The Dragon & the Tiger Cubs: China-ASEAN Relations in Higher Education

Anthony Welch

Chair: Yang Rui

Tuesday 18 February 2014
204 Runme Shaw Building, Main Campus


Although higher education scholarship is still very Western-centric, we come to know the world of Chinese higher education better through the work of HKU scholars. The diverse world of ASEAN higher education is less well-known. But as China projects itself more internationally, growing links are evident between China and ASEAN in higher education. Such cultural and trading connections can be traced back to at least the Ming dynasty voyages of Zheng He (1420s), and even earlier to the Southern Song and Yuan period (1120s to late 1360s).

China and the countries of SE Asia are now much more intertwined economically and culturally (including the presence of a significant Chinese diaspora in a number of ASEAN member countries). Both China and ASEAN member states are keen to become innovative knowledge economies, and develop world class universities. What opportunities do this offer to each side, and what are the challenges? The seminar presents an analytic framework to consider these questions, and to illustrate with related data.

Anthony Welch is Professor of Education, University of Sydney. A policy specialist, with extensive publications in numerous languages. He has consulted to several state, national, and international governments and agencies, as well as US institutions and foundations, particularly on higher education reforms. Substantial project experience includes East and SE Asia. A Fulbright New Century Scholar on higher education (2007-08), he has also been Visiting Professor in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Hong Kong.  Professor Welch also directs the national research project, The Chinese Knowledge Diaspora, and was recently part of the team conducting Myanmar’s first Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR), the first since 1992.