International Cooperation in East Asian Higher Education
Asia is positioned to be the global economic hub by mid-century. It accounted for 40.9% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, an increase of 11.5% since 2000.
1 Introduction: The Rise of Asia
Asia is positioned to be the global economic hub by mid-century. It accounted for 40.9% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, an increase of 11.5% since 2000 [1, 2, 3]. Three countries—China, India, and Japan accounted for about 70% of Asia’s total output in 2016. The rapidly growing population of Asia stands at 4.1 billion people or 55% of the global population. For Asia to constitute more than half of global GDP by 2050, it must raise the quality, diversity, and autonomy of its institutions of higher education [4, 5]. Therefore, Asia needs to be strategic in its international cooperation, with a shifting balance between two patterns of cooperation: traditional patterns of international cooperation with countries of the industrialized Western world and international cooperation with the rapidly emerging nations within the surrounding Asian region. Eastern Asia has become the leading edge of Asia’s higher education system. It has the largest number of students, the greatest number of world-class universities, and a higher proportion of students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) .
Twenty universities in Asia (not including Australia) have risen into the ranks of the world’s top 200 universities, a pace which could see a fifth of the top 200 universities become Asia-based by 2040 [7, 8]. It is no surprise that international cooperation in higher education has become a significant strategy for Asia. Asian university presidents are globally engaged in an assortment of consortia, such as the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, World University Network, U21, Asia University Alliance and similar associations. The proportion of non-local academic staff in Asia has climbed, especially in Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong in Southern China has the highest proportion of international academic staff of any comprehensive research university in the world . China also has the third highest number of foreign students after the USA and UK.
2 New Center of International Cooperation
Eastern Asia has become the most attractive region for international cooperation in higher education. Countries like Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, China, including the Chinese societies of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan have a recognized tradition that highly values education. Along with its neighboring countries, the region has some of the most talented human resources in the world. Most economies of eastern Asia are market-oriented. Many of its political systems are liberal democracies. In eastern Asia, only the People’s Republic of Korea is extraordinarily oppressive and orders assassinations of its enemies.
There are several reasons why Asia has become a center for international cooperation in higher education. National borders have become less relevant than in the past. Asia has excellent global telecommunications and a free international flow of funds. There is also a substantial transnational flow of commerce, communications, and ideas that are supranational and operate beyond the effective reach of governments. Even as boundaries become more porous and permeable, there is growing acceptance of the view that international collaboration in higher education, if done well, can be mutually beneficial on multiple levels. There is a recognition that the intensified international sharing of ideas, strategies of learning, and exchange of students can be of enormous value to systems and institutions and at the same time, it is also essential for improving the quality of teaching and research. To this end, Asia has the motivation, goal orientation, infrastructure, and record of efficient outcomes associated with international collaboration in higher education .
3 Regional Partnership Within International Cooperation
Economic globalization has made it more urgent for Asia to consider how its long-term success may become dependent upon its ability to constitute itself as a regional block in the same way as the European Union . It already acknowledges shared cultural traditions, historical affinities, and developmental experiences. As it becomes a more regionally integrated economic system and comprehensive free trade zone, it will consider regionally convertible educational credentials across colleges and universities. Such a trend would have broad implications for wider international cooperation.
While Asia’s cultural, and especially linguistic and religious, diversity exceeds that found on other continents, there are shared themes. These include harmony, moral cultivation, social networks, and paternal leadership. These themes continue even while there is a strengthening of civil societies in Asia. The pre-colonial era is increasingly viewed as a time of free trade amid harmonious interchange. For most countries, colonialism affected statehood and forms of governance, as well as language, schooling, and especially higher education. While colonialism intensified cross-national difference, its education systems led to a convergent form of schooling.
The surge of Asian values discourse of the 1980s and 1990s was tempered by the economic crisis that transitioned the region into the twenty-first century. In the Southeast, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has sustained itself as a symbol of regional identity and mutual respect. In the Northeast, the complex historical legacies of the twentieth century have not slowed the economic rise of China, South Korea, and Japan, who share an intimate cultural and educational heritage. These two Asian power centers, North and South, have intensified their educational interchange and cooperation, with China playing an increasing role in attracting students from other Asian countries. With a vast landmass that spans North and South and borders with 16 countries, China has espoused a vision of shared prosperity and harmony across the vast lands of its ancient Silk Road and Maritime Road. China’s one-party system practices Leninist governance supplemented by Confucian values. While it does not aim to export its system of governance, it eschews Western values and places a premium on social stability, economic development, and a greater role in world affairs .
