US: Still the best among world's top universities?

Ross Forman is one of American higher education's best and brightest. He may also be a canary in its coal mine, writes Lee Lawrence for The Christian Science Monitor. Three years ago, he was looking for a lecturing job. He had stellar credentials from Harvard and Stanford, he'd published in academic journals, co-edited an anthology and organised conferences. He sent out applications mainly in the US, but it was two sent farther afield that yielded results: "I got both jobs in Asia: one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore.

Forman is among a growing number of top-notch American academics teaching at the National University of Singapore and other institutions in Asia and the Middle East, part of a trend that is helping Asian universities rise in international university rankings and fuelling a crisis of confidence in American higher education.

Since World War II, US higher education has been the gold standard. But challenged by increasing foreign competition, rising tuition costs, government cutbacks, flagging graduation rates and questions about the very quality of the education being delivered, US dominance in academic and research power is now under threat.
Full report on The Christian Science Monitor site