TODO: ! The first book edited by Philip G. Altbach that I have read. This volume covers the rise and growth of the modern Asian university system. OverTODO: ! The first book edited by Philip G. Altbach that I have read. This volume covers the rise and growth of the modern Asian university system. Overall, a very interesting read, worthwhile especially for academics who want to better understand their professional world. +++ The modern Asian university system piques the curiosity of the casual Western observer: why does it look like a slightly modified British system? Why the current approach to scientific policy? Why the current approach to research subjects, treatment of corruption, political power of students, etc.? ++/- As all the other volumes edited by Altbach I've read, except for the overview matter each chapter explains the situation in one country, written by an expert of that country. Additionally, chapters in this edited volume are grouped by development stage, which is apparently possible to decide easily about systems in Asia. -- As expected in general from a volume that collects material from different authors, but perhaps less understandable for such a narrow topic and experienced editor, the quality of the content varies greatly. What is perhaps even less expected is that the quality of the writing also varies significantly; some chapters even abound in the wooden language of closed systems, characterized primarily by an excessive use of specialist terms. ++ the introduction is very good, very useful....more
TODO: + well-written, quick read +++ excellent book about the establishment and growth of a top-notch young faculty. +++ Addresses the interesting questiTODO: + well-written, quick read +++ excellent book about the establishment and growth of a top-notch young faculty. +++ Addresses the interesting questions: how to start? What goals? What plan? With whom? How to manage? How to grow the human resources? +++/- acknowledges the hard truths: the impact on funding of using the name of the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew; the impact on education and research topics of being located in Singapore; the tensions between Western and Asian policies, leading to interesting issues in developing content and human resources; etc. Unfortunately, these acknowledgements are limited in scope and do not lead to reasonable critique of the Singaporean government's policies - normal, given the possible punishment as enshrined in law. (The exceptions has only a few sentences, quoting and analyzing the words of Western academics, such as Freedman, but sugar-coating them in praising words about Singapore's government said by the cited Western academics). ---/+ one-sided, all is bright and pleasant in this facility. The growth and impact are indeed excellent, but there is still so much to do......more
TODO: + very clear, high quality writing. A delight to read such an eloquent story! +++ Very good book, excellent in many parts but annoying in its manTODO: + very clear, high quality writing. A delight to read such an eloquent story! +++ Very good book, excellent in many parts but annoying in its many propaganda parts. Excellent and lengthy analysis of China's leadership, policies, and issues, if more compassionate than that of Southeastern Asian countries. +++ I finally understood how Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia and Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge were possible. +/- Many politically charged statements, which makes the book difficult to assess objectively. +++ recommended reading for anyone trying to understand the history and politics of the region. - Unfortunately, the book covers only the period until 2000. So much has happened in Asia (and the entire world) since!
Good policies: + the right to leave the country + running the economy + house ownership + low corruption + greening + focus on education
Main issues: - the chase for First World standard (ends when reaching standard, leaving little else to achieve as Grand Dream) - the nationalist call combined with fear of neighbors who want to destroy them (never ends, if played right, but destructive in forming a safe environment) - presenting a well-known leader as the know-it-all source of decisions, for decades (ends when said leader retires, typically with nepotism or cronyism in replacement process - in N. Korea, same family; in China, same political groups; in the US, same family) - progressive tightening of the screw (ends when a large fraction of the population cannot take it anymore) - patient but decisive elimination of rivals - resettlement of most people, specifically separating ethical groups (Stalin also did this) - many rules, disproportionate and seemingly discriminating punishment (example: the widely different duration of limiting the volume of printed newspapers, after seemingly similar infringements of the law) - financial incentives for people for voting with the ruling party (upgrading houses first in quarters won by the ruling party) - seemingly nepotism, with all three children winning medals and high positions in environments linked to their father. That the children, now mature, have coped well with the high-responsibility positions is undoubtful. However, the key question is: would Singaporean children without a connected parent have had the same opportunities and success? - lots of propaganda (we have to catch uo, pressure from neighboring enemies, return to traiditinal values) - using the "others do it too" argument and other logical fallacies
Other issues: - need for change, as accumulation of resentment - happens with coaches of the most successful teams, when players become fed up with the same person managing the course of action - only a small fraction of the population of a First World country is willing to do Third World jobs; the missing workers willing to do them can be imported, which raises racial and ethnical tensions, and fights over salaries and opportunity; the missing workers can also simply be provided from the younger generation, causing unwillingness to work and street riots (as in England)