In the News

2017-12-10 00:00:02

Lecturer Brunalas: Interest in E. Asian Countries on the Rise in EU Univ

At the beginning of September, a unique international lecture series was initiated at Mykolas Romeris University (MRU): “Introductory Course to East Asian Community: Cultural, Political and Economic Aspects,” writes the online news portal, in the Sept. 20th, 2017 issue.

Lecturers and academics from throughout the world analysed the most important aspects of East Asia during the lecture series. It is Japan “One Asia Foundation’s“ first supported project in the Baltic States, which is implemented by MRU.

An international lecturers team from Japan, the U.S., Germany, the U.K. Romania and Lithuania, includes 13 academics. They presented free lectures regarding the East Asia region to all those interested until the end of December at MRU. Subject areas included: East Asian region policy, social, economic, cultural processes and developments as well as various Asian countries’ development dynamics and role in the world.

Mykolas Romeris University Education and Research Vice-Rector Dr. Inga Žalėnienė says that the joint project with “One Asia Foundation” is the result of many years of dedicated, hard work. “For many years, Mykolas Romeris University has been strengthening ties with Asian universities. With long-time partner, South Korea’s Dongseo University, we have implemented a joint studies programme, “Informatics and Visual Contents.” Žalėnienė noted that close cooperation with Asian universities, various educational, cultural organizations and foundations, is one of the priorities of the University’s internationalization.

The Future of the Entire World Depends on Asia

The head of the project, MRU Lecturer Benas Brunalas, says that the East Asian region is complex and very interesting. This lecture series is a unique opportunity to feel the political, economic, and cultural pulse of the most important Asian countries. “Global political and economic centers today are forming in East Asia,” said Brunalas. –The biggest infrastructure and financial projects are initiated there. On the other hand, East Asia at this time has attracted the world’s attention as an important diplomatic area, where joint cooperation is necessary to resolve issues such as neutralization of North Korea’s nuclear programme. In other words, not only economics and finance, but also geopolitical problems, having global meaning, “are layered” in Asia.”

Brunalas noted that East Asian studies are of utmost importance at this time. This is due not only to the dynamism of the economies of Japan, South Korea and China, but also due to the cultural and historical uniqueness of East Asia. “Looking at the East Asian region’s cultural heritage, it is difficult to understand whether there are more similiarities or differences here.”
According to Brunalas, the East Asian region today is one of the most important places where global geopolitical, economic, ideological interests meet. At the same time, it is a region where how countries cooperate and find joint interests, will lay the foundation of the future of the entire world. That is why for us, representatives of Western culture, it is very important to understand this region’s cultural, political, social specifics and look for joint interests and understanding.

Brunalas said that this is the reason why interest in East Asian countries is on the rise in European Union (EU) universities. Various foundations and Asian organizations are also seeking out closer cooperation.”

“It is important that not only Lithuania’s academic community, but also society, follow these tendencies,” noted Brunalas. For Lithuania, due to its geostrategic location, the know-how of East Asian countries should be of pragmatical interest. That is why the “One Asia Foundation” financed lecture series and the allotted scholarships and support for student study excursions to East Asian universities, is a great way to develop academically-important studies.”

Lecturers Come from Asia and Europe

One of the most interesting aspects of the lecture series is that lecturers are Asians and Europeans. That is one of the advantages of the lecture series, Brunalas noted. Westerners can present their insights from their perspective and thereby seek common ground. U.S. Prof. Joseph Pilotta presented a lecture in October on the Ties Between Confucianism and Democratization. In addition, many intercultural, social differences are noted by Asians themselves, which they will discuss in the lectures. In October “One Asia Foundation” Chairman Yoji Sato presented a lecture. He was excited about the prospect that the lecture series was met with interest by Mykolas Romeris University students from abroad. He emphasized that the lectures are free and open to all interested in East Asia. More information about the lectures and times here: