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Twisted Roots: The Western Impact on Asian Higher Education Author(s): Philip G.

Altbach Reviewed work(s): Source: Higher Education, Vol. 18, No. 1, From Dependency to Autonomy: The Development of Asian Universities (1989), pp. 9-29 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3447441 . Accessed: 26/06/2012 22:24
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HigherEducation18: 9-29 (1989) ? KluwerAcademicPublishers,Dordrecht Printedin the Netherlands -

Twisted roots: The Westernimpact on Asian highereducation


PHILIP G. ALTBACH
TheHoover Institution,StanfordUniversity and the State University New Yorkat of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York14260, USA and Abstract.The historical contemporary and academic models,practices long impactof Western orientations Asianuniversities such countries India, Malaysia,Indonesia Singapore as on in and colonialimpact shapedthe natureof highereducationsystemsin thesecountries.The Japanese in KoreaandTaiwanis also significant an interesting and on variation thecolonialtheme.Several Asian countries,includingThailand,Japan and China were not formallycolonized, but the mixtureof influenceon the academicinstitutions that has developedin these countriesreflects considerable Westerninfluence. Contemporary factors such as the international knowledge of of in nationsandpatterns scientificinteraction system,the numbers students studying Western also have a majorimpacton the growthof universities Asia. in

Two basic realitiesshapeAsian highereducationsystems- the foreignorigin of the basicacademicmodeland the indigenization the universities part as of of the development process.The natureof the foreignmodelsdiffersconsiderably as does the indigenizationresponseof individualcountries.Countries which experienced colonialismfaced a different realitythan nations which were able to use an independentjudgment in the adoption of foreign influences.In Asia, as in otherpartsof the Thirdworld,the impactof Western academicmodelsand institutionshas beensignificantfromthe beginning and it remainsimportanteven in the contemporary discusses period.' This essay the variousaspects of the Westernimpact on Asian highereducation- the initialencounters with colonialismor Westernideas, the periodof borrowing and the contemporary contextof continuingWesterninfluencein the context of independence and autonomy. The varietiesof Westerninfluence are complex and varied. The colonial powers which influencedAsian highereducationreflect virtuallyall of the major Europeannations involved in the colonial enterprise the Dutch in Indonesia,the Britishin India,Malaysiaand Singapore,the Spanishand later the Americansin the Philippines,and the Frenchin Vietnam.Japanmade a late entryto the world of Westerninstitutionsand though it chose a variety of foreigninfluenceafter the Meiji Restorationin 1868, the Germanimpact was probablythe greatestuntil the United States tried to reshapeJapanese institutionsafter World War II.2 Japan, in its turn, colonized Korea and Taiwan and left its imprint on higher education. China, never formally colonized, was nonetheless subject to significant foreign influences from Germany,France,Britain,Japan and the United Statesand after 1950from

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the Soviet Union.3 The direct impact of these Westerninfluences and the interplaybetween that impact and indigenousideas upon education, both complexstory. duringthe colonialeraandmorerecently,is an extraordinarily The relationshipbetweenthe West and the Third World has been one of inequalityyet of considerableadaptationby the Third World of Western patterns,evenduringthe periodof colonialism.TheWestern powershavebeen dominantin political,military, and terms. economic,technological intellectual With all Asian nations now fully independentand with Japan an economic superpower,the situationhas significantlychanged but Westerninfluences remainquite importantin an independent and increasingly prosperousAsia. The role of the Englishlanguage,for example, remainscrucial as the main meansof scientificcommunication The worldwide.4 Westernacademicmodel remainsdominantworldwide.5 When one measuresintellectualinteractions, whether in terms of the numbers of books translated into Third World languagesfrom the major Western languagesor in terms of the flows of foreignstudentsacrossinternational borders,it is clearthat the balanceis in favor of the West.6 Further,Westerngovernments,publishingfirms, and other interestspreferto retainthe status quo. Yet, despitethis broadercontext of inequality,the end of the colonial era has seen an impressivedevelopmentof ThirdWorld academicand scientific systems and a considerabledegree of independence.Many countrieswhich usedWestern for media. languages highereducationhaveshiftedto indigenous A majorityof India's universities,for example, function in one or more of India's languages. Also, Indonesia quickly shifted from Dutch to Bahasa Indonesiaafter independence. Malaysiafunctionsin BahasaMalaysia.Korea and Taiwan have droppedJapaneseas the languageof the university.The Philippinesand Singapore,however,continueto functionmainlyin English.7 Academic models have also been adapted to meet local needs. In some instances, the old colonial models were completely jettisoned. Indonesia, SouthKoreaand Taiwanareexamplesof this development.Chinahas experimentedwith severalmodelsincludinga purelyindigenousapproachduringthe CulturalRevolutionthat provedultimatelyunsuccessful.8 Therehas been an of an independent withJapan scientificestablishment, impressive development assumingthe ranks of a major scientific power and with India becoming knownas the "superpower" termsof its research in outputand contributions to journals and books.9 Each Asian country has its own patternsof historicaland contemporary interactionwith the West. In some countries,very close links with the West are strengthened economicties, languageand other factors. Singaporeis by an exampleof this phenomenon.10 Japan has become a full memberof the for Organization EconomicCooperationand Development(OECD),the club of the majorindustrialized nationsand, whileJapanis in somewaysinfluenced

11 by Western scientific developments, it has developed a fully independent 1 economy and academic system. China has exhibited a changing relationship with foreign academic models, first adopting the Soviet model, then rejecting it and attempting independent development and presently looking toward the West, particularly the United States. Thailand has a long history of interaction with different Western academic models in the context of independent development. Each Asian nation has had major encounters with Western academic and intellectual currents and has been influenced by them. But each has reacted in distinct ways and has, with varying degrees of success, developed a functioning and independent academic system of its own. This essay focuses on some of the common elements of the encounter and also on some of the Asian responses.

