Professor Mawutor Avoke, Vice Chancellor of the University Of Education, Winneba (UEW), has applauded the vision of the founding members of Inter-University Conference for Doctoral Studies (IUCDS) to help mitigate some of the challenges confronting PhD students.
He made the commendation at the opening of a three-day seminar for doctoral students being held under the auspices of the IUCDS and Departments offering PhD programmes and the School of Graduate Studies of UEW, Ghana.
The event, on the theme: “Promoting Staff Development through Collaboration, Research and Quality Teaching in Education”, was attended by Vice Chancellors, Principals and Heads of partner institutions, lecturers, deans and School of Graduate Studies students.
The IUCDS is an academic body and partnership framework of sister institutions in Ghana and the West African sub-region with the aim to create a system whereby students of member institutions will be able to register and pursue doctoral degree programmes in any of the institutions, while respecting the existing regulations in each institution.
It is also to create a pool of experts for the supervision and assessment of doctoral theses or dissertation to enhance staff development through facilitation of movement of researchers from various member institutions.
This will again facilitate doctoral studies and promote collaborative research to help address the acute shortage of motivated and well trained academic staff in partner institutions.
Prof. Avoke emphasised the importance of partnerships with sister universities both within and outside Ghana, particularly in the West African sub-region, to preserve academic interest of students in doctoral programmes and other approving equivalents in the awards of certificates, diplomas and degrees.
“Admittedly, the prevailing conditions in universities make it difficult to get sponsorship scholarship for students on PH.D programmes and PhD students must redouble their efforts in sharpening their research skills bearing in mind that they will be taken through research process by quite a number of experts.
“Thesis supervisors and examiners within and outside UEW will all look through your work in order that the vision of the founding members of the conference would be realized,” he added.
Prof Avoke announced that UEW had provided an office space for the Executive Secretary of IUCDS with a permanent administrator while the Centre for Documentation had also furnished the secretariat with basic office equipment to make it fully operational without hindrances.
The V.C. further assured that UEW would continue to support the conference and thanked the executives and organizers of the session and all who contributed for the success of the programme.
Prof. Dominic S. Y. Amuzu, Executive Secretary of the IUCDs, who gave an overview on activities of the conference, said the IUCDS was born out of a need in the French Department of UEW where securing scholarship for its students to study in France was a challenge.
“Consequently, it became imperative to look within the country and the sub-region for experts and supervisors,” he stated.
He indicated that the conference commenced with seven institutions but now had a membership of 12 with its secretariat and publication house of journal in UEW, even though the scientific unit was in Nigeria.
Prof. Akanbi M. Ilupeu, Head of Department of European Languages and Integration Studies, University of Lagos, Nigeria and Head of Scientific Unit, IUCDS, who summarized activities of the Journal of inter-university Conference for Doctoral Studies, stated that the journal, created in 2018, had published eight volumes with articles from La Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria.
Prof. Urbain K. Amoa President, University of Charles Louis de Montesquieu, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Chairman of the conference, stressed the need to have scientific research in doctoral training supported by a journal, a target audience like PhD students from the African space and a multidisciplinary college of experts from diverse linguistic background from Francophone and Anglophone universities
He emphasized the adoption of new approaches amid the rapid socio-economic and intellectual changes.
Participants discussed research design/paradigm and methodology, documentation, defence of thesis, publication of main findings and dissemination of knowledge.