Students who attended the successful postgraduate symposium organized by the SOEd at the Lautoka Campus.
A successful postgraduate symposium organised by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOEd) at the Lautoka Campus saw six (6) Masters and PhD students presenting their research interests on 24 March 2018.
Dr Pramila Devi, Lautoka Campus Director commended the SOEd for organising the event saying that students will particularly benefit from it.
She acknowledged Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOEd, for his support not only for the symposium, but also for creating postgraduate cohorts in the Western Division.
Dr Devi also acknowledged that presenters, as well as attendees, will benefit from the symposium and that participants should draw from the feedback received to improve on their research work.
Professor Lingam explained that the SOEd ultimately wants students to succeed in their studies.
He stressed that “studies do not end after one or two qualifications in this day and age, but is rather something that goes on for a lifetime, especially for teachers” and expressed how encouraging it felt to see the students attending the symposium in numbers.
He stated that there are a lot of reforms and changes occurring in schools and universities in the Pacific Islands and the world and it is therefore up to individuals to respond and cope with these reforms through research.
“Research is happening everyday whether it be businesses finding ways to attract customers or fishermen changing locations when fish are not available. However, when we talk about academic research, it is of a slightly different nature where doing things on ad hoc basis and on impulse is not the convention,” Professor Lingam explained.
He also invited participants to share their work noting that working from other campuses of USP is entirely different from the Laucala Campus.
Dr Jeremy Dorovolomo, the Chair of the SOEd Research Committee stressed that there is difference in supervision capacity and due to the busy schedules of academics, the onus is on the students to communicate regularly with their supervisors.
The other issue Dr Dorovolomo stressed was to write to the required length of the designated thesis or dissertation, for example, Supervised Research Project (SRP), MA or PhD, and not to underestimate or overdo the size of the research project.
Dr Dorovolomo said that the SOEd is working hard to reduce attrition rates of thesis candidates.
It was noted that research leadership matters enormously and with Professor Lingam’s support and energy, such symposia are possible along with other postgraduate support initiatives.
The SOEd used feedback from last year’s research workshop to organise this symposium. Dr Dorovolomo encouraged participants to be information literate and be familiar with the electronic databases that the University library subscribes to. He also encouraged thesis candidates to edit their thesis before submitting for examination and that examination processes might take time. They were also reminded that thesis candidates would need to use Turn-It-In for their thesis before submission.
Dr Dorovolomo advised thesis candidates to deposit their published articles in the USP research repository where they can help build student and SOEd profiles.
It was further mentioned that those who are new would need to use the research portal to submit their research project milestones.
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