Professor Simon Marginson gave a keynote speech on higher education and regional engagement in Taiwan and Southeast Asia at the 2016 Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL) conference in Taiwan on 19 May.
He examined the growth of participation in higher education globally, pointing out that Taiwan now has one of the highest participation rates in the world.
He also discussed the growth of science and research, highlighting the enormous output of published science coming out of China. When the world’s largest nation grows its research at the rate of 15 per cent a year for almost 20 years, it is mathematically certain that in future a large part of human knowledge will come from that country, he said.
His concluded his keynote by focusing on the emergence and strengthening of research-intensive universities in East and Southeast Asia.
As yet Asian universities are not strongly represented in the top 30 of the major research rankings. Yet this is likely to change as recent investment in Asia becomes reflected in the metrics used by ranking systems.
What is less certain, Professor Marginson argued, is whether, or when and how, research capacity will be built in the emerging higher education systems in the ASEAN region. Collaboration with international partners will be crucial.