When evaluating how to improve research in your university, you're thinking about what your university is contributing to the world. Innovation coming out of higher education may not only affect the academic world, but society as a whole. With each year that passes, more and more innovative research stems from universities. Meanwhile, there are always ways to advance the knowledge of the students studying at your institution. Working hard to improve research in your university will surely have positive consequences all around, for both the students and the institution.
This article explains what the concept of research entails in a university setting and why research output is important in higher education. It also contains some tips for improving research quality in your school, including the benefits of university partnerships.
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What Is Research in a University Setting?
Research is the other main component of higher education besides teaching and the courses a student will register for every semester. This may seem like a rather obvious explanation, but research is often forgotten about in comparison to the prevalence of courses. However, it is just as important in terms of how a university will invest its resources. Research aids in fulfilling a school’s purpose, which is to educate and train the next generation. A research university will further perpetuate this cycle with top-quality professors and students on its campus. Due to their excellent resources, universities facilitate research that may not be possible elsewhere. They are constantly on the verge of cutting-edge technology and information. Student success in higher education depends on colleges and universities to give them the skills needed to prepare them for fulfilling careers. Improving research could allow for a significant uptick in attention to your school, making it one of the best college growth strategies. Part of achieving that goal is giving students the freedom to research and learn in the best spaces possible. The research coming out of universities is extremely innovative because schools have the tools to make these discoveries and the outreach to publicize them.
The level of research in a post-secondary setting depends on the discipline. STEM fields likely need the most attention in this regard, as they have applied research that often requires special equipment or infrastructure. Humanities programs can provide scholarships to pursue their research needs, such as publications in scholarly journals or academic books. Fine arts usually fund projects and other creative activities or exhibitions. Art studios are also an example of physical spaces necessary for research to be completed. All these disciplines can affect a school’s status as a research university.
When your institution is known as a research university, you are on another playing field entirely. A school’s ranking is greatly affected by its research output and improving research facilities may be a great tactic for school officials learning how to improve university performance. You will attract high-quality applicants and faculty as a result, with more eyes on your university than ever.
Why Research Is Important to Universities
A large part of why research is important to a university is that it allows for schools to better fulfill their promise to students. When a school has top-of-the-line research facilities, their quality of education rises, and they are better able to support students.
Research opportunities unfortunately do not come from thin air. In addition to the tuition from student fees, universities often use funding from the government to help make their research happen. Why? If the schools in their country are responsible for world-changing research, the government is then responsible for it. In the case of scientific discovery, for instance, making research available to other countries is a governmental issue, rather than just a scholarly one. Research often has wider implications outside of the university walls, and that is the catalyst for receiving grants from government departments.
Facilities related to science and technology are likely also the most expensive to curate in a university, as they need the correct equipment and room to immerse the student in their research. How important is research for medical school? Some universities have entire clinics with patients, where students can gain professional experience. Offering clinical research opportunities for premedical students will be an attraction for high-quality candidates. As a result, these programs are also more likely to receive government grants.
When it comes to student research, there must be students enrolled in the university to have access to these opportunities. A school with the highest quality research will be very appealing to prospective students looking for schools to apply to. Promoting your research output and facilities is one of the best college recruitment strategies, as you are sure to advertise your school’s best assets to new students. Jumping off of that, students are more likely to stay enrolled in their programs if they are provided the best reasons to do so. If they cannot get that level of research anywhere else, they will be encouraged and proud to graduate from your institution.
Due to slowly declining enrollment rates in post-secondary schools, the conversation about how to increase college retention is a hot topic in higher education these days. The level of research and value of publications coming out of your school is inevitably linked to the will of students to remain studying with you. Students may feel compelled to switch to another school or drop out entirely if their research needs are not being met. Having state-of-the-art research facilities on your grounds is a big plus that puts your institution above others in the same area and around the world. Reputation is a crucial part of a university’s success and the evolution of its research. A positive reputation is one of the most dependable ways to attract students to your university and create a community on your campus.
That being said, for higher education institutions, reputation tends to be rather surface level. A school’s ranking could include many factors, but it is largely tied to what research is coming out of the university and into the academic world, rather than the lectures happening inside classrooms. What usually happens is that a school’s reputation will become synonymous with a particular program or department, which will then affect which research departments get more funding, leading to better tools. For example, if a school is acclaimed for its premed programs, more budget for improving research will go into perfecting those amenities, such as labs or medical clinics. Inevitably, what a school is “known for” may get more attention than other departments, even if they offer other stellar programs as well.
