Asian Higher Education: Achievements, Challenges, Prospects

  • Anthony Welch


Asian higher education may be finally receiving the attention it has long deserved. Among notable achievements have been the opening up of higher education access to a much greater number and proportion of regional populations as well as the moves to enhance quality and efforts to promote intra-Asian regionalism.

At the same time, within this extraordinarily diverse world region, there have been challenges. Quantitative expansion was not always been matched by adequate regulation or transparency, either in the public higher education institutions (HEIs) or in the swiftly growing private sector. Capacity development is still needed in many systems. Regionalism, too, has at times been more evident at the rhetorical level, while inequality has been a persistent, even growing, feature of numerous regional higher education systems.

The chapter reviews several of these key achievements and challenges, from a developmental perspective, focusing on the decades since independence was achieved, and largely on East and Southeast Asia. Major themes treated included massification, privatization, including in public HEIs, regionalism, corruption and equity issues, within an overall optimistic assessment of the future of regional higher education.


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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Welch
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education & Social WorkUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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