Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 2018
In this chapter, we summarize the key findings from our 2014 survey of 4,623 university students across twenty-two universities in the ten ASEAN member states. More details supporting these summarized findings are found in subsequent chapters. The 2014 survey included returning to survey students at ten primary national universities, replicating our 2007 ASEAN Awareness Survey and expanding it to twelve additional universities in selected nations across the region. The twelve additional universities were purposefully sampled in order to test for regional, socio-economic and/or ethno-religious differences in particular nations. These results give us specific insights into variations or similarities within particular nations as well as indications of the extent to which we generally find, or do not find, significant within-nation and across-nation variation. In other words, they give us insights into whether our findings appear to be particular to specific groups within nations, are nationally framed, or are more generally shared across the region.
The most general finding from comparing within-nation samples is that there tend to be strong national frames-ofreference with regard to the university students’ attitudes toward and awareness of ASEAN and its member states. However, there are some exceptions on particular points, where students from universities within nations differ. The largest overall difference within nations is in Malaysia, between the majority Malay students at University of Malaya (UM) and largely Chinese-Malaysian students at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). On multiple measures, there is evidence that these students do not share a very similar perspective on ASEAN and Southeast Asia, despite all being Malaysian citizens. Results from a third university in Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), where we purposefully sampled indigenous (Bumiputera) but non-Malay students from East Malaysia, show that those students’ responses are mostly aligned with their Malay counterparts at UM (and differ from the Chinese- Malaysian UTAR students).
Elsewhere, despite some differences regionally, ethnically, or socio-economically among the students, these were largely subsumed within broad national similarities on how students view ASEAN. There were some minor variations, such as between Muslim-minority students from Mindanao and their counterparts in the northern and central Philippines and between Christian-minority students from eastern Indonesia and their counterparts in Jakarta and Aceh in the far west of the archipelago.