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Report: 2nd AEI-ASEM Summer School - Multiculturalism and Multiethnicity in Asia and Europe

“Multiculturalism and Multiethnicity in Asia and Europe”

Exclusive Report

The Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), University of Malaya was delighted to organise the 2nd AEI-ASEM Summer School 2016 which was successfully conducted from 7th until 21st August 2016 in the context of balanced mobility in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.

The 2nd AEI-ASEM Summer School 2016 was officially launched by Professor Dr. Azirah Hashim, Executive Director of AEI on 8th August 2016. 21 participants from 9 countries made up of 1 each from Korea, Germany, Nigeria and Palestine; 6 from Thailand, 4 from Czech Republic, 3 from Japan ,2 from Indonesia and Malaysia spent two weeks at this summer school that aimed to examine “Multiculturalism and Multiethnicity in Asia and Europe”.

The Summer School provided opportunities and experiences for students to explore various cultures, races and religions, ethnic backgrounds as well as examined political, economic and socio-cultural issues through a programme of lectures, field visits, and highly interactive activities. These included tours and talks by Putrajaya Corporation, Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and a visit to the Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, to experience the country’s federal administrative culture and atmosphere, Melaka as the birthplace of the Malay Sultanate, with a rich history of Asian and European influences, BoDen Edu Farm, local culture experience at Homestay Kg. Lonek, Kuala Pilah, Teratak Za’ba, etc.

The theme of the summer school, was translated into 10 lecture modules: Malaysia: The Past, Present and Future, Rojak or a Melting Pot? Cultural Diversity in Malaysia, When East Meets the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Harmonisation between Asia and Europe, Malaysia as an Islamic Hub in Asia: A Role Model, Doing Business in Asia: A European Perspective, Crisis-Migration in Asia and Europe: Challenges and Reactions, Bridging the Gap between Asia and Europe: Youth Connectivity and Appreciating Multiculturalism Through Youth’s Reflections.

AEI-ASEM Summer School participants were invited by Higher Education Minister YB Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh for lunch and a dialogue at the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia. YB Minister of Higher Education talked about the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint, discussed higher education issues with the participants and encouraged everyone to be a multilingual, a skill that is vital in a globalized world. The dialogue turned out to be fruitful and enjoyable for the participants. Throughout the two week summer school, participants indicated that they really enjoyed this 2 week programme and gained lots of new experiences and perspectives about several aspects of multiculturalism and multiethnicity.

AEI has consistently showed its commitment to increase foreign student flow, spurring balanced mobility, and it welcomes further ASEM collaboration for future ASEM Summer Schools and other initiatives.

The feedback collated from the Roundtable Session and Closing Ceremony with the theme of ASEM Summer School: Moving Forward with the Executive Director of Asia-Europe Institute. All the participants share their experience, perspective and suggestion to improve the quality of AEI-ASEM Summer School in future. Kevin Abitmayo Jatmiko, Indonesian participant, said that the AEI-ASEM Summer School improved his self-confidence to communicate with other people. He was so attracted with the action taken by Malaysian Government to conserve the historical places in Malaysia and impressed with the mindset of Malaysian to the colonialist. Republic Czech participants said that it was a great experience to be in Malaysia and Malaysia was rich the traditional culture, music and foods. Japanese and Korean participants shared their impression to learn about Malaysia traditional game such as Coconut Bowling, ‘Tarik Pelepah Kelapa’ and Catching the Fish. Thailand participants said that this summer school developed them to improve their English communication and the facilitator helped them too much to improve it. Muhammad Kamarul Bin Setapa, Malaysian participant suggested to the organizer of the AEI-ASEM Summer School to create some forum-based discussions in future so that the expertise from Asia and Europe can sit together on the same stage discussed the common issues that involve two biggest region in the world. So, the participation from audiences also will be more positive as they understand the issues better. Second, he suggested for the organizer to improve the participation from European countries in the next ASEM-Summer school in future. But, all the participants shared the common response that 2nd AEI-ASEM Summer School 2016 are awesome!

In the closing ceremony, Prof Dr Azirah said that she was grateful the 2nd AEI-ASEM Summer School has achieved it objectives to bridge and strengthen the gap between Asia and Europe.

Students Testimonial

Kevin Abimanyu Jatmiko, Indonesia

“I am really enjoying everything in this summer school programme, especially about the culture sharing with other participants on the different background and culture experiences. We learn a lot from each other and we respect our differences in culture. I am also really enjoy having a good relationship with every participants. AEI-ASEM Summer School is one of the best experience in my life.” - Kevin Abimanyu Jatmiko, Indonesia -

Veronika Mazankova, Czech Republic

“Malay people are really friendly and peaceful. Malaysia have lots of nationality like Malay, Chinese and India and they respect each other even though they have a different religion. It is very different from Middle East and other country. In Malaysia, they can live harmoniously next each other without any conflict.” - Veronika Mazankova, Czech Republic -

Nakanishi Moe, Japan

“I am impressed with the Malay culture and history because it is so unique and different from my Japanese culture. I never have a chance to be friend with Muslim people before, but after knowing them, I believe we should respect their culture and vice versa. This is one of the precious experience for me because I get to know about other culture. I am able to exchange knowledge and experiences through this AEI-ASEM Summer School programme.” - Nakanishi Moe, Japan -

Timotheus J. Krahl, German

“The AEI-ASEM Summer School was a great opportunity to learn in-depth about the different facets of Malaysia. It was a great mix of seminars, cultural activities and sightseeing. Lecturers from both Malaysia and abroad taught on various subjects ranging from history, culture, business and current affairs. They shared their knowledge and experiences with us. From the heights of the Petronas Towers, the buzzing metropolis of KL, to the country side of Negeri Sembilan and the historic city of Melaka we were able to experience Malaysia's diversity as a country. Besides what was learned, the shared experiences and memories will be remembered for the years to come. With seven different nationalities participating we did not only enjoyed learning about each other's culture and lifestyle but shared many moments of fun and laughter.- Timotheus J. Krahl, Germany -

Photo Gallery

For more pictures, visit AEI-ASEM Summer School website.

Last Updated: 27/02/2020