What is meant by university autonomy in Southeast Asia? How well are these reforms achieved at the institutional, faculty and departmental levels? What impact is there on graduate outcomes, when public universities are corporatised and given greater autonomy? This research project by The HEAD Foundation (THF) examined the practices across universities in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The research team was led by THF Fellow, Dr Molly N.N. Lee, and THF Adjunct Research Manager, Loke Hoe Yeong. The project was completed in February 2017.
The research study concluded that while there is a discernible convergence in university reforms in the Southeast Asia region, the impact and outcomes of those reforms at the institutional level vary considerably among the universities within a country, and also across countries. What is emerging is a hybrid of local variations of neoliberal higher education policies that originated from the West. Findings from the the study have been published in the HESB newsletter, a THF publication, that can be downloaded here.