Service-learning in higher education in Southeast Asia

Hsin-Chieh KUNG, Chi-Fang LIU


Abstract. Although service-learning in higher education is a creation of the American society, it has found its way into many education systems outside of the United States. An excellent example of an area where service-learning is taking root is the southeast Asian region. Scholars believe that the slow but steady spread of service-learning as an educational innovation in Asia is symptomatic of modest changes in the conceptions of higher education. As the name suggests, service-learning is a form of education where students acquire real-life knowledge and skills through a wide range of experiences that benefit communities. In other words, service-learning combines education with community service, the aim of which is to enrich students while also meeting the needs of a society. Since service-learning has specific objectives and involves skills acquisition and critical analysis, it goes beyond the usual volunteering and or fundraising. As an active form of university engagement with surrounding communities, service-learning grounds students in local cultures while helping them pursue their educational goals. 

Keywords. Service-learning, Higher education, Southeast Asia.

JEL. M10, M14.


Service-learning; Higher education; Southeast Asia.

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