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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

An emphasis on research collaborations across national boundaries can now be found in policy statements of most leading higher education institutions (HEIs) around the world. These statements suggest that a globally distributive system of knowledge development and dissemination demands regularized, ongoing, and symmetrical transnational links. This chapter argues that while most national systems of higher education now advocate transnational research collaborations, their approaches to the development and management of these collaborations vary greatly. The rationales they provide for such collaborations are often tied to particular national interests, as nations seek to locate the role of higher education within their shifting geopolitical objectives. Not surprisingly, therefore, the challenges they face in establishing and coordinating programmes of research collaboration are linked not only to the major characteristics of their systems of higher education but more importantly also the broader objectives of their foreign policies. In order to show how this is so, this chapter provides a case study of Australia, exploring how and why the Australian system of higher education has, in recent decades, increasingly sought to develop research links with Asian universities; and what challenges its HEIs have faced in this endeavour.

Keywords: research collaborations, internationalization, Australian universities, Australia–Asia relations in higher education, knowledge economy, transnational higher education

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