CSC Aspirants: The Selection of Professors

How to select Professor for Admissions via China Scholarship Council (CSC)?

A General Debate

These days’ admissions in Chinese universities are open and this is the best time to consult Chinese Professors for acceptance letters for fall 2021 admissions.

In the last few days, I have noticed the lists of professors (for different degrees) are circulating in different Facebook groups. Many students are requesting to provide such lists.

Based on my experience, I’m confident in saying that majority of the students will not go through the details of the research group’s profile led by a professor. As a standard practice, the majority of the students will write an email and the same email is sent to many professors in a segregated manner.

A Personal Experience

Two months ago (on the request of my professor), I got the opportunity to interview few candidates from Pakistan, to fill the available position in our research group. These were the basic questions I had asked some candidates;

  • Q1: What do you know about the university in which you are looking for admission?
  • Q2: Do you know the research projects our group is working on?
  • Q3: Why professor “X”? Why not “Y” since “X” and “Y” both have the same areas of research?
  • Q4: Have you gone through the details of any research paper recently published by our research group?

I can’t write the replies, they are not necessary at this stage. However, the gentleman’s reply was very superficial. It seemed like he had no idea where he was applying. And why he was opting this professor and his research group?

Since 2014, I’ve been living in China and studying there. I’ve seen the majority of the students who came from Pakistan face immense challenges when it comes to research. The reason is obvious; initially, they just look for acceptance letters to secure admission and scholarship and never bother to realize the one thing at the initial stage of the application, that is are we suitable for a particular research group? Even if the answer is in negation, yet candidates apply. As a result, many students fail to deliver to their maximum level of intellect. And of course, some of them give up soon and return to Pakistan.

Recommendations for Selecting Professor

The selection of supervisor is of significant importance, so pay attention to this point.

Read professor’s profile very carefully. Try to understand in which area of research he and his group is working on.

If possible, read the current papers, mostly written by existing MS and PhD members of the research group. It can provide a general view of the research work the group is currently working on. Spend enough time on this, may be a month.

Then write an email in an organized manner. Not too short, not too long. It must be precise but complete in all terms.

Try to talk with existing students of the group. They can be a source of firsthand information. The names of students are mostly given on web pages, if not then papers can be consulted to trace the names.

And also remember, sometimes web pages are not updated, so just copy the name of the professor and search on Google Scholar, ResearchGate or other sources to find the latest paper of a professor.

Things to Avoid

Do not copy email to professors from the lists circulating on the webs and Facebook groups\pages. Even if some names are taken from a list, properly investigate the details of the research group. If it seems suitable, then send an email to the professor.

Avoid sending emails to different professors of the same department.

I hope this blog will be helpful and informative for CSC aspirants.