th AEI-ASEM Summer School – 30 July – 10 August 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), University of Malaya in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia successfully hosted the 4th AEI-ASEM Summer School. The summer school themed “Cultural Diversity in Asia and Europe” was held in Kuala Lumpur from 30th July to 10 August 2018. 22 students from 11 ASEM partners; United Kingdom, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China, Bangladesh, Laos and Singapore participated in the fourth summer school. Although the initial idea was to “overcome the imbalance in mobility between Asia and Europe” and identify “a strategy on better balancing mobility”, the 4th project received more participants from Asia compared to Europe.
“This summer school has been an amazing opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and learn more about Asia. For example, before coming to Malaysia I had never heard of ASEAN. Global awareness is really important in a globalising world so the overall experience has been very rewarding. Overall, I would recommend this to everyone, plus have made some lifelong friends.” – Elliot Miles, United Kingdom
The programme was officially opened by the Executive Director of AEI, UM, Professor Dr Azirah Hashim. In her speech, she highlighted that AEI, UM and Ministry of Education Malaysia are committed to organising the Summer School as a strategy to overcome the imbalance of mobility between Asia and Europe. She also mentioned and reinforced that the 4th Summer School will become a unique platform for participants to understand Malaysia and its cultural diversity in the context of multiculturalism in Asia and Europe. This summer school became an opportunity for intercultural understanding between European and Asian participants.
The 4th Summer School employed diverse approaches that emphasised interdisciplinary learning, intercultural exchanges, cultural immersion, and appreciation of inclusiveness, cultural diversity and harmony-building in the Asian region.
“The AEI Summer School has been an enriching and intellectually stimulating experience. It has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity – providing me with opportunities to learn about Malaysia and the world amidst a wonderful group of like-minded students. Highly recommended!” – Nabil Khairul Anwar, Singapore
Participants experienced lecture modules assimilated with a strategic mix of activities, field trips and knowledge gaining as well as skills building activities. This provides practical and valuable learning experiences to all the participants. The lectures and field trips comprised of a diverse range of modules which included:
- Malaysia: The Past, Present and Future;
- Crisis-Migration in Asia and Europe: Challenges and Reactions;
- Indigenous Society in Malaysia;
- Multiculturalism in Europe: Identity, Ethnic and Diversity;
- Cultural Diversity in Asia and Europe;
- Malaysia: The Road to Nationhood;
- Cultural Diversity in Asia: Music and Movements;
- The World of Cinema: Through the Lenses of Asia and Europe;
- Religious Pluralism in Asia: Southeast Asia and Beyond;
- The Challenges of Pluralism and the Future of Cultural Diversity.
The two weeks programme ended with an experience sharing session by the participants and a certificate awarding ceremony. The participants’ certificates were signed by the Minister of Education Malaysia and the Executive Director of AEI, UM.
“The AEI Summer School has been giving me a lot of knowledge, opportunities and experiences. I learnt a lot about cultural diversity in Malaysia.” – Phannpha, Laos
The 5th Summer School will be held next year summer in collaboration with the University of Limerick, Ireland. Therefore, AEI, UM believe that there will be more participants from Europe for the next summer school. For more information about the programmes and events of AEI, UM please visit us at https://aei.um.edu.my/
Thanks to the Asia-Europe Institute for the preparation of this article!