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University of Tartu

KESKLINNtuAsia has been a topic of studies at University of Tartu since its foundation. Professional Oriental studies began in the 19th century, and in the first half of the 20th century University of Tartu had engaged a number of great names of Estonian Oriental Studies such as Leo Leesment, Uku Masing and Pent Nurmekund.

Since September of 2016, the University’s Asia related work is coordinated through University of Tartu Asian Centre.  The aim of the Asian Centre is to make the Asian studies at the University of Tartu more visible and more beneficial for the society by arranging prestigious research events, developing the existing study modules, offering in-service training courses and popularising the acquired knowledge actively in the public. The Asian Centre at the University of Tartu attempts to involve all researchers, institutes and projects that deal with Asian themes in a broader or narrower sense into a cooperation network. The Centre forms a joint platform for these activities by uniting researchers within the University, contributing to the presentation of various research areas (Asian languages, Chinese and Japanese culture, Oriental religions, etc.) to the public and helping to find cooperation partners for launching research projects. The Asian Centre coordinates and develops research and teaching of Asian studies between the faculties listed below.

The Institute for Cultural Research and Fine Arts of the Faculty of Philosophy is the home of the Centre for Oriental Studies, where most of the Asia related learning and research in University of Tartu is taking place. The Centre is an interdisciplinary structural unit, the objective of which is organisation and carrying out of educational and research work in Oriental studies, and co-ordination of development projects related to Oriental studies. Lecture courses organised by the Centre for Oriental Studies mostly discuss cultural and social topics of China, India, Middle East and Korea. Among other languages, the  Language Centre of the Faculty of Philosophy teaches Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Turkish and Farsi.

The Faculty of Theology teaches and studies a number of Asian religions. The main emphasis is traditionally on Abrahamic religions of the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Research on ancient Middle-Eastern (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian) cultures and religions has earned international recognition. Religions of Indian and Chinese origin are discussed within the framework of comparative theology. The Faculty of Theology also teaches several ancient and classical languages that are linked with the religions of these regions.

Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences carries out research on domestic and foreign policy of Asian countries. The main areas of research are the politics and the society of China and the security policy in Southeast Asia.

The Centre for Asian and Emerging Market Research of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration is focussing on the growing role of Asian countries in the global economy, and the resulting opportunities offered to Estonian businesses. The Centre studies, inter alia, the hitherto experience and possibilities of Estonian companies on Asian markets, trends of international trade and foreign investments, Asian business culture, etc.

In addition to the faculties, University of Tartu is also a home for the Estonian Oriental Society i.e. EAO. EAO is an organisation that brings together scholars and creative persons/Orientalists. The objective of the Society is to promote understanding of Oriental culture of among the Estonian audience through research, translation, teaching and other creative work. Among other activities EAO organises Annual Conferences of the Estonian Oriental Society, Orientalists from across Estonia deliver reports on their studies.

University of Tartu has established institutional cooperation relations with several Asian countries. Inter-university cooperation agreements facilitating exchange of the teaching staff, researchers and students, have been concluded with the following universities:

China: Hong Kong Baptist University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Jiaotong University, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Southeast University, Shanghai University, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Tongji University.

India: Jawaharlal Nehru University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani (BITS-Pilani), Gurukula Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Central University of Karnataka (CUK), Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya,

Japan: Waseda University, Kansai Gaidai University, Hokkaido University, Gakushuin University, Kanagawa University

South Korea: Jeonju University, Pusan University, Soongsil University, Chung-Ang

Taiwan: National Taiwan Normal University, National Chengchi University

Vietnam: Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hanoi University of Pharmacy

Nepal: Tribhuvan University

Kazakhstan: KIMEP University, Kazakh National Medical University n. S.D.Asfendiarov, The Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan: Osh State University (OshSU), University of Kyrgyzstan, International School of Medicine