11.0500 gleanings from Pacific Asia

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 7 Jan 1998 08:53:44 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 500.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 15:58:58 +0900
From: Steve McCarty <steve_mc@ws0.kagawa-jc.ac.jp>
Subject: 50 Excellent Universities in Asia

This installment of "Gleanings from Pacific Asia" to start the Year of
the Tiger will be longish in order to serve as a reference document.

For the first time, and from a reliable source based in Asia, the 50 best
universities in Asia have been reported on by Cesar Bacani et al., "Asia's
Search for Excellence," in a December 1997 _Asiaweek_ special edition
"Asia's Biggest and Best 1997." The universities are listed with little
commentary, and the results should be viewed as a first attempt. They
surveyed peer reputation, quantifiable faculty resources and the value
undergraduates receive for their tuition. Although they factored out
relative wealth, they did concede that money buys quality to some
extent, affecting the representation of countries listed. I would add
the caution that, although it is remarkable that most countries have
adopted aspects of Western university institutional culture, the people
of countries not listed must not be considered backward for maintaining
their indigenous languages and approaches to knowledge.

_Asiaweek_ itself is published in English in Hong Kong. I recommend it
as an offline news source, although much of it is offered free on the Web^@
at URL <http://www.pathfinder.com/@@8p1GuAUA69QxAfrH/Asiaweek/>.
There it can be seen that _Asiaweek_ aims to covers Australia, Bangladesh,
Brunei, Cambodia, "Central Asia", China, "The Gulf", Hong Kong, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal,
New Zealand, North Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines,
Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and
Vietnam. However, it is not evident that _Asiaweek_ attempted to survey
Central Asian, Siberian or Middle Eastern universities, as they are not
represented among the 50. The scope of the survey may thus be confined
to universities in South Asia, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

"College and University Home Pages - Geographical Listing" at URL
<http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/cdemello/geog.html> includes over
3,000 institutions in more than 80 countries. One might select Asian
geopolitical entities and still be faced with long lists of schools with
unfamiliar names. So the _Asiaweek_ survey will be of reference, e.g.,
to academics seeking contact with the more reputable Asian universities
or needing to evaluate the educational credentials of Asian scholars. In
any event, the above URL provides access to WWW home pages and
contact information for most universities online worldwide, including
the 50 presented below and many more in Asia worthy of recognition.

Rather than listing the 50 in order, I think it will be easier to follow
if I go by country in rough order as to their number and relative quality.
It will be seen thereby that the first tier of countries includes Japan,
Australia and China, if Hong Kong is included (the survey treats them
as separate entities). Now here are the results of the _Asiaweek_ survey:

JAPAN: 1) Tokyo U, 2) Kyoto U, 12) Keio, 26) Waseda, 35) Doshisha, and
40) Aoyama [Gakuin]. AUSTRALIA: 6) U of New South Wales, 9) U of
Melbourne, 13) Australian National U, 14) U of Sydney, 17) Monash U,
21) U of Queensland, 24) U of Adelaide, and 46) U of Western Australia.
HONG KONG: 3) U of Hong Kong, 5) Chinese U of Hong Kong, and 10) Hong
Kong U of Science and Technology. CHINA: 7) Peking U, 28) Fudan U [in
Shanghai, the world's most populous city], 33) Zhongsan (Sun Yatsen) U,
45) Qinghua U, and 48) Nanjing U.

SINGAPORE: 4) National U of Singapore, and 15) Nanyang Technological U.
SOUTH KOREA: 16) Seoul National U, 18) Yonsei U, and 31) Korea U.
INDONESIA: 19) Institut Teknologi Bandung, 32) Universitas Indonesia,
37) Universitas Gadjah Mada, 38) Universitas Airlangga, and
42) Universitas Diponegoro. MALAYSIA: 11) U of Malaya, 20) National
U of Malaysia, and 49) Science U of Malaysia. TAIWAN: 8) National Taiwan
U, and 23) National Tsing Hua U. PHILIPPINES: 25) U of the Philippines,
39) Ateneo de Manila U, 41) De La Salle U, and 43) U of Santo Tomas.
INDIA: 29) U of Delhi, 47) Jawaharlal Nehru U, and 50) U of Bombay.
NEW ZEALAND: 22) U of Auckland, and 27) Victoria U of Wellington.
THAILAND: 36) Thammasat U, and 44) Chulalongkorn U. MACAO: [China
from 1999] 30) Universidade de Macao. SRI LANKA: 34) U of Columbo.

Among the anomalies were that some universities did not respond
to the survey, yet were included on their academic reputations (44-50).
Others were in effect docked for withholding sensitive financial or
personnel information. So it is possible to rank the 50 differently by
looking more closely at the results, but comparisons like this are
relative. Nonetheless, the survey represents a useful first attempt
to compare the quality of many Asian and Australasian universities.
This and more refined future surveys will afford more discernment
in networking decisions with respect to Asia.

Steve McCarty
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan

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