School of Post-Graduate Studies hosts ‘Doctoral Day’ function

School of Post-Graduate Studies in the first of its kind has organized ‘Doctoral Day’ at New Auditorium, Main Campus, on 7th December, 2018. University top officials, all department heads, Professors, doctoral students of AMU and others participated in the program.Click here to see the pictures

University President, Dr Damtew Darza, in his opening address, said, ‘Doctoral Day’ is meant to offer opportunities to meet, greet and exchange ideas with fellow students and faculty members. It will boost visibility of AMU’s growing research environment in general and each institute, college and school in particular. Nevertheless, we are striving hard to see strongly established system of Masters and PhD studies in our university with such initiations, I hope within a short period of time, we will make it happen.

At the outset, School of Post-Graduate Studies Director, Dr Abera Uncha, in his brief presentation talked about contractual agreement between PhD students and respective supervisors, role and responsibilities of supervisors and specified PhD duration, etc.

And further responding to barrage of questions, Dr Abera, said it’s about focusing on teaching-learning process, dissertation supervision and follow-up of PhD programs in the university. Issues such as budget constraint, supervisory role, non-availability of transportation, lack of security, poor logistics, ill-equipped laboratories, etc. will be seriously looked into.

On honorarium, he said, as per the rule, 25% of stated honorarium is paid after successful defense of program, 35% on completion of 1st report and 40% after successful defense of dissertation. He revealed that SGS’ restructuring is underway that will contain provisions like evaluation & monitoring components embedded in it to tackle inherent problems.

During discussion, participants took exception to laid-down criteria for supervisors, they strongly reason why supervisors from abroad can’t be roped in, why students can’t have supervisors beforehand; some batted an idea to send students abroad for global exposure. Some of the expat staff pointed finger at ill-equipped laboratories, non-availability of journals and text books while some flayed departments for not being aware about their own PhD programs, etc.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Yechale Kebede, replying to problems, said, senior AMU professors must come up with grand proposals so that PhD students can be taken on board that might resolve the financial constraint for research. He also assured to look into other issues dogging the programs. Issue pertaining to logistics and others will certainly be looked into and things will be much better in future.

Three doctoral scholars, Demelash Wondemeneh, Mengie Belayneh and Zewdneh Tomass have presented progress of their respective studies. The central point that echoes all along their presentations was poor budget for research, lack of transportation, ill-equipped laboratories, logistical problems, etc.

Dr Yechale Kebede, in valedictory address, said, the number of PhD students has increased and more are joining new programs. However, our programs and students are facing challenges such as shortage of academic staff, etc. and to tackle this, we are hiring expatriate staff and joint appointment modality. He said, ‘Doctoral Day’ will be an annual or biannual feature, a springboard and the platform to evaluate best practices and address challenges faced. In future, it will be held in more organized way that will include supervisors, senior professors and experts from Ethiopian universities and abroad; more scholars will present their progress report.

Dr Simon Shibru, Dr Yishak Kachero and Dr Alemayehu Chufamo chaired the program, while Dr Fekadu Massebo, Dr Belete Yilma and Dr Tesfaye Habtemariam were the facilitators. AMU officials including departments’ heads, senior professors, expat staff, PhD students and others were in attendance.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)