STUDENT HANDBOOK Bachelor of Science Programmes | Academic Year 2013 -2014
FOREWORD Dear Student, Greetings from the German Institute of Science & Technology – TUM Asia! We are glad that you have made your choice to further your academic pursuit in Singapore and more importantly, with us. Established for over a decade, TUM Asia is committed to providing quality German education against the backdrop of a multi-cultural social and economic landscape. This handbook serves to guide and inform you regarding the necessary information you require during the course of your study at TUM Asia. Because every student is unique in their academic journey, the handbook is the common platform to aid you in making this journey a successful and enjoyable one. We strongly urge you to take time to read it through so you will be better informed of the conduct expected as a TUM Asia student, as well as all administrative practices carried out at TUM Asia. Our distinctive academic pathways and strong industry network with top German engineering companies are indicative of the academic excellence you will be equipped with. During your academic journey, renowned professors from TUM and other well-known institutions will impart to you the most advanced knowledge in science and technology that will serve as the foundation for you to build your ideas upon. You will also benefit from a diverse and rich crosscultural classroom environment as our cohorts are made up of students from all over the world. New friendships will be developed as you learn and play together, even more so as some of you become travel buddies in exploring the various tropical cities around Singapore. Because of the prestigious history of TUM, you can be sure to enjoy many networking opportunities with top companies and institutions during your studies. Our practical-based approach to education will culminate in producing graduates that are passionate about their field of work, leading to career opportunities in varied industries. Once again, we would like to warmly welcome you into the TUM family. We believe that you have stepped into a new chapter of your life that will become an invaluable experience. We hope that we will provide a springboard of success for you to pursue your dream and passion and as part of our commitment, the team at TUM Asia is on hand to provide assistance in the best way possible. Academic Services Office, Technische Universität München (TUM) Asia
Garching Campus, Technische Universität München, Germany (Credits: TUM)
AT A GLANCE: TUM ASIA Founded in 1868 by King Ludwig II, Technische Universität München (TUM) has long established itself as a premier institute of higher learning in Germany. Ranked as Germany’s number 1 university in the 2011 & 2012 Shanghai Ranking (ARWU), TUM has earned itself the reputation of being an institute that produces world-changing technologies. Some notable inventions from the TUM alumni include the refrigeration technology invented by Carl von Linde; the Dornier airplane by Claude Dornier; and the diesel engine, invented by Rudolf Diesel. To date, TUM has seen a total of 13 Nobel Prize Laureates come through its ranks, including distinguished chemists and physicists such as Ernst Otto Fischer and Rudolf Mößbauer. As the first German academic venture abroad, TUM Asia opened its doors in 2002 and this year will mark a decade of excellence in Singapore. Though situated in an Asian country, the academic model employed by TUM Asia is nevertheless German in its roots, with an emphasis on industry readiness and innovation. Since 2002, TUM Asia has been running joint Master Programmes conferred by TUM, with NTU and NUS. The students have access to a diverse range of professors who are among the best in their field of expertise, as well as possessing a wealth of industry experience. The Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry is the longest running programme, with 11 successful intakes and 10 graduate batches to date. Through the years, programmes such as Integrated Circuit Design, Microelectronics, Aerospace Engineering and Transport and Logistics have been added to the list of offered programmes. TUM Asia also collaborates with Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore’s Fifth University, offering 2 Bachelor programmes - Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology; and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. 2012 marked TUM Asia’s 10th year in Singapore and there are plans in the works to launch more Master and Bachelor programmes that continue to be industry-focused and in tune with the needs of the global economy.
CONTENTS #1. STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT Broad Principles Academic Regulations
Plagiarism Cheating Collusion Falsification & Tampering False Declaration
#2. COURSE STRUCTURE
Registration for Specialization Modules Bachelor Thesis
Requirements Submission of Bachelor Thesis
Period of Candidature
#3. ACADEMIC MATTERS Timetable Examination Matters
Absenteeism During Exams Failed Modules Examination Review
CAP Technische Universität München (TUM) Calculation
Academic Performance Graduation Requirements
#4. ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
Update of Students’ Personal Details Campus Locations & Contact Information
TUM Asia Singapore Polytechnic
#5. FORMS & PROCEDURES
#6. EMAIL AND IT USER AGREEMENT POLICY
Leave of Absence (LOA) General Policy Use of Email
All content printed in this booklet is accurate as of 1 June 2013.
