Source: Asian studies in Ireland, by Chris Connolly, University College Cork‐National University of Ireland, UCC, Ireland (2009). See the original text here
Asian studies are a very young established academic discipline in Ireland, with the first school of Asian studies launched in 2008 at University College Cork-National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC). However, research on and study of Asia go back some years, when a number of business schools initiated Japanese language teaching into their curriculum; most notably the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School established the Euro-Asia Centre. In 1999, the Irish Government launched its ‘Asia Strategy’ document, prioritising the development of economic and other relations with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Viet Nam. As part of phase II of this strategy, in 2005 the Minister for Education announced the Department of Education’s support for the establishment of two Irish institutes of Chinese studies, one in University College Dublin (UCD) and the other in University College Cork (UCC). The institute in UCC quickly grew into a full department, running four degree programmes in Chinese studies. In 2009, the department expanded its scope of enquiry to include an MA in Asian studies, with a regional focus on North East Asia, and study in either Japanese or Korean language. Other institutions in Ireland have also introduced the teaching of Asian languages, while individual academics have their own research areas that include Asia-related topics.
PRESENT ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONING
- University of Ulster, University College Cork (UCC)
- Queens University Belfast (QUB)
- National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
- University of Limerick (UL)
- Dublin City University (DCU)
- University College Dublin (UCD)
- Trinity College, University of Dublin (TCUD)
- National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)
- National College of Ireland (NCI)
Third-level education in the Republic of Ireland is public and free, although students are required to pay a registration fee of €1500 to cover student services. A grant system is available providing up to €3400, administered by county councils. The education system is based on the License, Master, Doctorate system.
There are 85 academics researching in the area of Asian studies, who conduct work on 22 different Asian countries, regions and intergovernmental bodies. China, Japan and India are the countries with the highest level of research activity. Most scholars are required to do research and teach as part of their duties, and it is a contractual obligation of all full-time academics to be ‘research active’ and publish, although there is no national system for the monitoring of this. Researchers are free to choose their own areas of research, although, of course, the Government can provide direction through preferential treatment for specific areas of research by the administration of research grants on certain topics. Private consultancy work is permitted, but must be declared. Internal research grants are limited, and most funding comes from external sources.
Language and cultural studies are the main areas of study. East Asia is the main area of research in language and cultural studies. Politics and history are the top areas of interest in each of the four regions of Asia (South, East, Southeast and Central Asia). The languages studied in the various establishments are: Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Malay and Indonesian.