supervision, postgraduate students, research, culture


The quality of postgraduate education largely depends on effective supervision of postgraduate students. Nowadays, the supervisory role has become more challenging due to different ethnic, cultural, political, economic, linguistic, and educational backgrounds of postgraduate students where their attraction and retention are paramount for educational institutions. Students’ satisfaction balancing studies and other interest is also important during their postgraduate learning experience and supervision is challenged to assist towards this direction as well. Literature about postgraduate supervision has focused on describing the ever-lengthening lists of functions that must be carried out.

The present study, through a critical literature review methodology and reflection upon personal practice, explores how postgraduate supervisors can support & engage students with their studies balancing other demands and interests, what are the challenges supervising international students, and how, the supervisory team can manage internal conflicts, function better and more efficiently. The key conclusions show that facilitating development of skills important for students’ ’studies and lives, bridging studies and other demands /interests together, rewarding students’ success, responding to cultural and educational differences & personal interests, and finding ways all members of the supervisory team to work more effectively can lead to more efficient and effective postgraduate supervision.

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