ASEAN Journal of Community Engagement

Article Title

Cross-border development - a long-term role for Universities


Lower income economies, in particular, are facing potential major threats to their long-term sustainability and social development. At the same time, most developing economies are grappling with the potential disruption from the 4th Industrial Revolution and the current COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences. However, all have the same goal to lead the country to developed country status. The research uses the narrative/case study approach to examine cross-border development and the role that universities might play, as they important actors in development of society, and is a mix of observation and analysis of the literature. It is clear that universities are best placed to play an ever increasing role in the development not only of their own country but just as importantly assisting their less developed neighbors. This will require a continuing long-term commitment. In many cases universities will have to make significant internal changes to meet the challenges posed by the 4th Industrial Revolution. Three issues were identified as priority areas to be addressed: quality of higher education, complex government bureaucracies and ineffective on the job training. This will require universities to provide high quality offerings which are relevant to their community and the wider world market. They will need to improve foreign language skills of students and staff so that they can communicate and learn from worldwide developments. Finally, universities have to be proactive in making the opportunities and not reactive by waiting for someone else to provide the opportunity.

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