The establishment of a world-leading Centre for Southeast Asia Studies at the University of Oxford moved closer today (October 10 2018) with a Royal launch for the campaign in support of the academic initiative.
Professor Louise Richardson, Oxford's Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Sarah Whatmore, Head of the Division of Social Sciences, welcomed His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Shah, the Deputy King of Malaysia, to the institution's historic Sheldonian Theatre. Sultan Nazrin – who serves as Chancellor of the University of Malaya – is a political economist and active scholar with longstanding interest in the socio-economic development of Malaysia and its surrounding region. An Oxford graduate in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (BA Hons), he also holds higher degrees in Public Administration (Masters) and Political Economy and Government (PhD) from Harvard University.
Welcoming the Southeast Asia Studies Centre initiative, HRH The Sultan, as Patron to the Centre, said: 'By creating a dedicated focus for research and teaching excellence in Southeast Asia Studies, Oxford will make a significant contribution to the global academy. Very few universities in the world can match Oxford for the range and intensity of its academic expertise. This ambitious, thoughtfully-integrated knowledge enterprise will put Southeast Asia at its heart, benefitting both the citizens of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and the people of the wider world.'
The new Centre for Southeast Asia Studies will be part of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. It is expected to create research and teaching opportunities to be shared across several departments including Geography and the Environment, Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, Politics and International Relations, Development Studies, and History.
Oxford was last week rated overall number one in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for a third successive year. Establishing Southeast Asia Studies as an area of dedicated focus will further strengthen the University’s research and global reach. Oxford is also currently top-ranked in both the Social Sciences and Medical Sciences.