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The trend towards neo-liberal policies which began in the 1980s has caused public finances around the world to be linked to market forces rather than state allocation. In consequence, the sharp reduction in public funding allotted to the education sector has affected both social values and educational quality. With the growing influence of globalization on higher education, many East Asian nations have enacted urgent university reforms designed to boost competitiveness of their domestic university systems. China’s Projects 211 and 985; South Korea’s BK21; Japan’s National University Corporation Plan; and Taiwan’s ‘Five Year- Fifty Billion Plan have all been initiated in response to the process of globalization and the demand for global talent in academia. Elsewhere, governments in the Arab Middle East, the Americas, Europe, East and Southeast Asia have all initiated new policies to enhance the global competitiveness and international visibility of their flagship universities, and many of these focus in an unprecedented away on journal publication as the major performance criterion for faculty reward. The increasing extent to which government policies worldwide favour measurements derived from publication indexes such as SCI/SSCI has led to strengthened managerial governance over academic culture and the academic profession itself. This paper argues that a phenomenon of ‘publish globally and perish locally’ has emerged, especially in the humanities and social sciences which are most vulnerable to ‘SSCI Syndrome’, and that this trend is detrimental to academic effectiveness and diversity.
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