4 Asian Aspirations for World-Class Standards in Higher Education
East Asia’s aspirations are reflected in the plans of its national leaders, education ministers, and university presidents. They include calling for the building of world-class universities and are backed by excellence initiatives. These include, for example, China’s 211, 985, and Double First Class (shuang yiliu) programs, Japan’s Doyama Plan, and South Korea’s Brain Korea 21 [13, 14]. A number of flagship universities in Hong Kong and Singapore have attained world-class standards. Malaysia aims to do the same. Top-tier universities repackage cultural heritage within a shifting international geopolitical context toward fulfilling the penultimate Asian aspiration—to be the major sphere of global prosperity in the second half of the twenty-first century.
Even with diverse religious and ideological orientations and rapid socio-political transitions, Asian societies, with few exceptions, are noted for executive-led governance, consensus-driven management styles, and gradual but steady progress to democratize within slowly incubating civil societies [15, 16].
A major challenge for international cooperation is that higher education development across Asia is still highly uneven, both within and across countries. Massification has placed added pressure on the higher education systems to promote innovative thinking within the volatile global environment of competitive market economies [17, 18]. Asian universities are stereotyped as less able than Western universities to promote creative thinking. Thus, international cooperation is sometimes viewed as a way to foster more innovative methods of teaching and learning in university.
International university partnerships are also a way to build strategies to offset demographic effects by attracting international students and deepening international alliances. The average fertility rates in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are only 1.3. The fertility rate in Hong Kong, where there are no restrictions on the number of children, are as low as in the Chinese mainland where policy permits only one child per household. At the other end of the spectrum are Asian countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India where the fertility rates rise above 2.1 . This points to the growing importance of international student flows within Asia and across the globe.
The time is ripe to explore some of the fundamental issues in international cooperation in higher education and how they have been shaped by historical experiences . Macroscopic themes such as globalization, decentralization, and privatization continue to plow their way across the landscape of discourse about how to reform university governance [21, 22]. How Asia comes to reconcile these themes has been a formidable area for exploration [23, 24].
The full potential of international cooperation for eastern Asia continues to unfold. This process is still in its infancy, and it would be premature to project its long-term outcome. One should not ignore how international cooperation in higher education is shaped to some extent by socio-historical contexts that include cultural traditions, colonial experiences, and postcolonial transformations, all culminating in a set of new pressures affecting the roles and strategies of higher education systems and institutions.
5 Emerging Trends in International Cooperation
The forces that have fueled greater international collaboration provide a starting point in this exploration of new roles and strategies. Among the most dramatic developments across Asia are the rapid expansion and diversification of higher education systems and the increased prominence being given to higher education within national development plans. This prominence is due largely to the convergence of five trends within the region: (a) changing demographics, (b) the success of many countries in expanding access and raising the quality of their primary and secondary education systems, (c) increased integration among countries driven by economic globalization, (d) the shift from product-based to knowledge-based economies, and (e) improved communication and technological acceleration. In responding to these factors, higher education institutions have been confronted with new demands for access, quality, economic self-sufficiency, transparency, and relevance. Many institutions have responded with creative programs and strategies. There is an imperative to search for relevant and cost-effective approaches for juggling the competing demands of their multiple audiences.
5.1 Changing Demographics
Demand for higher education across Asia has grown rapidly and will continue to grow [4, 5, 25, 26]. Demand is influenced by the size of the school-age population, primary and secondary school participation and completion rates, rising family incomes, cultural traditions, willingness of urban households to invest in higher education, and a more competitive labor market. The pattern across the majority of countries is that more students are entering general education, a higher percent are finishing secondary school, and an increasing proportion of those graduates wants to continue to higher education.
