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To make matters worse, these so called experts were also being paid premium salaries, drawing on the already depleted finances of the developing countries.

When one attempts to analyze such situations rationally, one inevitably comes face to face with quality and all the ramifications that it brings. Why quality? Because it is everything that we were told to be good. We learnt about the quality of products, then quality of goods and services and in the end the quality of life itself. Many of us know that only a very small percentage of the population in developing countries do enjoy quality of life, even though we have not defined what it is. People say that they know when they see one. The question then becomes, is quality always what one can see? What happens to those qualities that one cannot see?

Putting oneself over the other side of the fence, one might ask what happens if we don’t have quality? 80% of the earth population is living in poverty (UNESCO, 2000), but they live and they are surviving. Are they touched by quality? Do they care about quality? And importantly, are they all in the developing countries?

In respect of education, are any of them being educated at all and if not, how could they contribute to the betterment of the world as a whole? How could they contribute to globalization? Also increasingly, how could they contribute to democratization, another concept that many claimed had been proven to be the panacea for the world’s chronic ailments. Just look at USSR, China, Eastern Europe and now Vietnam, although Cuba is probably the last bastion of communism but it will succumb to democracy, they would say.

Unlike the case in Latin America (Lemaitre, 2002), observations in some Asian and Southeast Asian countries seem to show that indigenous people who are graduates of universities in developed countries, do not as yet have sufficient influence in the development of their countries in order to transplant concepts they learnt while overseas.

N IDRUS  TRANSFORMING QUALITY FOR DEVELOPMENT KEYNOTE PAPER 7QHES, 29-31 OCTOBER 2002, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

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