Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

pp 1-6

Date: Latest Version

Asian University Traditions

  • John N. HawkinsAffiliated withGraduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA Email author 
  • , Molly N.N. LeeAffiliated withThe HEAD Foundation


Asian Religions Traditions


Asian university traditions are intellectual traditions that were firmly entrenched in the Asian context prior to Western contact and these traditions continue to impact on the Asian universities.


Asia is a diverse region in terms of geographical size, economic development, political ideologies, and educational traditions. There are small island states such as Singapore, Sri Lanka, East Timor, and Maldives, as well as countries such as China, Indonesia, and India which have huge populations and large geographical areas. Japan and South Korea are advanced industrialized countries, with Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand as newly industrialized countries, whereas China, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are countries in transition (i.e., from agricultural economy to an industrialized economy, from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented economy). Many countries in the region have a colonial history, and their education systems are ...

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