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kdavid

Graduate School in China – A History Major’s Perspective

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somethingfunny

That's the point I was making.  Obviously having work published is a great achievement for a student at any level, but making it a requirement to receive your Master's degree is not a good idea.

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emmanuel

anonymoose has a good point :) Anyway, I didnt hear that master's degree students must publish paper to get degree, even in Chinese universities. I will be happy if you share some links/documents, because I heard only about recommendations.

What I dont understand is why Angelina is saying that "international students pay a lot of money", because it sounds like "I pay money = I bought PhD degree". I believe that person who want to get PhD must earn it and strong publication is a significant part of it. 

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Angelina

No, I was asking how much are they being paid.

I am busy now, I will edit this post when I have more time.

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somethingfunny

Yesterday I went to the first class for my 中国近代经济史 course.  Turns out the class is actually a "Foreign perspectives on Chinese history course" but I'm guessing they had to call it something less conspicuous than that to get it approved.

 

I also took out Philip Kuhn's 'Soulstealers' book from the library and the inside cover is signed by him.  Evidently it was given to some friend of his when it had just come out and somehow found its way into the library here.

 

Once I've been here a while I might make a post pointing out areas where my experience has been similar to kdavid, and where it has been a little bit different.

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Angelina

Interesting book. Sorcerers, conspiracies, politics, and hair :D Excited. Let me check if my library has a signed copy too.

I have been doing a lot interesting things recently. Next week: Ivanhoe (not the book).

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kdavid

@somethingfunny

 

Which university are you at?

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somethingfunny

Sichuan University

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Chris Two Times

Sichuan University...good place, a place with which I am quite familiar.

 

Hope it is all good for you at ChuanDa, in Chengdu, and in Sichuan.

 

Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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Angelina

金陵生:我们所规定周二返所,过去叫返所日,现在叫报销日。以前上班,除了开学术论坛外,大家都忙着去图书馆查资料、借书,没事的就在研究室谈学问,交流学术心得。现在倒好,全埋头贴发票,不知道的,以为进了手工作坊。

http://m.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_1287460?from=timeline&isappinstalled=0

The key term here is 手工作坊.

Interesting article on how the introduction of quotas and similar changes (when it comes to funding) has turned Chinese academia into a 手工作坊.

Obviously researchers should share their thoughts, sometimes by publishing what they wrote.

Is it a good idea to set quotas though? Should we go to grad school at a university where we won't graduate unless we publish a certain number of papers in a certain group of journals?

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emmanuel

Is it a good idea to set quotas though? Should we go to grad school at a university where we won't graduate unless we publish a certain number of papers in a certain group of journals? 

I dont know about humanities, but for a STEM fields it is a common sense to publish paper before graduation (for PhD). It does not depend on country, the graduation committee will not let you graduate. 

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Flickserve

I think the basic expectation for a PhD from the student's perspective is that publishing papers is a basic requirement. That is certain for a science field.

I wouldn't really care if the University sets it as a requirement. In fact, it actually might be better because that weeds out the noncommittal and forces the student to think more carefully about their proposed project and choice of supervisor.

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Angelina

Yes, it forces students to think about their proposed project. What about other questions? While it can force you to work, this might mean you will be forced to work in silos.

Obviously PhD students are expected to publish. Should they be forced to publish? With quotas clearly set, not the tradional way of doing things described by Emmanuel. Does grad school need a conveyor belt? My university certainly has one and has an enormous amount of support from the government too. On the other hand, academics from where I got my undergrad have been opposing proposed "impact factor quotas" for a while.

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BanZhiYun

I am studying Chinese language and Literature @ PKU (中国语言文学系),but we have a compulsory course called 中国古代史 (上)(下),which will be run for the whole first year. What's interesting about it is that it's held by 北大历史系, the main textbook is 翦伯赞's 《中国古代史》, some of the reference books are 张传玺's《中国古代史纲》(上),钱  穆's《国史大纲》,张帆's《中国古代简史》。We have 4 hours/week, aka 4 credits, I suppose that's a lot compared to a lot of other subjects which are mainly 2/3 credits(hours) per week. So far we've studied up until 西周 (-771), and a lot of our studies are surrounded by theories about certain "facts" that happened during different historical periods. I find this subject the hardest by a mile compared to all my other compulsory courses, just because I have 0 background on it and we didn't start from scratch, we were supposed to have basic knowledge, to be able to understand all the theories about different events. The teacher doesn't like telling us something is for certain, which I find to be the right way, it's just so exhausting to me, who knows nothing about the events itself, therefore I need to pick up on my basics about Chinese history. For that, I just bought 张帆's《中国古代简史》 which seems rather basic to me. The textbook we use, 翦伯赞's 《中国古代史》 has a lot of 古代文献, which to me is unbearable so far, so my method so far is to learn the basics and then proceed to the main textbook's content. Our mid-term is coming in a few weeks (11/05), so need to pick it up. :) This thread is great by the way, great job putting it together! Looking forward to discussing more about Chinese history, it's the basics to understand a lot about China, in my opinion.

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Flickserve

Yes, it forces students to think about their proposed project. What about other questions? While it can force you to work, this might mean you will be forced to work in silos.

Obviously PhD students are expected to publish. Should they be forced to publish? With quotas clearly set, not the tradional way of doing things described by Emmanuel. Does grad school need a conveyor belt? My university certainly has one and has an enormous amount of support from the government too. On the other hand, academics from where I got my undergrad have been opposing proposed "impact-factor quotas" for a while.

working in 'silos' is up to you to decide. (Not sure what you mean by silos). You can argue or debate on the disadvantages versus the relative advantages until the cows come home. It's not really that hard though. If you don't like it, then don't go for that program.

Publishing in impact factor journals is a two way process. Government funds research and it is expects a return on investment. If I were to put public money to research funds in a University, then I would want the University to produce good research in reputable journals that contribute to the University's world ranking and reputation. If most of the research is published in the very low impact factor journal of obscurity, it doesn't really help anybody.

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Angelina

If you don't like it, then don't go for that program.

Should we avoid all discussion on a topic as serious as this one? Reduce it to: "you don't have to go there if you don't like it." Governments have tried to control academia before, and lost many talented people in the process.

Maybe less and less interesting people will go to grad school in China. Maybe more and more extremely talented people will go to grad school in China because for them publishing an academic article is not a challenge. As you say, this can help the reputation of Chinese universities.

Personally, I don't mind publishing (isn't that the whole point of grad school, duh :D) I am not quite sure if I am comfortable with being forced where and how many articles to publish.

@BaiZhiYun are there any quotas at Beida?

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Flickserve

Should we avoid all discussion on a topic as serious as this one? Reduce it to: "you don't have to go there if you don't like it." Governments have tried to control academia before, and lost many talented people in the process......

Just not in this thread. I believe an indepth discussion is valid, but out of the scope of this thread.

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Angelina

Quotas for what? CGS recipients?

Are international PhD students required to publish a certain number of articles in certain journals?

Just not in this thread. I believe an indepth discussion is valid, but out of the scope of this thread.

Definitely.

My experience has been different from what kdavid described, especially when it comes to the problems he mentioned with English-language resources and funding (课题 money, not tuition fee money). However, there is this strictly enforced requirement. Probably this is not the right place for an indepth discussion, yet prospective applicants should be aware and a healthy dose of skepticism is not a bad idea.

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somethingfunny

As for experiences similar or not to kdavid, while the resources here might be a little better, pretty much everything else he said is right on the money.  Doing a masters degree in Chinese history in China is basically like being part of a really shit book club.  I wonder what Beida and Qinghua are like.

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