Constructing Asia: Governance, Institutions and Identity - Malaysia

This program for Undergraduate students offers a multidisciplinary study of the dynamics and complexities of contemporary Asia by focusing on the politics, culture and economics of the region. Using Higher Education Learning Philosophy (HELP) University in Malaysia as the point of engagement, students will gain from a historically grounded understanding of Asian societies and the social and economic change in a variety of institutional - local, regional and global - settings. This will be facilitated by local fieldtrips and workplace experience with established Malaysian companies, government agencies and cultural institutions.

To further enhance understanding of how Malaysia operates regionally, students will enjoy a three day sidetrip to one of Malaysia's neighbouring countries.

This program runs from 3 January to 9 February 2018.

Funding is available to support four students in 2018, with a grant of AUD $3,000 awarded to each successful applicant to put towards the $5,000 program fee. Flights are in addition to this and are payable by the student.

This short program is open to CASS students only.



Students who complete this course will get 6 units of credit toward their ANU degree. Some students will be awarded unspecified elective credit, which will appear on their transcripts as ARTS1900 or ARTS2900. Others, for whom this course will substitute for one of the courses listed in the rules of their degree, will get specified credit. If you wish to obtain approval for specified credit, you will need to apply before you leave for Malaysia. You will need to confirm these arrangements with the CASS Student Office.


Mode of delivery

  • Lectures (3 hours x 4 Days x 4 weeks)
  • Tutorials (2 hours x 4 Days x 4 weeks)
  • Weekly seminars by industry captains and experts on regional economic, political, development, social and cultural issues.
  • Weekly field trips to established Malaysian multinationals and meetings with the CEOs of these companies.
  • A 4 day/ 3 night trip international immersion experience exploring the culture, developmental issues and business environment of that country.


Assessment items

The module will be internally assessed on the basis of:

  • Assignment (25%) - written assignments with approximately 1500 words
  • Project (25%) - written assignments with approximately 1800 words
  • Final examination (50%) - a three hour closed book examination

The examination paper comprises of 8 Essay questions of which students only answer 5 questions.


Module content






Conceptualizing Asia: From the Local to the Global


Nationalism, Politics and Asian Values


States, Security and International Relations


Governance: The State vs Markets debate & Globalisation


Culture, Values and Social Change: Weber in Asia


Governance, Networks and Culture: The Curious Case of Chinese Family Capitalism in S.E.Asia


Ethnicity, Religious Renewal and Identity: How Not to Get Along


The Middle Class Revolution: Mobile Phones, McDonalds and Societal Transformation?


Governing Regionalism: Networks of Relationships and Rules in Post-War Asia


From Security to Trade to Security again? : The Case of ASEAN


Supranational Architecture : Asia, Global Economic Governance and Power Contestations


Group Presentation on a selected topic.


Seminar topics




Ambitions and Challenges of Regional Integration:

  • The ASEAN Economic Community
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  • One Belt, One Road


Race, Religion and Nationalism - Influence and impact on economic, social and political realities.


Development and Security in an age of Terror.


Asian Environmental Challenges, OR

Leadership: Governance and Sustainability


Other possible seminar topic areas

  • Asian Environmental Challenges
  • Asian Civilizations and Cultures
  • Asian Geo-economics and political security
  • Asian Development Models
  • Population and Migration Impact
  • Human Rights (human trafficking, gender)
  • Globalization: enrichment and immiseration
  • Business Culture and Innovation
  • The Education Agenda
  • Leadership: Governance and Sustainability
  • Business Leadership: Creative Models for Business and Education
  • Leadership Development Agenda



The New Colombo Plan grant of AUD $3,000 will be paid to each successful applicant to then pay the associated fees and flights directly, with any out of pocket expense to be covered by the student.

The cost of the program is $5,000 AUD. This cost will include the following items:

  • Accommodation for the duration of the course
  • Tuition for the 4-credit hour course
  • 3 day-trips
  • 3 half-day seminars
  • Internship placement and costs
  • Airport transfer
  • EMGS and administrative fees

These items will be arranged and paid for by HELP University and students will be required to pay the $5,000 fee directly to HELP.

Flights are not included and will need to be booked and paid for by the successful applicants. The coordination of flights will be facilitated by the CASS Associate Dean International's office.


Eligibility and other requirements

  • Students applying for the grant must be Australian citizens.
  • Passports must be valid for one year of travel.
  • A Visa is required - HELP University will help facilitate this process.
  • Vaccination - please consult the ANU Health Service.


Deadline for applications

30 September 2017.


Further information and queries

Further information can be found on HELP University's website, noting that the fee costing will be different to the CASS packaged program.

Please find below a list of contacts to assist you direct queries appropriately: