24 October 2009

Why Study Abroad? (Interesting article at Korea Herald)


Excerpt follows, see links to KH for full article:

Why study abroad?

Last week's "World University Rankings" appear under the headline "Asia advances." So why do East Asian students go abroad to study, when they face so many difficulties?

In the rankings of the "Times Higher" newspaper, Seoul National University is now 47th, and in terms of life sciences it is up 16 places to 24th. South Korea now has 2 universities in the top 100, and 4 in the top 200. China also has two in the top 100, and 6 in the top 200. But this statistic is not adjusted for the size of country. In relation to population, South Korea does better than China.

Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore have also done well. The University of Tokyo has moved up 15 places to 13th and Kyoto up 17 places to 20th. In the past, the top positions have been dominated by the United States, with the United Kingdom next. Like South Korea, the United Kingdom does remarkably well considering its relative size.

The Times Higher concludes this year that "the rise of Asia is in direct contrast to the U.S.'s fortunes." Cambridge University pushed Yale from second to third place. The "Observatory on Borderless Higher Education" talks of a "new global regionalism" which is challenging the status of the United States and the United Kingdom.

But league tables like this are limited.

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