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Prospective Asian doctoral students in bioscience have significantly more local and regional training options today than in the past, and the destination advice their professors give them reflects this shift. Drawing from interviews with eighty-two Asian-born, Western-trained bioscientists in academia, now working in either Singapore, India, China, or Taiwan, we analyzed the doctoral training advice they give to promising science students in their current country to assess if these scientists encourage their students to look westward for their doctoral training. We found significant variation in the doctoral destination advice that interviewees give, with the modal category of destination advice being neutral rather than emphatically West-directed. We attribute this to a growing view among interviewees that the research environment in top Asian universities has improved to the point that, from a technical standpoint, it is increasingly on par with what is available in all but the top Western universities. These changes set the stage for greater variety in the migration streams of Asian scientists-in-training in the future.
This article stems from an ongoing project of mine that looks at Asian bioscientist mobility and how Asian-born, Western-trained scientists determine whether to stay on in the West after their training is complete or return to Asia. For this project, I interviewed Asian bioscientists spread across multiple locations in Asia and also the West about their destination decisions. I also asked each of my interviewees about the destination advice they give their current students, both at the doctoral and postdoctoral level. This led to fascinating conversations about the state of scientific research systems in Asia today, how they compare with those in Western countries, and the nature of science more broadly speaking. Thanks to these conversations, I have begun working on my next book project which examines the intersecting mobility systems that exist for Asian bioscientists at various stages of their academic career and the impact these movements of people, knowledge, and norms have on Asian scientific research systems. The book project is very ambitious as it considers six Asian countries – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore - but this allows for interesting comparisons across the scientific research systems in each of these countries. I am hopeful that this book will help identify some of the common issues that Asian states encounter as they endeavor to develop their scientific research infrastructure and reputation, and also offer policymakers suggestions for addressing some of these issues.
— Anju Mary Paul
Ahmed Badreldin, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.1–18
Spreeha Debchaudhury, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.41–51
Lynne Ciochetto, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.33–43
Sudata DebChaudhury, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.121–138
Jalil Safaei, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.219–238
Jackson Nyamuya Maogoto, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.247–254
Joanne Jung-wook Hong, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.143–154
Oliver Schwedes and Stephan Rammler, The Global Studies Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.159–168