UTB student aces Asean-Korea essay contest

An essay entry on ASEAN Connectivity has earned a second-year student from Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) a study trip to Korea and Vietnam in January 2020.

Lai Jia Shyan – who is pursuing BEng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at UTB – was among several other students from Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam who won the five-day trip through their participation in the 2019 ASEAN-Korea Academic Essay Contest. The contest was open to ASEAN and Korean undergraduate and graduate students to share their perspectives and knowledge on ASEAN and ASEAN-Korea relations.

The participants were given four themes to choose from: Political-Security on ‘ASEAN and Korea in the Emerging Indo-Pacific’; Social-Culture on ‘Toward a Reciprocal Cultural Exchanges: ASEAN Wave in Korea’; ASEAN-Korea Relations on ‘30 Years of ASEAN-Korea Relations: Retrospect and Prospect’; and Economy on ‘ASEAN Connectivity and Beyond’.

Under the theme ‘ASEAN Connectivity and Beyond’, Lai focused on ASEAN member states as a whole of nations in combining forces to overcome challenges and cooperate with one another.

Her essay also explored how ASEAN would be able to reach its goal of connectivity and provide a mutually beneficial situation to all the member states. The future implementation of Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC) was also outlined in her winning entry.

Lai says that she is inspired at how well-organised the MPAC is in the five areas of Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence and People Mobility.

“I am really grateful that I have the opportunity to contribute and voice my opinions on the MPAC; I hope to be able to witness its tremendous progress in the years to come,” she said.

The contest was organised by the ASEAN-Korean Centre and ASEAN University Network (AUN), with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat, the Republic of Korea (ROK)’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pukyoung National University Global Area Studies Centre, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, to promote economic and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and Korea.