However, there is rising concern about an increase in graduate unemployment in countries with systems of mass higher education. In China, Japan, and South Korea, higher education enrollments will drop as the number of secondary school graduates shrinks. In Japan and South Korea, the number of college enrollment places is about the same as the annual number of secondary school graduates. With eight million college and university graduates per year, China is concerned about unemployment. In Japan and Singapore, where graduate unemployment is low, governments are pressed to consider importing talent and specialized personnel from other countries. Both Japan and Singapore look to mainland China and other neighboring countries with an eye to recruiting students who will sign on to short- and long-term work contracts after graduation.
5.2 Success in Expanding Access to Primary and Secondary Education
East Asian nations have been enormously successful in popularizing nine years of basic schooling. Most countries have been willing to invest heavily in basic education and, with the exception of the top-tier universities, leave the bulk of higher education to the private sector. The notable exceptions have been Singapore and Hong Kong but even there, this situation is changing as more privatization takes hold.
The remarkable success of many countries across eastern Asia in expanding access to primary and secondary schooling is now fueling a sharply increased social demand for access to higher education opportunities. This demand is understandable and unstoppable. Primary and secondary schools provide students with a grounding in basic literacy, numeracy, and other vital skills while higher education offers the depth and flexibility people need to thrive in the modern workplace .
Given the important role highly educated people play in social and economic development, investment in higher education is viewed in the public interest. The issue is not primary and secondary education versus higher education but achieving the right mix among the three levels. Having willingly saddled up to the global discourse on the knowledge economy, Asian countries have opened a variety of channels beyond primary and secondary schooling to what was formerly the higher elite sector of the education system. Many countries, notably China and South Korea, are even willing to risk student unrest by such a massive expansion of higher education.
5.3 Economic Integration
Increased economic interdependency among countries, the speed of communications and the increasing importance of technology in business and government have created new demands for higher level technical, managerial, and administrative skills. Evidence consistently shows that countries that invest heavily in higher education benefit economically and socially from that choice. For example, research has found that in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, every dollar invested in attaining high-skilled qualifications results in getting even more money back through economic growth . This investment provides tangible benefits to all of society, not just the individuals who benefit from the greater educational opportunities. It is reasonable to assume that, in the robust economies of East Asia, a similar pattern would hold true.
While most Asian countries engage in increased economic globalization and are willing to enter a phase of mass higher education, they are apprehensive about taking on what is a formidable financial burden, especially for developing countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. There is little choice for such nations to not only begin charging fees but also to strongly support the private sector’s move into widespread fee-paying higher education. Before long, this becomes a part of international cooperation with many Western universities setting up shop in Asia by establishing campuses or pairing with local universities to offer new and innovative degree programs.
5.4 Shift to Knowledge-Based Economies
International finance, business management, and national governance increasingly depend on automation, high-speed communication, and complex information flows that require administrative sophistication, technical proficiency, and analytic capacity. Secondary education alone cannot provide the needed managerial and technical leadership for modern business, industry, and government. Moreover, economic and social development increasingly depends upon innovation that universities have a potentially important role in fostering. Universities can do this through their role in carrying out research and development and by training workers for the knowledge economy [3, 29]. There is a widespread view in Asia that the ability to innovate is crucial in order to be globally competitive and that the university systems of the West have done far better in this respect. Thus, international higher education programs become scaffolds to bridge the innovativeness divide.
5.5 Improved Communication Systems
Improved communication systems have revolutionized international commerce in many areas. Information about new products and services, competitive product pricing, and user satisfaction are instantly available and can be widely shared. These communication systems have allowed Asian countries to advertise their programs to potential students, deliver online courses to students otherwise unable to access a campus, and foster collaboration among researchers across widely dispersed universities. Cooperation and competition among higher education systems are no longer constrained by weak communications. Some countries have tried to hold back the tide by close monitoring of international information flows. This has been less the case for educational courses and programs and more the case for ideas and academic dialog. While countries have largely been unsuccessful in stopping such issue-based academic exchanges, they continue to try.
While demand for higher education is still rising, higher education systems across the region are expanding chaotically. Many public institutions suffer from under-funding, lack of vision, poor management, and low morale. While many countries have increased their public expenditure on education, some, like Thailand, have decreased it. Most of Asia is below the recommended six percent expenditure of gross domestic product on education, including China, which has hovered near three to four percent. Malaysia, with over five percent of GDP going to education, towers above the rest. At the same time, low-quality private institutions have proliferated with little effective quality control .
