Collaborative Research Methodologies: A Quest for Better Engagement and Results Oriented Findings Within the Institutions of Higher Learning
AbstractThe expression ‘a university without research is a dignified high school’ is becoming a both local and global concern in the academia. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which collaborative research methodologies can enhance integration of faculties of arts and humanities in the universities in Malawi for knowledge development and transfer. It has been argued over and over that universities are spotlighted by their outstanding work in research, developing and sharing ideas, new inventions and creativity within the spectrum of partnership development. While striving for partnership through collaborative research approaches, research activities still remain an area of concern in institutions that offer diverse tertiary education in Malawi. The question of how can these institutions or faculties engage each other in collaborative research methodologies in the quest of knowledge development and transfer remains crucial and relevant The study analyzed strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the existing research methods in Arts and Humanities and how the two disciplines can create a space for amalgamation so that research findings can benefit both disciplines. The study reveals that collaboration in various disciplines is a challenge owing to variations of conceptual analyses and the deficiency of technical no-how of both teaching staff and students as well as tools for data collection and analysis as may be emphasized in each of the areas of study; Arts and Humanities. Furthermore, while other institutions of higher learning have research ethics committees for checks and balances as a collaborative tool, some institutions do not know that this committee plays a crucial role in the field of research. Within this backdrop, there is need to develop research collaborations within an institution or with other institutions of higher learning that have a well-defined research profile for mutual benefits as far as collaborative research methodologies are concerned.
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