Since the mid-1990s, the pressure of globalization and the pressing demands of a knowledge economy led to a series of educational reforms. The focus of these was the promotion of quality education and massification of higher education. After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the governments in different parts of Asia have implemented comprehensive reforms to their higher education systems in order to enhance their global competiveness. Confronted with increasing pressure for global university ranking, governments and universities in Asia have tried to adopt different strategies in terms of special funding schemes, and different forms of measures in shaping teaching, learning and research activities to enhance their global ranking. This article sets out against the context briefly outlined above to highlight major higher education transformations for global competitiveness, with particular reference to discuss policy responses, social consequences, and impact on the academic profession in Asia especially when major attention is geared towards the quest for global university ranking among universities in Asia.