Overview of the Year - Major Milestones of 2020

The past year has been full of challenges for everyone. While adapting to the new rhythm and way of life has, after many lessons, been difficult, it has also given us the opportunity to think about the core values ​​and the future we want. Although a lot of work was momentarily postponed, new reality has given new tasks and challenges that we are grateful for.

Here is an overview of the most important activities of the calendar year.

Major milestones

Since the beginning of the year, we have been involved in the Erasmus + KA2 project titled “Tackling Sensitive Topics in a Classroom”.

Three people have joined the center during the year: Eva Liias, who also holds the position of program manager for the Contemporary Asia and Middle East Curriculum, Urmas Hõbepappel and Tiit Tammaru.

In September, together with the partners of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu and the Asia Update conference, we organized a future-looking seminar with the focus on Asia. Also, we organized a panel discussion on emerging Asia at Delta Economics Conference. Participants were: Marko Mihkelson, Eva Liias, Ott Pärn, Kai Kreos-Nemčok and Liisi Karindi (moderator).

In cooperation with the The Estonian Students Society, we managed to organize two joint speech meetings in the autumn semester, one of which focused on the recent history and future prospects of Iran.

We have met with the representatives of the University of Turku, Ghent and the University of Groningen to find common grounds and create joint projects. Lastly, it was also a pleasure to meet the Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Hajime Kitaoka, and the Second Secretary of the Embassy, ​​Toshifumi Ito.

What is the new year bringing?

We have supported the creation of a book on Estonian-Japanese relations and work is ongoing to organize the Asia Update conference in autumn 2021. Also, we will complete the mapping of research and joint projects in Asia and Middle East within the University of Tartu.

Currently, we are developing several plans for summer and doctoral schools together with foreign partners. If possible, we will organize a panel at the scientific conference “SSEL Cluster Conference on Social Responsibility in Challenging Times” which takes place in the autumn of 2021 in Tartu. Lastly, we are excited about a new subject about MENA countries that is taught in the spring semester and facilitated together with employees from Estonian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs