Advertisement

Higher Education Policy

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 583–605 | Cite as

How the World-Class University Project Affects Scientific Productivity? Evidence from a Survey of Faculty Members in China

  • Xi YangEmail author
  • You YouEmail author
Original Article
  • 96 Downloads

Abstract

Using a survey of faculty members from 30 public universities in China, this study examines the influence of the world-class university (WCU) project on faculty member’s scientific productivity under the perspectives of globalization and national demands. In general, the results support the globalization dimension of the WCU project in China. The WCU project exhibits a positive effect on international publications, but has no significant impact on domestic publications and technology transfer. In addition, it is found that a high level of WCU funding is associated with more patents, while a low level of WCU funding has no influence on patents. The study also explores the indirect effects of the WCU project. It is found that the WCU project has enhanced the effect of non-government research funding on academic publications. Moreover, the WCU institutions put emphasis on attracting talents from abroad, but there is no evidence that researchers from abroad are more productive than domestic researchers in science and engineering fields.

Keywords

world-class university scientific productivity globalization of higher education research funding 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Prof. Fenqiao Yan for the data and advice. We are also grateful to Prof. Junwen Zhu and Dr. Yin Li for their comments on earlier drafts of this research.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China [71503167 and 71503013]; Philosophy and Social Science Research Projects of Shanghai [2015EJY001] and Special Research Funding for Humanity and Social Science in Shanghai Jiao Tong University [16JCWH18].

