About us

What is UKCASA?

UKCASA (United Kingdom Council for Area Studies Associations) is a Council made up of Area Studies Associations in the UK.

What does UKCASA do?

The aims of the UKCASA are:

  • To promote, support and defend Area Studies programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • To develop a collaborative community amongst Area Studies Associations and practitioners
  • To promote interdisciplinary research and teaching about different regions and countries of the world

Why is UKCASA needed?

Area Studies is increasingly recognised within the UK Higher Education community. The QAA, ESRC and AHRC have recognised Area Studies and there is also a Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies.

It is important that professional associations in Area Studies maintain close relationships with higher education funding bodies, and that they keep in close touch with any developments which may effect Area Studies. UKCASA will help in these aims by distributing news of Area Studies developments and make recommendations and offer practical advice in promoting the interests and integrity of Area Studies.

Who can join UKCASA?

UKCASA in a council of associations, therefore it is not possible for individuals to join. Membership is open to all interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary academic associations that promote research and/or teaching in particular parts of the world.

Associations with a mainly non-academic membership may join as associate members. Associate members may send representatives and contribute to meetings, but are not eligible to vote.

When does UKCASA meet?

The council meets twice a year. Each member association sends a uo to three representatives to the meeting. UKCASA meetings are currently open to all members of an Area Studies association, but only nominated representatives are able to vote. The secretary will distribute details of the next meeting to representatives.

How is UKCASA funded?

At present UKCASA is funded solely by member subscriptions. Associations join UKCASA by contributing £50 to £150, according to size. This allows smaller groups to join UKCASA for a modest contribution, while inviting larger groups to make a payment reflecting the size and health of their associations.

How was UKCASA formed?

In November 2003, the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies organised an event 'Opening up an umbrella for the Area Studies Community', aimed mainly at officers of Area Studies Associations. The event recognised the need to create a greater sense of community amongst Area Studies practitioners. Dick Ellis and Peter Matanle were elected as the founding chair and vice-chair respectively. The first official meeting of UKCASA took place in February 2004 when Philip Davies, Michael Smith, Dick Ellis and Tony Chafer were elected as the first officers of UKCASA.

How does UKCASA operate?

Full details about how UKCASA operates can be found in the Constitution.