Outsourcing Homework

The Washington Post reports on another industry that is feeling the effects of outsourcing: education, and tutoring in particular. In the US, there are millions of dollars available under the No Child Left Behind Act to firms that provide remedial tutoring. And where there's money, there's people that want to make more money. And where people want to make more money, they need to lower the costs (click picture for enlargement):When Studyloft.com, a Chicago-based tutoring company with more than 6,000 clients, advertised in Bangalore for tutors with master's degrees, more than 500 people…Read more …

Solid Growth, New Challenges

This morning I attended the launch of the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Regional Update. For the first time, the launch came directly from Sydney; previously it was launched in Washington and presented in Australia by videoconferencing. This twice yearly snapshot of economic development in East Asia was presented by Jeff Gutman (WB Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific) and Dr Homi Kharas (WB Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific). The title was 'solid growth, new challenges' and pretty much covered the message: a lot of optimism, but…Read more …

Outsourcing Drug Trials

Outsourcing has become a well-tried practice in the global economy. Outsourcing manufacturing is a strategy that has become very widespread. Outsourcing services, illustrated by India's call-centers, is more recent but has become common practice for many western multinationals. Even the more knowledge intensive services like accounting are now often being provided overseas. India currently is even becoming increasingly a recipient of outsourced R&D. Even waste management and recycling is outsourced nowadays. But this article in Wired Magazine gave me another view on outsourcing, and one that increasingly worried me reading through the article.…Read more …

Technonationalism and Economic Globalism

This month's Far Eastern Economic Review featured an interesting article about Asia's nationalist policies in the globalised field of science and innovation. Here are a few sections, but read the full story here (free access).P.V. Indiresan, the former director of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras: "The future of both China and India is at risk, because neither owns the technology it operates; the intellectual property continues to remain in the West. The short answer to this problem is that we should develop our own technology; we should acquire so much intellectual property…Read more …

Globalisation: 99 Definitions & Perspectives

While I was looking for a file in my computer I stumbled upon an old document. It's a file with a list of different perspectives and definitions of globalisation that I assembled for my doctoral research some years ago. I thought it might be of useful for students and scholars that are trying to grasp the possible meanings of the term. It is a list of 99 (give or take a few) views from different disciplines and different sectors. Most are from academics, ranging from anthropologists to economists and from philosophers to business…Read more …

Anyone but the King

Thailand is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that has shown rapid development. Economically it has done very well. It recovered relatively easily from the financial crisis in 1997 and is showing good progress in recovering from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. It has liberalised in terms of trade, but it has also become more open politically.But of course there is one thing that you cannot do, and that is to criticise King Bhumibol. The Chronicle reports:The government of Thailand has blocked access in that country to the Web site of Yale…Read more …

What’s the right atmosphere?

The International Herald Tribune yesterday reported about China‚Äôs investments in their universities. China is focusing on science and technology, areas that reflect the country's development needs, but also reflect the preferences of an authoritarian system that restricts free speech. The liberal arts often involve critical thinking about politics, economics and history. The government has placed relatively little emphasis on achieving world-class status in these subjects. Yet, many Chinese say - most often indirectly - that the limits on academic debate could hamper efforts to create world-class universities"Right now, I don't think any university…Read more …

Whartonization

The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania seems to have become very popular in Southeast Asia. The Singapore Management University that was established in 2000 was modeled after the Wharton School."Its educational and administrative practices are modeled after American institutions, in particular the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which has played a central role in SMU's development."Today, the New Straits Times reports that Malaysia is going to be home to a top-class business management institution, modeled on.. the Wharton School of Business. Special Envoy to the Higher Education…Read more …