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Current Trends

in
Comparative Higher Education Research
on and at Asia
Assist.Prof.Dr. Ulaş Başar Gezgin
ulasbasar@gmail.com

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Which Ones to Compare?
• Intercontinental Comparisons:
• Colonial Academic Tripartite Division of Labor:
• Socio, Anthropo, Oriental
• EU vs. Asia
• US vs. Asia
• Africa vs. Asia
• Australia vs. Asia
– Direction of comparison
– The problem of homogeneity
– Stereotyping

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2/11/2018
Source: Current Trends- Education in Asia
http://wizzyschool.com/cosmiceducation/asia%20political%20map.php 3
Which Ones to Compare?
• Countries?
• The Most Common: China, Japan, India, South Korea,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore (, Australia?) etc.
• Less Common: Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand
• Regional Clusters: SEA, NEA, EA, SA, Middle East,
Central Asia
• Cultural Clusters: Countries of Confucian Heritage, of
Muslim Heritage
• Ethnic Clusters: Countries of Sizeable Ethnic Chinese
(Alibabas)
• Economic Clusters: Japan vs. EU, US etc.

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Which Ones to Compare?
• Intracontinental Comparisons:
• The Most Common:
• Japan vs. China
• India vs. China

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Why?
• Education as the Driver of Economic Growth
• (Bidirectionality?)
• Educational Reform
• Recommendations for the Incumbents
• (Academic Concerns???
• Sociology and Politics of Academia)

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Why?
• Contesting Colonial and Post-Colonial
Hegemony in the Area of Education
• Modernization
• ‘Multi-modernization’
• Multipolarity In Tandem with Econ Dev

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At What Levels to Compare?
• The Structure of the Institutional Equivalents (e.g.
Unis, high schools, vocational schools etc.)
• Macro-level Indicators (e.g. Enrolment rates)
• Micro and Nano level comparisons (e.g.
classroom)
• Matrushkas of Bronfenbrenner
• Curricula
• Assessment Structures etc.

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Source: http://www3.uakron.edu/schulze/610/lec_bronf.htm
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At What Levels to Compare?
Top Asian universities 2012-13
Country /
Rank Institution
Region
182City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 276-
300 Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
27University of Tokyo Japan Republic of
276-
183Yonsei University Korea
29National Universityof Singapore Singapore 193Technion Israel Institute of Technology Israel
300 Tokyo Medical and Dental University Japan
301-
35University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 201- 350 National Cheng Kung University Taiwan
225 Fudan University China
301-
46Peking University China 201- 350 Hokkaido University Japan
225 Middle East Technical University Turkey
301-
Republic of 201- 350 Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong
225 Nagoya University Japan
50Pohang University of Science and Technology Korea 301-
201- University of Science and Technology of 350 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
52Tsinghua University China 225 China China 301-
Kyushu University Japan
54Kyoto University Japan 201- Republic of 350
225 Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) Korea 301-
Republic of 226- 350 Renmin University of China China
250 Bilkent University Turkey 301-
59Seoul National University Korea 226- 350 Sharif University of Technology Iran
250 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur India 301-
Hong Kong University of Science and 226- 350 National Sun Yat-Sen University Taiwan
65Technology Hong Kong 250 Koç University Turkey 301-
Republic of 350 Sun Yat-sen University China
226-
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Republic of 250 Korea University Korea 301-
University of Tsukuba Japan
68Technology Korea 226-
350
250 National Tsing Hua University Taiwan 301-
86Nanyang Technological University Singapore 251- 350 Zhejiang University China
275 National Chiao Tung University Taiwan 351-
124Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 251- 400 National Central University Taiwan
Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
128Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 275 351-
400 Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee India
251-
134National Taiwan University Taiwan 275 Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay India 351-
251- 400 Keio University Japan
137Tohoku University Japan 275 Nanjing University China King Mongkut's University of Technology,
351-
251-
137Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel 275 Tokyo Metropolitan University Japan
400 Thonburi Thailand
National Taiwan University of Science and
147Osaka University Japan 276-
Boğaziçi University Turkey
351-
400 Technology Taiwan
300
158Tel Aviv University Israel 276- 351-
300 Istanbul Technical University Turkey 400 Waseda University Japan

Source: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2012-13/world-ranking/region/asia
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At What Levels to Compare?
• Comparisons among Times Asia Top 400.
• Comparisons among Times Top 400 overall.
• How to step up?
• To what extent the rankings are valid.
• Problematic criteria.
• Comparison of Faculties or Departments rather than Unis. (Stronger vs.
Weaker Faculties or Departments)
• Engineering Japan vs. Manufacturing China?
• Research on World-class universities
• WCU as a tool of marketing and funding
• Colonial Heritage: Trying to be even more ‘Western’ than ‘Westerners’.
• Transfer of culture vs. technology debate.
• The influence of international trade agreements on higher education

