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From Korean studies to shaping positive student journeys

10 July 2020

A global pandemic and university-wide move to remote online learning has certainly made for a busy first few months for the College of Asia and the Pacific’s new Associate Dean, Student Experience, Dr Roald Maliangkaij.

With COVID-19 completing transforming student experiences across the College, Roald has hit the ground running in his new role since commencing in March this year.  

While this has undoubtedly been challenging, Roald believes the rapid move to online learning is leading to innovation in teaching approaches.     

“COVID-19 has forced us to quickly rethink how we deliver our courses, and this experience presents us with an unexpected opportunity to reconsider how we might offer courses in the future," Roald said.

“I’m hopeful our efforts will contribute to better and more effective engagement, and an improved experience overall.”

The senior academics there took me under their wing and taught me how to convene courses, as well as how to be a good mentor and colleague.

Heading into his new role, Roald was focused on identifying factors which affect students’ study experiences and “extrapolating the wide range of approaches to teaching and assessment”.


“Thankfully I am surrounded by people with heaps of expertise, and providing good teaching development support services is a team effort,” said Roald.

Reflecting upon his own experiences as a student, Roald strongly feels that a great university learning experience is a “combination of people and place”.  

“I believe that apart from teaching, the support and peer pressure of fellow students really defines the learning experience,” said Roald.

“It is not simply a sum of good grades and effective teaching only.

“We need places that bring people together.”

Roald completed his undergraduate degree in Korean studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. 

He then moved to the SOAS University of London to write a PhD dissertation on Korea’s heritage management system, before returning to the Netherlands to teach at Leiden and the University of Amsterdam while repeatedly returning to SOAS to convene a course on Korean history.

“While my work in Leiden was exclusively related to Korean language and culture, in Amsterdam I taught courses that were quite similar to ASIA1025 Asia and the Pacific: Power, diversity and change and ASIA1030 Asia and the Pacific in Motion offered at the School of Culture, History and Language within CAP,” said Roald.

“The senior academics there took me under their wing and taught me how to convene courses, as well as how to be a good mentor and colleague.”

Roald moved to ANU in 2006 to head the Korean language program, which has since become one of the fastest growing programs in the university. The program has grown from approximately 25 students to several hundred today.

Since joining ANU, Roald has worked in various roles across the college and is currently serving as the convener of the Korean studies program. His areas of expertise lie in cultural industries, performance and consumption in Korea from the early twentieth century to the present.

Roald’s professional experience teaching in various universities around the world has led him to believe effective communication and listening are vital in shaping a positive student experience.

“Engaging well with students and explaining the rationale for the design of a course and its assessment is important,” said Roald.

He believes the work environment and support within the College of Asia and Pacific makes it a great place to study and teach.

“CAP is the best place to be.”

Interested in studying at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific? Learn more about the programs offered by the College here.

Image: Supplied




Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team