This study investigates the development of higher education in India and China over three time periods: that of colonial India and semi-colonial China, that of the Cold War during which India was “non-aligned” and “new China” embraced Communism, and the period after India’s neoliberal economic reforms and China’s “reform and opening-up”. Our study focuses on the second period when the rationales for post-independent higher education policies were intimately connected to sovereignty. A historical cross-comparative analysis is being employed to discern similarities and differences between India’s and China’s development of higher education systems. The purpose of our study is to contextualize the sociopolitical philosophies that guided the development and transformation of higher education systems in India and China with reference to their vision as non-Western civilizations. We utilize this historical analysis to discuss whether India and China will remain peripheral in the global system of knowledge production, or provide distinct South Asian, Sino, and/or Pan-Asian alternatives in the future.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.