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT 5
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT The Student Code of Conduct exists to maintain a civil and safe community in which all students at TUM Asia can live and learn. The disciplinary process administered by the Academic Services Office is design to foster growth and learning through holding students accountable for their behaviour. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the expectations of the Student Code of Conduct and allow it to guide them through their everyday decision-making both in and out of the classroom. The goal of the Academic Services Office is to create a community in which the actions of students are to validate the essential values of TUM Asia, which are:
• • • •
Personal and academic integrity Respect for dignity of all persons and willingness to learn from the difference in people, ideas and opinions Respect for rights, property and safety of others Concern for others in their feelings and in their need for conditions that will support an environment where everyone can work, grow and succeed at TUM Asia
BROAD PRINCIPLES •
Rights and obligations of staff, students and others. Every student and staff member has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. • Students are expected to acknowledge the authority of the staff of TUM Asia and partnering Universities, both academic and support staff, in the performance of their duties. • Students are not to harass any other students, TUM Asia staff and/or teaching faculty verbally and physically. • Students should be mindful of their behaviour and the language used at all times. • Exposure of various forms of endangerment to students, TUM Asia staff and educators are strictly prohibited. This includes grievous bodily harm as well as behaving or speaking in a threatening manner.
• • • •
Every student is required to behave in a manner which facilitates participation in educational activities and does not disrupt the functions of TUM Asia and her respective partner Universities. Students shall dress neatly and appropriately for any academic activities to maintain a favourable impression at all times. It is the duty of students to behave appropriately at all times regardless of location in order to maintain the good name of TUM Asia and her respective partner Universities. No student is permitted to use the name of TUM Asia in any form (e.g. business associations) to contact external organizations without prior approval by TUM Asia. No external organization or commercial company may be associated with any TUM Asia’s academic or non-academic programmes/activities without official approval of TUM Asia. It is incumbent on students to ensure their familiarity with this Code and partnering Universities regulations at any all times.
Access and Use of Facilities
Unauthorized access into the Corporate Office, Corporate Communications’ Office, Undergraduate Office, Graduate Office and Professors’ Office is strictly disallowed. Every student is expected to treat the property, equipment and facilities of TUM Asia and respective partner Universities with care.
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT Academic Conduct
• Every student is expected to approach his/her academic endeavours with honesty and integrity. • Each student shall comply with his/her academic programme requirements in terms of lectures, practicums, assignments, internship, Bachelor Thesis and examination regulations associated therewith. • No student shall provide false/misleading information or withhold relevant information from any party regarding his/her academic achievements.
Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act which is committed in an academic context including, but not restricted to the following:
Plagiarism is the presentation of the work of other people as one’s own work, without referencing its source or attributing it to its intellectual proprietor; regardless of whether that work is in published or unpublished physical form, or in the form of thoughts or ideas. All work submitted by any student is to be the work of that student alone. Students may, and are encouraged, to draw upon the work of others, but it must be duly acknowledged and referenced in accordance with standard academic conventions. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to: (i) Failure to reference intellectual property It is important that students learn how and when to acknowledge ideas obtained from lectures, readings and discussions. If a tutor or lecturer notices that a student has failed to recognize source material in work submitted, the lecturer shall input comments on the work in question. Continued failure to reference other people’s ideas in an acceptable manner is to be treated as in (ii) below. (ii) Failure to reference direct quotations appropriately Sometimes the material quoted is referenced incorrectly. A much more serious problem is when the exact words of another person are not even put in quotation marks. When this happens the student is to be awarded a lower mark and/or set additional work. (iii) Extended unreferenced quotations or paraphrases If student’s work is shown to consist of extensive measure of unreferenced quotations or close paraphrases, the student will be required to resubmit the work in an acceptable form and will be awarded a lesser grade.