The university of the Western model In all countries, regardless of ideology, economic system, or historical circumstance, a variation of the Western university model predominates. The faculty-based medieval University of Paris is the basic academic framework. Variations to this original root are numerous. Some of the more important later influences were from the Spanish tradition, especially in the cases of Latin America and the Philippines. In former French colonies, as well as in many Latin American nations, French orientations toward higher education and the French intellectual tradition have been influential. The British university model has been one of major importance. The English tradition of collegiate education for an elite as well as the more egalitarian Scottish model were influential, mainly in the large number of countries formerly under British colonial control.12 British influences, powerful in the American colonies in the 18th century, were combined with other foreign ideas and indigenous patterns to form the American academic model, which itself has been an extraordinarily powerful force, particularlyin the post World War II period. British ideas concerning the role of the university in society, the pattern of governance, the curriculum and academic culture all had profound influence. The English language is one of the most important legacies of the British academic and intellectual tradition. The other major foreign academic model to have worldwide implications is that of the 19th century university. The idea that research is a key element in higher education was stressed by Wilhelm von Humboldt, the most important German thinker on higher education and the founder of the University of Berlin. The concept of academic freedom, or more precisely freedom of research and of teaching within the academic environment, was also enshrined in the German university. The German academic idea was influential first in

12 Eastern Europe, where German political and cultural influence was strong.13 It came to dominate Russian higher education and it is strong there even now. Perhaps most important from the perspective of the growth of Asian higher education, the German academic idea was a powerful force in the United States and, shortly thereafter, in Japan. The Americans married the British collegiate idea with the German research emphasis and the graduate school concept to American populist notions and thus created the contemporary American university which is such a powerful force throughout the world.'4 The Japanese, after experimenting with several academic models in the late 19th century, eventually borrowed most from Germany. While Germany never established universities outside Europe (with the partial exception of an institution in China), the impact of the German idea of higher education proved to be extraordinarily powerful. Every academic institutionin contemporaryAsia has at its roots one or more of the Western academic models. Patterns of institutional governance, the ethos of the academic profession, the rhythm of academic life, ideas about science, of examination and assessement, in some cases the language of instruction, and a myriad of other elements are Western in origin. Indeed, it can be said that the Western idea of the university is perhaps the most successful of all Western concepts in terms of overseas impact, certainly much more than the "Westminister" parliamentary pattern. In parts of Asia, the Western model has been transmitted through Asian means. Japan, for example, imposed its academic system in Korea and Taiwan, which were under its colonial control during the first part of the 20th century. It also influenced some Chinese universities.15 The Indian university was influential in other South Asian nations and to some extent in the Middle East. British colonial authorities often exported educational ideas through India. But even when Asian powers were involved in educational transfer, they were dealing with Western academic models. Virtually all of the major Asian civilizations have important intellectual traditions, a "high culture" of literature, history and the arts and well-developed written languages. Key Asian civilizations also have been an important foreign influence to other Asian cultures over the centuries, as evidenced by their educational, linguistic and religious impact, prior to the arrival of the West. The impact of Buddhism from India on virtually all of East Asia is of paramount importance. The influence of Islam from the Middle East on South and Southeast Asia is also crucial. The impact of Chinese culture, language and religion in Korea and Japan is very evident. Asian scientific development prior to the arrival of the West was also impressive. Key Chinese inventions such as paper and gunpowder reflect a high level of scientific knowledge at a period when European science was in a comparatively backward state. It must be remembered that much of the

13 Western intellectual tradition was preserved by Islamic scholars during the European Dark Ages. The development of mathematics and astronomy was advanced in the Islamic world and in India. There were also important Asian centers of learning. The al-Azhar in Cairo is today the oldest continually operating university in the world and remains a key center for Islamic learning. University-like institutions existed in India at Taxila and Nalanda. The Chinese, of course, perfected the examination system for purposes of selection, by meritocratic means, into the civil service. There was, in sum, neither shortage of scientific, intellectual and cultural activity nor institutions in Asia prior to the advent of the West. Despite the richness, contemporary higher education looks to Western models. While Asian academic systems have been greatly influenced by indigenous forces and are as Asian as they are Western, the impact of the West is clear. While it is impossible to fully explain the dominance of the Western model in Asia in this short essay, there are a number of factors which have contributed to it: Colonialism was a powerful influence. An emerging world economy dominated by the West had inevitable scientific and educational implications. Trade increased between the Western "centers" and Asian "peripheries". The intellectual skills needed to engage in this Western-orientedcommerce required knowledge of Western language, commercial practices and the like. Colonial powers therefore dictated which academic models would dominate in their colonies. The British implanted their academic models, as did the French, Dutch, Spanish, and, at the end of the colonial era, the Americans. Some colonial rulers were willing to let their new institutions exist along side traditional institutions while other colonizers attempted to eliminate indigenous influences. The colonial institutions, invested with the power of the state and linked to developing economic and bureaucratic systems, naturally proved attractive and eventually dominated traditional institutions, which lost much of their purpose.'6 The industrial revolution meant that the products and the science of Europe, and later North America, came to dominate much of Asia. The wealth accumulated by the West was, in part, put into higher education and science in order to produce evermore sophisticated products. At the same time, the economic and political fortunes of much of Asia were at a low ebb. Indeed, the only country until quite recently fully able to adapt to Western industrialism was Japan. Now, Asian nations like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have also joined the industrial club. While science had at one time been advanced in Asia, the technological development of the 19th and 20th centuries has been largely a Western phenomenon. Scientific research and industrial innovation has been a virtual Western monopoly for more than a century. It is not surprising that Western

14 academic and scientific institutional structures have achieved a great deal of power and authority. Asian nations, regardless of ideology or stage of development, are trying, sometimes with considerable success, to play the Western scientific and industrial game. Despite a few disastrous efforts in Kampuchea and China (during the Cultural Revolution) to develop an independent non-Western (often anti-Western) approach, there has been almost universal agreement that Western science and technology are the cornerstones for development. It is not surprising that Western institutional patterns are commonly used to achieve these goals. Indeed, the prototype for successful Third World development, Japan, successfully adapted Western institutional models, including academic models, to assist in development.17 There is, in the 20th century, an international knowledge network and that network is dominated by the West.18 Most of the world's Research and Development is done in a few Western nations. Virtually all of the key scientific journals are published in the West. The new technologies, such as computer data bases, are Western dominated. Most patents are Western in origin. The rest of the world must participate in this network and it is not surprising that the institutional models and norms of the West would have an impact. The West tries to maintain its dominant position. The expansion of Western cultural and intellectual influence and institutions is often a part of efforts to maintain dominance.19 The governments of the industrialized nations, including the Soviet Union, have sponsored a web of programs aimed at maintaining their influence. Some of these programs are cultural and intellectual in nature. These are some of the factors that have contributed to the fact that Western academic models and intellectual and scientific influence have become so powerful in the past century and why they maintain a strong impact even now. I am not arguing that Western models have simply been totally imposed on Asian cultures. There has been considerable interplay between foreign implants and influence and Asian realities. While basic institutional models may be Western, there is a great deal of local impact as well. The development, and current realities, of higher education in such countries as Thailand, Japan and China, which were never under direct colonial rule, are particularly interesting from this perspective.

