COECSA, Journal, Ophthalmology
What is a good PhD program in ophthalmology?: Students’ perspective
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Doctoral students
Eye Health


How to Cite

Mwangi N, Rono H, Arunga S, Mdeme F. (2023). What is a good PhD program in ophthalmology?: Students’ perspective. The Journal of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, 15(01). Retrieved from


Access to doctoral studies is increasing and the impact of PhD programs is generally understood to be
positive. However, the lack of clarity about what a PhD entails can be a barrier to student entry into the
programs. During the pre-entry period, students need to consider the reasons for choosing to take PhD and
the value expected from it. In practice, this involves complex considerations related to personal, institutional,
logistical and PhD program characteristics. As such, prospective students would benefit from a reflection
on these factors in advance of registering for the PhD. Realising that there is a limited published literature
on what makes a PhD ‘good’, in this paper we explore the factors that contribute to students’ perception
of a good scholarly engagement. We use an interview format to report on some broad areas of relevant
consideration. We conclude that sustained student motivation, effective supervision, adequate facilities and
a supportive environment are pertinent for the learning that makes a PhD ‘good’.

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