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Collins C Ngwakwe ORCID logo



This paper is a critical reflection on seemingly embedded subjectivity in external examination of higher degrees. The paper is significant given that education is a vital pillar of sustainable development; hence, identification of obscure obstacles to this goal is imperative for an equitable and sustainable education that is devoid of class, race and gender. Adopting a critical review approach, the paper rummaged some related researches that bemoan apparent subjectivity amongst some examiners of higher degrees. Findings show a regrettable and seemingly obscured subjectivity and/or misjudgement that constitute an impediment in higher degrees examination process. Thus the paper highlights that whilst it is understandable that misjudgement or error is innate in every human endeavour including higher degree examination, however an error caused by examiner’s partisanship and/or maladroitness in the research focus may be avoidable. In conclusion, the paper stresses that prejudice or ineptitude in higher degree examination should be bridled by inter alia implementing the policy of alternative assessor; checking the pedigree of examiner’s assessment experience and an opportunity for the supervisor/s to present a rebuttal in circumstances where one examiner’s opinion is fraught with apparent subjectivity.

Keywords: Examination, Higher Degree, Subjectivity, Bias, Opinion, Examiners, Markers

How to cite this paper: Ngwakwe, C. C. (2015). A critical reflection on subjectivity in examination of higher degrees. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(4-5), 645-648. https://doi.org/10.22495/jgr_v4_i4_c5_p10