The heritage of colonialism The historical impact of the West on Asian higher education was significant, but also quite varied among Asian nations, and was an important factor in shaping the nature of contemporary higher education in Asia. The theme of

15 colonialismis inevitablya part of any historicalanalysis.For much of Asia, Westerncolonialismwas the initial point of contact and its heritageremains important. Colonial policies and practiceswere distinctand, moreover,changedwith time. It is, nevertheless, necessaryto outline some of the majorelementsof the colonialexperience. Colonialism characterized the dominationof one is by country over another throughdirect rule. While the relationshipis one of domination,it is also the case that colonizedpopulationshad some degreeof initiativeand there was alwaysan interactionbetweenthe colonizersand the colonized. in It is very difficult to generalizeabout the colonial experience generalor in terms of its impact on highereducation. For much of Asia, the colonial experiencewas a long one - the Spanish came to the Philippinesin the DirectBritishrulecame seventeenth century,as did the Dutch to Indonesia.20 to India more than a centurylater, but it was profoundin its impact.21 The Frenchwere relativelatecomersto Vietnamand both the Japaneseand the had in Americans, Taiwan,Koreaand the Philippines respectively, a shortbut quite influentialcolonial role. in Colonialpoliciesvariedconsiderably. Dutchwereuninterested higher The educationand activelypreventedit until fairly late in their rule. As a result, the number Western-educated of was Indonesians smallat the timeof Independence. In a sense, this relatively weakcolonialhighereducationinfrastructure made it easier for Indonesia to break with Dutch colonial patterns. The Spanishrelied significantlyon the Roman Catholic Churchfor educational input and this helpedto shapehighereducationin the Philippinesduringthe Spanishperiod. The Americancolonial authoritiesmovedin a verydifferent educational directionandtheyrapidlyexpandedhighereducationduringtheir periodof colonialdominationin the firsthalf of the 20th century.The British coloniallegacyis quiteimportant becauseseveralAsian nationswereruledby Britain.India, the jewel in the Crown,was the largestBritishcolony and also the home of early British efforts in higher education.22British- oriented academic in Pakistan, systems,however,also emerged Sri Lanka,Bangladesh, and Singapore.The Britishnever activelypromoted Malaysia,Hong Kong, the establishmentof large academic systems, but when local initiativedemandedthe development universities, of Britishcolonialauthorities attempted to control their growth and shape the institutions. The early, not entirely satisfactory,from the Britishperspective,developmentof highereducation in India partiallyshaped Britishpolicies in the other colonies. In the 19th century, Japanese colonial educationalefforts were quite interestingsince Japan had only developed a higher education system a few years earlier. It is not possiblein this contextto tracethe development colonial higher of

16 education in Asia. However, it may be useful to posit some broad generalizations based on the Asian experience: Colonial authorities in all cases used the language of the mother country for higher education. While in some cases, primary and on occasion secondary education utilized local languages, the universities always functioned in the metropolitan language. The British considered local languages in early policy debates but opted for English. Other powers did not seriously consider alternatives. The ramifications of the use of metropolitan languages are profound and have contemporary implications. The issue of language, as will be seen later, is one of the most perplexing for many Asian nations. In this sense, the heritage of colonialism remains powerful. The entire academic structure was built in the metropolitan language - teaching and learning, textbooks, scientific research, communication with colleagues overseas everything. The fact that a number of European languages were used did not help the integration of Asian higher education later. While Indonesia used Dutch, Malaysia functioned in English. Indochina functioned in French. The Philippines shifted from Spanish to English after 1898. Basic academic structureswere patterned on metropolitan models, although there were subtle variations. Academic institutions used models that evolved over time in the metropole based on the experience of the metropole but which did not necessarily have any relevance at all to the realities of Asia. Governance structures, the organization of the academic profession, the research system, and many other aspects were copied directly form metropolitan models. Thus, universities in Bombay or in Singapore resembled their counterparts in London or Leeds. Hanoi was similar to a provincial French university and institutions established in the Dutch East Indies looked like those in Amsterdam or Leiden. In many cases, the colonizers did not export their best academic models but rather attempted to build less expensive and less elite academic institutions in their colonies. Thus, it was the London model that was exported to India rather than Oxford or Cambridge.23 The curriculum was very much like that in the metropole and in general was not especially relevant to the needs of Asian societies. It should be kept in mind that the metropolitan institutions did not stress science or research at the time that the models were being exported and thus it is not surprising that science played only a minor role in most Asian colonial institutions. The books used were, in general, those used in the metropole. In some instances, the curriculum was offered in a watered down format in the colonies although in general there was considerable similarity. Teaching and learning was done in a highly formal manner. Many of the academic staff, especially at the higher levels, were from the metropole. These expatriate academics reinforced metropolitan norms and values and tended to dominate the universities. In some Asian countries, there

