Staff and faculty at AKU-ISMC and Dr Ibrahim Hassan, Minister of Higher Education, Republic Maldives sign an agreement online in London, Toronto and Male.
The Maldives Ministry of Higher Education and the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, ISMC, signed an agreement today to promote scientific and academic collaboration between the two partners.
The Memorandum of Understanding will formalise a range of initiatives that are designed to encourage further cooperation between AKU and the Ministry. Opportunities include new scholarships for up to five Maldivian students to study at the Institute in London and facilitating the processes for academics to carry out research in areas of mutual interest including field research. The agreement also aims to improve access to ISMC’s short courses for Maldivian students.
Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean is an important research area for ISMC. This interdisciplinary research includes archaeological studies led by Professor Stephane Pradines and studies around the literature of the Swahili coast carried out by Dr Farouk Topan. This agreement expands AKU-ISMC’s capacity to conduct exciting research in the region.
Minister of Higher Education, Maldives, Dr Ibrahim Hassan stated that “Maldives higher education sector has seen tremendous progress over the years and we continuously seek opportunities and collaborations with well-known international and national organizations and institutions to build a resilient workforce. Today the signing of the MOU between Aga Khan University and the MOHE marks the realization of another such venture. This agreement has additional importance for us. The university’s aim of developing new methods and theories in the study of Islam and Muslim cultures, and the importance it gives to research and developing future leaders resonates with our dream of building a modern liberal society which can take this Muslim country forward.”
AKU Provost Dr Carl Amrhein emphasised the importance of this agreement: “Signing this MoU with the Ministry of Higher Education, Republic of Maldives is an important step in deepening our research on Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean and formalising our positive relationship with the Ministry.”
“International research is at the heart of our master’s programme and much of the research that is carried out by faculty at the Institute,” he added. “This agreement will help our students and faculty gain a better understanding of each others’ cultures and histories and hopefully forge bonds and partnerships that will endure for years to come.”