Survey among thesis supervisors at Aarhus BSS

Purpose/research question

The objective was to study whether thesis supervisors’ practices and the quality of Master’s theses has changed at Aarhus BSS in consequence of the Study Progress Reform implemented in 2016.

Background

The adoption and implementation of the study progress reform have put Master's theses at Danish universities under pressure. In particular, the thesis period was reduced from six months to 4½ months. At Aarhus BSS, both supervisors and management have questioned whether the quality of Master's theses and thesis supervision has changed in consequence of the reform. Therefore, the faculty's programme management wanted to identify the consequences of the reform for supervisors' practice and the conditions for their supervision.

Data and methodology

The survey was conducted as an electronic questionnaire sent out to about 400 thesis supervisors at Aarhus BSS. The response rate was 66%. Data was reported as descriptive statistics.

Results and perspectives

The results show that:

  • The majority of supervisors experience an increased workload and deteriorated conditions for their supervision.
  • More than half of the supervisors are more likely than before to advice their students against doing a risky project.
  • More than one third of the supervisors think that the academic level of Master's theses is lower than before the reform.
  • A fourth of the supervisors assess that Master's theses are based less on empirical data, and about one fifth assess that Master's theses are based less on corporation with external partners
  • About one third of the supervisors provide more process support and see more focused and disciplined students.

Status: finished

Gitte Wichmann-Hansen

Associate professor
M
H 1323, 322
P +4587163503
P +4542429707

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