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Higher Education, Research and Knowledge in the Asia Pacific Region. V. Lynn Meek. Director Centre for Higher Education Management and Policy University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia vmeek@une.edu.au A presentation by the UNESCO Scientific Committee for Asia and the Pacific

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Higher Education, Research and Knowledge in the Asia Pacific Region

V. Lynn Meek


Centre for Higher Education Management and Policy

University of New England,

Armidale NSW 2351, Australia


A presentation by the UNESCO Scientific Committee for Asia and the Pacific

Breakfast Panel, World Bank ABCDE Conference

Tokyo Japan 29-30 May 2006

Outline l.jpg
Outline Region

  • Introduce publication

  • Outline general themes and issues addressed by the committee

  • Look at some pacific issues of each participating country

  • Outline few main items on future research agenda

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Contents Region

Chapter 1: Introduction

V. Lynn Meek and Charas Suwanwela

Chapter 2: Modernisation, Development Strategies and Knowledge Production in the Asia Pacific Region

William K. Cummings

Chapter 3: Research Policy and the Changing Role of the State in the Asia Pacific Region

Grant Harman

Chapter 4: The Changing Landscape of Higher Education Research Policy in Australia

V. Lynn Meek

Chapter 5: Policy Debate on Research in Universities in China

Wei Yu

Chapter 6: Between the Public and Private: Indian Academics in Transition

Karuna Chanana

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Contents Cont. Region

Chapter 7: Development and Impact of State policies on Higher Education Research in Indonesia

Jajah Koswara and Muhammad Kamil Tadjudin

Chapter 8: National Research Policy and Higher Education Reforms in Japan

Akira Arimoto

Chapter 9: Acknowledging Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Higher Education in the Pacific Island Region

Konai Helu Thaman

Chapter 10: Higher Education Research in the Philippines: Policies, Practices and Problems

Rose Marie Salazar-Clemena

Chapter 11: Higher Education Reform in Thailand

Charas Suwanwela

Chapter 12: Research Management in the Post-industrial era: Trends and Issues for Further Investigation

V. Lynn Meek

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General Themes and Issues Region

• In a globalized world, appropriate role of the State

• Impact of new private providers on quality

• Impact of increased marketization and privatization on governance and management

• Role of university in knowledge based societies and economies

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General Themes and Issues Region

  • GATS

  • What sort of enabling environment should governments provide in order to better stimulate higher education institutions’ and systems’ knowledge contribution?

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Research and Research Universities Region

  • Knowledge utilization is nothing new in Asia Pacific - for centuries, it has been central to the development strategies of the region

  • EG Japan apt at incorporating Western knowledge/science while maintaining Eastern traditions

  • Region more of a knowledge production powerhouse than commonly assumed: China, India, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.

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General Trends Region

  • Increased emphasis on research commercialization

  • Increased emphasis on research priority setting

  • Increased emphasis on research quality

  • Increased emphasis on concentration and selectivity in funding

  • Increased emphasis on research management at all Levels

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Country Trends: Australia Region

  • Research funded on basis of outputs

  • Research concentrated in a few universities

  • Research increasingly defined in terms of economic and commercial relevance

  • RQF - further concentrate research funding through assessment of quality and impact

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Country Trends: China Region

  • Rapid expansion - largest higher education system in the world

  • Rapid growth in research funding - 50% state; 50% private

  • Creation of ‘world class’ universities

  • 60 research intensive universities enrolling 80% of postgraduate students

  • Problem of graduate unemployment

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Country Trends: India Region

  • Also large, complex system of higher education

  • Two peak bodies: University Grants Commission and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

  • Specialized research institutions: Academy for Medical Sciences; Indian Statistical Institute; Indian Institutes of Technology

  • Indian scientist working abroad returning

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Country Trends: Indonesia Region

  • Problems being overcome:

  • disparity in research capacity across universities and fields

  • Poor research management

  • Unpredictable funding

  • Lack of research culture

  • Low level quality

  • Lack of national research umbrella organization

  • Poor integration of research and graduate student education

  • Limited collaboration with industry

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Country Trends: Indonesia continued Region

  • Overcoming challenges

  • Greater autonomy for universities

  • Introduction of quality enhancement schemes: eg University Research for Graduate Education - graduate education capacity building

  • Better integration of research with community service

  • Improving research incentives and building research culture

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Country Trends: Japan Region

  • Clear recognition of higher education contribution to knowledge based society & economy

  • Incorporation of national universities - ie more freedom to set policies and directions at institutional level

  • Setting of national research priorities

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Country Trends: the Pacific Islands & Indigenous Knowledge Region

  • Indigenous knowledge systems: ‘specific systems of values, knowledge, understandings and practices, developed and accumulated over millennia, by a group of people in a particular region, … unique to that group or region’

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Country Trends: PI & Indigenous Knowledge Cont. Region

  • Indigenous knowledge peculiar to the culture that owns it

  • Past superiority of Western knowledge being questioned

  • Incorporation of indigenous knowledge into formal education systems

  • Increasing interest in indigenous knowledge, eg traditional medicine and sustainable agriculture

  • Find better ways of integrating indigenous ways of knowing with Western Scientific knowledge

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Future Research Agenda Region

  • Increasing importance of the knowledge based economy - balance with other social and cultural values

  • Managerialism & marketisation of higher education

  • Appropriate levels of public financial support and support of the public good aspect of higher education

  • Diversification of higher education functions in knowledge-based society

  • Importance of local culture and history