Challenges to the Doctoral Journey: a Case of Female Doctoral Students from Ethiopia

Asamenew Demessie Bireda


This study aimed to investigate some challenges female doctoral students experience in their doctoral journey. The study used a qualitative design and structured interviews. The theoretical framework that guided the study was that of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystemic theory. A purposely selected sample of five female doctoral students from the University of South Africa Ethiopia campus participated in the study. The results identified three major areas of concern such as: academic, psychosocial and home/work related. Specifically, female doctoral students reported concerns surrounding quality of supervision support, inadequate academic skill, nature or system of education, stress, motivation, isolation, balancing personal and professional life, relationship problems, home and work related concerns. Hence, universities must provide opportunities and resourceful strategies to meet the challenges posed by women scholars in the doctoral journey.


doctoral study, ODL, women, challenges

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