References

  1. Allison, P.D. and Long, J.S. (1990) ‘Departmental effects on scientific productivity’, American Sociological Review 55(4): 469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altbach, P. (2007) ‘Empires of knowledge and development’. in P. Altbach and J. Balán (eds.) World Class Worldwide: Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 1–28.Google Scholar
  3. Altbach, P.G. (2009). ‘Peripheries and centers: Research universities in developing countries Asia’, Pacific Education Review 10(1): 15–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baba Y., Shichijo N. and Sedita S.R. (2009) ‘How do collaborations with universities affect firms’ innovative performance? The role of “Pasteur scientists” in the advanced materials field’, Research Policy 38(5): 756–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bland, C.J. and Ruffin, M.T. (1992) ‘Characteristics of a productive research environment: Literature review’, Academic Medicine 67(6): 385–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carayol, N. and Matt, M. (2006) ‘Individual and collective determinants of academic scientists’ productivity’, Information Economics and Policy 18(1): 55–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deem, R. and Lucas, L. (2007) ‘Research and teaching cultures in two contrasting UK policy contexts: Academic life in education departments in five English and Scottish universities’, Higher Education 54(1): 115–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deem, R., Mok, K.H. and Lucas, L. (2008) ‘Transforming higher education in whose image? Exploring the concept of the ‘world-class’ university in Europe and Asia’, Higher Education Policy 21(1): 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Demidenko, E. (2013) Mixed Models: Theory and Applications with R, Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  10. Hazelkorn, E. (2008) ‘Learning to live with league tables and ranking: The experience of institutional leaders’, Higher Education Policy 21(2): 193–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hottenrott, H. and Thorwarth, S. (2011) ‘Industry funding of university research and scientific productivity’, Kyklos 64(4): 534–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang, F. (2015) ‘Building the world-class research universities: A case study of China’, Higher Education 70(2): 203–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ida, T. and Fukuzawa, N. (2013) ‘Effects of large-scale research funding programs: A Japanese case study’, Scientometrics 94(3): 1253–1273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Inter-Ministry Coordinating Office of “211 Project” (2007) A Report of 211 Project: 19952005, Beijing: Higher Education Press.Google Scholar
  15. Jensen, R., Thursby, J. and Thursby, M.C. (2010) University-industry spillovers, government funding, and industrial consulting (No. w15732), Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lai, M. (2010) ‘Challenges to the work life of academics: The experience of a renowned university in the Chinese Mainland’, Higher Education Quarterly 64(1): 89–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee, S. and Bozeman, B. (2005) ‘The impact of research collaboration on scientific productivity’, Social Studies of Science 35(5): 673–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Levin, S.G. and Stephan, P.E. (1991) ‘Research productivity over the life cycle: Evidence for academic scientists’, The American Economic Review 81(1): 114–132.Google Scholar
  19. Luo, Y. (2013) ‘Building world-class universities in China’, in J.C. Shin and B.M. Kehm (eds.) Institutionalization of World-Class University in Global Competition, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, pp. 165–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mairesse, J. and Turner, L. (2005) Measurement and Explanation of the Intensity of Co-publication in Scientific Research: An Analysis at the Laboratory Level (No. w11172), Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  21. Mali, F., Pustovrh, T., Platinovšek, R., Kronegger, L. and Ferligoj, A. (2016) ‘The effects of funding and co-authorship on research performance in a small scientific community’, Science and Public Policy 44(4): 486–496.Google Scholar
  22. Marginson, S. (2011) ‘Higher education in East Asia and Singapore: Rise of the Confucian model’, Higher Education, 61(5): 587–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mohrman, K. (2013) ‘Are Chinese universities globally competitive?’, The China Quarterly 215: 727–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mok, K.H. and Chan, Y. (2008) ‘International benchmarking with the best universities: Policy and practice in mainland China and Taiwan’, Higher Education Policy 21(4): 469–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muscio, A., Quaglione, D. and Vallanti, G. (2013) ‘Does government funding complement or substitute private research funding to universities?’, Research Policy 42(1): 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ngok, K. (2008) ‘Massification, bureaucratization and questing for “world-class” status: Higher education in China since the mid-1990s’, International Journal of Educational Management, 22(6): 547–564.Google Scholar
  27. Ngok, K. and Guo, W. (2008) ‘The quest for world-class universities in China: Critical reflections’, Policy Futures in Education 6(5): 545–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Payne, A. and Siow, A. (2003) ‘Does federal research funding increase university research output?’, Advances in Economic Analysis and Policy 3(1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Reale, E. and Seeber, M. (2011) ‘Organization response to institutional pressures in higher education: The important role of the disciplines’, Higher Education 61(1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rogers, J. D., Youtie, J. and Kay, L. (2012) ‘Program-level assessment of research centers: Contribution of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers to US Nanotechnology National Initiative goals’, Research Evaluation, 21(5): 368–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salmi, J. (2009) The Challenge of Establishing World-class Universities, Washington, DC: World Bank Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sandström, U., Wold, A., Jordansson, B., Ohlsson, B. and Smedberg, Å. (2010) Hans Excellens: om miljardsatsningarna på starka forskningsmiljöer [His excellency: On the investments of billions in centers of excellence], Stockholm: Delegationen för jämställdhet i Högskolan.Google Scholar
  33. Shin, J.C. and Cummings, W.K. (2010) ‘Multilevel analysis of academic publishing across disciplines: Research preference, collaboration, and time on research’, Scientometrics 85(2): 581–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shin, J. and Kehm, B. (2013) ‘The world-class university in different systems and contexts’, in J. Shin and B. Kehm (eds). Institutionalization of world-class university in global competition, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, pp. 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tien, F.F. and Blackburn, R.T. (1996). ‘Faculty rank system, research motivation, and faculty research productivity: Measure refinement and theory testing’, The Journal of Higher Education, 67(1): 2–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. van der Wende, M.C. (2009). European resonses to global competitiveness in higher education, Research and Occational Paper Series, No. 7, 2009. Berkeley: Centre for Studies in Higher Education, University of California.Google Scholar
  37. Wang, Q. and Cheng, Y. (2014) ‘Reflections on the Effects of the 985 Project in Mainland China’, in Y. Cheng, Q. Wang and N. Liu (eds.) How World-Class Universities Affect Global Higher Education, Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, pp. 103–114.Google Scholar
  38. Welch, A. (2005) ‘Challenge and change. The academic profession in uncertain times’, in A. Welch (ed.) The Professoriate: Profile of a Profession, Amsterdam: Springer, pp. 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Xie, Y. and Shauman, K. A. (1998) ‘Sex differences in research productivity: New evidence about an old puzzle’, American Sociological Review 63(6): 847–870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yang, R. and Welch, A. (2012) ‘A world-class university in China? The case of Tsinghua’, Higher Education 63(5): 645–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhang, H., Patton, D. and Kenney, M. (2013) ‘Building global-class universities: Assessing the impact of the 985 Project’, Research Policy 42(3): 765–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhou, P. and Leydesdorff, L. (2006) ‘The emergence of China as a leading nation in science’, Research Policy 35(1): 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhou, Y. and Wu, J. (2016). ‘The Game Plan: Four Contradictions in the Development of World Class Universities from the Global South’, Egitim ve Bilim 41(184):75–89.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations