Determining factors influencing the success of engineering doctoral students: Case study at university Kebangsaan Malaysia

Azah Mohamed, Abdul Halim Ismail, Mohd Marzuki Mustaffa, Norhasanah Mohd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study reports on a survey conducted by the faculty on recent PhD engineering graduates of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, concerning factors that lead to successful doctoral studies. The survey solicited responses on five aspects of PhD studies: Supervisor, skills, research work, research outcome and research constraints. To analyze and evaluate the factors, the Statistical Package for Social Science, version 16.0.1 was used. Survey results of the first aspect show that 61.3% of respondents chose supervisors who were well known in their research area; 74.2% rated their supervisors as being very helpful while 54.8% held weekly discussions with their supervisors or colleagues. For the second aspect, results depict that 41.9% of respondents stated thinking skills were of utmost importance in becoming successful PhD students while 54.8% opined that working independently was crucial in achieving PhD success. The results of the third aspect reveal two sets of respondents with identical percentages, i.e., 38.7%. Both these groups expressed 30-40 and >40 h per week as time spent doing research during their PhD tenure. In addition, 87.1% of graduates indicated that readings on past and current literature were done every semester. Furthermore, 48.4% of successful candidates disclosed that for the technical writing required in their studies, they learnt from people who wrote clearly and concisely. Looking at the fourth aspect, results show that 58.1% of respondents published >3 journal papers while 64.5% of the respondents attended conferences >4 times during their PhD studies. Finally, for the fifth aspect, results point out that 54.8% of respondents had problems in conducting their research. Results from the survey will be used to upgrade present practices in the faculty to help current engineering PhD candidates achieve success in their studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Supervisory personnel
Students
Technical writing
Social sciences

Keywords

  • Malaysia
  • PhD studies
  • Research effectiveness
  • Skill
  • Social science
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Determining factors influencing the success of engineering doctoral students : Case study at university Kebangsaan Malaysia. / Mohamed, Azah; Ismail, Abdul Halim; Mustaffa, Mohd Marzuki; Mohd, Norhasanah.

In: Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2013, p. 44-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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