Call for Entries | AUA “Splendor of Asian Cultural Heritage” Photo Contest

For thousands of years, the vast land of Asia has bred vibrant and interconnected civilizations. Cultural heritage is what connects this long and flourishing history to the present and the future. It is also critical to promoting development, stimulating innovation, addressing global challenges, and nurturing peace in Asia and across the world.

To further bring attention to the diversity of Asian cultural heritage and strengthen ties among our member universities through cultural exchange, the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) will host a photo contest with the theme “Splendor of Asian Cultural Heritage” organized by Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (Tsinghua SIGS). The contest will be the first of the “Embracing Asian Diversity” Photo Contest Series.  The photo contest series aims to capture and celebrate Asia’s diversity and its impact on the world through the lens of the camera and from the perspective of students across the continent.

In 2022, AUA hosted the “Community of Life: Biodiversity Through the Lens” Photo Contest.  Participants from member universities across Asia submitted 500 outstanding photographs that captured the magnificent flora and fauna of our planet and brought attention to the critical issue of biodiversity. (The online exhibition can be viewed here.)

Now, the Asian Universities Alliance is calling upon students in our member universities to highlight the splendor of the cultural heritage of Asia. We encourage participants to submit photographs that reflect their own perspectives on cultural heritage, both intangible and tangible. 

We are eagerly awaiting your captivating and creative photographs!


The theme of the contest is “Splendor of Asian Cultural Heritage.” Submitted photographs should center on the cultural heritage of Asia, both tangible and intangible. Examples of tangible cultural heritage include, but are not limited to: traditional architecture, historical artifacts, clothing, traditional utensils, or other physical products of culture. Examples of intangible cultural heritage include, but are not limited to, performing arts, folk customs, craftsmanship, culinary traditions, festivals, etc.


Only students from AUA member universities can participate in the photo contest. Participants should be at least 18 years old to enter the contest.

Submission Requirements

1) Submissions should be original photos that relate to the theme “Splendor of Asian Cultural Heritage.” Ideally, the content of the photographs should touch on the integration of cultural heritage into modern-day life and/or focus on the interaction between people and cultural heritage. For example, photos can document the processes of creating traditional crafts, the use of traditional utensils in daily life, celebrations of important festivals or holidays, etc.

2) Each photo should include a 150 to 200-word description that explains the subject of the photo and its connection to the theme. 

3) Photo series and collages are NOT accepted. One participant can submit up to 10 photos (entries) and each photo will be judged individually.

4) Please submit all photos and required personal information to the submission platform which can be accessed via 

5) Photos taken with a digital camera or smartphone are accepted. Photos will be judged based on creativity, visual quality, and relevance to the theme. 

6) Upload JPG photo(s) with a size of no less than 1 MB and no greater than 10 MB to the submission platform. Please name your photo(s) using the following format: UNIVERSITY YOUR NAME PHOTO TITLE (e.g., Tsinghua John SMITH The Beauty of Beijing Opera)

7) Only minor modifications to the photographs will be accepted (e.g. dodging and burning, aperture, cropping, color balance). Do not add words, symbols, or logos to the photos that are not part of the original photograph.

8) Please make sure that you receive a confirmation e-mail for each entry. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, please contact If you have any additional questions about AUA, please contact the AUA Secretariat at

9) Photos should not violate any of the terms and conditions (see attachment below). Please remember that you should receive permission from any human subjects you photograph; photographs should not violate subjects’ copyrights, portrait rights, privacy rights, right to protection against attacks on reputation, etc.


Photos should be submitted via the submission platform ( by March 5, 2023 (11:59 PM Beijing time, UTC+8:00).


Judges will choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners. Two participants will be chosen for first prize, four for second prize, and six for third prize.

First prize winners will receive a prize of 500 USD, 2nd prize winners will receive 300 USD, and 3rd prize winners will receive 100 USD. Award money will be taxed in accordance with the requirements of Chinese law.

Prize winners and shortlisted participants will also be sent digital award certificates.

Winning and shortlisted photos will be displayed in an online exhibition and offline in a series of traveling exhibitions in Shenzhen, China, organized by Tsinghua SIGS.

First, 2nd, and 3rd prize student winners may also be given the opportunity to come to Shenzhen, China, to participate in a summer program. (The timing of this program is dependent on relevant epidemic prevention policies and visa regulations. Only students currently enrolled at AUA member universities at the time of the program will be allowed to participate. Tsinghua SIGS will cover program-related expenses in Shenzhen, including food, housing, and activity expenses. Prize winners will be responsible for other expenses related to the program.) 

Terms & Conditions - 2023.docx


Source: Office of Communications & Outreach

Edited by Alena Shish & Yuan Yang