Leading Chinese Universities Eliminate Publication Requirement for Ph.D.s

Leading Chinese Universities Eliminate Publication Requirement for Ph.D.s

Leading Chinese Universities Eliminate Publication Requirement for Ph.D.s

Scores of Chinese universities are abolishing the mandatory requirement for doctorate students to publish papers in journal in order to acquire degree.

Many of country’s popular institutions have eradicated the requirement including Tsinghua and Peking Universities, as well as the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This has compelled the other institutes to follow the suit.

As per the Inside Higher ED, Chen Saijuan, a hematologist and molecular biologist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, submitted a proposal that institutions should stop listing academic publication as “the only decisive” graduation requirement for postgraduate students.

Chen told media that expecting a particular number of published papers or demanding annexation in a journal with specific impact factor as prerequisite for doctorate damages the combined research and “hinders the cultivation of innovative talents.”

Whereas, in other proposal put forward a professor and supervisor at Nanjing Normal University, it was pointed that this demand by universities “lacks legitimacy” and “could infringe Ph.D. candidates’ rights to obtain degrees and be assessed fairly.”

Zou Jianjun, a professor in the School of Chinese Language and Literature at Central China Normal University, told Times Higher Education that the adoption of mandatory publication over the past two decades “was mainly driven by the benefits it offers for subject evaluation and university rankings rather than the commitment to guarantee the quality of Ph.D. education.”

Other professors of the universities in China agreed that closer advisory for PhD degree and inclusive assessment is a better option than outsourcing an important PhD requirement to journal editors.

“For students who made contributions to research projects with a long time horizon and extreme difficulty, especially the ones in basic theoretical research, there should be more flexible and comprehensive graduation assessments based on the students’ research areas and subjects,” said Zhang Ruomei, a research assistant in South China University of Technology’s Institute of Public Policy.

Zou added, “Institutions have their own rigorous procedures to assess postgraduates, where they have to go through research proposals, pre-defense, anonymous peer review and the official defense. The root of the long-lasting problem lies in some evaluation requirements implemented by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.”

Competition of higher rankings and subject ratings also directs to academic publication often becoming a mandatory requirement in academic recruitment.

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