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Doctorate international students’ satisfaction and stress on academic supervision in a Malaysian University: a qualitative approach

Abstract

Redhwan Ahmed Al-Naggar, Mutee Al-Sarory, AbdulGafor Ahmed Al-Naggar and Mahfoudh Al-Muosli4

The objective of this study is to explore the doctorate foreign students’ satisfaction on academic supervision in Malaysia. Nine PhD foreigner students were interviewed. Semi-structure interview guideline was developed based on the literature review in this area. The participants were selected from the National University of Malaysia (UKM). The facilitator of the interview wrote down the answer of the participants. The protocol of this study was approved by the research and ethics committee of Management and Science University (MSU). Themes were classified into categories and data analyzed manually. Most of the international students feel stressed and worried about uncertainty because of the supervisory system and the culture differences. The majority of the participants mentioned that their supervisor did not give them any advice about relevant/feasible topics. The majority of the participants mentioned that they are not satisfied with their supervisors in terms of monitoring their progress. However, the majority of the participants mentioned that their supervisors never set realistic time frames for their research process. The majority of the participants mentioned that their supervisors developed their argument logically and teaches them how to use language concisely and they are satisfied with their supervisors in this matter. The majority of the participants motioned that their supervisors never discuss their circumstances and not interested in doing so. The majority of the participants mentioned that they are not satisfied with their supervisors in general. The majority of the foreign PhD students were not satisfied and feel stress and worry with their supervisory system. Therefore there is a need for Malaysian institutions to look into the overall supervisory system and culture differences.

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