In order to develop a collegial approach to the postgraduate research conducted in the School each person registered for a higher degree is required to have a research committee associated with their project. As a result, people other than the direct supervisor become involved with the research and this allows for the generation of interest and scientific interaction.
The supervisor, usually in consultation with the student, selects a number of other people (up to 3 or 4) to constitute the committee. These people are generally other academics (Wits and other tertiary education institutions) who are familiar with the field of study, but often also include appropriate people from industry, governmental, non-governmental agencies etc. The post graduate coordinator(s) chair all the committee meetings and the Head of School is an ex officio member.
The role of the postgraduate committee is to provide the student with a group of people, over and above the supervisor, who can assist the student with aspects of the research. Members of the committee are usually selected because of their familiarity with the area of research, but also can bring other particular expertise. The primary rôle of the committee is to provide guidance and support to the student. However, the committee can also be used as a mechanism to improve both the quality and rate of work and, if need be, act in a disciplinary nature.
Frequency of meetings
You are only absolutely required to have one PG Committee (proposal) meeting for your degree, but to monitor the progress of the project, meetings may also be called during the course of the degree. The supervisor is usually responsible for calling the meetings; however the student also has the right to call meetings. The supervisor is required to take the minutes of each meeting and circulate these to all members of the committee. A record of the proceedings of the committee meetings is kept by the School. The student is required to take appropriate action to the minutes of the meeting.