China Heads New Alliance of Asian Universities

China has organized an alliance of Asian universities to compete with western educational institutions. The alliance will share resources and increase exchanges of students and teachers.

The new organization is called the Asian University Alliance (AUA). It was launched in late April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese university was elected as chair of the group that includes a total of 15 universities from 14 countries and areas.

A goal of increasing ‘Asian wisdom’

China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong spoke at opening ceremonies at of the AUA on Saturday in Beijing. She said the new organization was important to China.

Liu said the educational alliance will provide “Asian wisdom to resolve regional and global problems. She added that the group will combine “outstanding global talents with an international perspective and to serve regional development.”

Other universities included in the alliance are Peking University, the University of Tokyo, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the National University of Singapore, and Seoul National University in South Korea.

The Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, King Saudi University in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates University, Malaysia’s University of Malaya and the University of Indonesia are also in the group.

Rankings and research seen as very important

The goal of the group is to help Asian schools rise in the world rankings. The top universities in the world are mainly in western developed nations like the United States and Britain.

High rankings are important to attract research money from private business and international organizations. Rankings also help in attracting the best teachers and students from around the world.

Tan Eng Chye is Deputy President and Provost of the National University of Singapore. He said, “Ranking is invariably based more on research because, if you look at educational outcomes, it is harder to gauge.”

He also said research spending is important. “And if you pool in a lot of money into research, then, I think, you will go up quite quickly (in the rankings).”

Full article: China Heads New Alliance of Asian Universities (Voice of America)

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