Research conferences

        Conference presentation at Oxford University Southeast Asia Project, March 22-23, 2014                   
                  Higher Education in Southeast Asia: A Necessary Vehicle of Development

Education has been identified as an essential component of development and as such, a means to combat poverty and inequality. Conversely, a lack of an educated people and education infrastructure disables a community from effectively utilizing resources, developing core competencies, and from becoming operational members of a global economy that has gradually become more integrated. Southeast Asia suffers from this lack of education infrastructure, and more importantly, from a general inattentiveness and lack of initiative to the values that education brings forth. The results of this are clear. In these regions, education is fundamentally considered a luxury as opposed to a necessity. Higher education, in particular, is merely an afterthought, but this cannot be the case. Satisfaction should not be derived from basic competencies, but through the refining of skills and knowledge, which can only be done at the higher level. While the short-term disadvantages are obvious in their nature, the long-term implication of implementing and encouraging higher education will prove to be advantageous. The goal of this paper is to do a thorough analysis of the state of higher education and its infrastructure in Southeast Asia. Case studies of countries will be conducted to show that the conclusions of the analysis hold validity as well as identifying where improvements can be made. This paper will conclude with what the direction of education holds for these countries, a cost-benefit analysis of the returns it could hold, and initiatives both domestically and done through third parties that could help the cause.

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