The Integration of Research and Teaching in World Leading Universities
There are somewhere in the order of 17,000 higher education institutions across the globe and a conservative estimate suggests that at least 1,000 of these are actively and effectively engaged in research at scale. It should also be acknowledged that this research is equalled in volume by research conducted in non-university public institutions and by industry. This is an incredible force for the advancement of global human society and it is clear that high quality research is now widely distributed across the world.
Universities that are truly research-intensive must focus on ensuring that their students benefit from an education that is carefully and fully integrated with the research profile of the institution and its research partnerships. My personal philosophy is that all students (UG or PGT or PGR) should benefit from becoming involved in the process of 'research', irrespective of discipline. This is fundamentally important in developing students' life skills and equipping them for their future. By engaging in the research process, students will learn to become critical independent thinkers and problem solvers. They will understand how knowledge is created, how it inevitably shifts with time, and they will be exposed to, and become personally experienced in, dealing with uncertainties at the 'edge of knowledge'. They will also become more experienced in working in a team and actively engaged in improving their ability to communicate effectively. Graduates with this background experience are highly creative and of great value to the organisations that they join for employment. Many will become 'leaders of the future' because of their ability to research background information and analyse problems from first principles and subsequently exhibit confidence in employing innovative approaches and methods of problem solution.