Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Governance of Higher Education in Cambodia and Malaysia: Running on a Similar Path?

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Mahogany, First Floor

Cambodia and Malaysia are two Southeast Asian countries at dissimilar levels of socio-economic development. Their higher education systems are also on different developmental paths with varying motivations driving their respective development and progress yet the governance of higher education across these two systems have one striking similarity. Both see neoliberal principles and ideologies as a means to guide the development and governance of higher education. This similarity, albeit at varying degrees, can be seen through examining of the issues and challenges affecting the governance of higher education in both countries such as reforms towards greater autonomy and accountability as well as state-university relationships. Beyond recognizing this similarity, this paper argues the need for considering alternative higher education paths of development, and in particular, an alternative that is more tailored to the local needs and contexts. While it is understood that one of higher education’s major objectives is to prepare graduate students for the marketplace, higher education should also have a broader role in the creation of a balanced society, from the national community to the ‘imagined’ ASEAN community.

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