The fraudulent or dishonest presentation of work; cheating includes but is not limited to: • Possession of unauthorized aids in examinations and graded academic assessments, exercises and reports; • Fabrication, falsification, misrepresentation of data, results; or other manifestations of research to achieve desired results; selective reporting, including the deliberate suppression of conflicting or unwanted data; • Copying from another student’s work; • Unauthorized cooperation in completing assignments or during an examination; • Dishonesty in requests for make-up exams, for extensions of deadlines for submitting papers, and in any other matter relating to the course.
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT Collusion
The conscious collaboration between 2 or more students in the preparation of work which is ultimately submitted by each in substantially similar form and/or is represented by each to be the product of his/her individual efforts unless otherwise stated with official approval (E.g. Group projects). Collusion also occurs where there is unauthorised cooperation between a student and another person in the preparation and production of work which is presented as the student’s own.
Falsification & Tampering
Any forms of illegal alteration of official documents including transcripts, testimonials, recommendation letters, graded work, examination scripts, degree scrolls and medical certificates which directly or indirectly influence decision-making.
Committing false declarations knowingly on documents such as application forms, reports, claims on receipts with the intention to mislead or obtain financial reimbursement respectively. It is every individual student’s personal responsibility to observed and abide the Code. Failure to cooperate or comply with a disciplinary sanction imposed for a breach of discipline (subject to any right of appeal applicable) is considered a breach of this Student Code of Conduct.
When a breach of the Code has been established after due process, any 1 or more of the following penalties may be imposed:
The award of a zero marks for the dishonest presentation of work stated in “Academic Regulations”.
A formal reprimand in the form of an academic warning letter will be issued to students for first-time penalties. Upon continued misbehaviour, a second warning letter will be issued to students with the possibility of being placed on probation. Warning letters accrued in the current semester of study will be brought forward to the next semester and kept in the student’s records for the entire course of study. This implies that previous breach of the Code will be taken into consideration if a further breaching of the Code is subsequently established.
The probation duration is dependent on the severity of the breach or the student’s academic performance. The student will be given a chance to redeem bad conduct or failing grades during this probation period. If no improvement is noted, it will result in immediate suspension from his/her programme at TUM Asia and can ultimately lead to expulsion from the postgraduate programme. A report will be filed in the student’s personal folder for record and review purposes.
Suspended students will be barred from any ongoing academic activities and the use of any available facilities in TUM Asia and partner Universities for a stated period or until all requirements laid down are fully complied with.
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT Expulsion from TUM Asia
Student who has failed to redeem his/her bad conduct despite receiving a suspension or has committed severe offences under the Code will undergo expulsion from the postgraduate programme, TUM Asia and our partner Universities associated with the programme. Reports recording all sanction actions taken against offending students will be updated in TUM Asia’s student database and personal file records. Students with poor disciplinary records will not receive a testimonial from TUM Asia when he/she graduates. The Student Code of Conduct may be subjected to future content revisions for updates on new academic issues which students are required to know. Students will be notified of the latest updates via email notice.
“HONESTY IS THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE BOOK WISDOM”
COURSE STRUCTURE 10
COURSE STRUCTURE The Bachelor of Science programmes conferred by the Technische Universität München (TUM) are fulltime programmes in which the foundations for industry-based and research-based careers are built upon. For the students enrolled in the Electrical Engineering & Information Technology (EEIT) programme, it is compulsory to pass all of Semester 1’s modules in order to progress to Semester 2. A maximum of 2 tries is granted for each examination for Semester 1. For the students enrolled in the Chemical Engineering (CE) programme, it is compulsory to pass all mandatory modules before proceeding to Semester 5. A maximum of 2 tries per module is granted for each semester. The Academic Calendar is outlined as such: Bachelor of Science Programmes Semester 1
June 2013 – December 2013
January 2014 – June 2014
August 2014 – December 2014
January 2015 – June 2015
August 2015 – December 2015
Semester 6 (For A-Level Graduates/Non-articulated Polytechnic programmes)
January 2015 – June 2015
*Subject to changes
Curriculums are organized into modular structures. A module should be designed to enable a student to finish the particular module within the semester. The programmes consist of compulsory modules and specialization modules. Compulsory modules must be taken by all students and the pertinent examinations must be successfully completed and passed. For specialization modules, students are required to complete 30 credits with maximum 12 credits from the lab courses. The credits belonging to each module may range from 2 to 10 credits, while the Bachelor Thesis consists of 12 credits. As a general regulation, a module is completed when the student has successfully passed through the required teaching hours, together with an assessment. The module assessment may consist of a written examination or coursework, or a combination of a written examination and one or more coursework assignments. Details, such as the type and content of the assessment, and the weighting for the module grade, are determined by the examiners in coordination with the Examination Board and it shall be announced to the students at the commencement of the module.
