Asian Studies Program
Asia is a vital region of the globe today. Its population of almost 4 billion represents 60 per cent of the globe. In recent years, Asia has been experiencing dynamic cultural transformations and astounding growth in economic power. The task of understanding Asia has become increasingly important, and requires a good educational program, due to the ancient histories of Asian societies, the diversity of Asian languages and cultures, the importance of their colonial and postcolonial histories, and the complexities of their modern rural and urban social structures.
Australia today is tied into Asia more than ever before, in terms of intensifying cultural contacts, immigration, tourism, commerce and trade, and strategic alliances. Thus, the study of Asia has become vital to Australia's future. The University of Sydney was the first academic institution in Australia to recognise the importance of Asia, dating back to the establishment of the Department of Oriental Studies in 1918. Since then, the University has developed considerable resources in teaching and research in the languages, cultures, histories, societies, political economies, arts and literature of Asia.