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. The origins of AEI can be traced back to the idea of establishing closer higher education linkages between Asia and Europe under the provisions of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) initiative in 1996.
In 1997, the Government of Malaysia established the Asia-Europe Centre (AEC), the first step of Asia-Europe university cooperation in education designed to support the Fourth Pillar of the ASEM process. Three years after its inception, on 2 January 2000, the AEC was transformed into a full-fledged academic institution. It was renamed Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) and hosted by the University of Malaya, the oldest university in Malaysia.
Over the years, AEI has received continued support from the Government of Malaysia, working in partnership with other ASEM countries. This reflects Malaysia’s commitment towards the internationalisation of higher education and also the advancement of the idea of AEI as an educational hub that provides a network of knowledge infrastructure for Asia and Europe in the twenty-first century.
The core objective of AEI is to further develop Asia-Europe relations by providing opportunities for post-graduate studies for career advancement as well as to enhance the academic and cultural experience of students and scholars, with a view to developing in them, a better understanding of the cultures, history, politics, institutions, economics, business and legal practices of both regions. It aims to be a place where intellectual discourses are held and key issues on globalisation and regionalisation, environment, international business, innovation and technologies and inter-regional relations between Asia and Europe are discussed. Our research pillars and range of international postgraduate courses indicate the breadth and quality of expertise that the AEI can bring to bear. As such, our postgraduate students are central to the realization of a collaborative and innovative education hub for the future.