REGISTRATION FOR SPECIALIZATION MODULES (Applicable for EEIT only)
The Academic Services Department will arrange an information session with students regarding the Specialization Module selection. Detailed information will be circulated to students on the registration of elective modules in semester 3. All registered modules taken by the student across the period of candidature will be reflected on his/her academic transcript. No module will be deleted.
COURSE STRUCTURE BACHELOR THESIS
The Bachelor Thesis is the culmination of the undergraduate’s journey. The student is presented the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that he/she has acquired through coursework and research efforts. Through this guided learning experience, students work in collaboration with a professor or fellow researchers on a project of mutual interest and may in some cases publish manuscripts resulting from the thesis. The thesis should be based on its practical value. Theoretical frameworks or conceptual models may (and should in many cases) guide the research questions. The Bachelor Thesis may be repeated only once.
As the Bachelor Thesis completion timeline is compact, it is imperative that students start exploring and discussing possible thesis topics with their respective professors early. It is recommended that they start sourcing for possible topics and collaborations in the early stage of their final year. Students are expected to spend at least 360 hours to work on their Thesis. Thesis work is carried out in Munich at the home campuses of TUM. Projects proposed are in one of the following categories: • •
Type A: Internally generated thesis - Institution Projects Type B : Externally generated thesis - Industry Projects
For theses that are conducted with the institution, students are required to be supervised by a university supervisor. For theses that are conducted in the industry, students are required to be supervised by a university supervisor AND an industrial supervisor. The final thesis can only be assessed by the university supervisor. When submitting the thesis, the student must confirm in writing that the thesis represents his/her own work and that no other sources and/or resources than those listed were used. Students are required to inform TUM Asia should they be involved in confidential projects which require a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The company has to provide TUM Asia with an official notification of the agreement. The Academic Service Department, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will arrange a briefing session in Semester 4 where detailed information will be provided.
Period of Candidature
The minimum period candidature for Polytechnic Graduates is 2.5 years or 5 semesters. The maximum period of candidature is 3.5 years or 7 semesters. Tuition grant is not available for 6th and 7th semester of study and students are subject to full tuition fees. The minimum period candidature for A-Level Graduates is 3.0 years or 6 semesters. The maximum period of candidature is 4.0 years or 8 semesters. Tuition grant is not available for 7th and 8th semester of study and students are subject to full tuition fees.
ACADEMIC MATTERS 13
ACADEMIC MATTERS TIMETABLE
Detailed timetables will be made available to students via email one week before the semester commences. Thereafter, any amendments made to the timetable pertaining to lecture topics, timings or venues will be communicated to students via email. Students are required to check their emails regularly and update the Academic Services Department if there is a change of email addresses.
A student who has registered for the modules in the term must sit for the written examination (unless there is no examination) for all the modules. If the student fails to attend the examination without prior formal approval by TUM Asia, he/she would be regarded to have sat for and failed the examination. Students who are caught cheating during a written examination will fail the module immediately and a module retake is compulsory. Any records of cheating during an examination will be filed into the students’ personal folder for future references.
If the student is absent due to non-medical reasons, the examination result for the module will be considered as ‘Fail’. If the student is absent due to medical reasons, he/she will have to provide the following:
Medical Report Form: Please print and fill up the medical report form upon visiting the clinic/ hospital. The form requires the medical practitioner’s signature and hospital/clinic stamp. For other modules, please use TUM Asia medical report form. Kindly contact the respectiveAcademic Service Officer for this form.
