Sunday, 3 January 2010

Asia Universities on the rise

Good article from IPE Zone.

Will Universities in the UK suffer as China develops into an importer of students?

Asia Moving Up World University League Tables [IPE Zone]

A while ago, I featured a World Bank publication concerning how to create institutions of higher learning. While there are still strenuous debates about whether creating universities with high international standing should be a goal for developing countries, there is no doubt that many Asian ones have made significant strides in competing with the best of the best in the world. Singapore has always been notable in that its highly educated workforce has been the envy of the region if not the world in propelling development via "human capital."

There is, however, a rapidly rising newcomer to the scene that you all know of - China. Aside from placing three universities in the Times Higher Education Top 100 (if you include Hong Kong, that is), the PRC has made it an objective to become a destination for students--an importer of them instead of an exporter. Talk about the only area where the Chinese are keen on more imports save for Western "dual use" technologies! [also the previous post on that point] While I still have some reservations about the Times' methodology, there is no doubting the expenditures Asian countries are putting into education for both national development and to attract fee-paying foreign students. Interesting stuff; perhaps the changing balance of educational prestige will help signal the advent of the long-awaited Pacific century:

On China:

China is now expanding its entire education system rapidly, from primary schools to research centres. It intends to become an importer rather than an exporter of students, threatening the business plans of many universities around the world that depend on Chinese students. In our work on these rankings, we have encountered big increases in the amount of research being published by Chinese academics. Not all of it is world class, but over time it is likely to improve, as is teaching quality in Chinese universities. There is certainly a stark contrast between China’s placing here and the very modest showing by India. No mainstream Indian universities appear in our top 200. As in 2008, India is represented by only two of the Indian Institutes of Technology.