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The Joy and Trails of Defending a Doctoral Dissertation – 18’s ISSCAD Students Made to the Last Step of the Academic Journey

A doctoral student’s dissertation and defense usually mark a new beginning – the last step of a long academic journey and one step ahead in the career. On June 8th, after three years of hard work, 18’s doctoral ISSCAD students finally made the last step of their academic journey – the final defense.


Throughout laborious research and endless discussion with supervisors, combined with the practical experience from work, when ISSCAD students are deemed to defend their defense, they are pretty much become experts in a particular field that could contribute directly to the national development in the countries they are from. Many international students get inspired by the classes they took during their first year of study and chosen to focus on foreign direct investment or industrial economies. Also, it is worth noting that 18’s Doctoral students are the first year that ISSCAD recruits Chinese students, who are generally seasoned professionals from public services. Among Chinese students, international cooperation and economic development have become a key theme in their work. Four students presented their thesis on topics relevant to the Belt and Road initiative and proposed solutions for sound policy design that could benefit regional economic development.


At the defense, the academic committee, comprising of several faculty members from the top-tiered schools examined students’ work from the perspective of research design, methodology, innovation, and real-world implication. As part of the rigorous academic training, the faculty members aimed to leverage the final defense for two goals, first, provide an occasion for students to summarize their three years of research. Second, furnish the opportunity for discussion and formal evaluation of the dissertation. During the defense, ISSCAD students tried their best to cogently and clearly explain their research, how it fits with other scholarships in the field. Most importantly, how to leverage the research findings to directly use in the real world and contribute to the public welfare.


Due to the Covid-19 situation, international students stayed in their home countries and presented their work over zoom to the committee. The committee has spoken highly of ISSCAD students’ diligence, innovation, and work ethic. At the end of June, students who successfully passed the defense and further evaluation will be awarded a Ph.D. degree at the PKU campus-wide convocation ceremony for the class of 2021.


Editor: Xiaowei ZHUANG