Medical Certificate: The medical report form is to be submitted along with a medical certificate to the Academic Services Office for further action within 48 hours of the absence. A failure to do so will be considered as accumulating a ‘Fail’ for the module result.
Appeal Process for Grade Review
Students have to apply for an appeal online through the SIT Student Portal. Payment of S$32.10 (inclusive of GST) has to be made per review. The fee is forfeited if appeal is of no merit. The valid appeal period is 2 weeks from the examination result release date.
The Review Process: The student is allowed to view his/her examination paper with Professor’s comments (if any) within the premises of TUM Asia and under strict supervision of the ASO. No student is allowed to use any electronic device (eg. Camera, mobile phones, computers or electronic tablets) during the review session for any reason. No form of personal documentation is allowed during the session and the student is strictly disallowed to take any documents from the review session with him/her.
The Examiner’s decision on the appeal outcome is final. Students will not be permitted to re-appeal.
ACADEMIC MATTERS GRADING SYSTEM
The Bachelor of Science programmes will assume the grading system of the Technische Universität München (TUM). CAP represents the grade average of all modules (excluding failed modules) attempted by a student as shown in the example in the grade table. All modules taken as electives will be taken into CAP (TUM) calculation. The module grading system is presented in the table below. CAP
Fail Table: CAP Scale for Bachelor programmes
CAP (TUM) calculation CAP represents the grade average of all modules (including failed modules) attempted by a student. CAP (TUM) is calculated by multiplying the module grade point by its respective credit and then summing up the total number of modules undertaken before dividing it by the total modular credits. The formula is:
CAP (TUM) = Sum (module grade point x modular credits for the module) Sum (modular credits)
Module Grade Point
CAP(TUM) = [3 x 2.7] + [3 x 1.7] + [3 x 1.3] + [4 x 1.0] + [3 x 3.3] = 1.94
[3 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 3]
Students who have passed all the modules will be able to graduate and classified according the following scale: CAP
1,0 – 1,2
Passed with High Distinction
1,3 – 1,5
Passed with Distinction
1,6 – 2,5
Passed with Merit
2,6 – 3,5
3,6 – 4,0
Conceded Pass Table: CAP Scale for Bachelor programme
ACADEMIC MATTERS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Students who achieve a CAP of 4.0 and more in any term of study will be issued an academic warning letter. The letter(s) will serve as part of the student’s records.
The requirement for graduation is as follow: Successful completion of all requirements (180 credits) as prescribed by the programme of study within the maximum allowable candidature period. When the graduation requirement is fulfilled, the necessary degree will be conferred by Technische Universität München alone. Note: All regulations and rules which are not stated herein will abide to the standards of TUM. In case of discrepancies, the stricter standards or the decisions from TUM Asia will apply. Students are required to obtain a minimum of “Sufficient” Module Grades for all modules within the maximum candidature period. A failure to do so will result in the termination of candidature.
“THE ELEVATOR TO SUCCESS IS OUT OF ORDER. YOU’LL HAVE TO USE THE STAIRS… ONE STEP AT A TIME.”
ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION 17
ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION UPDATE OF STUDENTS’ PERSONAL DETAILS
For the update of official name changes or personal contact details (E.g, Email addresses, mobile phone numbers, residential addresses), students are required to inform their ASO accordingly so that their correct particulars will be reflected on all official documents, including their transcripts. This will ensure that any correspondence will be prompt and accurate.
CAMPUS LOCATIONS & CONTACT INFORMATION TUM Asia
10 Central Exchange Green, Pixel Building #03-01/02, Singapore 138649 Nearest MRT: One-North Station (Circle Line) Campus Office Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am – 6pm
Tel: 6777 7407 Fax: 6777 7236 General Enquiry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please contact your respective ASO via his/her direct email address)
Singapore Polytechnic (TUM Asia Undergraduate Office & Classrooms) Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road T1A #02-21 (Enter via Gate 8) Singapore 139651 Nearest MRT: Dover MRT (East-West Line) Office Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am – 6pm / Student Consultation* Hours, 2pm – 4pm *Students are required to make an appointment via email, should they wish to speak with their ASO or seek consultation on academic matters. The appointment timing is subject to availability on the ASO’s part.
