Prof Elmarie Sadler (DCompt/CA(SA)), Dean: Research, Internationalisation and Community Engagement at STADIO, says the graduation of STADIO's first doctorate students is a significant milestone for the institution.
“By introducing the two doctorates, the Doctor of Management and the Doctor of Policing in January 2021 STADIO officially offers degree qualifications on all the NQF levels,” she says. “The two doctorates conferred during the May 2023 graduation ceremonies mark the first doctorates of the 2021 cohort.”
The two doctoral qualifications are both professional doctorates. Sadler explains that the defining characteristic of a professional doctorate is that, in addition to the demonstration of high-level research capability, it also requires the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to highly complex problems in a wide range of professional contexts.
“These two candidates not only completed their studies within the minimum period of two years, but were both lauded by the panel of external examiners for the high quality of their scholarship,” she says.
Mabaku, who now holds the title of Doctor of Policing, says he decided to pursue the Doctor in Policing because the programmes are practically based.
That means the implementation of theory into the world of work through STADIO’s learning content and assessment tools is designed to allow students to scrutinise and solve practical issues,” he says, adding that affordability and student support systems were also factors in his choice.
Swart, who now holds the title Doctor of Management, says she’s always dreamed of wearing the red doctoral gown. “I would recommend this route to anyone who wants to do a Doctor of Management. STADIO provided me with so many online lectures, resources, and support throughout and I will always be thankful to Prof Sadler who played a key role in my journey,” she says.
Mabaku’s research focused on developing a framework for performing internal security as a constitutional obligation of the Namibian Police Force. He says many security and police practitioners now argue that the police alone has not successfully preserved Namibia’s internal security.
“Internal security should, therefore, be treated as the responsibility of several stakeholders and not the responsibility of the police only,” he says. “To propel this agenda, there is a need for greater attention to developing a Framework for Performing Internal Security [FPIS] in the security field.”
While existing developed frameworks of security have concentrated on IT security and cybersecurity, Mabaku says there hasn’t been a reliable framework available that would offer contemporary insights into the preservation of internal security.
His framework aims to address this gap and he has already had some of his research published in accredited journals, with other articles pending publication.
He intends to make a copy of his research available to all police colleges in Namibia and South Africa, as well as institutions that have taken prominent roles in matters related to internal insecurity in Namibia, including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Security Matters.“Equally important, I intend to host public lecture series on the study's relevancy in eight regions/provinces of Namibia,”
He says. “I will also seek approval from the Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force to present my findings at the Police Senior Commanders Conference that will take place in August this year.”
Swart’s research focused on “Private Higher Education Institutions: A consumer decision-making framework”. She explains that she has been working for private higher education institutions for the last five years.
“I knew there was a growing demand for private higher education locally, but some of the institutions were missing their target market due to several reasons. Consumer behaviour has always been a fascinating field of study to me, and I knew if I could combine the two, I would be able to contribute to the industry.”
Her research aimed to investigate the factors influencing consumers’ behaviour in the decision-making process when choosing a private higher education institution.
“The study not only aimed to examine the current marketing literature, but also to provide private higher education institutions in South Africa with a deeper understanding of their markets, which can lead to more effective and fitting marketing strategies and policies.”
The value of a doctorate qualification
Sadler says that a professional doctoral qualification provides education and training for high-level intellectual performance within the context of a career in an industry. “It is designed around the development of high-level intellectual performance and innovation in both the world of scholarship and the world of work.”
“Any professional with an appropriate Master’s degree who aspires to contribute to the current discourses and developments in the scholarly field and world of work, should consider enrolling for a professional doctorate,” she enthuses.
Her message to the first two doctorate graduates is: “The conferment of your doctoral qualification does not mark the end of a journey, but the start of a new journey of scholarship and responsible and ethical professionalism. You succeeded because you were dedicated and disciplined."
"You are now equipped with the necessary intellectual and social capabilities to make continuous scholarly contributions and high-level innovative impact to the world of work. Continue to publish, not only in reputable scholarly journals, but also in professional and practice related publications.”