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Professor Sheng Zhengfa's lecture on developing scientific research capacity in China's newly-built four-year colleges

On the afternoon of November 19th, 2012, Professor Zhengfa Sheng, currently an associate professor of Hunan Institute of Humanities, Science and Technology, and a post-doc at National Institute of Education Sciences (NIES), presented a lecture on developing scientific research capacity in China's newly-built four-year colleges.

As the starting point, Professor Sheng defined the term "newly-built four-year college" in China as colleges established after 1999 by upgrading or merging local vocational colleges. As introduced, his study collected data for 260 regular colleges established between 1999 and 2010 from their websites, including enrollment, number of faculty, number of staff, and the percentage of senior researchers and faculty. Besides, with data from field research and statistics of the MoE, Professor Sheng presented the distribution of the newly-built colleges over time, province, and over economic area, and by the types of these institutions based on their field of concentration and source of funding.

While admitting that these newly-built four-year colleges may not put more emphasis on research over teaching, the latter of which can be the strength of such type of colleges, Professor Sheng concerned the challenges faced by newly-built four-year college in conducting research. First, they face the restraints and standards set by long-established universities. Second, they encounter competitions on research personnel and resources among institutions in the same level. Third, there is a disconnection between the demand of the local economy and the strengths of the institution.  Some suggestions are provided to help these newly built four-year colleges to develop their research capability, such as cultivating research personnel, establishing research platform, developing areas of strength in research, establishing innovative research system, and improving research management.

More information about this lecture can be referred to the PPT in the following link.