[I posted this piece on the Content Asian Studies site. Given that it covers topics (the future of Humanities/area studies education in and outside of Southeast Asia) that overlap with issues that this blog deals with, I thought I would post it here as well for anyone who might be interested.]
Major Vietnamese property developer, Vingroup, just announced that it will build a world-class university in Vietnam with consultation from some of the world’s top universities, such as Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Vin University, or VinUni for short, “will be a private, non-profit university of Vietnam established on international standards and integrating the world’s elite models of higher education.”
What exactly are “the world’s elite models of higher education”? A recent job application for a historian of Vietnam at Melbourne University, one of the top-ranked universities in the world made me wonder about that, and what the implications of “the world’s elite models of higher education” are for the future of Humanities scholarship, the “home” of some of the key fields in Asian Studies.”
The trend in “the world’s elite models of higher education” indicates quite clearly that the future of the Humanities and Asian Studies is bleak as long as we persist on doing things the way we always have. But there is a potentially much brighter future awaiting for us if we change.