UPM Institutional Repository

Postgraduate student-supervisor interface: issues and challenges


Mohd Riji, Haliza and Syed Hassan, Syed Tajuddin and Ahmad, Shamsuddin (2013) Postgraduate student-supervisor interface: issues and challenges. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 21 (2). pp. 503-516. ISSN 0128-7702; ESSN: 2231-8534


In this qualitative paper we discuss our face-to-face experience with 28 foreign (mainly from Iran) postgraduate students who registered with the Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science and 31 who registered with the Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, UPM. The paper addresses itself to three principal areas of concern: firstly, the supervisor-student relationship; secondly, the students’ literacy and academic competency; thirdly, academic and social cultural interface. The discussions are predicated on our personal experiences with these students over a three-year period. The influx of postgraduate students, particularly from Iran and Middle Eastern countries made it necessary for us to pay due attention to our encounters with them. The locus of tensions largely dwelt on UPM’s educational system and values. Academic incompetence, language and cultural differences are major issues. Understanding of related issues will benefit both the students and UPM in its efforts to become a global player in higher education. We recommend that both qualitative and quantitative studies be conducted by supervisors to explore and determine the overseas students’ motivation and learning behavior. We postulate development of an intellectual community that can stimulate challenges beyond the academic encounters. For both faculties, various forms of learning media for the promotion of effective communication should be developed and made available for flexible learning to occur. To help students improve their academic literacy, it is important ‘to identify the epistemological and ontological dimension for a flexible approach to learning’ (Tavakol & Dennick 2009). Formal counselling sessions can allow students to know what type of learner they are.

Download File

08 Page 503-516.pdf

Download (900kB) | Preview

Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Educational Studies
Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
Publisher: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press
Keywords: Learning; Postgraduate education; Cultural adjustment; Competency
Depositing User: Nabilah Mustapa
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2015 11:17
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2015 04:05
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/28968
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item