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NCCU Professor Gives a Talk on Qualitative Research to Taiwanese Students in the UK

NCCU Professor Gives a Talk on Qualitative Research to Taiwanese Students in the UK

On December 13, 2019 Professor Hsiao Ruey-Lin from the Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation & Intellectual Property Management at National Chengchi University gave a talk to a group of Taiwanese students studying in the UK. His talk—entitled “Enlightening Academics: Insights on Qualitative Research for a Future Career”—was organized by the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, and hosted by Mr Cheng Shyang-Yun, Deputy Representative for Taiwan in the UK.

Professor Hsiao began by outlining the origins of higher education in the West and the East, then went on to compare the crises and challenges facing the UK and those facing Taiwan. The UK faces challenges of over-enrolment, excessive numbers of Chinese students, and a lowering of the quality of the theses being submitted. Taiwan has the problems of courses and programs competing for students, cram style studying, a broad disconnect between university and industry, and a higher threshold for graduation.

Professor Hsiao prescribes qualitative research designed to help train students to use critical thinking, and revolutionising higher education in Taiwan, by developing people’s abilities to employ induction, and inference, and engage in dialectic thinking. He emphasised that qualitative research is the basis of social science; knowing how to improve the thinking quality of a vital minority will decide the success of a country, and he considers that students must be encouraged to learn cross-discipline, cross-industry, cross-nation and cross-project and to each use their thesis as a stepping stone for their future career development.

He assured them that once any student understands their personal strengths and objectives, there’s no one correct answer to the question of whether to stay in the UK or to return to Taiwan because both promise a bright future. Similarly, either remaining in academia or entering industry can both represent the right career path, as long as a student has identified a way of working that suits them and brings out their best.