Link research and teaching in higher education

Ideally, teaching and research should always be linked to each other in higher education. This is often the case, but there are also many universities, especially in developing countries, where teachers have limited opportunities for research; the research is usually done at research institutes, where the scientists might not be involved in teaching.

Insufficient links between teaching and research may not only reduce the level and quality of higher education, but may also hamper recruitment of new scientists and reduce the understanding and support for research and capacity building in society. It is, therefore, important to provide opportunities for university/college teachers to be active both in teaching and in research, and to

involve scientists at research institutes in teaching and supervision of students.The ideal process of capacity building, with links between universities and research institutes, and with the agricultural sector is illustrated in Figure 1. Universities are national engines for capacity building. Their output is people trained for qualified jobs, as well as research results for application. The latter is the role also of research institutes, but their contribution is enhanced when their scientists participate in university teaching. For best use of existing resources, universities

Figure 1. The ideal process of capacity building.
should be significant partners in national research programmes, especially when financial resources and access to qualified teachers and scientists is highly limited.That would also benefit quality of higher education, and make good use of students as a resource in research through BSc, MSc and PhD thesis research.

For research results to be implemented, it is necessary for researchers to have good communication with those who can make use of the results. Such communication will also help focus research on essential problems; it facilitates use of field data in research (such as data from livestock recording), and it may give opportunities for students to get a better understanding of how they can contribute to agricultural development in their country.