17 was little scope for local academicsto rise in the hierarchy.Most universities werehierarchial organization manyweredominated the chairholding in and by professor(typicallyan expatriate). The Indiancolonialuniversityhas beencalleda "cultureof subordination" in whichacademicfreedomwas limitedand strictcontrolswere kept on staff and studentsalike.24This is also true of most other colonial universities. Colonial authoritieswere very much concerned about the loyalty of the universities of theirgraduatesand students,and considerable and efforts were made to ensurethe loyalty and to weed out "undesirable"elements. The colonialuniversities were sourcesof cultural,politicaland intellectual ferment intellectudespitethe controlsoverthem. University-based indigenous als in country after country in Asia were responsiblefor the growth of nationalist ideas movementsand of modernizing ideas, of culturalrenaissance in general. In a sense, the colonial universitieswere the seedbeds of the downfallof colonialismandof the emergence independent of nations.Univerintellectuals werethe key nationalistleadersvirtuallyeverywhere. sity-trained While religious fundamentalismmay be a contemporaryforce in many and which, in a sense, countries,the generationthat achievedindependence createdthe modern nation-statein Asia was trainedin the universitiesand espousedideas learnedthere. The structures communication of and the academiccultureof the colonial universities stressedcontact with the metropole.As a result, contactsamong the universities Asia was minimal. Divided by languageand by differing of institutional modelsand orientations,the Asian institutionlooked towardthe colonial power and not to countriesin the region. Theseelementsof the heritageof colonialismshapedthe natureof the Asian universities and remainpowerful influencetoday. The colonial heritagecan be seen in the contemporary Asian university- from obvious elementssuch as the language instruction subtlefactorssuchas SeniorCommonRooms of to and the nature of the academic hierarchy.No discussion of Asian higher educationcan be completewithoutcarefulconsideration the impactof the of colonial experience. The non-colonizedheritage:Japan, China and Thailand Three key Asian nations were never colonized and the impact of Western highereducation,whilesignificant,wasdifferentfromwhatit was in countries which were at one time colonies. Japan, China and Thailand had varying to degreesof independence develop highereducationwithout direct foreign domination.The fact that thesethreecountrieshaveuniversity systemswhich arelargelyWestern termsof theirbasicorganizational in modelsis significant.

18 The historical development of higher education in these countries is quite significant. The historical development of higher education in these countries is quite significant, not only because they are major Asian nations but also because they indicate how Western influences developed in conditions of independence. Japan, because of its contemporary importance as a major economic power and also because of its own experience until 1945 as a colonial power, is a very important case. In all three countries, it became clear to indigenous elites that there had to be an "opening" to the West because of the press of Western economic, military and political interests. Thus, the decision to "modernize" along Western lines was not a truly independent one since without such development, Western and perhaps colonial penetration would have very likely been inevitable. Japan reluctantly opened itself to Western commerce in the mid-19th century after an American naval force entered Japanese waters. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan plunged actively into a process of modernization which not only transformed the nation but also made Japan a major Asian power by 1905, when it defeated Russia. Higher education was an important part of that modernization process. The newly established universities were among the key conduits for new knowledge and technology as well as for training Japanese to function in an industrialized society. The universities helped to translate key materials from European languages into Japanese. It was immediately clear to the Japanese that they had to find an appropriate model of higher education to rapidly develop a university system suitable for transmitting Western knowledge. Japanese were sent abroad to study - interestingly students were sent to a variety of Western nations in order to provide a range of insights. Foreign scholars were invited to Japan as well and there was even some discussion of using a foreign language, English, as a medium of instruction in higher education. Consideration was given to several Western university models and it was decided to use elements of the German university since 19th century Germany was close to Japan in terms of its goals for development. Further, the German university was seen to be one of the most lively and innovative in Europe at the time. The German model continued to dominate Japanese higher education until the end of World War II, when the American occupation authorities imposed American higher educ 'ion ideas on top of the traditional academic hierarchy. The contemporary JaDanese . versity has elements of its older German origins as well as considerable elements from American higher education. Japan was able to borrow a number of higher education ideas from other countries and adapt them to suit Japanese national needs. Books were translated from any language and foreign teachers were commonplace in Japan during its formative period. In a thirty year period, Japan was able to build a university system which was instrumental in Japan's development as a major

19 power.The university was, in a sense, Japan'swindowto the worldof research and technologicaldevelopmentabroad. The universitiesalso traineda new who gave shape to Japan's modernization.25 The generationof bureaucrats Japaneseuniversitywas also influentialelsewherein Asia. It was the model for the growth of modernhighereducationin Japan'scolonies - Koreaand Taiwan.It was also a powerfulinfluencein China, wherea numberof foreign academicmodels were contendingfor supremacy. China'shighereducationdevelopmentwas more problematic than that of in part becauseby the 19th centuryChina had become an arena for Japan, the colonial rivalriesof the Europeanpowers (and later Japan as well), and in part becausethe ChineseImperialgovernmentdid not have a clearpolicy concerningthe directionof higher educationand science.As a result, there was no unifiedpolicyand development both slow andhaphazard. those In was partsof ChinawhereWesternnationsheld sway, theiracademic patternswere used when universities wereestablished.German,Frenchand Britishas well as Americanand Japaneseinfluencescould be seen in ImperialChina. It is was probablyfairto say that China'sacademic development a mix of independent developmentand semi-colonialinfluences.26 Hong Kong, whereBriIn tish rule was firmly entrenched,higher education was patternedafter the Britishuniversitiesand was taught in English exclusively.In China proper, there was a mix of influences and languages although for the most part instruction in Chinese.Post-revolutionary was Chineseacademic development is also significantfrom the perspective East-Westinteractions. Communist of authoritiessimplyreplacedvariousWesterninstitutional modand curricular els with Sovietones. Chinesehighereducationwas quicklytransformed the in Soviet image.27After the Sino-Sovietdispute, efforts were made to modify this model and develop a distinctiveChineseapproachto highereducation. These experimentsproved unsuccessfuland were followed by the massive disruptionsof the CulturalRevolution.In the most recentperiod, Chinahas again looked toward the West for ideas about academicdevelopmentand is currentlyengagedin significanthighereducationreform. Largenumbersof Chinesestudentsare now studyingin Westernnationsand it is not quiteclear at this time how Chinesehighereducationwill developin the long run. It is clear, however,that Chinahas been buffetedby a rangeof foreigninfluences over time and that confusion, conflict, and sometimes, failure has been evident. China, a large nation with an extraordinarily culturaltradition, rich has nonethelessattemptedto utilize a numberof differentacademicmodels from the industrialized nations. China's modernhistory shows some of the with the use of foreignacademicmodels. At the same problemsencountered time, it is clear that China's experimentswith a "go it alone" educational policy failed. Thailand,being smallerand less centralthan Chinaor Japan, was able to

