University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of Nottingham Malaysia Working Alongside HK, To Foster Cultural Performing Arts Education

University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) has inked a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong (Barwo) and the Cantonese Opera Academy of Hong Kong Ltd (COA) to strengthen its performing arts education presence in the region. 

UNM hopes to build a long-lasting relationship with international artistic communities and individuals, to offer students a more valuable educational experience, through this partnership with Barwo and COA. 


UNM hopes that, through this partnership with Barwo and COA, they can build long-lasting relationships with international artistic communities, to offer students a more valuable educational experience.

“UNM is extremely proud to partner with The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong and the Cantonese Opera Academy to perpetuate the important art form that is Cantonese Opera,” said UNM’s Vice Provost of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Andy Chan. 

“As a global institution, we believe that by fostering cross-cultural relationships we will be able to expose our students to the history, culture and practices of a multitude of nations. This is crucial in teaching our young minds to think more globally and thus, more creatively,” he added. 

The partnership also falls in line with UNM’s intention to engage with local and international Cantonese Opera communities. UNM believes this experience will help expose their communities to numerous skills and values that are highly beneficial for their development, whether artistically or wholistically. This is especially true with Cantonese Opera, an invaluable part of the world’s heritage which not only originates from a rich history, but also involves highly technical choreography and a distinct visual aesthetic, unique to any other culture. 

“With this, we hope to share the tradition with future generations and across different cultures, so that more people can experience the beauty of traditional Cantonese opera,” said Dr Elizabeth Wang Ming-chun. 

“This will benefit more than just our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) students. For all who walk through our doors, we can only hope that when they leave, we’ve provided the right nurturing environment they need to then serve the world,” Professor Chan explained. 

The partnership with Barwo and COA will benefit all parties and potentially offer a dedicated platform for shared projects, and professional and academic research opportunities. Students of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) International Communications Studies with Performing Arts (ICSwPA) too will benefit from exchange, internship, transfer and professional experience opportunities. 

UNM also hopes it will draw more international students to Malaysia to further their studies, following the Government’s aspiration to establish Malaysia as the hub of choice for international education. 

According to UNESCO, performing arts is an intangible element of cultural heritage that is at threat of being lost to modernisation and standardisation, with many abandoning the traditional arts to conform to social norms. As modern performing arts itself originates from the many cultural practices from all over the world, by underappreciating traditional arts, we risk losing sense of what makes the performing arts industry so unique. UNM believes it is their duty to educate the youth and keep traditions alive for generations to come.

Posted on 16th March 2022

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of Nottingham Malaysia
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