Our story

We are delighted to introduce you to the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, one of the world's leading centres for teaching, research and outreach on the region.

Since the founding of the Australian National University in 1946, the College has driven Australia's engagement and understanding of its neighbourhood. The work conducted here has established the University as a global centre of excellence in research, teaching and influence on Asia and the Pacific.

The College has its roots in the University’s Research School of Pacific Studies and the School of Oriental Languages, established in 1946 and 1952 respectively. The Research School of Pacific Studies was a founding institution of ANU, formed to drive Australia’s engagement with and understanding of its neighbourhood. The School of Oriental Languages was established to train diplomats and public servants in Chinese, and later Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia and Malay. Ten years later, the School became the groundbreaking Faculty of Asian Studies, the first and only faculty at an Australian university dedicated to a regional specialisation. In 2010, the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies and the Faculty of Asian Studies merged to form the College of Asia and the Pacific.

Throughout its history, the College has prided itself on its teaching expertise and academic excellence. Notable current and former staff members include:

Sir John Crawford - pioneer in Asia-Pacific economics and public policy
A.L. Basham - author of The Wonder That Was India, which remains the most widely used introductory text on Indian civilisation
Stephen Wurm - the world's foremost expert on the languages of New Guinea
Hedley Bull - key international relations scholar
Hugh White - Australia's leading strategic and defence analyst
Hilary Charlesworth - world-renowned expert on international law and human rights
Nicholas Evans - leading expert on endangered languages

Today, the College hosts the largest number of regional experts and specialist academic programs in the English-speaking world, and plays a vital role in informing public policy and Australia's intellectual engagement with the societies, cultures and economies of Asia and the Pacific. The ANU Library also holds one of the best Asian collections in the world. Although the College remains unique for its regional focus, it also has an unwavering commitment to disciplinary strength, particularly in political science, economics, history, anthropology, law, archaeology and linguistics, with an enviable international standing across all these disciplines.

With the College’s focus on Asia and the Pacific more relevant now than ever, ANU is indisputably the best place to prepare the next generation of regional specialists for the challenges of the Asian century.

Updated:  11 January, 2015/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team