A Guangzhou university had started subsidizing undergraduates in research to get students thinking creatively, the Southern Metropolitan News reported Wednesday.
Jinan University funded 180 research projects over the past several months and planned to keep drawing on a fund of 300,00 yuan (US$36,500).
The approved projects cover study in biology, physics, medicine, history, journalism and philosophy. The fund for each project ranged from 500 yuan to 2,000 yuan (US$61 to 244), equal to a first-year graduate student's research fees.
University official Liu Jiesheng said some laboratories would also open to undergraduate students conducting research projects.
"The idea is to encourage students to think creatively, increase their hands-on experience and improve their problem-solving abilities," said Liu.
Professor Zhang Yuanming from the university's fund allocation committee said it was a brand-new experience to undergraduate students who were only used to learning from classes and books.
One recipient, a finance school junior named Zhang Xiaolei, got a 1,000 yuan research fund this year.
However she said the project was not for the faint-hearted.
"I have to collect materials in libraries, contact banks and companies for case study, and interview people who have experience in my topic," said Zhang.
But Zhang was still excited to finish it. "Many things are not learned in classrooms," she said.
(Shenzhen Daily May 19, 2005)