IaH National Conference in Malaysia


The FRIENDS project Internationalisation at Home (IaH) National Conference coincided with APU’s 3rd Annual FRIENDS Day celebrations on July 24th 2022. The event started with an introduction to the APU and BUC FRIENDS teams, with an introduction to Erasmus+, and to the FRIENDS project.

The FRIENDS family was introduced to set the context of the project across SE Asia, and to provide some background into the need for students to demonstrate an ability to work with people from different cultures during their internships and when they move into employment.

The background to Internationalisation at Home (IaH) was provided to identify the skills required for the future careers. The main points raised would be referred to within the guest speakers’ sessions late in the conference.

As this event coincided with 3rd Annual FRIENDS Day celebrations the conference also provided the United Nations International Day of friendship definition which states “Friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities” … “by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust“ … “to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.”

The conference continued by providing details of the activities conducted at both APU and BUC over the last two years and concluded the opening session with some feedback from students to indicate what they thought of the intercultural passport module and the Teahouse activities. A total of 49 attendees participated in the event.

The first speaker, Professor Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi, Provost and CEO (Heriot-Watt University Malaysia) introduced the concept of soft skills through his ability to weave stories into his message. The student participants well engrossed with his session I found it enlightening.

Following the first speaker it was time for the APU student boot camp winners to be interviewed about their experiences of the module and of the boot camp, as well as identifying the lessons learned and count these lessons will assistant in their future careers.

The second speaker, Ayse Deniz Ozkan, Vice-Director responsible for Global Education and Partnerships at Istanbul Aydin University, Turkey, provided a session on intercultural awareness at what this means for everybody no matter if they are a student and lecturer, or a general member of the public.

The final speaker of the day was associate professor Dr Shankar Chelliah associate professor Connor School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, who spoke on the need to be globally minded to be competitive in the job market and to become a future entrepreneur.

Following the final presentation, it was time to reveal the winners of the September 2021 and November 2021 Intercultural Awareness and Cultural Diversity student digital stories. The winning stories were announced, and played, followed by interviews with two of the four winners who were available to join the event.


Once again, the students were able to provide some good understanding of culture and cultural awareness through their own personal experiences, which assisted them to win their prizes.

The session concluded with a round up from all the presenters with a clear message that Internationalisation at Home (IaH) is vital for students moving forward into their careers and should be considered as a vital element for all institutes of higher learning. of all feedback responses, 79% were very satisfied and satisfied from the event.

FRIENDS National Conferences on IaH Agenda

FRIENDS National Conferences on IaH Report

Video of the Event on Facebook

Video of the Event

Comments are closed.