Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo
Chapter 11: Regional Responses to Globalization Challenges: The Assertion of Soft Power and Changing University Governance in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia
Ka Ho Mok INTRODUCTION Aspiring to become world cities in Asia, together with the strong intention to enhance the global competitiveness of their higher education systems, attract more overseas students and create increased educational opportunities for their citizens, the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia have sought to develop their societies into regional hubs of education. Realizing that the expansion of higher education would not only improve the quality of their populations, these Asian governments also consider that exporting education services strengthens their international ‘soft power’ and helps to assert their global influence. It is in this context that transnational education has become increasingly popular in these Asian societies, although its development leads to a new terrain of governance and triggers concerns about problems of coordination, accountability and transparency. This chapter compares and contrasts the governance and regulatory models that the governments of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have adopted for their growing provision of transnational education programs. It examines particularly the policy implications that follow from the proliferation of providers and the diversification of funding. THE RISE OF TRANSNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE ASIA PACIFIC The pressing need for transformation to a knowledge economy has exceeded the capacity of many states to rapidly expand their public higher education institutions (HEIs) to meet growing demand. The proliferation of providers, coupled with the global trends of marketization and privatization in higher education, subsequently have created a much more diversified ecology of national systems while fundamentally blurring the line traditionally drawn...
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