Message from the Dean


Professor Leif Stenberg

Dean, Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations​


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It is a privilege to be back in the Aga Khan Centre meeting students, staff and faculty and welcoming guests back to our events.

Whilst the pandemic is far from over, I am delighted to see our new students on the MA in Muslim Cultures settling into London life and taking full advantage of our fantastic range of short-courses. I would encourage everybody to do the same.

In 2022, we will celebrate our 20th Anniversary year which gives us the opportunity to think collectively about how AKU-ISMC and its alumni can make an impact in what are clearly challenging times around the world.

The programme will start by celebrating the remarkable career of our very own Dr. Topan, a world renowned expert in Swahili Literature. 

We will then hold the inaugural event for our Vicennial year on the 10th December, followed by a range of activities that will allow us to reflect on the future direction of AKU-ISMC. These include an author's day, conferences, and the launch of our new Language Centre. I look forward to engaging in conversations with staff, faculty, students, and esteemed guests in the vital endeavour of shaping our institutional voice for 2022 and beyond.

At AKU-ISMC, we are committed to training active and engaged citizens who approach the world with an appreciation of the pluralism and complexity that also underpins our research, publications, and outreach. We speak to such complexity in our upcoming Winter Programme on 'Gender in Muslim Contexts'. Our annual Summer Programme on 'Human Rights in Muslim Contexts' is scheduled for June 2022.

Our Faculty are constantly engaging in new research ven​tures and trying to make a difference in difficult times. After recently signing an MoU with the Ministry of Higher Education of the Republic of the Maldives, I am excited to see how our innovative research on 'Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean' develops.

AKU-ISMC is a world class research centre. It is important prospective students recognise that we are not just teaching them how to complete an MA, but to lead the way in whatever field they choose to pursue. I see our programme as a foundation for future excellence, one that must be built upon if we are to tackle current challenges. At AKU-ISMC, our mission is to develop citizens who make a difference. ​

I wish you all the best of health, and thank you for your continued support which will allow AKU-ISMC to thrive and prosper in its 20th Anniversary year. ​​