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A study of the perceptions of faculty and administrators at Beijing University on the relative importance of research and undergraduate teaching
The Chinese government made a strategic resolution in 1995 to accelerate scientific and technological progress to spur the country's economic and social development. This resolution has been reinforced ever since. Its impact on the mission of Chinese universities is broad and wide-ranging. It raises major issues related to the balance between the two primary functions of faculty: research and teaching. It aggravates the tension already stimulated by conflicting values regarding how faculty spend their time and which activities they engage in should be rewarded. The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the extent to which the Chinese academic community really values research and teaching. Related to this goal, the major purposes are to identify the general trend of the research agenda in relation to the teaching agenda in Chinese universities; and to examine the relative importance of research and undergraduate teaching as perceived by the faculty, academic unit heads, deans, and central administrators in Beijing University. The study consists of two parts. First, a historical study reviewed government documents, policies, statistic reports, and institutional records. Second, a survey was conducted in Beijing University on the perceived relative importance of research and undergraduate teaching. The survey results were analyzed and compared to the results of the national study of research universities in the United States conducted by Syracuse University. The historical research method provided a general portrait of the research agenda in relation to the teaching agenda in Chinese higher education institutions. The study found that teaching is declining to a subordinate position to research. The survey results reveal that the academics at Beijing University think that there should be an appropriate balance between research and undergraduate teaching, but in reality, such an ideal balance does not exist in their university. Instead, there is a clear tendency in the university culture that emphasizes research over teaching. In comparison with the Syracuse study results, this research-oriented trend in Beijing University has not developed as far as the American research universities, but the study clearly indicated that the university is moving further in this direction.
School administration|Higher education
Ma, Zhen, "A study of the perceptions of faculty and administrators at Beijing University on the relative importance of research and undergraduate teaching" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9809362.