Asian Studies is a multi-disciplinary field, and an academic department was first introduced at Flinders in 1976 bringing together staff from Economics, Geography, History and Politics. The Indonesian Language major was introduced at that time, and the Asian Studies major began in 1989.
In 2004, engagement with Asia at Flinders was enhanced when the Flinders Asia Centre was established. As well as managing the Asian Studies and Indonesian majors, and encouraging research about Asia, the Centre:
- provided forums for discussion of ideas about the Asian region in the University
- built links with Asian-related education, community and school activities
- extended Asia centred expertise across the University, in particular via the Asian Studies and Asian language majors
- gave the study of the Asian region a more public identity and presence in the University
- provided a network for staff with knowledge of the Asian region.