The Australian National University is a world-class centre for the study of Thailand, a country of 65 million which is a major actor in the Southeast Asian region and important partner of Australia in economic, educational, diplomatic and security areas. The ANU has one of the largest concentrations of country specialists outside of Thailand, including recognised experts in such topics as contemporary political and security issues, economics, history, sociology, anthropology, language and culture and health issues.
ANU expertise on Thailand is located primarily in the College of Asia and the Pacific. The Thai (and Lao) language has been offered in the South East Asia Centre, Faculty of Asian Studies for over 30 years. It was the first Australian university to offer Thai, and is now the only one to have a full-time language lecturer. Undergraduate and post-graduate courses are offered in language and other disciplines listed above, by the Faculty and the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
In 1991 the Faculty was selected to house the government-initiated National Thai Studies Centre, which provides a national focus for Thai studies in Australia. The NTSC has a particular emphasis on keeping Australians informed about contemporary developments in Thailand. Towards this end it has a website that includes relevant publications on this topic, holds regular seminars and an annual high-profile Update Conference with expert presenters from Thailand and Australia. (More details on the NTSC can be found at: National Thai Studies Centre.