When a college or university gets a great reputation and strengthens its research capabilities, there is more possibility for contributors and other growth opportunities. Research opportunities and academic support are also great ways to increase graduation rates. Alumni who have gone on to successful careers will often give donations, gifts, or speeches to the university. Occasionally, these donations will be for the particular faculty or department they graduated from to aid with their future research. If these alumni members credit their school with teaching them the fundamentals they needed, they will be more likely to give back to help support the next generations of students and their research. University Advancement departments are geared toward maintaining alumni relationships and overseeing major gifts to the school.
In addition to alumni, high-profile people, business moguls, or celebrities could become interested in speaking at your university to help motivate students, especially if they are intrigued by the superior research happening on your campus. Whether they are specifically related to academics or not, your school could be the site of conferences, talks, and other events that will help attract more eyes to your school. Quality research could be the catalyst for the experiential growth of your university.
How to Improve Research in Your University
The benefits of having stellar research coming out of your institution are endless and can only affect you positively, but how can your school improve its output? Your school’s mission is to appeal to student needs and give them every opportunity to succeed, and that also extends to research possibilities. Here are some tips for improving research in your university and giving students the freedom to pursue their interests:
1. Partner with Academic Consulting Services
A unique way to improve research in your institution is to partner with external academic advising services, such as BeMo Academic Consulting. Our partnerships will motivate students to produce their best work and succeed in their studies, which includes any research ventures. BeMo sets students up to perform well and helps them develop professionally and academically. By consulting with us, students will save time and money as they receive equal access to education. Unlimited support from trained admissions experts will help students with the A to Z of competitive program admissions, such as writing application documents and prep for standardized tests or interviews. BeMo consultants can also aid with career counselling, job interviews, and research resume building. Offering private, tailored help from academic consultants will help retain students at your university and assist them in their research projects as they prepare for lucrative careers.
2. Encourage Student Research Programs
Improving research initiatives at your university involves directly promoting research programs to students. When it comes to student research projects at your school, what could be better than offering the chance to pursue their own interests? For instance, students on the premed track wanting to apply to medical schools often want to gain professional research experience but are limited in their options for how to do so while studying. Either their university does not offer an opportunity in their field of interest, or they require significant travel duties or a professor to supervise them. BeMo’s ultimate premed research program will provide students with research experience that is sure to enhance their application to medical school. There is a choice between a 4-month program and a 1-year option, giving students flexibility in how they want to approach their projects.
An online independent research venture such as this one does not need any physical space or laboratory to complete and can make applications stand out without the need for travel. Using one-on-one consultations, BeMo experts help students every step of the way, from choosing the best topic and scientific research methodology to eventual presentation and publication, by providing feedback throughout the entire process. Guided workshops and exercises will further help students complete their research projects. All this will lead to a certificate of completion and reference letter that will improve student success in their med school applications. Research in your institution will improve when students are encouraged to compile and present these findings. Their passion will show in the results, and these worthwhile programs can be a great selling point for the quality of research at your institution.
3. Offer Research and Teaching Assistantships
A tried-and-true method to improving research at the university level is to offer research and teaching assistantships. Becoming an RA or a TA can span many departments and will have use in multiple career fields. These are worthwhile opportunities for students who may want them, especially since most of them are paid part-time work that a student can complete concurrently with their courses. Usually, these opportunities are reserved for graduate students, but even opening them up to upper year undergraduate students can be highly beneficial to the research output of a school. Students will get to work with their favorite professors on projects that interest them. Meanwhile, teaching assistants could learn pedagogical skills and gain further knowledge of their material by being a second-in-command to a more experienced professor. Therefore, in addition to being professional experience to contribute to a future grad school CV, assistantships can also impact a student’s own research capabilities. If they plan to apply to graduate school, they could reapply to your institution due to its familiarity and to continue their research.
4. Include Other Disciplines
While STEM fields do require a lot of attention in terms of research opportunities, it is important to remember all the other faculties and departments that make up a university’s curriculum. If your school offers these programs, they should also be considered just as heavily. Any research from fine arts, business, marketing, the humanities, political science, and more could add to a university’s overall performance rate. Just like how a school could be known for their premed track or their engineering graduates, they could also garner a positive reputation for any one of these fields. To some, majors within the arts or the humanities are often considered abstract and less valuable from a research standpoint, but this is a misconception. They have their own public figures, awards, conferences, and other academic events that represent the best research published. Therefore, research initiatives for these fields also have benefits for a university that puts in the effort to improve them.