A key reason for the low quality is that, during the rapid system expansion that has characterized the region, the demand for qualified college and university academic staff outstripped supply. This shortage has been exacerbated by the ever-increasing alternative employment opportunities for highly educated personnel within the growing economies of the region. Many institutions lack the resources to pay salaries that are competitive with private sector opportunities available to would-be faculty members. They also face the related challenge of holding the attention and loyalty of those instructional staff they do hire. Many faculty hold supplemental employment which competes for the time they would otherwise commit to their teaching and research. Nevertheless, there are indications that locally produced doctorates in some leading Asian economies are competitive with overseas returnees in terms of academic productivity .
The quality of higher education institutions is a pervasive concern in many Asian counties, a situation created, in part, by rapid system growth without sufficient attention to the conditions needed for success. Efforts to address concerns about quality have often involved international collaborations. These collaborations have often focused on developing faculty competence in content and pedagogy, the direct transfer of academic programs, and assistance in designing and implementing quality assurance programs. However, there is no mistaking the aspirations shared by several East Asian systems to have world-class universities and governments, notably Singapore, China, South Korea, and Japan. Malaysians have shown their willingness to provide the finances necessary to propel their flagship institutions further ahead in the international rankings. Moreover, international strategies are assessed by flagship institutions as playing a key role in “knowing the competition.”
Two central aspects of relevance in Asia concern the extent that the knowledge and skills of secondary school graduates are aligned with the entrance requirements of higher education institutions and the extent that the knowledge and skills of higher education graduates are aligned with the labor market . Some countries face problems at both points. International collaborations provide a means through which institutions can see how counterparts in other countries have addressed these issues and can obtain the expertise needed to address these issues in their own context.
One of the more prominent international trends affecting universities has been the call of governments and the private sector for colleges and universities to increase the relevance of the education they offer and the research they conduct. This is being felt across all dimensions of scholarship and one of the most visible manifestations has been in the weakening of traditional disciplinary boundaries. Academic staff are being challenged to make their research more multi- and interdisciplinary. Pragmatic traditions in business and commerce, emergent civil societies, and dependency on international economic trends act together to ensure that relevance embeds itself in the guiding discourse of universities. In Asian higher education, there has been a steady emphasis on skill-based higher education, especially higher technical and vocational education, to counter concerns about relevance.
In many Asian countries, higher education institutions grapple with a tension between aligning their entrance standards and curriculum to be responsive to students’ prior level of learning versus aligning their curriculum to international standards. Higher education institutions that focus too heavily on trying to meet international quality expectations are pressured to divert resources to provide remediation and sometimes incur extremely high dropout rates as poorly prepared students are unable to do university-level work. The articulation between secondary and higher education requirements is further complicated in some countries by the responsibility for these levels of education being split between a ministry of education and a ministry of higher education. If communication between ministries is weak, the alignment of the curriculum and the accuracy of expectations tend to suffer.
Even as demand builds for greater access to higher education, graduates in some Asian countries have difficulty finding employment. In some cases, this is due to employers’ concerns about the quality of the education students received. In other cases, it is because students had only limited information about existing and projected employment opportunities, entry points for access to desired careers, and career ladders associated with desired professions. Some higher education institutions, such as Cantu University in Vietnam, have undertaken graduate tracer studies and employer surveys as a basis for assessing the relevance of their curriculum and instruction methods. Many other higher education institutions also benefit from doing so. China, in particular, is paying greater attention to improving services directed at more successful rates of graduate employment.
5.8 Access and Equity
Given the growing importance of higher education in Asia, there is a higher expectation about the rate of economic return to individuals with a college or university credential. It is important that opportunity be fairly distributed. While considerable progress has been made over the last decade, disparities surrounding gender, ethnicity, urban/rural residence, and income disparities continue to block access. As access across social categories rises, institutional stratification creates inequity. While the rate of rural students’ access to higher education increases, their representation in top-tier universities remains low or decreases. This is also true for opportunities in overseas higher education.
Some societies prefer sending sons rather than daughters far away from home. In the case of students from ethnic minority regions in China, Vietnam, and elsewhere in Asia, many learn through their native language while learning the national language, but they must also learn English (or another foreign language) if they are to gain access to study overseas. Growing inequity in higher education distorts the distribution of benefits to society and impedes inclusive economic and social development.
