OBOR: China’s Challenge to Western Hegemony in Higher Education and Implications for Malaysia Universities

The One Belt One Road initiative is seen as China's challenge to Western hegemony in higher education. The strength of OBOR is that it has no formal institutional structure. Projects are negotiated on a bilateral arrangement between government entities at all levels and also between government and private sectors. OBOR is multifold, encompassing economic, political and social aspects of cooperation. As such, a multi-pronged approach is needed to reap the full benefits of education cooperation within the framework agreement on OBOR. The promotion of educational exchanges will be further deepened with the opening of Chinese universities branch campuses or provision of scholarships to international students. The deepening of educational exchanges between China and participating countries can be viewed as a threat to Western universities interests in Asia despite China's assurance that it adopted the attitude of no challenges to the existing world system. This paper covers the efforts of China to internationalize its educational system, with an emphasis on collaboration with Malaysian universities. It concludes that Malaysian universities have much to gain from the OBOR initiative, not only in terms of academic exchanges, investments, co-operations in projects but also in the influence of Confucian value systems.



Author Information
Sing Ong Yu, HELP University, Malaysia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Higher education

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