Research network aims to bring East Asia closer to UK

A new network has been launched at a UK university to help develop research partnerships between East and Southeast Asia and Europe

March 24, 2015

The East Asian Research Collaborations Network was unveiled at the University of Hull on 18 March at a conference organised by the Society for Research into Higher Education that brought together academics from China, Hong Kong and Vietnam as well as the UK.   

In a keynote address, Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at the UCL Institute of Education, argued that “East Asia is on the margins in the UK, despite its overwhelming importance at the world level”.

“We must push it into the centre of everyone’s consciousness…Building a broad highway between the UK and East and Southeast Asia is of great historical importance. In this, higher education must move out ahead of British society, government and business.”

Professor Marginson pointed to the remarkable achievements of China and the other countries in what he called “the post-Confucian zone” in developing their higher education systems, improving participation rates, investing in research and development, increasing their number of publications in major scientific journals and unambiguously bringing “global standards…into the performance management regimes” of their universities.

Yet while “all 25 million tertiary students in China have learned English”, Professor Marginson pointed out, this year’s figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that “there were 300 UK students commencing first-year Chinese studies”.

Although Britain was probably the country which secures “the highest proportion of its research income from international sources”, this was largely through its success in accessing funds through European research schemes.

Since there were no such schemes and incentives in East Asia, we were developing “exceptionally low rates of collaboration [there] compared to other English-speaking countries”.

It was precisely in order to bridge this gap that Hull has launched its new network, whose explicit goals include “bring[ing] non-Western perspectives into higher education”, “collaborat[ing] in bids for international research grants” and “work[ing] together on high-quality publications based on internationalised research and shared exchange of ideas”.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips