chapter  8
An asian multiversity?
Comparative reflections on the transition to mass higher education in East Asia
Pages 20

This chapter develops a comparative framework for reflecting on the possibilities and choices open to China in higher education policy over the coming decade. It discusses the transition from elite to mass higher education in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, taking four broad parameters for comparative analysis. The chapter also discusses that the East Asian experience against the Western experience, contrasting the emergence of the 'multiversity' in North America with escalating institutional stratification patterns and hierarchy in East Asia. The East Asian approach to private higher education has been characterized in recent study as one of a mass private and restricted public sector, in contrast to the parallel public and private sectors in the United States, and the comprehensive public and peripheral private sectors characteristic of Canada and many European countries. Multiversity graduates in North America constitute an extremely large professional/intellectual class that is critical of politicians and active in promoting a wide range of autonomous cultural, social, and charitable activities.