The Relevance of Master’s Theses to the Degree Awarded: The Case of College of Education and Behavioral Studies and Institute of Educational Research at AAU

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Addis Ababa Univerisity


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relevance of Master’s theses to the Degree Awarded: the Case of College of Education and Institute of Educational Research at AAU. A mixed method approach was employed to collect and analyze data for the study. Data was collected from a total of 111 participants (30 instructors and 81 graduate students) drawn from the Institute of Educational Research and College of Education and Behavioral Studies using both open and closed ended questionnaire. Additionally, the researcher reviewed master’s theses reports of the 2011/2012 graduate students from the Departments of Educational Planning and Management, Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development Studies and the Institute of Educational Research. The findings of data analysis showed that the relevance and quality of the research carried out by graduate students at the sample programs were not to the required level. The response of the participants in general indicated that they were not satisfied about the relevance of their MA research studies. Specifically, inadequacy of funding, lack of strict admission policy and criteria for topic selection, shortage of time, the overload of advisors, poor research skill of MA students and some instructors, absence of research policy frame works in which all researchers should follow, lack of incentives or rewards for the excellent ones (researchers), weak controlling system of research activities, repetitions of similar research papers and plagiarism were mentioned as the main challenges. Finally, recommendations to improve the current situation are forwarded based on the findings.