ASEAN Corner in Universities (Phase 1)

Proponent : ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC)
Implementing Agency : ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC)

Background

The launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015 has garnered greater awareness and interest in ASEAN affairs. However, timely information about ASEAN is not always widely available in the universities of the region. Additionally, the public is exposed to an unequal amount of information pertaining to the three ASEAN Pillars. The Poll on ASEAN Awareness conducted in 2018 revealed that over 98% of general public respondents aged 15 and above are aware of ASEAN. Yet, less than a quarter claim to have knowledge of the ASEAN Community and its three pillars, indicating a lack of in-depth knowledge on ASEAN. This is also supported by a study conducted by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in 2017 showing that younger respondents (aged 15-30) tended to be less familiar with ASEAN than those aged 50 and above.

It is against this backdrop, a regional action must be taken to ensure that ASEAN citizens are informed about ASEAN and the ASEAN Community. Building upon previous initiatives by ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) in establishing ASEAN Corner at ASEAN National Museums to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN, this project aims to establish information centres in the libraries of higher education institutions in the ASEAN Member States (AMS).

What is the project aiming for?

This is a pilot project which aims to establish ASEAN Corners in 10 member universities of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) through the AUN Inter-Library Online (AUNILO). The ASEAN Corners will thus serve as a knowledge hub for students and academics, and further promote ASEAN awareness and identity. Each corner will be equipped with a dedicated computer terminal or handheld device that will showcase a wide range of topics including the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA); a flagship ASEAN-JAIF initiative to raise greater appreciation and awareness of cultural artefacts from museums and other cultural institutions in ASEAN. Further, it will help to:

  • Enhance access to information on ASEAN initiatives and policies to students, university staff and public; and
  • Enhance understanding of ASEAN and ASEAN Community.

ASEAN’s relevance can only be achieved and maintained when our community has deep understanding and awareness of ASEAN. Apart from bringing the benefit to the people, the relevance of ASEAN should bring benefit to the region and the world. By having one solid Narrative on ASEAN Identity, it will help us actualise ourselves more.

Interview with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister
Retno Marsudi on ASEAN Identity
The ASEAN Magazine – Issue 01, May 2020, page 12

 

Overall, the project ASEAN Corner in Universities (Phase 1) contributes to the attainment of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025, particularly on raising ASEAN awareness and identity as stipulated in Strategic Measure A.2.vi: Promote ASEAN awareness among government officials, students, children, youths and all stakeholders as part of ASEAN identity and E.1.x Project ASEAN’s visibility through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder branding efforts which are represented by common ASEAN identifiers. It also contributes to the ASEAN Communication Master Plan II (2018-2025) of enhancing public access to ASEAN knowledge.

The project commenced in March 2021 with set up of ASEAN Corners in the selected universities will take place from June 2021 as per the project’s work plan.

As of 31 May 2021