Socio-Economic Challenges Facing the Asia and Pacific Region in Higher Education

Socio-Economic Challenges Facing the Asia and Pacific Region in Higher Education

Robert Costello (University of Hull, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2160-0.ch006
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With the ever demanding world, Research and Development (R&D) has a major play within the economic growth and the societal. Policies seek to strengthen countries through innovations and improved infrastructures. Policymakers have recently recognized that more investment is needed for a sustainable growth rate within the Asia Market and thus it is up to the government to remove barriers and increase funding into technology to support a long-term, sustainable rate of change in the level of economy. Strategies are required by governments to promote better innovation packages for commence between educational institutions and industries to support technical and financial growth. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are pioneering new ways of thinking and practices to develop new innovation trends not just regionally but globally too. This approach is bridging the gap between research and development (R&D) and establish knowledge-based economies to develop, market, and sell research products.
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Research and Development (R&D) is changing the world in profound ways. Governments, having recognized the contributions of R&D to economic growth and societal well-being, are thinking strategically about their innovation systems and acting to make these systems more effective and efficient in an increasingly interdependent and competitive world. Policies that seek to strengthen countries’ education infrastructure, the institutions that conduct R&D and the innovation environment have become commonplace. According to Brooks et al. (2014), nearly three fifths of the world’s population and a large share of the fastest growing economies, the Asia Pacific region (hereafter “Asia”) will play a uniquely important role in determining post-2015 global outcome. The Asia Markets will be on track to add more than twice as much to the world economy by 2030.

Tseng (2009) suggests that through knowledge, innovation has led R&D within the Asia Pacific Region to be more corporate and economical while competing against other institutions on a global scale (Shin and Harman, 2009). Cavdar and Aydin (2015) indicate there is a significant relationship between R&D innovation and economic growth. In China and in several other Asian countries like Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, in order to increase their international competitiveness, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are improving their R&D activities through pioneering new thinking and practices that can be employed to develop new innovation trends not just regionally but also globally.

Brooks et al. (2014) states that Asia faces major challenges in balancing local and global environmental constraints, through the region’s high economic growth rates, massive resource consumption and expanding ecological footprint; without the contribution of innovation, it may be left behind by competitors while other countries provide more advanced and more marketable products. Governments are turning to HEIs provisions for providing solutions to their ever demanding needs of their country by investing in their educations systems, to make them more effective and efficient in an increasingly interdependent and competitive world. Innovations and good practices within HEIs can assist in local dimensions to establish knowledge-based economies and analyse the efforts of universities to develop, market, and sell research products (Marginson & Rhoades 2002; Khayyat & Lee 2015; Pillania 2011; Cavdar & Aydin 2015). HEIs practices must be able to adapt in future to accommodate the challenges associated with the demanding world in Asia and the Pacific. This chapter will focus on the following: the Higher Education and Innovation; a framework that identifies some of the important aspects of HEIs within the South Asia Pacific region and finally the Conclusion.


Higher Education And Innovation

Higher Education (HE) within the Asia-Pacific prides itself on vision and wisdom to facilitate change towards sustainability and enlightenment. HE Institutions (HEIs) pioneer thinking and practices used within different disciplines to develop new innovation trends not just regionally but also globally. Shin and Harman (2009) indicates that South Asia Higher Education systems must adjust to these governance, curriculum, mission focus, external relations, research, and financing to support these new challenges to compete on a global scale. To accommodate these changes HE institutions are focusing on innovation through R&D which enables universities to establish specialisation through building upon existing knowledge. Through R&D, HE institutions can have a direct impact on economic growth through the accumulation of improving relationships to entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and manufacturing.

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