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World Class Worldwide

Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America

edited by Philip G. Altbach and Jorge Bal

Publication Year: 2007

Nations with strong research universities are better able to compete in the international marketplace of ideas and innovation. Any country—especially in the developing world—striving to participate in the global knowledge economy must recognize the power of such institutions to transform society. In World Class Worldwide, analysts from developing and middle-income countries in Asia and Latin America explore their countries’ specific challenges in providing “world class” higher education. Philip G. Altbach, Jorge Balán, and their contributors combine current scholarship and practical experience in presenting a comprehensive discussion of the significant issues facing research universities in Mexico, China, India, and elsewhere. They address the special challenges of establishing and maintaining these institutions; the role of information technology; how research universities train leaders and foster scientific innovation; and the extent to which the private sector can and should be involved in funding and development.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This book is dedicated to the idea that research universities are central to almost all the world’s academic systems. Often ignored in the analysis of research universities are developing and middle-income countries. Our concern is how these countries can successfully support research universities. In the knowledge-based world of the 21st century, research ...

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1 Empires of Knowledge and Development

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pp. 1-28

The research university is a central institution of the 21st century. It is essential to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. As one of the key elements in the globalization of science, the research university is at the nexus of science, scholarship, and the new knowledge economies. The research university educates the new generation of personnel needed for ...

PART I: Asia

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2 The Flagship University and China’s Economic Reform

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pp. 31-53

Higher education in China has undergone unprecedented changes since the late 1970s. Economic change along with social transition, the need for knowledge and technological innovation, the growing demand for internationalization of higher education, and economic globalization are considered factors underlying the shifting missions and roles of universities...

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3 Research Universities in China: Differentiation, Classification, and Future World-Class Status

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pp. 54-69

Chinese higher education has undergone rapid developments since the 1980s. By the 1990s, the research university had become a popular topic in China, and hundreds of articles on the phenomenon have been published. Although no clear definition and classification criteria exist for research universities in China, these universities have been differentiated-...

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4 Beyond Retailing Knowledge: Prospects of Research-Oriented Universities in India

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pp. 70-94

In recommending the establishment of “major universities” in India, the Education Commission (1964–1966) had apprehended the mire into which higher education in the country was soon to land (Ministry of Education 1971, 506–07). This recommendation was summarily rejected in 1968 by India’s Ministry of Education, which processed the commission’s report. The ministry’s tinkering with the university system did not help much, and the country is now back to square...

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5 Prospects for World-Class Research Universities in India

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pp. 95-121

Universities generally perform three functions. At the most basic level, they impart knowledge derived from the past to a new generation of students: they teach. At the midlevel, they critically apprise past knowledge and distill its essence: they produce textbooks. At the highest level, they expand the frontiers of knowledge mainly by minute analysis: they do ...

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6 The Making of a World-Class University at the Periphery: Seoul National University

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pp. 122-139

In response to the globalizing economy, many developing countries have been paying serious attention to building world-class universities. Creating a world-class university is challenging on many fronts, especially in a peripheral country like Korea. As Philip Altbach (2003) points out, the patterns, ideas, and values of a world-class university in the Western ...

PART II: Latin America

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7 Brazil’s Leading University: Original Ideals and Contemporary Goals

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pp. 143-172

The creation of the Latin American nation-states in the early 19th century was accompanied by a commitment to establish institutions of higher learning, which could bring to each new country the values of modernity and rationality that were also shaping the construction of the modern nation-states in Europe, particularly in France. Some countries carried out this ...

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8 Brazilian Research Universities

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pp. 173-188

Research and graduate education universities constitute the top of the education system pyramid. Most countries with a high degree of economic and social development have robust and diversified educational systems. In the age of the “knowledge society,” no country can do without a significant sector of research-oriented institutions. Experts say that biological diversity is the basis of ...

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9 La M

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pp. 189-215

Visitors to Mexico and international scholars alike frequently notice that the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is commonly called the máxima casa de estudios1 by a large majority of Mexicans (Rhoads and Durdella 2005). This title expresses the people’s deep appreciation of Mexico’s most prominent university. Admiration for the ...

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10 The Role of Research Universities in Mexico: A Change of Paradigm?

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pp. 216-233

In Mexico’s higher education system, the rapid pace of expansion has produced new and often conflicting views regarding leading institutions. Today, the different opinions as to what constitutes leadership are not only linked to the new universities and higher education institutions competing for students, academics, funding, and prestige. These perspectives also ...

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11 Are There Research Universities in Chile?

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pp. 234-259

The gigantic public universities one finds in other parts of Latin America do not exist in Chile. By the sheer force of their tradition, output, size, and political clout, for better or worse these universities occupy a central position in their national higher education systems. The Universidad de Chile could perhaps have become such an institution, albeit smaller, had it not ...

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12 The Challenge of Building Research Universities in Middle-Income Countries: The Case of the University of Buenos Aires

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pp. 260-285

In Argentina, a differentiated higher education system serves as a way to meet the complex, and sometimes conflicting, demands for universal access to education and top-quality research and elite-training opportunities. Argentina now has almost 2 million students studying at 100 public and private universities and at more than 1,700 other small postsecondary ...

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13 Higher Education Policy and the Research University: In Asia and Latin America

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pp. 286-308

This chapter provides a comparative examination of government policy, building upon the preceding descriptions and analyses of research universities in Asian and Latin American countries. The focus is on the development of policy frameworks and tools aimed at strengthening research and advanced training in the university while facing the challenge of...


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pp. 309-312


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pp. 313-323

E-ISBN-13: 9780801896224
E-ISBN-10: 0801896223
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801886621
Print-ISBN-10: 0801886627

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 608541773
MUSE Marc Record: Download for World Class Worldwide

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Subject Headings

  • Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives -- Latin America.
  • Education, Higher -- Asia.
  • Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives -- Asia.
  • Education, Higher -- Latin America.
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