Applying the New Regionalism Approach evinces the exogenous and endogenous factors affecting the processes underlying the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) higher education regionalism. By delving into a rather unexplored area of regionalism (higher education) in a less investigated region (Southeast Asia) and state (Philippines), this paper treads through a relatively recent terrain of bridge-building between higher education and regionalism, and thus, offers novel theoretical and empirical insights. Through in-depth interviews and document analysis, this exploratory study examines how ASEAN regionalism has influenced the cross-border research of a Philippine university. Examining cross-border research sheds light to the dynamics of ASEAN regionalism as research is considered crucial to the formation of a knowledge society, which, in turn, serves as a potent tool to pursue regional and national objectives. The findings of this study demonstrate that the ASEAN higher education regionalism offers vital mechanisms to enhance the university’s research performance and its overall competitiveness in an era of globalisation. However, in spite of these advantages, there are ideational, political and material challenges that pose limits to this potential. This paper therefore argues that cross-border research has not yet been robustly activated as a mechanism for regional and national pursuits, and that the points of collaborations and contestations are still to be addressed adequately to maximize the promises and mitigate the perils of ASEAN higher education regionalism.
Maria Pilar Lorenzo, Ghent University, Belgium