of the processes involved.”

He advises that during the interviews the chairperson has the right to intervene should there be any deviation from interview questions and processes, while the CHE observer may also confidentially advise the chairperson on occurrence of deviation, biased behaviour and possible unfairness. He confirms that there will be no audio-recording of interviews as this may compromise the honesty of the interviewees and that they should feel comfortable about voicing their views openly.

As the review process is scheduled for four days, the panel may need clarification on certain matters. “Interviewees will be asked to remain available for panel interviews throughout the site visit,” warns Makaula. “If the panel needs to talk to an interviewee again, they will indicate this to the Quality Management Directorate (QMD) and the interviewee will receive a call from the unit.”

In separate sessions the panel members will interview the university’s senior management, staff members from the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Research Unit and QMD as well as supervisors, examiners, administrators, students and alumni to verify some of their inputs. He insists that the panel’s lines of enquiry will come out of the Self-evaluation report developed by the University and submits the following guide of the interview sessions as what can be expected:

Interviewees can expect to be invited by the QMD to a briefing session the week before the panel visit, where some more details will be discussed and all questions and queries from the interviewees answered. The CHE will then invite interviewees to their hour-long session during the week of 19-22 October. 

“Immediately following the CHE session, a Teams meeting invitation from the QMD will be waiting for the interviewees of that session,” says Makaula. “This will be for a short, half-hour debriefing session in which open discussion is invited from the interviewees on their experiences of the interviewee session.”

He adds that all thoughts and ideas are welcome during this debriefing session and the QMD will note them for future improvements.

For more information contact Makaula on makaulas@cput.ac.za

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.