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Research Culture in Educational Institutions

By Dr. G.P. Saradhi Varma, Principal S. R. K. R. Engineering | Monday, 30 Jul 2018, 11:59 IST

The engineer’s first problem in any design situation is to discover what the problem really is’.Establishing a strong research culture in educational institutions is very challenging task. A culture of research provides a supportive context in which research is uniformly expected, discussed, produced and valued. The objective of the education system must be in such a way that the student after completing the degree is either placed in an MNC’s or else indulged in promoting research with integrity and a sense of social responsibility. Every institution, administration and disciplines must have the unique culture in promoting research by integrating it in the educational system through effective curriculum and guidelines to promote research. The institutions need to be globally collaborated and must create relationship with faculty and students around the world through the interchange of ideas, the sharing of resources, and the building of skills and the spirit of cooperation. Participation in the collaborative research or individual projects through funding is the major challenge for the engineering colleges.

The institutions need to collaborate with companies, make available space for establishing startup companies at institutions, make students interns, and work with the company in making real contributions to internal corporate Research & Development and product development programs. By offering credit courses in the curriculum as a free or technical elective for research helps the students in participating in research. The institutions must encourage the students by giving undergraduate research scholarships and awards for the innovative ideas.

The institutions should provide supports including the effective leadership and clear goals, faculty training and support programs, research centers, recognition of research production, encouragement of faculty collaboration, balanced teaching and research responsibilities. Active programs of research provide opportunities for students to participate in a variety of ways that will enhance their educational experience. The demand for increased research productivity within a developing culture of research is attended by the challenge of effectively measuring scholarly output. Measurements of progress and success must change as institutions development.

The students might want to attend training-seminars, workshops, and conferences aimed at deepening your knowledge and honing your skills in doing research. The events conducted by various organizations, universities and industries can provide these opportunities to students by collaboration, as well as for scholarships that could help finance for participation in these activities and also to research outcome.

While institutions seek to develop a culture of research, they will adapt their hiring practices to add faculty members with research production potential, current faculty may lack the interest or skills to contribute meaningfully to the developing culture. To implement cultural change, administrators must be prepared to tailor solutions to faculty members’ current motivations and abilities.

Institutions need to equip researchers with research methodology essential for pursuing research degrees (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Masters in Philosophy) and research in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The institutes also need to conduct workshops to enable researchers in writing various research reports, thesis, dissertation, research papers, articles, essays. The institution can also get a research position in countries like U.S.A., Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, and so on by organizing events like project Expo for students to get curiosity to find new things to overcome or solve the problems occurring in our everyday life.

By establishing centers of excellence in institution the research at interdisciplinary areas will help in being the interface for one or more disciplines actively pursued. There should be adequate training for academic staff to equip them with the necessary training to plan and implement research projects. The government should generously release funds to institutions for research purposes.

There is an increase in international mobility in tertiary education, which is giving rise to new modes of competition within research. Economic competition, which is now playing a key role in research; and competition amongst academic and research institutions, results in a concentration, diversification and modernization. Competition for hiring the best academics is intensifying among higher education and research institutions. Exploring the new trends and new facets of research has assumed to be an added significance in the globalized world of the twenty-first century. Since the strength of today’s economies is increasingly based on how well they can harness knowledge and expertise, the role of the education system has become crucial in international competition. In my opinion it must be in the system that determines an economy’s capacity to adapt swiftly to new situations; new markets and new technologies incur more substantial costs than others in our globalized world.

Knowledge generated by research is the basis of sustainable development, which requires that knowledge be placed at the service of development, be converted into applications, and be shared to ensure widespread benefits.

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August 2018
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