The receivers of the University of Tartu Asia Centre Scholarship were announced

The University of Tartu announced a scholarship of the University of Tartu Asia for the Master’s degree graduates or in the Faculty of Medicine, an internship abroad or a PhD dissertation or its project. The scholarship aims to support students of the University of Tartu whose research focuses on Asian and/or Middle Eastern regions or areas dealing with them. Furthermore, also graduates whose MA thesis includes scientific work that helps develop knowledge and research of Asia and/or the Middle East in Estonian society can apply for the scholarship. This includes building and networking relationships such as joint mentoring and cooperation with Asian research institutions.

The receivers of the 2022 scholarship are:

  • Eleni Alexandri (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

The thesis titled "Semiotic analysis of k-pop: the making of BTS universe" aimed to re-construct the poetic world of BTS, and examine the hypothesis that the BTS Universe is much more than their franchise. The connections between the music videos by the constant appearances of specific objects (motifs) and the similar techniques in the structure of the clips (at the level of their deep structure) were the initial observations that sparked the question about what are the real dimensions of BTS Universe. The thesis were supervised by Katre Pärn (University of Tartu)

  • Priya Kulkarni (Faculty of Medicine)

Kulkarni was awarded a scholarship for a doctoral dissertation in the field of medical sciences. The dissertation entitled "Role of synovial fluid in the differentiation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) into macrophages (types M0, M1 and M2) in osteoarthritis" collects data from Estonia, Germany and India. The supervisors are Aare Märtson (University of Tartu) and Abhay Harsulkar (Interactive Research School for Health Affair, India).

  • Smit Rajshhekhar Patel (Faculty of Science and Technology)

Patel received the scholarship for his MA thesis in geography titled "Analysing the role of key geographic factors in Israeli -Palestinian conflict". The aim of this master thesis is to assess the role of groundwater and arable land in the IsraeliPalestinian armed conflict through a review of literature and spatial analysis. The analysis is structured in three parts. The first part gives an overview of the conflict by classifying all the events of conflict between 1989-2000 based on the framework provided by the UCDP. It also visualises the spatial and temporal distribution of the events of conflict. The second part illustrates how the accessibility to groundwater and arable land in terms of territorial authority of the State of Israel and Palestine has changed over the period of several years. This was achieved by deriving potential groundwater and arable land zones using Analytical Hierarchy Process and Weighted Overlay method and masking the results with different territorial maps. The third part of the analysis shows whether there is a spatial relationship between the events of conflict, Israeli and Palestinian settlements and potential groundwater and arable land zones. The results showed that settlements especially in the West Bank area were situated near the potential groundwater areas and the events of conflict were in close proximity of the settlements. The student was supervised by Raivo Aunap (University of Tartu).

  • Nana Maminashvili (Faculty of Social Sciences)

Maminasvhili was a student of Contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and received the scholarship for her MA thesis titled "Social credit system and social attitudes towards "blacklisted" individuals in China". The aim of this study was to answer the main research question regarding the implications the SCS could have on the relationships and identities of the Chinese students living abroad. With two supplementary questions, I also wanted to explore and understand their opinions toward the SCS, state surveillance, and government legitimacy, and compare the results to the previous studies conducted by different researchers’ in or outside China. To answer these questions and explore the topic, ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with Chinese students studying in Estonia. The student was supervised by Urmas Hõbepappel (University of Tartu) and Taavi Kivisik (University of Tartu). 

The scholarship of 2000€ is awarded once a year in each faculty.


The recipients of the Asia Centre scholarship were revealed


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2023 Huayu (Mandarin Chinese) Enrichment Scholarship for Students at Tartu University