Institutions in Double First Class initiative poaching professors from rivals and creating ‘shadow’ academic posts, says study
China’s Double First Class excellence initiative, meant to propel universities into global greatness, has had “negative effects” that may decouple it from its original policy goals, researchers have warned.
When it comes to academia, China has learned and used strategies from the west and often exceeds the performance of the west. In this case, it seems they have not learned from the deleterious impact of our perverse incentives and how it has distorted research practice. This story points to the unexpected consequences of a metrics approach being used in China.
Elite institutions have used their financial advantage to poach talented academics from less well-resourced institutions, causing a brain drain from west to east, the study says.
Competition for state funding has also caused university administrators to close “weak” programmes and resort to practices such as hiring “shadow academics” to boost citation numbers.
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