First, they can be less expensive to fund, which can be a more suitable option for smaller colleges looking to improve their research output. Second, these disciplines contribute to the overall culture of the university itself, the city that the school is in, and maybe even the world at large, if popular enough. Political studies, literature publications, and art works have the ability to traverse borders and will have a long-term impact. Despite not being immediately obvious, these often-overlooked programs and their research can create a lasting difference in academia and elsewhere.
5. Update Libraries and Databases
Access to information is very much aligned with research. Make sure your library services are as updated as possible. A library that is both visually appealing and filled with a collection of relevant books will encourage students to use its services. Research databases such as JSTOR, ScienceDirect, Academic Search Complete, and Project MUSE are a staple for many academics when looking for secondary sources. They are the best resources for accessing the most current journals or publications. Without access to these databases, a student may not be able to explore all the avenues they want to, and the research may suffer as a result. Having up-to-date subscriptions to the most popular databases will only benefit the productivity of your school.
The staff you employ to help students could also improve research. Make sure to hire the best librarians and academic advisors trained to assist students with their research or other academic needs. Your students’ grades, morale, and research will surely improve when there are university personnel there to help them achieve their goals. Implement the top job satisfaction factors to retain your best employees so that they can be at their best at all times to support student success.
Improving research in your institution is a multi-faceted and complicated undertaking. There are many ways to go about improving your school’s research initiatives, but to sum it all up, being inclusive of various academic disciplines is a strong way to diversify the content your university is associated with. Having multiple well-developed departments and programs will never hurt your school’s reputation.
Listening to the concerns of students is a great way to figure out where to start improving the research output in your school. Having external help from academic consulting services will make your school stand out to future applicants and encourage current students to work hard on their research projects.
1. What does research mean in relation to higher education?
Research is another main component of university-level education, along with teaching and courses. It is the scholarship that a particular school works on and publishes for the consumption of other academics or society as a whole. University research could have a large amount of impact on whatever field it comes from and is sometimes acknowledged internationally or on a global scale.
2. What does it mean to be known as a research university?
Being labelled a research university is typically a compliment and a great note for a school’s reputation. Whether it is in a particular subject or not, it means you are being recognized for superior research. For instance, Harvard University in Massachusetts is primarily known for its law school, but it is an Ivy League institution that has made multiple research contributions to the world and is generally recognized by the public as one of the highest-quality post-secondary schools.
3. How does better research attract prospective students?
Improving research quality at your school can be one of the more creative ways to increase college enrollment, as it may not be immediately apparent. If your school has better research quality than others in its area or country, it will affect the word of mouth that will travel from the graduate level to the freshman level. Your school’s reputation will improve over time, leading to more eyes on your university and more students interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. Superior research facilities can also be a great feature of open houses, recruitment materials, and posts on social media for prospective students to see.
4. How does better research quality help retain students?
Students want to feel like they are being supported and that their work matters. It is not the be-all and end-all to dropout prevention, but when their research needs are met, students will be more likely to feel satisfied with their education.
5. Why might STEM fields need the most attention for research?
Science, technology, engineering, and math fields should not be the sole faculties considered for research funding in your school, but these programs are often the most expensive. They would need the largest amount of space, tools, and equipment to effectively improve their students’ research capabilities. Labs are crucial to the delivery of courses as well as research projects. The research in these fields is also the most likely to be tied to government grants, as their work is more likely to have larger global implications.
6. Is there a need for research funding in disciplines other than STEM?
Yes, absolutely. Each discipline has merit, and they all have their own opportunities to make a dent in academic circles. Students in any major should be given the opportunity to properly follow their passion. While schools will always put more effort into some programs over others, research is crucial to the development of every field, whether it is STEM or not.
7. How could academic consulting services help my school’s research?
The goal of college admissions consulting is to motivate students and give them tailored advice when pursuing their dreams. Part of this includes their application documents, but also the actual research they are performing. Consultants could give tips and aid students with the direction of their research.
8. What are some other services BeMo offers to support students?
In addition to our premed research program, BeMo also offers DocShadowing, a service in which students can shadow a doctor online to explore different specialties, receive training on medical concepts, and improve their research overall.
Students can also become a BeMo premed student brand ambassador. In this role, students promote BeMo services on social media and their college campuses on a part-time basis.
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