The UNESCO Chair of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, established in Bangi (Selangor), at the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia-UKM) aims at promoting an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in the field of communication in Malaysia, focusing on ethnic studies and social cohesion. We facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff from the University and other institutions in Malaysia and the South East Asian region.

About The Chair

What is a UNESCO Chair?

The UNESCO Chairs program was established in 1992 as a way to promote international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. Today, there is an international network of 756 UNESCO Chairs, involving institutions in 114 countries1. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence-i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication. We should distinguish two types of UNESCO Chairs: research based chairs and endowment chairs.

For now, Malaysia is hosting two UNESCO Chairs. One is the “UNESCO Chair on International and Comparative Education Research” at the University of Malaya since 2016 and the other one is the “UNESCO Chair on Future Studies” in the University Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, since 2016.

The third UNESCO Chair is now established in UKM since February 2019. The management of Malaysia’s relationship with UNESCO is assured by the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO. The latter has been established by the government of Malaysia in 1966 under the purview of the Ministry of Education in order to be a channel of cooperation between UNESCO and Malaysian expertise in the areas of its mandate.