20 movemoredeliberately developa moder university.28 Thaiexperience, to The is interesting exhibitsa good deal of independence choosing in and however, an academicmodel that seemed appropriate Thai needs. The process of to universitydevelopmentwas much slowerand it was largelycontrolledby the The monarchy.29 Thai language,althoughit had not been used for scientific or acacdemic purposespreviously,was used from the beginning.Expertsfrom France, Britain, Germanyand later from the United States advised Thai authoritiesand workedin Thai academicinstitutions.With early influences from thesethreeEuropean nationsand significantcontemporary impactfrom the United States, the Thai universitiesfunction with a variety of foreign influences. The experienceof these three non-colonizedAsian nations is significantin many respects.It is clearthat in all three countries,and especiallyin Japan andChina,pressure fromthe Westdemanded educational an responseas these nationsworriedabout theirplace in the world, maintaining and independence The educationalresponse developingscientificand administrative capability. was in all cases to adapt Western institutional and other models in the of education.Whileno modelwas forcedon any development post- secondary of thesecountries,therewasa good dealof reacting externalpressures. Each to country attemptedto find the best available institutionalstructurefor its needs.And in the endthe institutionsbuilt,curricula usedandscientificculture developedwas quite similarto the Westernprototype. The contemporary impact of the West Asian academicsystemsfunctionin an international knowledgenetwork.The of the Westis significantthroughout Asia althoughit varies continuingimpact and is exhibitedin differentways. Even Japan, fully industrialized, wealthy and highlyeducatedas it is, remainsaffected by Westernacademic,scientific and curricular developments.It is not possibleto discussall Westernimpacts in this essay. We shall, instead,focus on severalimportantfactorsin an effort to stress how the West continuesto play a key role in Asia.30 The influenceof the Englishlanguageis pervasiveand subtle. It is not just a scientific languageand the medium of instructionin a numberof Asian nations, it also reflectsa specific scientificculture.EveryAsian nation must cope with the worldwiderole of English. Englishholds close to a monopoly on the internationaldistribution scientificknowledge.At least half of the of world's 100,000scholarlyjournalsare publishedin English.Most data-bases are in English.Englishis the predominant scientific languageof international meetings.A majorityof the world'sforeignstudentsstudyin English-speaking
nations.31

21 Asia has been closely linked with English. Britain was the major colonial power not only in India, but also in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Burma, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The United States was the colonial power in the Philippines and played an important role in Korea, Japan and China. Japan turned to English as its main "window to the world" early in the Meiji period. English remains a medium of instruction in a number of Asian nations including Singapore (where it is the sole medium of instruction), Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and several others. It is the chief second language throughout the continent. In many Asian countries knowledge of English is mandatory for advanced graduate study and for academic careers in many fields including most of the sciences. The use of English links Asian academic systems to purchases of books and journals from the major Western nations using English. It builds up particular academic networks. Asian academics naturally gravitate to English-speaking scholars. In countries where publication in international journals is necessary for academic advancement, that publication is predominantly in Fnglish-language journals. The increased use of Fnglish in higher education in China, for example, is particularly dramatic and will have long-term implications. While many Asian academic systems have shifted from English as the medium of instruction, English remains perhaps more important than ever at the upper reaches of the academic system, for access to research and for scholarly communication. It is clear that the language used most often among Asian scientists is English. A very large number of Asian academics, particularly those at the highest ranks in the universities, were educated abroad, largely in the industrialized nations of the West. The impact of foreign training is often considerable, forging continuing links, networks of colleagues and orientations to scholarship.32 The precise impact of foreign study remains to be analyzed, but in the Asian case, because of the very large numbers of students involved and the continuing ties with metropolitan academic systems, foreign training is a particularly important factor. A significant number of Asian academics have also taught in Western countries and this has given them a further opportunity to imbibe Western academic orientations and practices. When these professors return home, they frequently seek to influence local universities. The impact of expatriate professors, largely from Western industrialized nations, in Asia is also considerable. In a few countries, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, a significant proportion of the academic staff is expatriate. In others, there are frequent visiting professors and scholars as well as a large number of Western academics who do research in Asia. These individuals have an influence as well since they are representatives of the prestigious metropolitan academic systems of the West. In short, the large-scale exchange of academics and students is a source of considerable Western influence. In general, Western

22 academic institutions are not greatly affected by Asian scientific and cultural models, even though there are large numbers of Asians teaching in the West. The influence is usually from the center to the periphery.3 Western scientific products of all kinds are found in Asian universities. Textbooks are an important Western export.34 Western academic texts are used throughout Asia, sometimes in the original English editions, sometimes in translated versions and sometimes in adaptations which are written by local academics but who use concepts, orientations and curricular approaches from Western books. The use of Western textbooks is, of course, of particular importance because the ideas in them are transmitted to large numbers of Asian university students and the texts have a considerable impact in shaping the curriculum in the field. Western academic journals are the standard of excellence and are the most respected sources of knowledge. Asian scholars frequently publish in these journals in order to have access to the international knowledge network. These journals help to set the agenda for research. Also, Western scientific equipment is often used, from electron microscopes to computers, and are considered to be the best available. The monopoly on scientific exports has, however, been broken by Japan and, increasingly, countries like Korea and Taiwan are manufacturing sophisticated scientific instrumentation and publishing their own journals and books. As noted earlier, Asian universities are all Western in terms of their basic model and organizational structure. Except for unsuccessful attempts in China, there have been no efforts to dramatically break with Western academic structures. The pervasiveness of the Western organizational model and much of the intellectual baggage that goes along with it is overwhelming. Academic hierarchies, the structure of the curriculum, the system of examination, and the very rhythm of academic life is Western in origin and Western in feeling. The idea of the university as a pure meritocratic organization is deeply ingrained - although compromised in Asia, as it is sometimes in the West. The concept of academic freedom is also an accepted norm, although in the Asian context it is frequently significantly constrained by political authorities worried about the loyalty of the academic community.35 The point here is that the pattern of academic organization is not only a series of structures, such as the hierarchy of academic ranks and the idea of the Department or the Chair, it is also accompanied by ideas, norms and values about the nature of higher education and the university. The impact of contemporary Western academic ideas and structures is also powerful. When considering expansion, innovation or reform, Asian universities examine internal realities while seeking Western ideas and practices. The American academic model has, in the past several decades, been particularly attractive.36 The United States not only has a large and successful academic system, but its universities have been significantly involved in research and also

