The Centre of Oriental Studies was formed in 1993 to provide a focus for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about Asia and the Middle East within Vilnius University and at the national level. With over thirty scholars and teachers, the Centre now is the largest and most distinguished establishment of Oriental studies and research in Lithuania and one of the leading institutions of Asian studies in the Baltic countries.
The Centre teaches histories, cultures, philosophies, religions, arts and literatures of Asia and the Middle East, as well as subjects on contemporary issues related to Asian and Middle Eastern countries ranging from sociological and anthropological matters to regional politics.
Since 2000 the Centre of Oriental Studies runs an undergraduate program (Bachelor degree) of Asian Studies (in Lithuanian). The program offers specializations in Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, and Turkish languages and cultures.
Since 2006 the Centre of Oriental Studies offers the graduate master programme of Modern Asian Studies (in Lithuanian), which focuses on modern and contemporary developments of Asia with an interdisciplinary and transregional approach.
The Centre’s research includes a wide range of disciplines, the most important of which are cultural studies, Asian philosophies and religions, arts, social studies, anthropology, and history. The Centre aims to strengthen the cross-cultural and comparative perspectives so that the regional aspect of research would be seen in a broader context.
The Centre of Oriental Studies is also a founding member of the Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies (BAAS) – the regional network for Asian studies and research since 2004.