Innovation and higher education in five Asian societies

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Unpublished Paper

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The World Bank


Besides coping with a larger number of student enrollments and delivering quality teaching, universities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan have been under pressure to engage in entrepreneurial and research activities that foster economic and social development, and to cement closer ties with industry and business. This role is beyond the “comfort zone” of some higher education institutions. While the author chronicles the various efforts being made to develop national innovation systems and more university-industry linkages, he also asserts that the university sector in Asia has been a “late-comer” to these tasks and has yet to play a very important part in the promotion of innovation. In terms of policy recommendations, the author suggests that governments play an economy-wide integrating role, that regulatory frameworks be loosened, and that education systems build a culture of innovation. He also identifies good practices adopted by the selected cases for other developing countries.

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Recommended Citation

Mok, K. H. (2010). Innovation and higher education: A comparative study of five Asian societies (The World Bank case studies report). Washington, United States: The World Bank.