6 Rapid Growth in Private Higher Education and International Cooperation
One of the most important implications for international cooperation in Asian higher education is the growth of the private sector. Across Asia, more than 35% of higher education students enroll in the private sector, and almost 60% of the region’s Higher Educations Institutions (HEIs) are private. Government promotion of private providers in higher education and the growth of private higher education are much more significant in Asia than in other regions of the world .
In China, for example, expansion would be untenable without private higher education. Private providers relieve financial pressure on the government and provide more opportunities to those who can pay for a higher education. In 2002, there were 320,000 undergraduates studying in private colleges and universities, accounting for only 2.2% of all China’s undergraduates. By 2006, there were 318 private independent colleges enrolling 1,467,000 students. In 2016, there were 1861 public and 734 private institutions of higher education. The total revenue of private higher education increased from 69.6 billion rmb to 95.4 billion rmb from 2012 to 2016. It represented 9.6% of all the revenue of Chinese higher education and is expected to increase to 139 billion rmb in the future. The number of students in private higher education increased from 5.3 million in 2012 to 6.3 million in 2016 and represents 22% of all students in higher education. The number is expected to reach nearly eight million by 2021 (24% of all students) .
Indonesia has 4274 higher education institutions, most of which are private [33, 34]. Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are moving in the same direction [35, 36, 37]. The increase in private sector involvement has raised the issue about pubic good versus private goods. It becomes less of an issue if the government implements proper regulatory mechanisms for effective quality assurance. Systems are needed to monitor and guarantee that the higher education provided by both public and private institutions meets quality standards. Quality assurance also ensures that all students, including those from disadvantaged groups, have equal access to higher education, whether public or private. Governments alone cannot provide enough higher education opportunities, but they can make policies and create strategies for monitoring the quality and standards of educational programs launched through international cooperation.
Each Asian country has its own regulations for international cooperation. In Malaysia, international service providers must have a physical presence. This ensures the provider’s legal liability within Malaysia. The European Union (EU) frameworks such as the Bologna Declaration for higher education have become somewhat of a model for academic higher education in the same way as the European Training Framework is for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). These provide a way to view international program structure and credit transfer. However, implementation in Asia is a greater challenge. The government may regulate the market, but sufficient incentives are essential to encourage wider provision. Government subsidies can be strategically employed to incentivize providers toward rural and remote communities.
Among the options to strengthen human resource capacity are (1) using government funds, such as the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan (2) developing partner initiatives such as the Korea International Cooperation Agency with Uzbekistan that focuses on higher technical and vocational education (3) Indonesia’s partnering with the Asian Development Bank to target polytechnic colleges, and (4) the Asian Development Bank and Vietnam’s partnering initiative to strengthen the quality of universities .
7 International Cooperation Amid a Concern About Sovereignty
As China’s leadership around the world has grown, its university system has become increasingly engaged internationally. Hundreds of Sino-foreign joint ventures in higher education on Chinese soil were approved. Hundreds of Confucian Institutes for the study of Chinese language and culture were established by the Chinese government on foreign soil. There are plans to establish two Chinese university campuses overseas, one in Seattle, USA and one in Malaysia. The number of international students coming to China continues to rise, and the number of Chinese self-funded students leaving for overseas continues to grow. Many who go overseas to study do not return, though the number of returnees is on the rise as China’s economy opens new job opportunities.
By 2013, there were 1060 approved Sino-foreign joint ventures in higher education with 450,000 students involved. Since 2003, there have been 1,050,000 from higher education institutions . Sino-foreign cooperation in higher education comes with stern warnings about risks to Chinese sovereignty, as a minister of education remarked: “Tough tasks lie ahead for China to safeguard its educational sovereignty as it involves our fundamental political, cultural, and economic interests and every sovereign nation must protect them from being harmed” . Thus, the debate about liberal studies and science education is inseparable from the debate about the establishment of international cooperation. The issue remains embedded within an unambiguous paradox, namely the difficult compatibility of three elements within its university system: internationalization, institutional autonomy, and educational sovereignty.
