The Perceptions of Students Who Dropped Out of their Doctoral Studies from Three Universities in Zimbabwe and their Implications for Practice

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Published: 2024-03-01

Page: 1-10

Farai Chinangure *

Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the perception of students who dropped out of their Doctoral studies in three Zimbabwean universities. A qualitative research design was adopted. The data was collected from social net work groups and telephone interviews with 25 doctoral students who dropped out from their studies. The researcher held follow up open ended interviews with doctoral students who had dropped out. The qualitative data was analyzed thematically. The study established students who dropped out of their studies perceived that failure by institutions to address student-supervisor relationships, inadequate funding, addressing needs of underprepared students, lack of emotional support, lack of experience among supervisors and use of traditional approaches were main causes of students drop out. This study is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe to collect evidence from students who dropped out of their studies to inform doctoral training. The study recommended continuous professional development among supervisors, holding of constant workshops focusing on roles, guidelines on good practices on doctoral training, ensuring that supervisors are accessible; they provide timely feedback in a constructive way. The study further recommended fair and just approaches to handling of problems or grievances related to doctoral research supervision and provision of research grants to assist underprivileged students to complete their studies.

Keywords: Mentoring, supervision, attrition, underprepared, interpersonal relationship

How to Cite

Chinangure, F. (2024). The Perceptions of Students Who Dropped Out of their Doctoral Studies from Three Universities in Zimbabwe and their Implications for Practice. Asian Journal of Sociological Research, 7(1), 1–10. Retrieved from


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