Tel: 6870 8293 Email: email@example.com (Please contact your respective ASO via his/her direct email address)
FORMS & PROCEDURES 19
FORMS & PROCEDURES LEAVE OF ABSENCE Students may choose to apply for LOA due to medical or personal reasons subject to the maximum candidature period allowed by both TUM Asia and SIT. It is the student’s responsibility to notify both TUM Asia and SIT of their absence from scheduled academic activities. The leave of absence (LOA) must be submitted and approved at least TWO weeks before the semester start date. Please note that the LOA application is applicable for one semester only. For LOA Application due to medical condition, the student will have to provide medical certificate(s) and a medical report issued by medical practitioners registered with the Singapore Medical Council. For LOA taken due to other reasons, the semester of the LOA will count towards the maximum candidature period. All students will be notified via SIT regarding the successful application of the LOA.
“THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY IS THAT LITTLE EXTRA”
EMAIL & I.T USER AGREEMENT POLICY 21
EMAIL & IT USER AGREEMENT POLICY At all times, TUM Asia reserves the right to review, suspend or terminate any account of students. Students are given access to the TUM Asia student portal, email accounts and online community portal. All students are encouraged to change their passwords monthly for privacy purposes. All formal correspondences about course matters must be communicated through official staff email addresses (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org) or TUM Asia will not be held accountable for the correspondence. The following policies are intended to ensure that TUM Asia students use the computer resources appropriately. Students are required to observe TUM Asia’s user agreement policy and are reminded that unauthorized access or tapping of computer programs or data can lead to serious criminal offences under Computer Misuse Act (Cap 50A, 1994 Ed). Any violation of copyright laws or intellectual property rights will lead to serious consequences which the student is expected to bear.
Students are expected to use the computing and communications facilities in a manner that is not detrimental to the good name of TUM Asia. For example, actions such as entering anything that is confidential, provocative, distasteful, fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or which incites religious or racial intolerance onto the local or international bulletin boards, World-Wide-Web, and Internet communication channels – are strictly prohibited by TUM Asia. Students are expected to: i. Respect the integrity of computing systems and data. For example, behaviors that - intentionally develop programs or make use of already existing programs, with or without modification, to harass other users, or the infiltration of a computer or computing system, damaging or altering the software components of a computer or computing system, and to gain unauthorized access to other facilities accessible via the network – are strictly prohibited by TUM Asia. ii. Respect the rights and privacy of others by not accessing another user’s files without proper and appropriate permission, and not tampering with their files, passwords or accounts, or falsely representing to be another user when e-mailing, messaging, conferencing or using any other kind of communications. iii. Not engage in any of the following activities: • Accessing unauthorized data or applications • Masquerading as another account-holder • Attempting to circumvent security systems • Attempting to exploit security loop holes in TUM Asia’s network • Attempting to attack or degrade the performance of TUM Asia’s network or colluding with other users to cause damage to TUM Asia’s network or systems
USE OF E-MAIL
Students shall not misuse email systems. Mis-usage includes, and is not limited to, the following: • Masquerading as another person or sending email(s) anonymously • Harassing anyone with language, frequency, or size of messages • Forwarding or otherwise propagating chain letters and other unsolicited type of messages • Flooding a user or site with very large or numerous pieces of email • Using email systems for purposes of defamation or personal attack • Using email systems to post potentially offensive information that will impinge on another’s culture, ethics, morality and religion • Obtaining or sending offensive and seditious material • Sending software and/or material that violates copyright laws • Sending with intention, a program intended to damage or place excessive load on a computer system or network, such as viruses, Trojan horses and worms
“NOT EVERY THING THAT CAN BE COUNTED COUNTS, AND NOT EVERY THING THAT COUNTS CAN BE COUNTED.” ALBERT EINSTEIN
Academic Services Office German Institute of Science & Technology - TUM Asia 10 Central Exchange Green, Pixel Building #03-01, Singapore 138649 www.tum-asia.edu.sg | www.facebook.com/tum.asia