Asia can foster better ties through education systems, says EU

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) • FMT Reporters • August 3, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The head of the European Union Delegation to Malaysia has called for Asian nations to foster greater international relations through its education systems.

Maria Castillo Fernandez, who is also the EU ambassador to Malaysia, said she believed this was the way forward in addressing issues affecting the region.

Fernandez pointed out that Europe had been successful in fostering greater relations through its curriculum and making it easy for Europeans to travel around the continent.

“In our curriculum, we speak about the history of Europe, not about the history of Spain or France,” she said at a press conference in conjunction with the Asia-Europe Conference 2017 at the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya here today.

“One of the most successful projects in Europe has been the Erasmus Programme.

“In the Erasmus Programme, all our children can go one year at a university in one European country and another year at different countries without losing out.

“Now, 90% of university courses all through Europe have incorporated this programme.”

The Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is an EU student exchange programme established in 1987.

“Through the Erasmus Programme, students are also able to meet with other European students and they realise that the problems they face in their country are the same problems other people their age face in their own country,” Fernandez said.

“People of Asia need to feel just at home in Jakarta as they do in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. You learn the language a little bit, you interact with the same younger generation as yourself in other countries and through similar issues you find your Asian link.”

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