The 2003 law on educational joint ventures opened the floodgates to hundreds of partnerships between Chinese and foreign universities. Reforms are underway at top Chinese universities to adapt and innovate on models of liberal higher education customary abroad. Attention is building about whether foreign-partnership campuses can have a significant impact on China’s current higher education system. These collaborations and partnerships constitute one type of laboratory for innovative formats in higher learning. While the jury remains out on the long-term sustainability of international campuses, both host and guest universities will learn a great deal from cooperation in the running of partnered colleges and universities .
The majority of international university programs are taught and run by foreign academics, at a substantial premium, within Chinese universities. They are popular with middle-class parents because they give their children the cachet of a foreign education without the cost of studying abroad. In a few cases, foreign universities have gone one step further and set up full campuses with Chinese universities. Nottingham University has a campus in Ningbo; Shanghai Jiaotong and the University of Michigan run an engineering institute in Shanghai; and Xi’an Jiaotong and Liverpool University have established an independent university in Suzhou, among others. In 2013, New York University, which already has overseas study programs in ten countries, opened a new campus in Shanghai with East China Normal University. It will conduct integrated classes in humanities and social sciences, with an equal number of Chinese and foreign students. Duke University has also established a campus in Kunshan in partnership with Wuhan University. Keane University, the only one that is part of a state university system in the US, has established a campus in Wenzhou.
The rise in Sino-foreign joint ventures has led to more discussion about sovereignty in higher education. An influential scholar of Chinese higher education cautions that permitting foreign entities to hold a majority (more than 51%) of institutional ownership can lead to an “infiltration of Western values and cultures at odds with current Chinese circumstances” . The Vice-Director of the Shanghai Education Commission makes it clear that a Sino-foreign venture in running an educational institute has to “make sure China’s sovereignty and public interests are not harmed” . To do so, at least half of its board of directors have to be Chinese citizens. A Ministry of Education official pointed out that China’s commitment to providing access to its educational market is larger than any other developing country and therefore, “we must safeguard China’s educational sovereignty, protect national security, and guide such programs in the right direction” . Nevertheless, foreign campuses have been having an increased amount of autonomy with less interference from the host campuses since the 2003 law on Sino-foreign cooperation. However, they must still adhere to regulations set out by provincial level education bureaus who exert substantial control over student admission and financial issues.
International collaboration provides a mechanism through which universities can access international models for promoting access and equity. In the case of China, the breakneck-paced expansion is clear as only four percent of the 18–22 age group was involved in higher education in 1995 but had increased by 2018 to surpass 45%.
Inevitably, universities that seek to improve their quality will need to internationalize. Some institutions view international programs as both a way of creating an incentive for their faculty’s improvement and a way of securing technical assistance in capacity development.
While international cooperation can involve different dimensions of the university’s mission, one of the largest is in the provision of academic programs. Within East Asia, China is somewhat unique in its role as both an importer and exporter of higher education.
8 Conclusion: The Inevitability of International Cooperation
Asian knowledge systems will increasingly hinge upon the speed, depth, breadth, and changing nature of international cooperation in higher education. The northeast Asian countries of Japan, South Korea, and China with embedded cultural traditions of post-confucianism already have flagship universities that are considered world class. Southeast Asia, being far more diverse in terms of cultural traditions, as well as experiences with colonialism and statehood, has encased their universities in the global discourse of knowledge economics. Singapore leads the region in the global ranking of its universities and Malaysia has taken major steps to introduce excellence initiatives.
For a variety of reasons, East Asia is becoming a major international competitor in science and technology. Zakaria’s Post-American World and the Rise of the Rest  is a theme that is reflected in China’s rapid economic upsurge. With more students in higher education, more world-class universities, and a higher proportion who choose to study STEM fields than in the USA, China has become increasingly influential among developing countries in Asia. The manner in which it internationalizes and engages with the rest of the world will greatly determine Asia’s future. An international survey about the advantages of internationalization has revealed that universities are not only considering the benefits for students but also for both the universities and their societies. There is increased value being placed on enhancing international cooperation for building capacity and enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. This suggests the saliency of the view that internationalization is much more than a way of improving the quality of higher education. It also has a significantly positive effect on society .
University Grants Committee, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, project HKU 37600514. With appreciation to David Chapman, a former co-collaborator on Asian cross-border research in higher education, and a world-leading researcher in comparative education policy. I would also like to thank Qin Yunyun for her assistance.
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