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Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti MalayaJean Monnet Centre of Excellence Asia-Europe Institute Bulletin
Issue: July - December 2020 • eISSN: 2682-8529

Happy New Year

The AEI would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

Jean Monnet Centre of ExcellenceThis year the Asia Europe Institute wrapped up its third and final year of activities as the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (JMCoE). As the only Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the region, the AEI’s focus has been on establishing activities and research based on mutual learning between the EU and ASEAN. The global Covid-19 pandemic has also meant that the AEI has needed to adapt to the challenges in carrying out its activities.

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2: Regional and Inter-Regional Dimensions in Higher Education Cooperation

The second in the ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar series was held on 1st July 2020 (Wednesday) at 3.00 pm. The panel consisted of Nadia Reynders from the ASEM Education Secretariat, Professor Dr Azirah Hashim, from Universiti Malaya, Dr. Filippo Bignami from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, and Dr. Yang Mee Eng from the ASEAN Foundation.

The panel looked at regional and inter-regional dimensions of higher education cooperation that have fostered relations within and between ASEAN and EU. Opportunities that have emerged in recent decades concerning increased mobility and inter-regional projects in higher education were highlighted and addressed as well as the challenges encountered, together with the impact of Covid-19 on these dimensions of higher education cooperation.

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 1 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 2 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 3
ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 4 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 5 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 6

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 3: People and Culture

On 3 December 2020 (Thursday), 3.00 pm, the third ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series was held. Featuring Professor Dr Evelyn S. Devadason from Universiti Malaya, Associate Professor Dr. Farish A Noor from Nanyang Technological University and Associate Professor Dr Thomas Barker from the University of Nottingham Malaysia. The panel was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sameer Kumar. The panel discussed trade and migration issues as well as cultural cleavages and experiences’; integral aspects in the shaping of an ASEAN identity.

Watch the webinar

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 3: People and Culture

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 3: People and Culture

Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context

The AEI hosted its annual Teaching EU Studies in the ASEAN Context workshop on the 20th and 21st July 2020. The online workshop hosted via Zoom platform was moderated by Associate Professor Dr Sameer Kumar from the AEI and led by Dr Patrick Ziegenhain, Department of International Relations, President University, Indonesia. The workshop also featured six expert speakers: Dr. Natthanan Kunnamas, Director of Interdisciplinary Department of European Studies, Department of International Relations, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Dr. Rahul Mishra, Senior Lecturer, Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya, Malaysia, Mr. Marc Cheng, Executive Director of EU Centre in Taiwan (EUTW), Taiwan, Dr. Evi Fitriani, Associate Professor, International Relations Department, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia, Mr. Muhadi Sugiono, Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, and Dr. Do Ta Khanh, Director of Centre for EU Studies, Institute for European Studies, Vietnam.

Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context
Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context 1 Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context 2
Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context 3 Teaching EU Studies in The ASEAN Context 4

The 2-day online workshop was joined by 30 other participants both locally and internationally and was conducted from 10 am to 1 pm. The critically discussed the state of teaching EU studies in the ASEAN context. The invited speakers and experienced practitioners also shared their observations and allowed participants to have a closer look into some cases studies, which highlight the difficulties of making Southeast Asian students understand the complexities of the decision-making processes in the European Union.

Comparative Regionalism Online Workshop 2020: Bridging Regional Knowledge

Comparative Regionalism Online Workshop 2020: Bridging Regional KnowledgeThe third Comparative Regionalism Workshop was held online this year and the AEI was proud to host Dr. Paul Gillespie once more as the instructor for the workshop. The three-day workshop was held from 4th to 6th August (Tuesday to Thursday) from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. The main objective of the workshop was to expose participants to the field of research on comparative regionalism. With a total of 24 of both local and international participants, the workshop introduced them to the use of comparative regionalism and theory for research. The workshop was co-conducted by Dr. Paul Gillespie and Dr Rahul Mishra from the AEI.

ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 1 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 2 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 3
ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 4 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 5 ASEAN-EU Dialogue Webinar Series 2 - 6

Building Social Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions in Lao PDR and Malaysia (BRECIL)

BRECILThe Building Social Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions in Lao PDR and Malaysia (BRECIL), led by the Asia-Europe Institute, is a multi-country Erasmus+ CBHE joint project involving higher education institutions from both the EU and ASEAN countries. It focuses on the development of research and innovative capacities for good research governance and management through capacity building in higher education systems.

Erasmusdays - Webinars On BRECIL

Erasmusdays - Webinars On BRECILIn October, the AEI hosted two training workshops under the BRECIL project. On 15 October 2020, the Multinational Collaboration in Research Methodology Training: A Case of Lao PDR was held via Zoom at 4 pm. The Research Governance in the Social Sciences was held on 16 Oct 2020, at 4 pm via Zoom.

Multinational Collaboration in Research Methodology Training: A Case of Lao PDR

Multinational Collaboration in Research Methodology Training: A Case of Lao PDRThe BRECIL Webinar on Research Methodology Training in Universities in Laos focused on one of the work packages in BRECIL, Developing research skills and the use of ICT in Higher Education Institutions in Laos and Malaysia, a collaboration between the European, Malaysian and Lao partners over the past two and a half years. The webinar was held as part of the activities for Erasmus+ Days 2020 carried out over three days. Erasmus+ Days consisted of a series of bottom-up events organised by various Erasmus+ programme players. During the webinar, speakers talked about the research methodology training experiences of the ASEAN and EU partners which include the research training in Laos and Malaysia, lessons learnt and the challenges encountered. In addition, questions on research methodology were posed by the Lao partners to the Malaysian and Swedish partners.

Multinational Collaboration in Research Methodology Training: A Case of Lao PDR

Research Governance in Social Sciences

Research Governance in Social SciencesThe BRECIL Webinar on Research Governance in the Social Sciences focuses on one of the work packages in BRECIL, Developing and Enhancing research governance in Higher Education Institutions in Laos and Malaysia, a collaboration between the European, Malaysian and Lao partners over the past two and a half years. In this second webinar, speakers talked about the research governance experience between ASEAN and EU universities which includes mechanisms and services to provide research management support, monitoring and innovation, research ethics and management of grants. Findings from study tours on research governance in a European university and Malaysian universities as well as seminars held in Malaysia and Laos were also discussed.

Research Governance in Social Sciences


AEI Webinar Series

The Asia-Europe Institute has also actively hosted various webinars throughout July to December which is opened not only to the student body of Universiti Malaya but also to the general public.

Webinar: Digital Data in Social Science Research: Legal And Ethical Concerns

Webinar: Digital Data in Social Science Research: Legal And Ethical ConcernsOn 2 September 2020, 11 am, the AEI in partnership with the University of Malaya Research Ethics Committee (UMREC) and the Centre for Law and Ethics in Science and Technology (CELEST) hosted the webinar: Digital Data In Social Science Research: Legal And Ethical Concerns. The webinar moderated by Prof. Datin Dr. Sameem Abdul Kareem and Dr. Tee Meng Yew featured six esteemed speakers covering the topics of legal and ethical issues in digital research in the social and behavioural domain. The speakers were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chiew Thiam Kian from the Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, Universiti Malaya, Asst. Prof. Dr. G. Owen Schaefer from the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore, Dr. Izura Masdina Mohammed Zakri and Dr. Sik Cheng Peng from the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya. The webinar opened with a welcoming speech by Prof. Dr. Sarinah Low Wah Yun, the chair of Universiti Malaya Research Ethics Committee (UMREC) and Deputy Executive Director of the Asia Europe Institute and Dr. Sharon Kaur A/P Gurmukh Singh the chair for Centre for Law and Ethics in Science and Technology (CELEST) presented the closing speech.

Webinar: Digital Data in Social Science Research: Legal And Ethical Concerns

Webinar: Intercultural Management - Doing Business In ASEAN

Webinar: Intercultural Management - Doing Business In ASEANIn November, the AEI hosted the Intercultural Management - Doing Business in ASEAN training webinar. The webinar focuses on socio-cultural realities and business contexts in ASEAN countries and was conducted by experts on inter-cultural management and communication consisting of Distinguished Professor Dato’ Dr Rajah Rasiah (Universiti Malaya), Professor Andreas Stoffers (Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Vietnam; Professor of International Management, International University SDI Munich), Roberto Benetello (Executive Director, Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Malaysia) and Oliver Regner (Executive Director, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam). The sessions were moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Sameer Kumar.

