Fiji National University (FNU) Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey while addressing academics and research students at a seminar last week, highlighted the need for research at the University.
“Research matters to all higher level institutions, including FNU,” said Vice Chancellor Healey.
“The mission of a university is to create (research) and disseminate (teach) knowledge”, said the Vice Chancellor. Research matters to a University’s reputation. To be in the top University rankings you have to have good research,” he added. Professor Healey said research not only has the ability to positively impact society and improve the lives of people it also inspires teaching excellence.
The Vice Chancellor reminded academics the significant role of quality research outcomes in a person’s career.
“Academia is a global jobs market in which Universities seek faculty that enhance their reputation and income. Good teaching is important – but hard to assess and culturally-specific. Good research attracts students, reputation, resources and other faculty – and is easy to assess”.
He reiterated that academic promotions at FNU were based on research.
Professor Healey provided examples of how to develop a research problem and a relevant research design, while emphasising on research rigor which is questioned when one submits a paper to a journal for publication.
The Vice Chancellor explained to academics that they should focus their research on a topic they are passionate about while keeping in mind that the area of research has a relative advantage, such as a network and funding opportunities.
He illustrated examples of various tools (ORCID, SCIMAGO, Google Scholar, Academia.com and Research Gate) that academics should take advantage of to promote their work, enhance their citations and to find researchers working on similar issues.
He explained the research assessment exercises in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand for the ranking of Universities which he said would sooner or later trickle down to Fiji as well.
The seminar was organized and hosted by Pro Vice Chancellor Research, Professor Mohini Singh.
“We are proud to have a Vice Chancellor who leads by example. Professor Healey continuously publishes high quality journal papers. This was our first seminar out of a series of research seminars planned for 2019” said Professor Singh.