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At What Levels to Compare?
• Education and Other
Social Institutions:
• Hierarchy/Heterarchy at
Society and at Unis
• Values: Individualism/
• Collectivism at Class
• Citizenship Education

Source: http://lithgow-schmidt.dk/sherry-arnstein/ladder-of-citizen-participation.html
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At What Levels to Compare?
• Asian students at non-Asian unis
• Non-Asian students at Asian unis
• Asian students at non-Asian unis in Asia
• English as a Second Language
• Learning strategies of Asian students
• Value of education for Asian parents
• University entrance exams
• Research by Asian scholars living in Asia or non-
Asia; by non-Asian scholars in Asia or non-Asia
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Recent Trends in
Asian (Higher) Education
• Globalization
• Massification (Shin and Harman, in press)
• Commercialization
• Internationalization
• Quality vs. quantity
• Privatization
• Off-shore campuses
• Growing inequalities in access to high quality education
• Source: Gezgin, U. B. (2009). The currents and trends in the Vietnamese education
system within the international(ized) context: A comparative perspective. (Paper
prepared for the Third Conference on Comparative Education in Vietnam, October 16,
2009.)

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Personal Experience
• RMIT at Vietnam
• Upper Iowa University at Malaysia
• Vietnam-German Uni
• (Turkish-German, Egyptian-German)
• Educational institutions at Thailand
• PhD study in New Zealand
• And communications with Asian academics of
various countries...

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In Addition to Gezgin (2009)
• Chinese students in Australian education (Yang, 2007).
• Australia as the exporter of higher education (Harman, 2004; Yang, 2007).
• Financing higher education; privatization; “shifting costs to parents”; “cost
sharing” (Johnstone, 2004).
• Academic freedom in Hong Kong vs. China; higher education restructuring
(Petersen & Currie, 2008).
• Quality Assurance Systems in Japan vs. Asia (Toma & Naruo, 2009).
• University autonomy and strategic planning (Sirad, 2010).
• Use of ICT for education in Asia (Richards, 2004; Zhang, 2007).
• Self-reflection: Asian Comparative Education Societies themselves as a research
topic (e.g. How do they differ? Their history and reception? etc.) (Bray, 2002).
• International education as ‘soft power’ (Canadian foreign policy) (Trilokekar, 2010).
• ‘Inter-university collaboration and university-industry cooperation’
• Distance Education (Kawachi, 2008).

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References
• Bray, M. (2002). Comparative education in East Asia: Growth, development and contributions to the global field. Current
Issues in Comparative Education, 4(2), 70-80.
• Gezgin, U. B. (2009). The currents and trends in the Vietnamese education system within the international(ized) context: A
comparative perspective. (Paper prepared for the Third Conference on Comparative Education in Vietnam, October 16,
2009.)
• Harman, G. (2004). New directions in internationalizing higher education: Australia’s development as an exporter of higher
education services. Higher Education Policy, 17, 101-120.
• Johnstone, D. B. (2004). The economics and politics of cost sharing in higher education: comparative perspectives.
Economics of Education Review ,23, 403–410.
• Kaneko, M., Kimura, I., Yamagishi, R. (2003). Higher education development in Asia: – Inter-university collaboration and
university-industry cooperation–. JBICI Review, 8, 131-175.
• Kawachi, P. (2008). Building social capital through distance education in Asia. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 6(1), 15-
26.
• Petersen , C.J. & Currie, J. (2008). Higher education restructuring and academic freedom in Hong Kong. Policy Futures in
Education, 6(5), 589-600.
• Richards, C. (2004). From old to new learning: global imperatives, exemplary Asian dilemmas and ICT as a key to cultural
change in education, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 2(3), 337-353.
• Sirad, M. (2010). Strategic planning directions of Malaysia’s higher education: university autonomy in the midst of political
uncertainties. Higher Education, 59, 461-473.
• Toma & Naruo (2009). Quality assurance in the Japanese universities. Amfiteatru Economic, 11(26), 574-584.
• Trilokekar, R.D. (2010). International education as soft power? The contributions and challenges of Canadian foreign policy
to the internationalization of higher education. Higher Education, 59, 131-147.
• Yang, M. (2007). What attracts mainland Chinese students to Australian higher education. Studies in Learning, Evaluation,
Innovation and Development, 4(2), 1-12.
• Zhang, J. (2007). A cultural look at information and communication technologies in Eastern education. Education Technology
Research Development , 55, 301–314.

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• Thanks for your listening.
• Questions?
• Comments?

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