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The University Contest of Micro-stories on Asia moves in the area of research of Language and Culture of East Asia, and its main objective is to spread knowledge about this geographical and cultural area in the Spanish-speaking society.

The website of the Contest, ASIA Micro-stories, archives and allows the consultation of the material after each Contest, which is held annually. With this, a platform of free access didactic material is being generated, which seeks equality in access to knowledge of other cultures. This knowledge is an engine capable of posing new personal and social challenges.

Figure 1. Examples from the micro-stories archive.

How does it work

We work in an interactive/collaborative way between researchers and undergraduate students, creating educational material in digital format that transfers the knowledge generated at the University to society, bringing the cultural areas of Asia closer to those who consider them distant.

In the contest, a series of Micro-stories that have been created by groups of students, who participate in the Teaching Innovation Project that bears the same name, are presented in audio-visual format, each one of them tutored by a researcher. Those that exceed the required quality are permanently displayed on the web, which serves as a reference library for topics barely covered in the Spanish language.

The team members are leading specialists in the area of East Asian Language and Culture, comprising specialties such as art history, thought, language, cinematography, calligraphy, international relations, and history, both from Japan and China. Each one of them makes their research available to the students especially so that, giving relevance to different aspects, they make it reach the general public. The viability of the project has been possible thanks to the disinterested participation of the researchers, their enthusiasm and the desire to transfer their knowledge to new generations, and through them to society, and it has been carried out without any kind of economic support.

In the four competitions held, 70 units of social transfer of knowledge about East Asian Language and Culture have been generated in audio-visual format, which as an example, between February 23 and June 28, 2021, the total number of views was 6,848, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia being the main access points.


With the project, a powerful tool for approximation between the production of knowledge in the specialized academic environment and society has been established. And as the Contest is settling, its transfer work, conveyed through the students themselves, with the tutoring and guidance of the expert researcher on the agreed subject, is consolidated on its website as a consultation platform, thus covering the need for didactic material about East ASIA.

In addition, by being linked to a Teaching Innovation Project:

  • Students are introduced to the study of the history and culture of a cultural context that is not Western and with which they are not familiar.
  • A dynamic teaching framework is created, where students feel out of the academic routine.
  • Collaborative work between students and students/researchers is favoured in this case, specialized in Asian topics.
  • Students' research skills and their ability to transmit knowledge are consolidated.
  • The use of new technologies in the field of learning and in the transmission of acquired knowledge is encouraged. The practical work of the students involves the creation of educational support material in blended teaching activities and digital dissemination.

This project has found a guide in the Sustainable Development goals:

  • In accordance with responsible production and consumption.
  • It affects the value of knowledge as an engine of social transformation.
  • Balancing gender inequality.
  • Look for intellectual interaction.

With all this in mind, the focus is on young people, an audience between 18 and 24 years old, who are eager to open their minds, but who need encouragement.

Where has it been developed

The University Contest of Micro-stories on Asia is the result of a joint work between different faculties of different universities led by the ASIA Research Group (GIA) at the Complutense University of Madrid and in collaboration with the Japan-Spain groups: Relations through art and GISEC (Complutense Spanish Sinology Research Group: Language, Culture and Society). Professors from the University of Córdoba and the University of Salamanca will join in the V Short Story Contest on ASIA.

Up to this moment, the Contest has been carried out for 4 years without interruption in different phases and in different venues (Madrid and Zaragoza).

After the Contest, a new life is given to the works, since they are displayed openly on the YouTube channel that the ASIA Research Group has, a platform that can be accessed directly through search engines and that has the Advantage of offering the information to anyone, whether or not they know the page of the Group or the Contest.

Figure 2. Map of consultations.

And moreover

Socially it expands the world and the environment, and society can see the investment made in promoting research and training young people reversed.

For both students and researchers it is a way to thanking them by making our work visible and offering it to them in an accessible way. The research carried out and its dissemination imply the incorporation into society's knowledge of the cultural parameters of other geographies, which we are convinced will result in a more plural and comprehensive society.

We must train young people with an open and detached mentality, always ready to accept the other, and promoting research and its transfer in this area is a very good social tool, not only for knowledge, but also for educational training.



© Office for the Transfer of Research Results – UCM
Faculty of Medicine. Edificio Entrepabellones 7 y 8.
C/ Doctor Severo Ochoa, 7. 28040 Madrid.

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Art and Humanities

Art and Restoration

Responsible Researcher

María Pilar Cabañas Moreno: pcabanas@ucm.es
Department: Art History
Faculty: Geography and History