Higher Education

, 62:593 | Cite as

The complexities and challenges of regional education hubs: focus on Malaysia



The race to establish regional education hubs is a recent development in cross-border higher education. This article briefly examines the rationales and strategies used by three countries in the Middle East and three in South East Asia which are working towards positioning themselves as regional education hubs. The different approaches and purposes among the six countries highlight the need for a typology of education hubs. Three types are proposed: the student hub, the training and skilled workforce hub, and the knowledge/innovation hub. The final section of the paper takes a closer look at Malaysia’s cross-border education initiatives and its actions to establish itself as a competitive education hub in a region where Singapore and Hong Kong have similar intentions. Whether Malaysia has the ability to make a quantum leap from being a student hub to becoming a knowledge/innovation hub remains to be seen and appears to be an optimistic outlook.


Cross-border education Regional Education hub International students Knowledge Innovation Skilled workforce Collaboration Competition Internationalization 



Grateful appreciation is extended to Poh Ling Ooi, Research Officer at the National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, for her assistance and cooperation in the preparation of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), MalaysiaUniversiti Sains MalaysiaBayan LepasMalaysia

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