Developing researchers in education through a doctoral programme: A challenge in the context of Pakistan

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This is a reflective paper on the challenges of developing educational researchers through doctoral education in the context of Pakistan. These challenges are discussed from the perspective of the PhD programme in education offered by the Institute for Educational Development of the Aga Khan University, a private university in Pakistan. The analysis was based on the author's experiences of developing and remaining actively engaged with the programme for more than seven years covering the period of admission of the first three cohorts of doctoral students from the year 2002 to 2009. First, the main features of the programme are described and then the major challenges faced are highlighted. A number of issues of concern have been identified; developing PhD students into independent learners, academic sustainability of the programme in the face of faculty attrition, maintaining a balance in quality assurance measures and ensuring financial sustainability of the programme. Some of these findings are unique to AKU-IED doctoral programme and some resonate with other programmes both in the developing and the developed world. Recommendations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-520
Number of pages12
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Developing world
  • Doctoral education
  • Education doctorate
  • Education researcher


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