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Opposition to the Proposed Closure of 

the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS)


The Proposal to Close the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (19 Oct. 2020)

1. The Petition Opposing the Closure


There is an online petition at for people wishing to express their opposition to the proposed closure of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Please follow this link to sign the petition.


2. Why the Proposal to Close ICwS is a Serious Strategic Mistake

A summary statement of the arguments against closure, by Professor Philip Murphy, the Director of ICwS, and Sue Onslow, retired Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, ICwS. (22 Oct.)

3. Messages Sent to the University of London and Others in Opposition to the Closure


a. From Four Former Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth (24 Oct.)

b. From the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, co-signed by 25 other Commonwealth Accredited Organizations (26 Oct.) and the Response (28 Oct.)

c. From the Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation (28 Oct.)

d. From 181 Members of the Academic Community (29 Oct.)

e. From The Round Table, the Commonwealth Journal (29 Oct.)

f. From James Manor, former Director of ICwS (30 Oct.)

g. In the Daily Telegraph (30 Oct.)

h. In The Times (31 Oct.), and in The Times Higher Education Supplement, 2019 (12 July) and 2020 (19 Oct.)

i. From Sir Ron Sanders, Closing the Institute of Commonwealth Studies a Retrograde Step (02 Nov.)

j. From SCOLMA, the U.K. Libraries and Archives Group on Africa (31 Oct.)

k. From James Manor, The Promise of Commonwealth Studies (n.d.)

l. From Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). (02 Nov.)

m. From the President of the European Association for Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) and Senior Research Associate of the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. (03 Nov.)

n. From the Vice Chancellor of the University of London, minuting a meeting on November 5th with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and others.

o. From Peter Williams to Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon at FCDO (10 Nov.). 

p.  From Peter Williams to the Vice Chancellor, University of London (16 Nov.).


q. From Prof. Thomas Symons and six other members of the Commission on Commonwealth Studies, from Britain, Canada, Australia, Ghana, Malaysia and Namibia, to the Secretary of State, FCDO, and the same to the Vice Chancellor, recalling the work of the Commission on Commonwealth Studies (16 Nov.)

r. From the Fellows of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of the School of Advanced Study, University of London (17 Nov.).

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