Peering Through the Dust of Construction: Singapore’s Efforts to Build WCUs

  • Kong Chong Ho
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 6)


East Asian countries are latecomers in restructuring their key universities for international higher education, instituting necessary changes within the last 10 years. Yet amidst the dust of reconstruction, major features can already be discerned. This chapter highlights historical legacies, as well as Singapore’s status as a city state in shaping the distinctive path to building its world-class universities. This chapter also outlines the particular institutional configuration of its universities, in terms of its governance, resource allocation, university-industry relations and faculty recruitment policies. The author draws on a survey of international students in four major Asian cities to show the distinctive features of the Singapore case. This chapter concludes with the view that the next decade may see some moderation in East Asia’s ambitions to build WCUs as leading universities settle in their established positions and as resources are diverted to creating alternative university models.


International Student Global City City State Economist Intelligence Unit Strait Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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