Social Integration as a Predictor of Program Completion of PhD Students in Makerere University

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Abishag Namutebi
Tom Darlington Balojja
Christopher B. Mugimu


Kenya, County Governments, Records management, Pertinent Issues


Long time to obtain a PhD degree has been a source of contention and graduate schools throughout the world are working to reduce the long time to degree This study examined social integration as a predictor of program completion of PhD students in Makerere University. Anchoring in Tinto’s Model of persistence, social integration included: knowledge sharing, peer interaction, socialization, institutional culture and faculty interaction. Using a mixed methods approach, both cross-sectional and phenomenological designs were used to collect data from 104 and o7 PhD graduates through self-administered questionnaires and interviews respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data used thematic analysis. Descriptive statistics involved calculation of means while inferential ones involved regression analysis. Thereafter, data was interpreted using a Joint Display Table. The results revealed that the faculty interaction aspect of social integration positively and significantly predicted program completion. However, knowledge sharing, peer interaction, socialisation and institutional culture did not. Social integration is a critical factor in completing a PhD program. This is mainly when: supervisors provide timely sufficient advice on writing scientific texts; they genuinely get concerned with their supervisees’ academic work; they are readily accessible to discuss students’ research work; and when they are available when their supervisees need them hence, recommending that the management of universities should support social integration of PhD students by enhancing faculty interaction to foster timely completion of their programs.

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