LSE receives major gift to create new Southeast Asia Centre

LSE has received a significant donation from Professor Saw Swee Hock to establish a new academic centre focused on Southeast Asia, as announced at the LSE Asia Forum 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre will bring together researchers for interdisciplinary analysis of policy questions facing Southeast Asia, while strengthening further the School’s research and engagement with the ASEAN region. Academics affiliated with the centre will benefit from a range of specialist resources, networks and funding opportunities.

The new centre will be led by Professor Danny Quah as Director Designate. Danny Quah is Professor of Economics and International Development at LSE and a leading expert on the rise of eastern economies. 

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Quah said: “The rise of Asia is perhaps the singular developmental and political story of our era, attracting praise and criticism, wonder and scepticism. LSE, as one of the world’s leading institutions for social science research and education, has always been fully engaged with Asian developments – whether it is in climate change governance, agrarian reform or religious conflict.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of Professor Saw, LSE can build on its already substantial engagement with Asia. Using the School’s distinctive interdisciplinary expertise in the social sciences, The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre can bring a global perspective to the policy and research questions specific to the region.”

The donation and establishment of the Southeast Asia Centre further cements Professor Saw’s philanthropic relationship with LSE. Earlier this year the School opened the spectacular Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, described by the Architects' Journal as “inviting, imaginative and memorable”. The iconic building was named after Professor Saw in appreciation of his generous donation towards its construction.

A PhD graduate and now Honorary Fellow of LSE, Professor Saw has also given towards the School’s Library, the New Academic Building, scholarships for LSE Singaporean students and previous LSE Asia Forums in Singapore and Beijing.  

LSE plans to officially launch the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre in the new academic year for 2014-15.