Evaluation of graduates’ perception of the Master’s Degree of Project Management at the University of Botswana
Samu, Helgah Goitseone
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Evaluation is an important process in project management and it should be done during and /or after completion of every programme. All projects have set objectives and evaluation has to be conducted in order to give feedback on their performance. According to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) (2011) evaluation is an assessment, as systematic and objective as possible, of an on-going or completed project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results. This is to say that no programme should be run without evaluation. The University of Botswana is an organisation that is operating with a set of academic programmes in order to meet its vision and mission. The University has Learning and Teaching policy as a set of regulations to guide the on-going programmes. In 2005 the University approved a proposal from the Department of Civil Engineering to introduce a new programme called Masters of Project Management (MPM). The programme is mandated to generally produce graduates with Knowledge areas in Project Management, graduate attributes outlined by University of Botswana policy and Competencies in Project Management. With this study the MPM graduates were evaluated to get their perceptions of Masters of Project Management programme regarding its intended objectives. The study investigated graduates on the skills, knowledge, and competencies they have gained from the programme and how the programme had assisted them on their career development. Although the study is about graduates’ perception the non-graduates were also investigated in order to get their perception regarding the nature of the programme. Kirkpatrick’s 4-level Model and the CIRO models were used as the evaluation model for this study and the conceptual framework was outlined to answer the research objectives. The survey method was used to collect the quantitative data. All graduates were used as the study population (census). Questionnaire were sent by email to collect data form the respondents and. SPSS was used to analyse data. Low response rate from the respondents was indicated as one the study limitations while ethical issues were considered and observed by the researcher. The findings of the study are that according to the graduates perceptions the programme is producing graduates with acquired MPM knowledge area and competencies and UB graduates skills. The knowledge area and competencies were acquired by majority graduates at a medium level while the UB graduates skills were acquired by majority at a low level. The findings had also shown that the graduates perceive the programme to have assisted them improves their career after completion of the programme and that majority of both the respondents were not challenged during the programme except for work related issues. In conclusion the results had shown that according to the graduates’ perception the programme has been found to be meeting its intended objectives. The study recommended an improvement on research supervision as the respondents had identified it to be poorly arranged with many years passing without interjection. The respondents suggested the programme to be accredited with international professional bodies and PMI was given as an example. A comprehensive university-wide study was recommended by the researcher to investigate why the students do not complete their graduate programmes and find out why they show less interest on completion of dissertation courses in order to complement the findings presented on this research study.