PhD scholars gather for the first Higher Education Studies Doc Week of 2023Date Released: Thu, 6 April 2023 14:31 +0200
By Dr Kirstin Wilmot
CHERTL recently welcomed 20 of its doctoral scholars to campus for our first Doc Week of the year. Held at the Continuing Education Centre from 6-10 March, the week was centred around the theme of ‘Positioning within, and connecting to, the field of higher education studies’. Included in the cohort were seven new doctoral candidates, some of whom had travelled from Cape Town, Johannesburg and even Malawi to join us for the week.
Doc Weeks are spaces designed to foster social learning opportunities. The programme for each week is constructed around a central theme which changes each Doc Week according to candidates’ needs. Candidates typically enjoy a range of guest seminars and workshops from experienced higher education studies researchers (internationally and nationally), as well as candidate-led sessions.
One of the highlights of the week was a panel session on what it means to do ethical research. The panel included Rhodes University colleagues, Corinne Knowles (Extended Studies), Zola Mbinda (History), and Melusi Dlamini (Anthropology), and was chaired by Tanusha Dukhan (Pharmacy). The panellists discussed ethical behaviours in relation to their own PhD studies and opened up rich and meaningful conversations that challenged the notion that ethics is an administrative task to be completed at the start of the research process – a problematic understanding that has taken hold in many contexts.
Other highlights included Kelly Solomon's session on what it means to be an academic undertaking doctoral research, Neil Kramm’s workshop on how to harness AI technology in doctoral studies, and Mags Blackie’s explanation of how to work with quantitative data in meaningful ways (and the pitfalls to avoid) using the analogy of cooking eggs!
Doc Weeks continue to be a hugely valued part of the higher education studies doctoral programme in CHERTL. They afford a time to connect, forge relationships and learn in community. We look forward to our next online Doc Week in June.
Source:Dr Kirstin Wilmot, Coordinator of the Higher Education Studies Doctoral Programme