The University's Role Outside National Boundaries: Reflections on the Southeast Asian Experience

1988.第16卷第2期(Vol. 16 No. 2).pp. 159–164


The University’s Role Outside National Boundaries: Reflections on the Southeast Asian Experience


Yue-Man YEUNG(楊汝萬)


By and large, universities, including those in Southeast Asia, are founded with their national roles far more prominent than their transnational responsibilities. Yet the international dimension to the mission of universities in Southeast Asia has been noteworthy, with particular reference to three specific examples.

For co-operation across national boundaries, a plethora of region-oriented organizations can be identified to serve the needs of universities in Southeast Asia. Equally important, there are other broadly Asian bodies and international organizations with representative offices in Southeast Asia to which the universities and their staff in the region contribute. The universities thus extend their influences beyond their countries in indirect but significant ways.

While existing mechanisms to promote enhanced interchange of information, expertise and scholars across countries need to be strengthened and expanded, more should be explored and constructed in the future. Future efforts should focus upon the production of knowledge and its dissemination and application within and outside the country of production, the management of change through international conferences and other means, and well-conceived and sustained academic interchange between universities within the region as well as between those in the highly developed countries.

A serious but shortlived initiative was mounted in the late 1970s to explore the merits of a regional university in Southeast Asia. Only the Asian Institute of Technology comes closest to being a regional university which furthers academic co-operation and educational objectives among Asian countries.