Preferences for Developing Undergraduate Research in Pakistani Universities: Student Teachers’ Perspective
Undergraduate Research (UGR) is an important component in the curriculum of good ranking universities at present. It encompasses a continuous process of research engagements during undergraduate studies. Involving undergraduate students in research helps in linking theory to practice, understanding research processes and determining career choices. However, promoting UGR in universities in Pakistan requires proper consideration and planning. This study was aimed at identifying research preferences of undergraduate students and improving UGR in Pakistani universities. As students are the most important stakeholder in UGR, the data were collected from 2168 undergraduate students randomly selected from four large universities in Rawalpindi-Islamabad. The research instrument used was a questionnaire developed, pilot tested and validated before its use in this study. The data were converted into percentages and crosstabs using SPSS to analyze data. We found that undergraduate students expressed strong preference for research involvement and were willing to work any part of the week for gaining research experience. The students preferred field research as compared to research in lab or desk work. The students’ views and preferences on crosstabs helped in devising strategies for improving UGR in universities in Pakistan.
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