Webinar: Intercultural Management - Doing Business In ASEAN

Webinar: Information Skills Sessions

Webinar: Information Skills SessionsThe Asia-Europe Institute endeavours to assist and empower social science research students, not only those studying at the AEI but in general. In that spirit, a two-day Information Skills sessions were hosted as a means to train research students on how to maximize library and information technology to enrich their research. The two-day workshop was conducted by Mrs Shamsiah Abu Bakar, the Chief Librarian Assistance of Universiti Malaya Library. It covered the various types of available databases for research use as well citation skills using the EndNote software and Microsoft Word.

Webinar: Information Skills Sessions

Webinar: Critical Thinking When Reading and Writing Academic Papers

Webinar: Critical Thinking When Reading and Writing Academic PapersHonorary Professor at the Asia-Europe Institute, Professor Dr. Maya Khemlani David conducted the webinar: Critical Thinking When Reading and Writing Academic Papers on 8th December 2020, Tuesday at 2 pm. The webinar was targeted towards helping not only with understanding what is critical thinking but also how to apply it into their research work.

Webinar: Critical Thinking When Reading and Writing Academic Papers

Special Online Lecture: Malaysia’s National Role Conceptions and Transitions of Foreign Policy from Tunku to Mahathir.

Webinar: Critical Thinking When Reading and Writing Academic PapersThe AEI and Centre for ASEAN Regionalism Universiti Malaya (CARUM) were proud to host Prof. Johan Saravanamuttu’s, Professor Emeritus, USM & Adjunct Professor, AEI, UM online lecture which premiered on 4th December 2020. Professor Johan Saravanamuttu is one of Malaysia’s foremost political scientist and international relations expert. In this lecture, he reviewed the history and trajectory of Malaysia’s foreign policy, highlighting the national role conceptions (NCRs) during the Tunku’s period of 1957 to 1968 and the first and second Mahathir tenures of 1981-2003 and 2018-2020 respectively.

Watch the online lecture


The 5th AEI-ASEM Summer School 2020: “Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe”

The 5th AEI-ASEM Summer School 2020: “Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe”Continuing the successful annual AEI-ASEM Summer School programme, supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoHE), the Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), University of Malaya, along with the Asian Studies Centre, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in Ireland, collaborated on the 5th AEI-ASEM Summer School with the theme “Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe” held from 14 September to 18 September 2020. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first part of the 5th AEI-ASEM Summer School was consisting of lectures was held via the Zoom platform on 14, 15, 17 and 18 September 2020 while the second part which includes field trips are planned to be held in 2021 in Malaysia, subject to the coronavirus situation.

A total of 247 participants (143 Zoom and 113 YouTube) from 36 countries from the two regions and beyond (Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Ireland, Russian Federation, Netherlands, Indonesia, Pakistan, Hong Kong SAR, United States of America, Japan, Italy, Spain, France, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand, China, South Korea, Greece, Croatia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nigeria, Turkey, Australia, Germany, Myanmar, San Marino, Argentina, United Kingdom, Malta, Brunei, Singapore, and Portugal) took part in this international gathering.

Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe 1 Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe 2
Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe 3 Multiculturalism in Asia and Europe 4

The AEI strives to provide cutting edge commentary on current issues.

Who could move us beyond the US-China dynamic – ASEAN?

Who could move us beyond the US-China dynamic – ASEAN?

by Anthony Milner and Astanah Abdul Aziz

China’s Self-Inflicted Wounds in the South China Sea

China’s Self-Inflicted Wounds in the South China Sea

by Rahul Mishra

Sanctions: Death by a thousand cuts

Sanctions: Death by a thousand cuts

by Mohamed Jawhar Hassan

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The Asia-Europe Institute has successfully established itself as one of Southeast Asia’s leading institutions for social science postgraduate research and teaching. Established under the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process with a philosophy of enhancing Asia-Europe relations, AEI aims to foster exchange of students and scholars with a view to developing better understanding of the cultures, histories, politics, institutions, economics, business and legal practices of both regions.

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Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.
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Last Update: 03/11/2021