We're working with you to make a positive impact in the Pacific Islands from our home base at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, U.K.
Very exciting news from here at the School of Oriental and African Studies!
Thanks to the hard work and passion of two of our members, Omar Zaki and Keiko Ono, the SOAS Student Union has passed a new motion calling on the academic administration to commit to the expansion of Asian regional studies at SOAS.
Most exciting of all, the new motion calls for the realization of new investment towards research in the region, including the call for two new scholarships, starting in the 2013-2014 academic school year.
In line with our society’s vision, the motion recognizes the ongoing transformation of what constitutes Asia. Acknowledging the new social constructions within the Asia-Pacific, Pacific Rim, and Trans-Pacific, the motion notes the shift of emphasis by major powers towards the region.
As a leading global institute on “Oriental” studies, it is essential that SOAS recognizes that in order to remain an academic thought leader on Asia, the administration must act to further strategic studies on the New Asia.
Here is the draft version of the motion:
This union notes:
1.1 That the 21st Century has commonly been referred to as the Asian Century due to the projected dominance of Asian politics, economics, and culture in world affairs
1.2 That new social constructions, such as the Asia-Pacific, Pacific Rim, and Trans-Pacific, have emerged in the last few decades to challenge traditional definitions of “What constitutes Asia”
1.3 That strategic discourse on Asia coming out of Washington, Canberra, Beijing, Tokyo, Wellington, New Delhi, Jakarta, Suva, and other capitals does not demonstrate consensus and consistency on the geopolitical limits of “Asia”
1.4 That the United States Is in the midst of a strategic pivot to Asia that encompasses the entire Asia-Pacific region
1.5 That a new economic community, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is being negotiated which could create a create common market across the Pacific Rim
1.6 That a new defence cooperation treaty has recently been signed between the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia whose aim is in part to strengthen UK engagement with the region
This Union believes:
2.1 That SOAS must seize the opportunity afforded by these developments and expand its investments in Asian regional studies to account for the widened geography of the Asia-Pacific region
2.2 That SOAS risks forfeiting its long held position as an academic thought leader on Asia if the Administration fails to act on this initiative
2.3 That SOAS desperately needs to fund research on strategic issues in the Pacific Islands through the creation of two new research degree scholarships
This Union resolves:
3.1 To state its commitment to an expansion of Asian regional studies at SOAS to include the broader Asia-Pacific region
3.2 To work with the Administration to realize new investments in Asia-Pacific research, including the funding of two new scholarships, in time for the 2013-2014 academic year
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