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About the Symposia series leaders · Call for Papers · Propose a session


Symposia is a new form of think tanking. It brings together academics and thought-leaders from various disciplines within a virtual research community and provides a new forum for open discussion and exchange of ideas. The aim is to propose and discuss topical issues of pressing importance for the social, economic and cultural agenda in Malaysia, Asia and the world.

Each session of the Symposia series will focus on an important issue of current concern. Led by active researchers in the field, the Symposia series will review each topic from an informed and objective perspective. Participants will be invited to contribute to brain-storming workshops to share and debate their ideas and experience in a supportive environment. Focused on reaching some conclusions on the issues raised, the Symposia session might even reach a consensus!

The Symposia series is for everyone – all interested people from any organisation or discipline irrespective of your background or perspectives. Attendance is open to anyone and limited only by space.


Symposia looks to move beyond the tried and tested panel format and question and answer session in the belief that broadening participation and ensuring that everyone has an equal platform on which to speak can allow for a wider range of voices to be heard and that these voices can contribute to the uncovering of fresh perspectives and much needed solutions. 

To this end Symposia seeks to implement an alternative format based upon broad participation and collaboration. This seeks to bring together experienced researchers and public intellectuals with interested citizens to work together to develop answers to pressing social and political questions.

Symposia sessions will therefore begin with an introductory talk given by an invited speaker to generate talking points. Everyone will then be split into working groups, each led by a researcher on the topic under discussion  to develop ideas, and presentations will then be given by members of the groups to everyone in attendance about their groups ideas and suggestions. Sessions will then end with a general debate and a discussion on ways in which future collaboration amongst participants is possible in the hope of maintaining engagement outside of Symposia events themselves.



Symposia 5 – Defending Women, Defending Borders?: Gender and the Migrant Worker Experience

5th March 2015

Symposia December (594 x 314)

Symposia 4: Malaysia’s Immigration Crisis? The Different Experiences of Migrants, Refugees and Expats

5th December 2015


 Symposia banner

Symposia 3: An Alternative for Malayian Higher Education

5th September 2015



Symposia 2: The Higher Education Blueprint: What’s Missing?

27th June 2015


Higher Edu flyer

Symposia 1: The Future of Higher Education in Malaysia

11th April 2015





In the Press

153,850 refugees registered with UNHCR in Malaysia– The Star, 7th December 2015

Varsities that only turn out worker bees – Free Malaysia Today, 27th June 2015 


About the Symposia Series Leaders

Dr Geoffrey Williams

gw Geoffrey Williams is Founder and Director of the Academy of Responsible Management Sdn Bhd. He was formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor of Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK), Professor in the Graduate School of Business and Director of the Centre for Executive Education (CEE). An economist by background, Geoffrey is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and has held academic positions at London Business School, Pembroke College University of Oxford and the Universities of London, and Nottingham where he was Director of Research and Director of the PhD Programme in the Business School at the Malaysia Campus. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in 2004 and Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) in 2010. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Penang Institute, Malaysia and a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Industrial Management at University Malaysia Pahang (UMP). He was Deputy Chairman of EUMCCI (2012-14) and is currently chair of the Education and CSR Committees. He has held a range of commercial consultancies and also advisory roles with the UK Government and the European Union as well as government departments and agencies in Malaysia.

Dr Paul Joseph Lim

plPaul Joseph Lim is now a pensioner but wishes to remain active contributing to teaching wherever possible and in research. Presently he is a Visiting Fellow at the Penang Institute, Malaysia and Associate Fellow at the ERCCT, University of Tübingen, Germany. He was an International Visiting Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and at the European Union Centre in Taiwan at the National Taiwan University (2013-2014). He was Professor and Head of the Centre for European Studies in the Institute for Occidental Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (2010-2012), Associate and Visiting Professor and Coordinator of the European Studies Programme, Universiti Sains Malaysia (2002-2007). In between these two Malaysian forays, he was Co-Founder, Research Coordinator, Senior Academic Adviser and Acting Deputy Director of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), Brussels, stretched over two periods, 1989-2002 and 2007-2010. However, while at the EIAS, he was concurrently Political Adviser for Asia with a political group in the European Parliament (1984-1999). He obtained his Licence and Doctorate at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, in Labour Studies specialising in labour and political sociology but switching to international relations, EU-Asia and European Studies with his EIAS and European Parliament experience.


Announcement: Call for Papers

Our first three events in the Symposia series have all been concerned with the current state of Malaysian higher education. In particular they have been concerned with the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) and the ideas behind the Blueprint and its potential to transform the nature of Higher Education in Malaysia.

Based on our panel talks, workshops and group discussions Paul Lim and Geoff Williams are now looking to edit a collection…

Read More…


Do you want to propose a Symposia session?

The Symposia series is for everyone – all interested people from any organisation or discipline irrespective of your background or perspectives. We are always interested to hear about your ideas for future Symposia sessions. Please send ideas and proposals, including the outline of the topic, the aim of the session and the leaders of the presentation to


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