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Asian Universities

, 384 pages

1 line drawing

November 2004



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Asian Universities

Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges

Since 1980, higher education access and endorsement have grown more dramatically in Asia than in any other area of the world. Both developed and developing nations are witnessing rapid expansion in the higher education sector. Nor is this progress entirely quantitative: a number of Asian universities are on a par with the finest institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Europe. Until now, however, there has been little historical analysis and virtually no comparative analysis of Asian higher education.

This volume offers a detailed comparative study of the emergence of the modern university in Asia, linking the historical development of universities in the region with contemporary realities and future challenges. The contributors describe higher education systems in eleven countries—Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Phillippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Japan—and explore similarities and differences through two comparative essays. Each case study includes a discussion of the nature and influence of both indigenous and European educational traditions; a detailed analysis of development patterns; and a close examination of such contemporary issues as population growth and access, cost, the role of private higher education, the research system, autonomy, and accountability.

Philip G. Altbach is the Monan Professor of Higher Education and director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. He is the coeditor of American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century and In Defense of American Higher Education, both available from Johns Hopkins. Toru Umakoshi is a professor of higher education in the Graduate School at Obirin University in Japan and president of the Japan Comparative Education Society.

"The quality and currency of this volume ensures it an important niche in the contemporary literature on comparative higher education."