The Estonian Institute of Humanities (EHI) of Tallinn University is the only institution in Estonia that provides comprehensive degree programmes in Asian studies. Today the Institute teaches Asia related curricula at the Bachelor’s level (5 major subjects), the Master’s level (6 major subjects) and at the PhD level (the latter as a part of the programme for Studies of Cultures).
At the Master’s level students can major in the following specialties: studies of Japan; studies of China; studies of Turkey and Middle East; history of religion in Middle East and Asia; East-Asian philosophy; Asian societies and politics.
The Department of Asia teaches the following languages: Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Arabic, Sanskrit, Korean and Persian. The main emphasis lies on offering instruction (teaching activities) – in 2014 there was 190 full-time students (including 154 at the Bachelor’s level, 26 at the Master’s level and 10 at the PhD level).
Asia is featured in many EHI research or implementation projects:
The project funded by the European Commission’s 7th framework programme ‘Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion’ (2013-2015) studies social policy developments in various countries of Southeast Asia. EHI participates in the project as one of the 10 partners, 5 of whom come from the European Union, and 5 are from Southeast Asia.
The State-funded project ‘Culturescapes in transformation: towards an integrated theory of meaning making’ (2013–2018)
The State-funded project ‘Power, Networks and Identities in Myanmar/Burma Under the Impact of Globalization‘ (realised in 2011–2013)
The State-funded project ‘Typology of change in cultural paradigms under secondary modernisation’ (2008-2012)
The Institute of Political Science and Governance of Tallinn University offers some Asia related courses, and together with the Estonian Institute for Future Studies has participated in the following contract-based Asia studies:
The study commissioned by the Chancellery of the Riigikogu ‘Strategies of Asian policy: experiences of Asian strategies in European countries and recommendations to Estonia’ (RU/7011) / J.Käkönen / carried out in 2011
The study commissioned by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu ‘The capacity of Estonian public sector towards Asia and the expectations of enterprises’ (TP/6514) / E.Terk / 2014
Confucius Institute, i.e. the centre for Chinese language and culture, with the head office being the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) was established within Tallinn University in 2010. Across the world there are altogether 360 Confucius Institutes, constituting a network the membership of which includes Tallinn University, the only university from Estonia. Confucius Institute is actively promoting Chinese language courses for all interested parties, from beginners to advanced learners. Moreover, Confucius Institute also offers the possibility of taking the Chinese language proficiency exam HSK, which is an analogue of the TOEFL and IELTS test for the English language.
Tallinn University has established institutional collaboration relations in the following Asian countries, with inter-university cooperation contracts concluded for exchange of teachers, researchers and students.
Japan (Waseda University, University of Tsukuba, Yamagata University, Gakushuin Colledge);
South Korea (Kyung Hee University, Ajou University, Kyungpook University);
People’s Republic of China (Guangxi University, Shanghai University, Communication University of China);
Turkey (Istanbul University, Kocaeli University);
Taiwan (Providence University, Chengchi University);India
In 2013 Tallinn University signed an agreement on joining the European Consortium for Asian Field Study (GIP-ECAF), thus making Tallinn University a member of a Euro-Asian research institution network that has Asia centres in the following locations: Bangkok, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kathmandu AAI, Kathmandu SAI, Kuala Lumpur, Kyoto EFEO, Kyoto ISEAS, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Pondicherry, Pune, Saidu Sharif, Seoul, Siem Riep, Taipei, Tokyo, Vientiane, Yangon. The accession agreement gives researchers of Tallinn University access to the network’s work premises, libraries and local academic and diplomatic networks in the above listed Asian countries.