What is the Asian Programme?


NOTICE: Change in the Asian Programme Schedule:
The Asian Programme will undergo a transition period during which the programme will change from its current calendar year schedule to an academic year schedule. Starting from autumn 2018, it will be possible to complete the Asian Programme during one academic year. We greatly appreciate your understanding during this transition.


The Asian Programme is an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s level study programme which provides students with basic knowledge of Asia. For students whose study or career plans relate to Asia, this programme provides them with a good introduction to the region. The programme is coordinated by the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies.

The Asian Programme is arranged on the Internet using the Moodle learning environment. The courses consist of lecture presentations, literature exams, web assignments and essays. The language of instruction of all courses is English.

Structure of the Asian Programme:

You can either just take individual courses or then you can take Asian Programme as a minor by completing at least 25 credits. If you want to complete  Asian Programme as a minor, you have two options: 1) take all the 5 Asian Programme courses from below and get 27 credist or 2) take at least three Asian Programme basic courses (below) and  also additional advanced Master’s level courses. In total this should add up to a minimum of 25 ECTS.

You can combine courses from the Asian Programme with Master’s level courses. See the list of possible Master’s level courses. You can also use the language courses organised by the Asianet in the Asian Programme.

Completing an online course requires self-discipline and active learning.

Asian Programme basic courses from autumn 2018

    1. Contemporary East Asia (6 ECTS) (autumn term 2018)
      The course provides students with basic knowledge on today’s social and political phenomena in East Asia. In addition to addressing recent developments in individual countries, the course also deals with emerging regional forms of cooperation.
    2. Contemporary Southeast Asia (5 ECTS) (autumn term 2018)
      This course aims to give students an insight into the rapid economic, political and environmental change in contemporary Southeast Asia. Students will study the situational characteristics of the environmental change and state formation processes in the region.
    3. Culture in East and Southeast Asia (5 ECTS) (spring term 2019)
      The course aims to give insight into East and Southeast Asia through the viewpoint of the central values in the region and cultural encounters. Students can learn more deeply about their preferred area when selecting the literature for the book exam and topic for the essay.
    4. Business in East and Southeast Asia (6 ECTS) (Spring term 2019) 
      The course aims to give insight into East and Southeast Asia as a macro region with increasing integration into the global economy. The course focuses on the interplay between the international, national, and sub-national systems in Asia Pacific. Economic and political institutions as well as business environments are discussed leading to an analysis of the region as an operational environment for multinational enterprise
    5. Contemporary South Asia (5 ECTS) (spring term 2019)
      The course aims to construct a holistic view of the societies and cultures of South Asia with a special focus on globalisation. Other topics include politics, religion, gender, development and urbanisation.


If you cannot fit the Asian Programme into your degree, see our new 10 ECTS Mini Minor in Asian Studies. In the Mini Minor you can combine one basic level course with advanced level courses. Read more about the Mini Minor.

Who can apply?

1. University students who hold a valid study right at one of the University Network’s member universities can apply to courses and take them for free.

Member universities are:
Aalto University
University of Helsinki
University of Jyväskylä
University of Tampere
University of Turku
University of Vaasa
Åbo Akademi University

2. Students at universities of applied sciences can participate for free in the Asian Programme if their school endorses the institutional study fee of 40€/ECTS (10€/ECTS not completed) OR 700€ for the Asian Programme Minor 25cr  (at least 25 ECTS, max. 28 ECTS).

3. Self-paying students (other individuals including students from non-member universities and students from universities of applied sciences whose school will not pay the study fee) who are interested in Asian studies can apply to the programme as independent students. With regards to non-Finnish citizens who apply to the Programme as self-paying students, the Network Board makes the decisions on admission case by case. The study fee for self-paying students is 250 € for (at least 25 ECTS and max. 28 ECTS).

The programme is not recommended for first year students.

How to apply?

  • University students from the member universities of the University Network can fill in the application form on our website during the application period.
  • Students at universities of applied sciences can take courses from this Programme for free if their school endorses the study fee (see above). Fill in the application form and read instructions from the Study Guide.
  • Self-paying students can apply to the programme as independent students. With regards to non-Finnish citizens who apply to the Programme as self-paying students, the Network Board makes the decisions on admission case by case.
  • To apply, carefully read the instructions for self-paying students in our Study Guide under “Asian Programme” -> “How to Apply”.

When to apply?

  • Application period for the Asian programme courses (autumn and spring) is September 3-23, 2018.


Before applying to the courses, students should check if they are able to include these studies in their degree at their home university.