LFA Conference


Learning from Asia in Education confernce
2023.10. 30-31.

The ‘Learning from Asia’ project is a knowledge-building initiative of the MCC’s Learning Institute, which aims to explore the available knowledge on educational development in Asia (particularly in those countries in East and South-East Asia that have successfully modernised their economies and societies, effectively mobilising the potential of their education systems). The project’s main objective is to create an intensive and continuous communication between European and Asian researchers and experts with a professional interest and active involvement in education policy development and implementation.

The ‘Learning from Asia in Education’ conference was focusing on the above-mentioned knowledge transfer between Asia and Europe in the field of education. We have invited ten eminent speakers from renowned Asian and European institutions to share their thoughts on the subject in plenary speeches and panel discussions and ten Asian PhD students studying in Hungary have presented their doctoral research from a Learning from Asia perspective as part of the conference.

The conference was held in English.

The first day of the conference took place with great interest, streamed live, at the MCC headquarters in Budapest. The conference was opened by Péter Lánczi, Deputy Director General of Mathias Corvinus Collegium, followed by János Setényi, Director of the Institute for Research on Learning, who welcomed the guests and introduced the speakers.

The morning started with a presentation by Gábor Halász, professional mentor of Research of the Learning from Asia project, “The idea of ‘Learning from Asia’”. After the presentation, invited speakers gave presentations on different topics: Wei Zhang – “Learning to Survive or to Thrive: The Interplay of State, Market and People in the Regulation of Shadow Education”, Chang Da Wan – “Distinctly Homogeneous: Unpacking the Nuances of Asian Higher Education”, Que Anh Dang – “Learning about and from Normative Power China in international education cooperation”, Yun You – “Learning from China beyond PISA”, Lucia Chauvet Katherine Forestier – “Learning from ‘high performing’ Hong Kong: the rhetoric and reality of England’s interest”

In the afternoon, PhD students from the Learning from Asia project presented the educational situation in their countries, moderated by Richárd Fodor and Enikő Szakos from the Institute of Learning Research, Moldir Pocstar – “Women leadership in Kazakhstan”, Byambasuren Nyamkhuu – “Curriculum in Mongolia”, Pu Yu – “Shadow Education in China”, Thiri Pyae Kyaw – “Epistemological Beliefs in Myanmar”, Anisa Trisha Pabingwit – “Intercultural Engagement: Asian students in Hungary”, Marhadi Marhadi – “Freedom to Learn Programme in Indonesia”, Yang Yang – “Higher Education in China”, Xu Yingjie – “Moral Education in China” . At the end of each performance, the audience actively asked questions of the audience.

The day ended with a panel discussion, where our speakers explored the following questions. What advice would you give for planning the continuation of the project? What is missing in the project concept paper, what would you add? What are the most debatable or questionable parts of the project’s conceptual framework?

The second day was continued with 3 presentations: Presentation by János Győri  – “A personal-professional journey in the world of East Asian education – striving to understand and develop”, Presentation by Yan Liu – “From School-based research and professional learning to a good class: theory and practice in China”, Presentation by Mark Bray  – “Shadow Education in Asia: What Others can Learn about Cultures, Economics and Policies”

A short coffee break was followed by a round table discussion, at the end of which conference participants were invited to ask questions, resulting in a lively discussion between  speakers and guests. Among the questions discussed were: What challenges do you see for the future development of the project? How should we continue working together? What are the most important aspects that can be taken from what was said at the conference?

Gábor Halász summed up the conference, highlighting the importance of the topic, the success of the conference and the need for further research and cooperation, and then, together with János Setényi, Director of our Institute, concluded the event with the following sentence: “Learning WITH Asia in Education”.

The end of a highly successful conference is not the end of the work. Shanghai has already applied to host the next conference, provided that it can develop the technical content together with the MCC. It has been suggested that Routledge, one of the world’s top academic publishers, could join MCC Press in publishing the conference proceedings. A school district in Hungary is thinking of spreading the Japanese-Chinese “lesson study” method.