Based in London, the Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations aims to
strengthen research and teaching about the heritage of Muslim societies,
with specific attention to the challenges these societies face in
The Institute seeks to provide a multifaceted
approach to the study of Muslim peoples through a framework of world
cultures, the humanities and social sciences. This approach is reflected
in a master’s programme and short courses and through research and
ISMC's mandate emerged from the Chancellor's Commission, a
distinguished group of international academics, who reviewed several major
higher education studies focused on countries with Muslim populations in 1994.
The studies included those undertaken during
the preceding decade by the Harvard Committee, the Institute for
International Education and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organisation).
The Commission concluded that the Aga Khan
University, an institution of higher learning with its main campus
in a region with a majority Muslim population, was uniquely placed to
address the challenges faced by Muslims today.
It felt that AKU could achieve this objective
through the establishment of an institute devoted to the study of
Muslim civilisations, aiming to produce research and writings that would
serve to bring an enlightened understanding of the heritage of Muslim