The Shifting Ecology of Research in Asian Pacific Higher Education Imitation or Innovation

  • John N. Hawkins
Part of the International and Development Education book series (INTDE)


In an earlier essay I referred to research and scholarship as comprising a critical, if not the most critical part, of the “holy trinity” of higher education (HE), alongside teaching and service (Hawkins 2012). This remains true today even as the nature of research changes and what I refer to here as the ecology of research is such that it remains in a state of transformation and shifting alliances. As was noted earlier, the predominant place of research and pervasive expansion of this mission into most levels of HE was not always the case. John Henry Newman’s view in the mid-1800s remains relevant and in some respects is being restated in current critiques of the role of research in HE: “A university … is a place of teaching universal knowledge. This implies that its object is … the diffusion and extension of knowledge rather than its advancement. If its object were scientific and philosophical discovery, I do not see why a university should have students” (1996, 22). The relationship between teaching, learning, research, and service is finding new expression in the Asia Pacific region and the dominant paradigm of continual expansion at all levels is being tempered by the race to establish “research universities,” world-class universities, and higher rankings along with the attendant contradictions and predicaments that this race entails. All of this is linked increasingly to a quest not just for excellence in these areas but also innovation, an opaque if somewhat slippery concept.


High Educa Asia Pacific Region Social Science Citation Index Carnegie Foundation Shifting Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© John N. Hawkins and Ka Ho Mok 2015

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  • John N. Hawkins

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