Opinion: Why limit number of students who write dissertation?

author Agyapong Ebenezer Attah Snr (Twinkle)

Dissertation which is an academic requirement for an undergraduate programme in tertiary institutions is a research project that allows students to present their findings in response to question or proposition. The aim of the project is to test the independent research skills students have acquired during their time at the University.

A brief on the horizon of a dissertation suggests it is a requirement for all undergraduate programmes offered. Over the years, there have been academic and curriculum reforms which have placed a ceiling on the number of students who undertake their Dissertation project. Reforms should rather be geared towards the interest and benefits of Students and not to deprive them of the need to engage in one of the most important assignments in a university.

I find it absurd the entire notion of limiting the capacities and abilities of our students to mere Grade Point Average (GPA). Do we mean to suggest, students below this GPA requirement cannot provide alternative solutions to problems? That will clearly be unfair to say. It’s time we encourage collaboration and not competition among our students.

The academic requirement for completing an undergraduate programme in any tertiary school, especially the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), includes internship or attachment and Dissertation.

Let’s compare these two; all undergraduate Students are given equal chance to undertake internship or attachment regardless of their GPA. Why can’t we do a similar thing for all students when it comes to Dissertation? I am suggesting this because it should be of utmost importance to all students.

Another important hypothesis will be: why is the school not depriving some students of the need to undertake their internship or attachment programme because they fall below a particular GPA? I perfectly agree to the right and powers given to school authorities in the public university Acts to run our own systems in the universities but if these systems and approaches do not meet the needs of the students and the market/industry for which we prepare these students then where lies the professionalism, the student and national interest?

Research reveals that a dissertation is a requirement if one wants to further his education to the Master’s level both locally and internationally. My question again will be what academic future do we seek for these students who do not meet the GPA? Surprisingly, some job requirements also place emphasis on the dissertation students did at the undergraduate level. Intelligibly, dissertation as an academic requirement is paramount and cannot be downplayed. It has a unique importance to students than just a mere GPA.

Let’s survey our sister schools who are regulated by the same set of rules and regulations, and you will learn that all undergraduate students have the same chance of writing their dissertation without regards to GPA. Notwithstanding, there are still some schools who have placed a limit on their Finance students when it comes to the writing of dissertations.

We are made to understand student attitudes and behaviours concerning dissertation in the past has been the reasons for the changes. A survey in the past has proven students below upper-Grade Point indulge in all forms of acts to get their dissertation done. Students can’t endure the stress it comes with it, it has been said. Hence, the need to limit some students in the writing of dissertations. Not doubt students who end up being selected to write their dissertation often complain about the stress. However, academic malfeasance should be treated as a distinct phenomenon. Students must be given the right to make their choice and this should not be decided for them. 

If school authorities and management find the need to tie students GPA to the writing of dissertations, this should be well communicated to all students.  However, the current disconnect between management and students over the issue of dissertations is unhelpful.

To the Student Representative Council (SRC), we know your work is to serve the entire student body. Although the council has proven beyond all doubt that it is committed to the interest of students, I believe this is an issue that must attract the attention of the leaders there.

#BeyondAllLimits

#PuttingWeBeforeMe

#BoundarySpanning

#PhenomenalProgress

Written by:

Agyapong Ebenezer Attah Snr (Twinkle)

BaFSA – UPSA P.R.O

3 thoughts on “Opinion: Why limit number of students who write dissertation?

  1. Good article there. I think the school limiting students when it comes to dissertation is the right thing. Because during my time, collection of data was very difficult and they allowed second class lower students to either choose between additional courses or project work and most of them chose additional courses because they heard about the stress they go through in even collecting analyzing data. Most students do also copy their friend’s work even though they have different research topics. It got to a time where the panels needed to change some topics for other students just because of poor research topics formed and other issues. So they limiting students is best to help them get the best dissertation and research results.

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