This is not a complete answer, but I'm a western college professor, and lack of free speech is one thing that creates a negative impression in my mind when I think about colleges and universities in Asia and the Middle East. Of course the region is not monolithic politically, and its universities are not all alike, but below are some examples of the kinds of things that make me concerned.
Author Alan Shadrake was sentenced to a jail term for publishing a book criticizing the death penalty in Singapore. He served 5 1/2 weeks and was deported. He had been at risk of a jail term of up to two years.
Physics lecturer and minister of parliament Chia Thye Poh was imprisoned for 23 years without trial, part of it in solitary confinement. Although he was never charged with any crime, presumably his imprisonment was related to his membership in a socialist political party. After his release, he lived under heavy restrictions for 9 years. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Professor Edward Vickers describes heavy political interference at the University of Hong Kong. CY Leung has also interfered heavily in more recent years, attacking the student-union magazine, suppressing a book called Hong Kong Nationalism, and trying to torpedo democracy activist Johannes Chan's election to a university leadership post.
Of course the US has its own issues with respect to free speech on campus, but I don't think we have problems of the same magnitude as the ones described above. Freedom of speech is a prerequisite for academic inquiry.
I find it especially creepy and threatening when the government of China carries out vicious attacks on Chinese students studying here in the US. The recent case of Yang Shuping is a good example. Her only crime was to praise free speech and environmental laws in the US, and the result was a very nasty public humiliation for her, which smelled like something from the era of the Cultural Revolution.