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How to Strengthen the Connection between Research and Teaching in Undergraduate University Education

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Abstract

This paper explores how to strengthen the research-teaching nexus in university education, in particular, how to improve the relation between policy and practice. The focus is on courses and curricula for undergraduate students. From a review of policy documents and research literature, it appeared that the research-teaching nexus can be shaped according to two dimensions. One concerns an emphasis on either the research content and products, or the research processes and problems; the other concerns the role of students as either learning existing insights, or as ‘participants in research’ who contribute to insights which are new to the field (e.g., by conducting research themselves). It is concluded that if a university chooses to strengthen the research-teaching nexus in undergraduate curricula, this implies involving students more often in the role of participants in research.

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