Society of African Journal Editors

African Education Review

Experiences of mentorship with academic staff doctoral candidates at a south african university

Authors: Anna Strebel &Tamara Shefer

Journal: African Education Review

Given the growing emphasis on academic research output and the challenges encountered in expediting completion of doctoral studies especially, mentorship is increasingly being utilised as a capacity development strategy for supporting scholars to complete post-graduate studies. This article reports on a mentorship project aimed at academic staff enrolled for doctoral studies in a health sciences faculty at a South African university, based on reflections drawn from annual feedback from the mentees and the annual report of the mentor, as well as a focus group conducted with mentees by an independent researcher. Participants found the mentorship, with its combination of individual and group meetings, as well as regular residential writing retreats, to be extremely helpful. A number of key features that enable the mentorship process emerged, and issues relating to supervision and mentorship were highlighted, especially regarding power dynamics.