DR CHANDRAKALA JINABHAI OBTAINS HER PHD AT 68 YEARS
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) PhD graduate, Dr Chandrakala Jinabhai (68) obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Management Sciences Specialising in Leadership and Complexity at the DUT 2022 Spring Graduation ceremony on Friday, 30 September 2022.
Her research study for her PhD focused on: Investigating the imperatives of research transformation at a University of Technology (UoT) in South Africa.
She relayed that she saw a need to investigate this topic as the barometer for publications, research outputs, in the selected UoT which was very low as few staff had PhDs. Hence, there was the imperative to create a research transformation culture to raise awareness amongst academic staff to publish in accredited journals while pursuing higher vertical qualifications.
Being at a University of Technology, (previously Technikon) there was not a push to pursue PhD qualifications, nor engage in research productivity until the mandate from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The challenges that she encountered were mainly workloads in terms of teaching large classes and the related administrative issues that consumed the bulk of her time, thereby leaving her very little time to engage in research productivity.
While she was still employed, she registered for the PhD. Having retired recently, she had enough time to devote towards completing her PhD.
Her recommendations from her research, especially for the historically disadvantaged institutions (HDI) university of technology are inter-alia buy-into research transformation by the Executive Management and academic staff, improvement of vertical qualifications, supplementing academic support staff and tutors, employment of additional, retired research professors, offering of structured mentoring and supervision assistance, specific training related to research productivity, review of the teaching workloads, implementation of sabbatical leave and retention policies.
“When I told my family that I am obtaining my PhD my husband, Professor DC Jinabhai, now retired, and my daughter Divaksha, and niece Mayuri Morar were ecstatic and overjoyed to receive this good news. It is a motivation for these young girls to complete their higher qualifications as well,”she said.
Dr Jinabhai is so gratified that she is able to put a tick next to her bucket list especially at her age.
Her advice to students who want to embark in the same career path as hers, is to stay focused, have a schedule of timeline and achieve their milestones.
“Research is exciting and it is a challenge. Do not give up. Believe in yourself that you can do it and achieve it. There is no failure except if you quit,” she said.
Pictured: Dr Chandrakala Jinabhai at her graduation ceremony.
Photographer: Vusi Dlamini.