Overall Coordinator and Grant Holder – EU Centre in Singapore
The European Union Centre (EU Centre) in Singapore is supported by a consortium of the three public universities in Singapore – the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Management University (SMU)
In 2007, NUS and NTU responded to a call for proposal by the European Commission to set up an EU Centre in Singapore. Funded under the European Union’s Industrialised Country Instrument (ICI), the first EU Centre in Singapore and Southeast Asia was established in June 2008 and up and running in July.
It was funded under the ICI for two funding cycles from 2008-2012 and then 2013-2016. The two universities provided generous co-funding which allowed the Centre to launch several initiatives and carry out a myriad of activities and programmes to create more understanding and awareness about the EU and its relations with Singapore and Southeast Asia. Through its public lectures and talks, the EU Centre aimed to generate higher level of public awareness about the EU. The Centre also organizes a number of competitions for high school and university students to encourage more self-learning about the EU and its policies. Through its research and publications, the EU Centre also aims to build up more knowledge and reflections on how the EU works and functions, and highlight its developments.
The EU Centre was also part of the global network of Centres, Studies Institutes and Centres of Excellence supported by the EU. The Centre was particularly active in the Asia-Pacific network, working closely with Centres in Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan (and later on, Hong Kong and Macau) to hold regular conferences and workshops for both researchers and post-graduate students.
As the EU replaced the ICI with a new Partnership Instrument under its new Multiannual Financial Framework 2014 – 2020, all the EU Centres thus far supported under the ICI were asked to transition to a new model. This new model is based on application procedures operated through the Jean Monnet Programmes, which in turn is part of the EU’s Erasmus Plus Initiative.
The EU Centre in its transition to the new funding model had partnered with the Universitas Indonesia, University of Malaya and Maastricht University to successfully apply for funding under the Jean Monnet Network to support research and outreach on challenges to multilateralism and multiculturalism. The grant for this Network is from Sep 2016 – Sep 2019. The EU Centre will serve as the overall coordinator for the Network.
Universitas Indonesia (UI) is a comprehensive and multi-culture University that covers wide arrays of scientific disciplines. UI is a top ranked University in Indonesia and simultaneously strives to be one of the leading academic institution in Asia. UI was founded in 1849. Currently, UI comprises of 15 faculties, clustering under health sciences, science and technology, and Humanities and Social sciences. UI has almost 2000 academic staff and more than 48,000 students, spreading across 141 undergraduate and 154 graduate programs. The university has produced more than 400.000 alumni and continues its important role both nationally and internationally. The University operates in two campuses; one is in Jakarta and the second one is located in Depok (West Java).
The University of Malaya (UM), Malaysia’s oldest university was established in Singapore with the merger in 1949 of the King Edward VII College of Medicine (founded in 1905) and Raffles College (founded in 1928). Its 812-acre campus is strategically located within the heart of Kuala Lumpur, making it ideal for international students and visiting academics. UM is the premier multidisciplinary Research University in Malaysia with more than 23,000 students and 2,000 academic staff. There are 16 faculties, six research clusters and 50 research centres in the disciplines of Medicine, Engineering, Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
The Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) was 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. 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. In 2000, the AEC was transformed into a full-fledged academic institution. It was renamed Asia-Europe Institute and hosted by UM. AEI has in its International Master’s and doctoral programmes, a student body that encompasses various EU and Asian nations, which reflects the diversity and adaptability of its programmes. Highly qualified local and foreign visiting professors convene these postgraduate programmes in the areas of ASEAN Studies, Regional Integration and Small and Medium Enterprises. AEI focuses on strengthening institutional and individual networking, intensifying international research collaboration and nurturing cross-disciplinary and comparative perspectives, upgrading the programmes offered, and increasing the numbers of academic and student exchanges.
Closely related to AEI is the setup of the Centre for ASEAN Regionalism (or CARUM) in UM which aims to be a national resource on ASEAN and strategically build networks and partnerships to advance collaborations with researchers on the topic of ASEAN regionalism and comparative regionalism. The centre conducts research on the three pillars of the ASEAN communities and covers all aspects of ASEAN in terms of sociocultural, economic, political and security areas, as well as other broader regional endeavours.
Maastricht University has 12 000 students and 1600 academic staff, half of which are foreigners. UM is known for its innovative education system of Problem-Based Learning (PBL), its advanced research and its international orientation. UM offers almost all of its teaching programmes (both BA and MA) in English.
Maastricht University (UM) is the youngest and most international university in the Netherlands and growing rapidly. It is well-known as one of world’s leading centres for the study and research of the EU. It offers various (post)graduate degrees with a specific focus on Europe, and also hosts the Centre for European Research in Maastricht – CERiM – which since 2015 has been supported as a Centre of Excellence by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme. The Executive Board of Maastricht University further supported inter faculty teaching and research cooperation on European Studies by a UM grant of almost 1 million Euro in 2014.
FASoS has a strong tradition in researching the EU. It has 25 tenured staff members most of whom focus on different facets of European integration. The Department is particularly strong in issues such as (1) EU institutions; (2) EU democracy and civil society; (3) EU migration policy; (4) and EU external relations. Within the area of EU external relations, Maastricht scholars have especially paid attention to foreign policy, security issues and trade matters. The Maastricht “administrative governance” approach to EU external relations has resulted in a significant number of important publications (including Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, European Integration Online Papers, Security Dialogue, West European Politics, Palgrave Macmillan).
Not only does it have an excellent research climate for scholars working on EU governance, EU external relations and the role of Europe in a Globalising World, it also has the administrative infrastructure to make the project a success. Scholars at FASoS are supported by a high-qualified administrative support staff (Research Support, Finance, Personnel, ICT, etc.). This support staff is bilingual and has vast experience with large-scale European projects and grants. Maastricht University is thus well-prepared to act as coordinator of the APCOTE project.