23 have pioneeredthe growthof a mass highereducationsystem. Asian nations frequentlywant to move in both of these directions. Further, many Asian academicshave been trainedin the United States and naturallygravitateto the Americanacademicorbit. The Americanacademicsystem is also somewhatmore"democratic" Chairmodelsof Germany thanthe morehierarchical or even Britain, and thus it appeals to universitieswishing to provide the maximumparticipation from all segmentsof the academicstaff. The American "landgrant"idea has been a powerfulone in manydevelopingnations.37 This conceptstressesthe importanceof the universityin directlyservingthe stateand the community."Landgrant"styleinstitutionshave beenestablished in a numberof ThirdWorldnations,includingNigeriaand India,and have had variedsuccess. Elementsof the idea, such as the importanceof applied researchand service, the role of a practicalcurriculumand the direct links betweenthe universityand both its surroundingcommunityand the wider society, are appealingto Asian nationssincethese are key goals for emerging academicsystems. Westernacademicconceptssuch as the organization departments rather by than around the professorialchair, the notion of general education at the level, the Americanidea of continuousassessmentratherthan undergraduate examinations the end of degreestudyandthe inclusionof multidisciplinary at centersto stimulatecreativethinkingand research havebecomecommonplace in Asia as theyarein the West.38 in are Whennewinstitutions established Asia, are often consciouslypatternedon a particular Westernuniversityor on they a key Westernacademicidea.39Academicplanning committeesfrequently have professorsor administrators from Westernnationsas membersin order to take advantageof Westernexpertise. Thesearea few examplesof the contemporary of importance Westernideas and modelson Asian highereducation.It is by no meanssurprising Asian that academicinstitutionsfollow Westerntrends.Asian institutionsare patterned on Westernmodels and many of the innovationsin the West have direct relevanceto Asia since their universities in any case basicallyWesternin are termsof their structures.The fact that many Westernnations, (particularly the UnitedStates)have undergonethe stagesof highereducationgrowthand Asian nations also makes Western developmentthat are now characterizing models attractive.

The indigenousresponseto Westernhighereducation Asian universities not simply copied from Westerninstitutions.Thereis are a greatdeal of adaptationthat occurs and the interplaybetweenthe Western ideasand indigenousneedsand practicesis highlysignificant.The fact is that

24 Asian institutionsof highereducationreflect their social, historical,cultural and politicalcontextat least as muchas they do the Westernmodelson which are they are based. Asian universities hybrids,combiningelementsof several differentcultures.40 Westernacademic The cultureand organization predominates but it is shaped by indigenousinfluences. It is clear that total rejectionof Westernacademicideas has not worked. Therehavebeenefforts, fromtime to time, to establishfullyindigenoushigher education or to simply ignore higher education altogether. The rejection of Westernhigher educationby the Muslim elites in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuriessucceededonly in ensuringfor the Muslimsan inferior place in society as the subcontinentmoved towardindependence.41 This feeling of educationaldisadvantagewas a contributingfactor in the emergence of the idea of a separatestate for Muslimsin South Asia - the idea of Pakistan.The Muslimstriedvainlyto keeptheirtraditional powerby holding to traditionalvalues and rejectingWesternhigher education. The Hindus, and othergroups, werehappyto fill the vacuumthat was created.In another case, Japan, priorto the Meiji Restorationin 1868, kept Westerninfluences of all kindsat bay, and had Japannot movedquicklyafter 1868,it wouldhave likely been unable to keep its full independence.In the more recentperiod, Chineseexperiments with a rejectionof the establishedacademicinstitutional models (Western in origin but with Soviet overtones after 1950) proved disastrous. In India,the rathercumbersome from academicsysteminherited British-based the colonial period has not been basicallyaltered but it has been modified. Some of these changes are universallyviewed with dismay. For example, from the middleclassesand othershave forceda massiveexpansion pressures of highereducationso that a universitydegreeis of modestvalue in securing remunerative prestigiousemployment.42 and Further,the conceptof meritocracy has been vitiated by the growth of influence peddling in academic and appointments widespread dishonestyin the centrally-evaluated university examinations.Whilethese developments have beencriticizedin Indiaand are not certainly in keepingwiththe besttraditionsof the Western ideal, university Indiansociety. Masshigher they nonethelesshave a functionin contemporary educationplays as much a political and social role as it does an educational one in India. In Malaysia, the original elitist British universityhas been significantly modifiedto make it more relevantto local needs.43One of the most important changes(which is common in many Asian nations)was a changein the mediumof instructionfrom Englishto the local language,BahasaMalaysia. The ethnic politics of the nation is playedout in highereducation,as it is in other spheresof life and thus pure meritocracyhas been diminished.Bumiover the othermajorracialgroups putra(Malay)studentsaregivenpreference

25 in the country, the Chinese and the Indians. The new universities that have been established are as much American as British in their organizational structure. Academic freedom has been partially restricted in some Asian countries and this is a matter of considerable controversy. The contemporary Western concept of academic freedom includes not only the traditional German idea that the university teacher should have freedom of research and teaching in his or her field of specialization but also the notion that the academic profession should have complete freedom of expression, on and off campus, in virtually all fields subject only to the laws of libel and related penalties. Western academic freedom also include virtually complete freedom of publish,44 not only the results of research and scholarship, but on other topics as well. In some Asian countries, such as Japan, the Philippines and India, virtually all of the norms of Western academic freedom are accepted. In others, however, political realities have placed restrictions on academic freedom. In China, the restrictions are severe and academic freedom, in the Western sense, is not accepted as an academic norm. In Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, certain topics are considered highly sensitive for research and analysis by academics. In Taiwan, research relating to mainland China is subject to political controls, and analysis of some aspects of Taiwanese society is considered sensitive. In Malaysia and Singapore, potentially volatile ethnic and religious questions must be treated with extreme care by the academic community. Both countries have governments that are quite sensitive to criticism, and academics can face problems if they are too critical of government policy, although it is very rare that professors are jailed or lose their jobs because of the publication of academic materials.45 In Indonesia, there is an expectation that academics should belong to the ruling political party, Golkar, although this is not considered to be a very serious matter. In Western countries, there is an expectation that academics, particularly those in the senior ranks, should have permanent (tenured) appointments as one means of protecting them from violations of academic freedom and to ensure freedom of teaching and research unfettered by fear of loss of employment. While the tenure system has come under some criticism in the West (in Britain, permanent appointment for new university staff has been abolished by the Thatcher government), in general, the system is well entrenched and almost universally honored. The approach to tenure in Asia shows considerable variations on the Western theme. A few countries, such as Japan, use the basic Western tenure system and guarantee academic appointments (as Japan does for many other jobs) for life. In India, in the post-graduate university departments, there are strong guarantees of tenure and generally untrammelledacademic freedom. In Taiwan, however, there are no permanent appointments in higher education. All academic staff are appointed for

26 renewable two-year terms. While renewal is virtually automatic and, in practice, most academics have de facto tenure, the lack of de jure job protection creates a feeling of insecurity, particularly among academics in the social sciences. College (undergraduate) staff in India have weak job protection and firings are not infrequent. In a number of countries, including China, Korea and Indonesia, there is an expectation that academic staff will have job protection but the guarantees of tenure are weak and scholars who express views at odds with government, or sometimes university policies, can easily find themselves in serious difficulties. Asian academic systems have, in general, adopted national languages as the main medium of instruction and discourse in higher education. In some countries, such as India, more than one language is used in higher education but English remains a language of instruction, especially in the sciences and at the postgraduate level. Indian universities also offer instruction in the national language, Hindi, and in a dozen regional languages. The bulk of undergraduate instruction is now in an Indian language. Textbooks have been provided in these languages for most undergraduate specialties although English books are still widely used in the postgraduate curriculum. Japan has always exclusively offered postsecondary instruction in Japanese, and pioneered the translation of textbooks and other scientific books into Japanese. Nonetheless, English is a major scientific influence in Japan and it is a required language for virtually everyone in the universities. Malaysia shifted its academic system from English to Bahasa Malaysia more than a decade ago, and while there were serious problems in adjusting to the new language and in providing books in that language, the transition has been made.46 Most other Asian nations use indigenous languages for higher education and while most have problems in providing textbooks, particularly at the upper levels, and research materials, in local languages, the system works well. The Philippines has made a few efforts to use its Tagalog-based language in higher education, but English remains entrenched, as it does in Singapore. In Hong Kong, English is the predominant language of higher education, although there is also a Chinese-medium university. Language choice has been a key element of indigenization in Asian higher education and while transitions have been difficult, adjustments have been made. While it is clear that Asian universities are patterned on Western models, it is also clear that every Asian nation has adapted this model to meet local needs and realities. In some cases, careful plans for indigenization of higher education had resulted in change. In others, political and other pressures have resulted in accomodation. The fact is that Asian universities are as much Asian as they are Western. The process of change, accommodation and growth continues and the Western model continues to evolve.

27 Conclusion Asian universities are affected by the industrialized nations of the West in important respects. The historical model of the Asian university is Western and the basic ethos, organizational structure and curricular development is significantly molded by the West. In many cases, the original language of higher education in Asian nations was Western as well. There are also key contemporary Western influences. The overwhelming fact is that North America and Western Europe produce the bulk of the world's science, publish most of the scientific and academic books and journals, and spend the bulk of the world's R an D funds. English is the main scientific language in the 20th century. The large majority of the world's foreign students come from the developing nations to study in the industrialized nations. Contemporary scientific culture is basically Western - done in the West and communicated is Western languages. Most of the rest of the world recognizes that they must accomodate to this reality. Asian nations have made impressive strides in creating an autonomous academic and scientific culture. Academic systems, while remaining Western in organizational structure, reflect national needs and orientations. Indigenous languages are becoming widely used. Indigenous scientific capabilities have been built up and subjects of special importance to Asian nations are considered in these new institutions. In a few Asian nations, notably Japan, India and to some extent China, a scientific publication system has been created. While Asian academic systems generally look to the West and not to other Asian nations, there are some efforts at regional cooperation. There is no Asian academic model emerging. There are a series of variations on Western themes and there is accomodation to specific national needs and realities. Different Asian nations have varying approaches to academic development. Some countries have encouraged the growth of lage academic systems with considerable variation in quality. Others have maintained a more elitist approach. Research has been stressed in a few countries while most have academic systems which are largely oriented toward teaching. Few Asian nations look to the experience of their neighbors but rather search in the West for ideas and models. Asia is inevitably part of an international scientific system in which Asian nations play an increasingly important role. Japan is the most advanced scientific power with its highly developed university and research system which is now one of the world's most important academic systems. Nonetheless, Asia, including Japan, will need to relate to scientific developments in the West and will depend on Western science to provide paradigms and models. It is also likely that most Asian countries will look to the West as the "gold standard" for higher education. However, there is a great deal of development

28 occurring in Asia and large Asian nations such as India, China and Japan will inevitably join the academic "big leagues". Small countries which have placed a great deal of stress on their universities, such as Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea have made impressive strides in developing "centers of excellence" in higher education.

