March 29-30, co-sponsored by Times Higher Education (THE) and Nankai University, THE China Universities Forum was held in Tianjin. During the forum, Times Higher Education provided three Masterclasses, sharing their wisdom with the attendants on the topics including university’s academic talent hiring, promotion of internationalization, data interpretation of Chinese universities’ “double first-class” construction, etc.
Academic recruitment in the modern age
“More than 66% interviewee answered that when they consider about changing the job, they hope to acquire more information about ‘the institution’s brand culture and value’,” Valerie Tan, Hiring Solutions Director (Asia), THE, introduced. This proportion is even higher than that of “labor rewards” and other options. Therefore, when the universities hires academic talents, they need to establish their brand of recruitment, emphasizing on telling their own unique brand story and providing the career motivation for applicants.
“According to the data, candidates usually use more than 4 online platforms to apply, and 42% of applicants use more than 8 network platforms. In terms of the form of employment, video advertisements are the most popular and are supported by 80% of candidates.”
How do universities build up reputation at home and abroad?
Joyce Chee, Regional director (mainland China), THE, mentioned the three steps of building reputation, which are “clarifying factors affecting the university’s reputation”, “focusing on the process management of enhancing the university’s reputation” and “extending the influence of the university’s reputation”. However, in terms of these three parts, the key point of establishing a reputation domestically do not completely coincides with that of establishing a reputation internationally.
First, the factors that mainly affect the domestic reputation are the quality of scientific research and teaching, university ranking, score of college entrance examination, outstanding alumni, etc., while for the international reputation, the key points are the quality of scientific research and teaching, world university rankings, high international citation, intensive international cooperation, etc. Second, in the process of enhancing the domestic reputation, the university needs to pay more attention to brand publicity, main media exposure, speeches, etc., while for the international reputation, the university should value international development, international brand promotion, international media exposure, international speeches, etc. Third, from the perspective of extending the influence of the university’s reputation, the goal can be achieved by attracting high-level local talents (teachers and students), local industrial investment and more government support at home. Yet in the international environment, the goal needs to be achieved by attracting high-level international talents (teachers and students), international industrial investment and more government support, retaining local high-end talents and preventing talents from returning back home, etc.
Weiying Chen, Deputy Director of the Office of Global Engagement, Zhejiang University, introduced the 2018-launched strategy of international development “GLOBAL ZJU”, putting forward the slogan of “CREATE to Impact” and driven by culture, scientific research, teaching, administrative support, talents, and international participation.
Jenny Hällen Hedberg, Director of the Office of International Affairs, Nanyang Technological University, introduced Nanyang Technological University’s strategy of internationalization. It regards students, parents, researchers, enterprises, alumni, social donors, media, government, organizations, etc. as stakeholders, and takes research, teaching, ranking, campus, youthful openness, internationalization, etc. as key words of building reputation.
How to promote the construction of “double first-class” by data?
Phil Baty, Chief knowledge officer, THE, and Wei Wang, Data analyst, Elsevier, together revealed that how THE World University Rankings calculates depending on five basic performance indicators: research (30%), teaching (30%), citations (30%), industry income (2.5%) and international outlook (7.5%), as well as 13 calibrated performance indicators.
It is introduced that the number of mainland Chinese universities entering THE World University Rankings 2019 increased from 63 in 2018 to 72, ranking fourth among the world colleges and universities. In general, universities in mainland China have advantages in terms of industrial income, doctoral/undergraduate ratio, research income/personnel ratio, etc. in the world. However, the number of papers per capita, citations of papers, internationalization level (international co-authors, international staff, international students, etc.) need to be improved. In Asia, the level of internationalization of Chinese universities is medium, but there are still gaps with countries and regions such as Singapore and Hong Kong, especially in the aspects of international co-production and international students.
“Among the calibrated performance indicators, ‘international cooperation’ takes up 2.5%. Therefore, promoting internationalization strategies and strengthening international cooperation will be one of the most effective ways to improve world rankings and enhance international reputation.”
Another noteworthy thing is that the level of publication and the number of patents cited by the industry-university cooperation in mainland China are almost equal to the average level in Asia, but there is a big gap with Singapore, Korea, Japan and so on, and there is still potential to improve the level of industry-university-research in mainland China.
“In addition, there are two ways to promote the construction of ‘double first-class’ based on the discipline construction and development as well as bibliometric data analysis and prediction. One is to further consolidate the advantages of the leading disciplines in the world and the other is to establish new disciplines with development prospects based on interdisciplinary disciplines.”