South Africa a new PhD degree mill?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ryoder, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Are national goals for doctoral education realistic? - University World News

    It sounds like South Africa is trying to become the McDonalds of PhDs.

    From the site
    The 2001 National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa specified two important targets in relation to doctoral education: first, that the ratio of doctoral graduates in a given year should be 20% of the doctoral enrolments in that year; and second, that at least 75% of the cohort entering doctoral studies in any given year should eventually graduate.
  2. okydd

    okydd New Member

    I may be ban from degree info but frankly I do not care. Ryoder you are a racist and a bigot. You are xenophobic. You are anti immigrants. *You are just not a nice person. There is absolutely *nothing here to suggest that South African institutions is any way close to a mill. I do not think there is a single diploma mill is SA. I have read many of your post and you *often race baiting.*

    NCU and Phoenix are the McDonald of PHD, You moron.

    MC here is your opportunity.*
  3. A simple "NO" would have worked just as well.
  4. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I do not get that to be the case at all. Not sure where you are coming from with the degree mill allegation. South Africa has some of the world's better universities, a well respected system and produces well known scholars.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the invitation.

  6. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    Ryoder, what I get from this article is that ZA is concerned about the low number of doctoral students for the population at large, and that they want to reduce doctoral attrition. The title of the article says it all- are national goals for doctoral education realistic? A 75% doctoral graduation rate is high, and may not be realistic, but then, most of the ZA doctoral education is through bricks and mortar institutions, and ZA may have a better shot at this than we would. Our doctoral completion rate is about 50% for bricks and mortar institutions, and deduct 10-20% from that for online programs. As an example, NCU has a 15% doctoral completion rate. I am doing my pre phd work on a related subject at a ZA school, so this is a topic that is a little close to my heart.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  7. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    This is a site found by Rich Douglas on another thread. Note the high positions of three ZA universities.
    Top Universities in Africa 2011-2012
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I'm also guessing that South Africa experiences a certain amount of the "brain drain" phenomenon and so they may feel that in order to retain a good number of their docs they have to create a whole bunch of them. My first thought was "good for you!" The next step would be to insure that all those PhDs can get decent jobs within the country.
  9. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    The article also said that about 36% of the faulty had doctorates, and that they were trying to increase this, but did not say by how much. My own UFS professor may not have a doctorate (he is just known by his name), but he sure knows his stuff!
  10. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    In case anyone wonders where I found this link, I found it on the AACSB site.
    I was looking into the AACSB Doctoral Bridge Program to see if I could augment my MBA at an ACBSP school with a bridge so that I could teach at AACSB schools.
    AACSB Doctoral Education Resource Center
    I clicked on this page and it was the second article listed. So it is obviously a problem that AACSB is concerned about.
  11. Not sure it's an actual "problem" to begin with. There are several other articles on the link you provided that don't hint to AACSB having a problem with those institutions. Most of the articles are links that are from a third party news source. I think Kizmet is spot on. The underlying issue is probably the "brain drain" phenomenon. It's rampant in South Africa.
  12. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    I believe the subject is of interest to AACSB, because the target of 70% is very high for a doctoral completion rate. ZA schools are not a problem with AACSB, I am sure, and striving to have a higher doctoral completion rate is certainly not a problem, but it may be not realistic, as the byline suggests.
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Hmm. Since this is from the 2001 plan, one might ask how it's going now that they've supposedly had this goal for a decade.
  14. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I agree that it is not realistic. Many doctoral students are not qualified to complete the program. But if it is not realistic based on average student achievement, then how is it going to be achieved? If I had a goal to sell 70% of my customers, I might lower prices to achieve that goal.
    Obama has some goals of increasing undergrad graduation rates. This article shows that there are some serious implications to that goal. Due to increasing costs, the only possible explanation is to reduce the requirements for graduation.

    Obama's College Graduation Goals Are Impossible

  15. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

    No... That got the point across much more clearly... More cruelly but very clear :pat:
  16. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    It did so in violation of this forum's terms of use.

  17. No it didn't. It only managed to make him/her self look ridiculous...AND get banned. :footinmouth:
  18. Disclaimer: I haven't read the link you posted, and am not an expert on Obama's education plan.

    I don't think reducing the requirements for graduation isn't the only way raise graduation numbers. It has to be considered though. Alternatively, a school could allow more students to be admitted. That alone probably wouldn't be enough. Rate could stay the same but number of graduates would probably increase. If you combined that with some form of tutoring or something then it could increase the graduation rate. My high school had a horrible graduation rate (less than 25%) when I was a freshman. Now, according to the school district, it's well 50%. The requirements to graduate didn't change. The teachers, administration, and a few other things did (heads rolled). They were concerned more about the rate than the total amount so they ended up kicking out the "delinquents" as well.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    If I understand the concept correctly, doctoral students are not supposed to be "average."
  20. louisnguyen27

    louisnguyen27 New Member

    I think this is just your personal inference. If you have gone through the macro planning process, this target would be a best case scenario for a country. It shows the efforts from both sides: university vs student and does not reflect any quality reduction in education.
    At national level, they normally try to balance the resources with the plans; which are, sometimes, not realistic. However, these plans opens new doors and roads forward to the futures. Good things, bad things are the way they go, rather than original plans.

    Indeed, the picture is bigger with jobs, finance, social structures, health...
    Education is just a snap shot in a bigger picture.

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