Since October 2018 the PhD student cohort of the ANU School of Demography has been made all the more vibrant with the inclusion of Shucai Yang, visiting scholar from the Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi'an Jiaotong University.
While in Canberra, and in collaboration with ANU researchers and fellow PhD students, Shucai conducted further research towards her thesis 'Fertility Assessment and Projection in China'.
Before saying 再见 to Shucai, we asked her to reflect for a moment on her visit.
What drew you to your current area of research?
I began to do research on demography when I commenced my PhD program. I am interested in demography because it is a science about population, which is very common in and closely related to our daily life. My PhD research focuses on analysing and projecting fertility levels in China. It is an important research topic, not least because fertility in China is very low nowadays and people have stronger tendency to delay childbearing.
Why did you choose to visit the ANU School of Demography?
Before I visited here, I had heard of the ANU School of Demography through both international academic conferences and my home university. I learned that the ANU School of Demography is highly professional and famous worldwide. I wanted to have some experience of studying abroad, especially at a professional institute of demography. The ANU School of Demography was, therefore, a good choice for me.
How has your PhD research progressed during your time here?
During my seven-month visit here, I deepened my understanding of the method of analysing the tempo of fertility and calculating period parity progression ratio with the help of Professor Zhongwei Zhao, and applied this method to my own research. I also wrote an article that analysed the fertility pattern in China. I, meanwhile, attended the courses Spatial Population Data Analysis and Principles of Population Analysis, both of which were highly useful to my research. I also participated in fortnightly research group meetings convened by Professor James Raymer, and did a presentation at the meeting in early May.
Finally, what have you found most surprising or interesting about living in Canberra, Australia?
I think that the scenery in Australia is very beautiful, especially in areas that are far away from the city centre. There are various kinds of scenery; for example, some places feature lots of grass, some are filled with trees, and others have a mix of grass and trees. Many trees exhibit different colours at different seasons, and I think that the colour is most beautiful in autumn. I feel comfortable and relaxed whenever I am sitting in a car and looking at such beautiful scenery through the window. The copious varieties of plants in Canberra make it a garden city. I do love the life here.