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The English Speaking Union International Relations Conference Contest 2008

Participants will be required to write approx. 150 words, “How International Relations can benefit Malaysia”

Prize :

Winner gets to attend

The English Speaking Union International Relations Conference 2008
27 th – 2 nd  August 2008 (Sunday – Saturday)
Oriel College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Inclusive of

  • Airticket for one pax: Kuala Lumpur/London/Kuala Lumpur
  • Transfer : London/Oxford/London
  • Lectures and visits as per conference programme
  • Accommodation and meals during the conference

Qualification and requirements:

  • Age: 30 –35 years (but those as young as 22 fit in well)
  • Competition is open to all Malaysians who are members of The English Speaking Union of Malaysia. It is never too late to become a member ! Membership fees is only RM30 per annum. Please visit our website and submit us your membership application form.
  • Please also include in your submission : Name (as per I/C), I/C number, nationality, degrees and qualifications, address, tel number (home, office and mobile), email address
  • Closing date: 5th April 2008 (Saturday)
  • All submissions should be sent to: ESU International Relations Conference, English Speaking Union Malaysia, Wisma BGAM, 15B Jalab SB Indah 1/18, Taman Sungai Besi Indah, 43300 Seri Kembangan or email to:
  • For more information on ESU Malaysia, please log on to or call Tel: 03-8942 6278

Background on the conference:

The ESU International Relations Conference will deal with a variety of issues relating to both International Relations and to Britain’s international role in the world today. The aim of the conference is to give participants the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Britain and to widen their outlook on world issues.

It also offers a unique opportunity to make individual contacts with people from various fields, cultures and backgrounds.

In 2007, 34 delegates attended the conference and they represented a total of 30 countries. The majority of delegates were young professionals from the fields of trade and industry, law, journalism, teaching and the diplomatic service.

During the week, four main topics will be covered : International Relations, British Institutions, British Culture and Education, the Developing World and International Trade and Industry. Each session will take the form of a short lecture followed by a comprehensive discussion involving all delegates.   There will also be a visit to a performance of Hamlet.

The conference is an annual event and has taken place annually for over 40 years. The venue has traditionally been one of the colleges in Oxford and in 2008, as in the last fourteen years, it will be held in Oriel.

Previous speakers have included :

The Lord Watson of Richmond CBE , Chairman, CTN Communications; Mr Edward Gould, Deputy Chairman, The English-Speaking Union; Prof. Alan Lee Williams OBE, Director, The Atlantic Council; Mark Simmonds MP, Shadow Minister for International Development and Ralph Land CBE, Chairman of the Russo-Britain Chamber of Commerce.

Report on ESU International Relations Conference 2008
by Tan Hui Theng, winner of the Essay Writing Competition held in April 2008, organised by the English Speaking Union of Malaysia.

My presence at the annual ESU International Relations Conference 2008 held at Oriel College, Oxford was made possible with generous and kind sponsorship from ESU Malaysia, ESU London and the sponsors. The event, which took place from 27 July to  2 August 2008, highlighted issues on international relations in general and Britain’s international role in the world today. A total of 26 delegates from 22 countries from Asia, South America and Europe exchanged their views and cultures during the one-week conference. The delegates from different background were professionals in different areas and their professions ranged from teacher, lawyer, medical specialist and PhD student to government officials and lecturers.

The conference started with Introduction and Opening Dinner by Katie Brock, Head of International and Cultural Programmes, ESU on the first day. Subsequent days were filled with lectures given by different experts in their own fields including Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG, (former British Ambassador to the United Nations in New York), Prof. Alan Lee Williams OBE (Chairman, Sir William Beveridge Foundation), Lord Watson of Richmond CBE (Chairman Emeritus, International Council of the English-Speaking Union), Mr Ralph Land CBE (Chairman of Trustees, British Consultancy Charitable Trust), Mr Edward Gould (Deputy Chairman, English-Speaking Union) and Dr Alastair Niven (Principal of Cumberland Lodge).

The speakers shared their knowledge on different topics including Business and the Environment, Peace Keeping and Peace Enforcing, International Development, Education in Britain, Parliament and the Parties, The Status of the Arts, Eastern Europe and the EU and British Legal System. Delegates were also given the chance to voice their viewpoints and experiences during the lectures, thus making each session more interesting and fruitful for everybody.

Apart from lectures, we were also brought to some interesting places in Oxford in a tour on foot as most attractions in the university city were located close to one another. On the fourth day, we visited Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare steeped in culture and history. Interesting landmarks in this town included the Shakespearian properties which were sixteenth-century houses connected with Shakespeare and his family and Shakespeare's Birthplace. We were also lucky to be given the opportunity to watch a play titled Hamlet which was based on the work of Shakespeare, England's greatest poet and playwright.

We knew the great experience at the conference would come to an end soon with the Closing Dinner held on Friday 1 August. Although it would be the last dinner that the delegates would have together for the event, we were happy to hear more about ESU from Mrs Valerie Mitchell OBE, Director-General who was the Guest Speaker that night.

The conference allowed delegates to open their minds and mouths to exchange views and share different values and rich cultures as they learned not only about Britain, its systems and culture but also other countries where the delegates were from. To me, the delegates were little Ambassadors of their own countries whose presence complement the objectives and missions of the event and ESU in general.

Report on ESU International Relations Conference 2008
by Tan Hui Theng




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The English Speaking Union of Malaysia
Secretariat Office, 2nd Floor, Wisma BGAM, 15B, Jalan Sungei Besi Indah 1/18
Taman Sungei Besi Indah, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Tel : +60 3 8942 6278     Fax : +60 3 8948 0187     Email:
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