Food for thought: Research & University

In my routine Googling, I was led to the website of Research Institutes at the University of Melbourne. The following quotes really strike me:

“research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing”

“But by definition, a university which doesn’t involve itself in research is no university at all”

If that is the definition, why then we have the classification of research university (RU)?

A quick Google search reveals that the term ‘research university’ is not new in the United States. Turning to the  Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, research universities are defined as doctorate-granting universities. They are further classified by their level of research activity (see here and a good review):

  • RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)
  • RU/H: Research Universities (high research activity)
  • DRU: Doctoral/Research Universities

Based on the Carnegie Classification, the four public universities designated as research universities by the Malaysian government, fall into the category of RU/VH (see also here). This is quite similar to the Group of Eight (Go8),  a coalition of eight leading Australian universities which account for more than two thirds of Australian university research activity, research output and research training.