Automated Graduate Training Monitoring: The Case of Gulu University and Strategies for Institutional Adoption

Conference Paper Authors: John Byabazaire, Benedict Oyo, Geoffrey Tabo

Abstract

Graduate completions per cohort in Africa is reportedly low and below 40%. This is attributed to several overlapping processes that must be monitored including; teaching, research supervision, and examination (internal and external) of research reports (dissertation/thesis). In this paper we present a generic graduate tracking system that manages the entire graduate training landscape. Essentially, the system handles: registration and assignment of user roles; assignment of students’ supervisors and tracking of the supervision process. Supervision process involves proposal development and approval; research progress monitoring; submission of dissertations for examination and tracking of dissertations under examination; and online archiving of the final dissertation after viva voce. Reminders to the respective users are automated according to the users’ feedback expectations. Most importantly, the system has inbuilt tools for reporting and analysis across the entire graduate studies spectrum. The analysis module allows for comparisons of key parameters such as completion rates and examination turnaround time, in order to gauge the performance of academic units of the institution. Initial rollout of the system at Gulu University indicates the graduate tracking system performs an oversight role that enforces stakeholders (students and supervisors) to undertake their respective tasks or risk exposure. With these insights, this paper also presents strategies for adoption of the graduate tracking system by other institutions.

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