Effective communication in postgraduate supervision: Shaping experiences and overcoming challenges





Effective communication, postgraduate studies, supervision, transactional model, transformative learning


Although postgraduate supervision relies on effective communication, it has become increasingly challenging due to various factors, including the cultural, ethnic, and educational backgrounds of both the supervisors and supervisees. As a result, institutions of higher learning are struggling to attract and retain these students. In addition, students often feel frustrated by the pressure to balance their academic and social lives during their studies. Therefore, this study explores the impact of effective communication on postgraduate supervision in higher learning institutions in Lesotho and South Africa. The study adopts an interpretive paradigm and uses a qualitative approach rooted in a case study design. Face-to-face interviews were employed as the data collection tool, and latent thematic analysis was used to analyse emergent themes. The findings reveal several factors that hinder effective communication in postgraduate supervision, including cultural dominance, lack of mutual respect, insufficient training, and a lack of professionalism, among others. Based on these findings, the study recommends that experienced supervisors be assigned to students and that there be a focus on two-way communication and training to develop the necessary skills for a respectful supervisor-student relationship.

Author Biographies

Hlompho Letsie, Limkokwing University-Lesotho, Lesotho

Faculty of Communication
Media and Broadcasting
Limkokwing University-Lesotho
Moshoeshoe Road, Maseru, 101, Lesotho

Sekoai Elliot Nkhi, Limkokwing University-Lesotho, Lesotho

Faculty of Communication
Media and Broadcasting
Limkokwing University-Lesotho
Moshoeshoe Road, Maseru, 101, Lesotho

Mongali Mofana, Limkokwing University-Lesotho, Lesotho

Faculty of Communication
Media and Broadcasting
Limkokwing University-Lesotho
Moshoeshoe Road, Maseru, 101, Lesotho


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How to Cite

Mncina, T. C., Letsie, H., Nkhi, S. E. ., & Mofana, M. . (2024). Effective communication in postgraduate supervision: Shaping experiences and overcoming challenges. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijer-2024.vol6.13