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The "Learning from Asia in Education" conference, which took place on 30-31 October 2023 at the MCC Centre in Budapest, provided a new perspective on education development in Asia and presented an opportunity for intensive communication between Asian and European education experts.
The conference was organised as part of the "Learning from Asia" project initiated by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Learning Institute. The aim of the project was to explore the knowledge available on educational development in Asia, with a particular focus on Asian countries that have effectively harnessed the potential of their education systems.
The event brought together ten eminent speakers from different Asian and European institutions to share their thoughts on knowledge transfer in education in plenary speeches and panel discussions. In the second part of the conference, ten Asian PhD students from Hungary presented their countries. The event was held in English and participants were able to actively ask questions to the speakers.
The presentations covered a wide range of topics. Zhang Wei, Professor at the Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, East China Normal University, Shanghai, and Executive Director of the International Research Center for Supplementary Education, said that passion for education and long-term planning are important for the development of education. The basic principles are consumer-led innovation and flexibility to change. "Do it, test it, revise it, then come back with feedback and documentation."
According to Mark Bay, head of the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong, "shadow education" is now high on the policy and research agenda. There are many teaching classes that have started as holdouts of talented teachers or as self-employment and have developed into large organisations. There is certainly much to be learned from Asia about the demand, supply and consequences of this.
"No university in Asia is truly Asian in origin," said Chang Da WAN, CEO of the HEAD Foundation in Malaysia. Asian universities can be influenced by their Western educational or cultural models. This can be called 'Western European influence', which is how they become 'hybrid universities', suggesting that some universities in East Asia are trying to mix Asian and Western educational elements or approaches in their own educational systems.
The conference was closed by Gábor Halász, professional mentor of the Learning from Asia project, who underlined the importance of the topic and the success of the conference. Further research and cooperation between Asian and European education experts is planned for the future.
The event concluded with the phrase: "Learning WITH Asia in Education," which underlined the importance of educational development and openness to Asian education systems. The success of the conference demonstrates that learning from Asian education can open up new perspectives in education, and we can expect more exciting developments in this area in the future.