Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.


EDU-COM 2008 International Conference. Sustainability in Higher Education: Directions for Change, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 19-21 November 2008.


The first part of this paper explains the linkage among higher education, internationalization, development and social justice. The paper argues that universities are institutions that, in all societies, have performed basic functions which result from the particular, combination of cultural and ideological, social and economic, educational and scientific roles that have been assigned to them. They are multi-purpose or multi-product institutions, which contribute to the generation and transmission of ideology, the selection and formation of elites, the social development and educational upgrading of societies, the production and application of knowledge and the training of the highly skilled labour force. This range of functions and duties shapes the main tasks of higher education systems, albeit with different emphases depending on the national context, the historical period, the specific sector and indeed the institution concerned. What is clear is that nowadays, universities are highly involved in literally every kind of social and economic activity in our increasingly dynamic societies. The second part of this paper discuss another closely related and important issue of concern in the development of education in the last quarter century, this refers to private higher education. Private education is not a new phenomenon in many countries, though modern private education is of recent origins. The paper argues different aspects in private higher education and discusses myth and realities about privatization of higher education. This paper suggests that initial government investment on a large scale is important in higher education; but only after some time, and certain level of educational and economic development is achieved. Private sector can or may complement the state effort in higher education.