How to Construct the 3-Stage Training Mechanism to Tap Students’ Scientific Research Potential

Yan ZHANG, Christopher Smith


The Outline of China’s National Plan for Medium- and Long-term Educational Reform and Development (2010-2020), issued by the Ministry of Education in 2010, defined the road map to become a society with strong human resources and high innovation abilities by 2020 (Xie, 2009; Zhang et al. 2012; Pang and Plucker, 2013). To respond to this policy, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies has launched reforms to develop stronger undergraduate programs to cultivate innovation and capture the creative talents of undergraduate students. Our research, within the context of this education reform, investigates the construction of a 3-stage training mechanism for implementation from the students’ freshman year to junior year, with the objectives: (1) to assist students with scientific reading and writing in English; (2) to improve students’ learning outcomes in core academic courses (for majors under discipline of applied economics, the core academic courses are Mathematical Analysis, Statistics & Probability Theory, Econometrics, Financial Engineering, and Risk Management, etc.); and (3) to guide students in the preparation of literature reviews, and in research methods related to data collection and numerical analysis. For students able to contribute new research output, research grants will be provided on a selection basis to support their projects. To evaluate the effectiveness of the training outcomes, undergraduate students should be encouraged to take part in academic contests highlighting research and innovation. In addition to enhancing the scientific potential of students, the 3-stage training mechanism also provides key benefits for faculty members through the establishment of a learning community.


Course design; 3-stage method; Scientific research potential; Higher education; Academic ability; Innovation; Creativity

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