The Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) is a research institute and a component of the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia), which was commissioned in 2007 by the Prime Minister’s office. Its purpose is to analyse and understand social conflicts as well as preventing them, so the collective trauma of the 1969’s ethnic riots would not re-occur.
The work that has been carried out at KITA for the past ten years was noted by many partners, especially the National Institute of Political Science in France (Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye) that advised to apply for such a chair. After touching base with the UNESCO Network of Chairs in Communication “ORBICOM”, KITA formally presented a chair candidacy to the UNESCO headquarters in April 2018. This research-based chair has been officially established on 18 October 2019. UNESCO granted the chair after having reviewed the scientific research project. Technically, our chair is a Research Chair and not a chair by endowment, which much span over a period of four (4) years and prove to be financially self-sustainable.