Notes
1. Eric Ashby, Universities: British,Indian African (Cambridge,Mass.: HarvardUniversity and Western Tradition Press, 1966).See also EricAshby, African Universities (Cambridge, Mass.: HarvardUniversity Press, 1964). 2. Michio Nagai, HigherEducationin Japan:Its Take-Offand Crash(Tokyo: Universityof Tokyo Press, 1971). 3. Ruth Hayhoeand Marianne World: Bastid,eds., China'sEducationand the Industrialized Studiesin CulturalTransfer (Armonk,New York: M.E. Sharpe,1987). 4. "English: to Conquer World"USNewsand World Out the 49-57. 18, Report(February 1985): 5. See PhilipG. Altbach,ed., TheRelevanceof AmericanHigherEducationto SoutheastAsia (Singapore: RegionalInstituteof HigherEducationand Development,1985). 6. For further discussion thistheme,see PhilipG. Altbach,TheKnowledge of Context:Comparative Perspectiveson the Distributionof Knowledge(Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1987). 7. The Philippines attempting graduallymove towardthe use of Pilipinoas a mediumof is to instruction highereducation.Numerousobstacleshave been encountered,such as a lack in of textbooks,reluctance academicstaff to teach in the languageand others. of 8. Julia Kwong, CulturalRevolutionin China's Schools, May 1966-April,1969 (Stanford, California:Hoover Institution Press, 1988). 9. E. Garfield,"Mapping Sciencein the ThirdWorld,"ScienceandPublicPolicy, (June:1983): 112-126.SeealsoE. Garfield, "Science theThridWorld"ScienceAge,(October-November, in 1983):59-65. 10. LawrenceB. Krause,Koh Ai Tee and Lee Yuan, The Singapore Economy Reconsidered Instituteof SoutheastAsian Studies, 1987). See also Ching Meng Kng, Linda (Singapore: and Skills in Singapore(Singapore: Low, Tay Book Nga, and ArmnaTyabji, Technology Instituteof SoutheastAsian Studies:1986). 11. William Cummings,et al., eds. EducationalPolicies in Crisis:Japanese and American Perspective(New York: Praeger,19860). 12. Eric Ashby, Universities: British,Indian,African. 13. JosephBen-David, Centers Learning: UnitedStates(NewYork: Britain,France,Germany, of Mc Graw-Hill,1977),pp. 93-126. 14. LaurenceR. Veysey, The Emergence the AmericanUniversity of (Chicago:Universityof ChicagoPress, 1965). 15. E. Patricia ColonialEducation Taiwan,1895-1945 in Mass.: Tsurumi, Japanese (Cambridge, HarvardUniversity Press, 1977). 16. See PhilipG. Altbachand GailP. Kelly,eds., Educationand the ColonialExperience (New New Jersey:Transaction,1984). Brunswick, 17. RonaldDore, Taking A on JapanSeriously: Confucian Perspective LeadingEconomicIssues StanfordUniversityPress, 1988). (Stanford,California: 18. PhilipG. Altbach,"Knowledge in Networks the Modern World"in TheKnowledge Context, ed. P. G. Altbach,pp. 169-186. 19. For example, see Ali Marzui,"The African Universityas a MultinationalCorporation: Problemsof Penetration Dependency," and HarvardEducational Review45 (May, 1975): 191-210and KeithSmith, "Who ControlsBook Publishingin AnglophoneMiddleAfrica?

29
Annals of the AmericanAcademyof Political and Social Science421 (September,1975): 140-150. 20. R.M. Thomas,A Chronicleof IndonesianHigherEducation(Singapore: Chopmen,1973). 21. AparnaBasu, The Growthof Educationand Political Developmentin India, 1898-1920 (Delhi:OxfordUniversityPress, 1974). 22. Eric Ashby, Universities: British,Indian,African 23. AparnaBasu, The Growthof Education... 24. IreneGilbert, "The IndianAcademicProfession:the Originsof a Traditionof Subordination," Minerva10 (July, 1972):384-411. 25. MichioNagai, HigherEducationin Japan ... 26. Philip West, YenchingUniversityand Sino-WesternRelations, 1916-1952 (Cambridge, Mass.: HarvardUniversityPress, 1976). 27. RuthHayhoeand Mairanne Advise Bastid.See also MerleGoldman,China'sIntellectuals: and Dissent(Cambridge, Mass.: HarvardUniversityPress, 1981). 28. T. H. Silcock, SoutheastAsian University: Comparative Accountof Some Development A Problems(Durham,North Carolina:Duke University Press, 1964). 29. DavidWyatt,ThePoliticsof Reformin Thailand: in Education theReignof KingChulalongkorn (New Haven, Conn.: Yale UniversityPress, 1964). 30. For a broaderperspective,see Philip G. Altbach, HigherEducationin the Third World: Themesand Variations (New York:Advent, 1987). and Weng31. For a consideration foreignstudentsissues in Asia, see WilliamCummings of Studentsfor the UnitedStates:An examiof CheungSo, "The Preference Asian Overseas nationof the Context," HigherEducation14 (August, 1985):403-424. 32. See Philip G. Altbach, David Kelly and Y. Lulat, Researchon Foreign Students and to of International Study(NewYork:Praeger,1985)for a consideration issuesrelated foreign study. 33. See Hans Weiler,"The PoliticalDilemmasof ForeignStudy"in Bridgesto Knowledge ed. E. Barberet al. (Chicago:Universtiyof ChicagoPress, 1984)pp. 184-195. 34. PhilipG. Altbachand S. Gopinathan,"Textbooks ThirdWorldHigherEducation"in and Textbooks the ThirdWorld, P. G. Altbachand G.P. Kelly(NewYork:Garland,1988) in ed. pp. 51-73. The of 35. RolandPucetti,"Authoritarian Government AcademicSubservience: University and Minerva10 (April 1972):223-241. Singapore" in 36. Philip G. Altbach, "The AmericanAcademicModel in Comparative Perspective" The Relevanceof AmericanHigherducationto SoutheastAsia, pp. 15-36. 37 See, for example, John W. Hanson, Education,Nsukka:A Study of InstitutionBuilding Among the ModernIbo (East Lansing,Michigan: MichiganState University,1968). 38. Y. Raghaviah, ThirdWorld ed. Educationand Post WarAmerican Influences(Hyderabad, India:OsmaniaUniversity,1982). in 39. WichitSrisa-an,Innovationsin HigherEducation Development Thailand (Singapore: for Maruzen,1982). 40. BanphotVirasai,ed. HigherEducationin SoutheastAsia in the Next Decade (Singapore: Institutefor HigherEducation Development, and 1977).See alsoPhilipG. Altbach, Regional HigherEducationin the Third World. 41. David Lelyveld,Aligarh'sFirst Generation: MuslimSolidarityin BritishIndia (Princeton, NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1978). 42. AmrikSingh, RedeemingHigherEducation(Delhi:Ajanta Books, 1985). 43. V. Selvaratnam, "The HigherEducation Cross-National, Metropolitan, Systemin Malaysia: or Peripheral National?"HigherEducation14 (October,1985):477-496. 44. EdwardShils, The AcademicEthos (Chicago:University ChicagoPress, 1983). of 45. In Singapore, feel academics that contractrenewals maybe jeopardized however,expatriate consideredcritical. by publications and 46. S. Gopinathan, and "Intellectual Singapore MaResponse: Dependence Indigenization of laysia," (PublishedPh.D. Dissertation,State University New York at Buffalo, 1986).