Professor Kuo discusses teaching and research in Xi’an talk

Longgen Chen

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Educators and society as a whole in mainland China have entered into a sometimes heated debate about teaching and research, but the views expressed are for the most part based on limited personal observations and sometimes prejudice, according to Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong.

Professor Kuo was speaking to about 250 faculty members and students at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an on 27 April upon the invitation of Professor Fang Yu, President of Shaanxi Normal University.

Teaching and research are two of the basic functions of a typical university, especially a modern university, he said. As China is currently expanding its university education system against a benchmark of international standards, the issue is of great relevance to Chinese universities.

In his talk Professor Kuo reported on a 6-year quantitative research project that he conducted with 400 faculty members at Texas A&M University in the US. The project analysed teaching evaluations by more than 10,000 students over a five-year period.

The study looked into the factors affecting the teaching and research relationship and students’ ratings from different viewpoints, such as student seniority, faculty grades, class size and research output.

The updated results published in Clarifying Some Myths of Teaching and Research by Tsinghua University in Beijing and Taiwan, respectively highlight misconceptions regarding the relationship between teaching and research. Professor Kuo has delivered some 50 speeches on this topic world-wide since the publication of the report.

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