The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Cyprus Branch with an open letter urges the competent authorities of the University of London to revoke their decision to close the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. The Institute, seated in the School of Advanced Study of the University of London, is the only postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom focused on the study of the Commonwealth, and for many decades now, it has produced a significant amount of research work and fostered excellence.

The open letter, signed by the members of the Board of the RCS Cyprus Branch and endorsed by nine alumni and formerly affiliated researchers of the Institute, highlights the importance of the Institute not only in supporting scientific research on various fields of Commonwealth studies, but also in addressing cardinal aspects of the history of Cyprus, during the colonial and post-colonial period.

The letter makes particular reference to the forthcoming (May 2021) international scientific conference on Cyprus and the Commonwealth 1961-2021, which is co-organised by the School of Law of the University of Nicosia and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, with the support of the RCS Cyprus Branch, and is expected to foster the academic dialogue on the importance and contribution of Cyprus as an actor to the Commonwealth history and affairs. The open letter appeals to the leadership of the University of London to save this pre-eminent academic pillar of Commonwealth Studies, considering that its contribution to the sustainability of the Commonwealth per se is of crucial importance.

This initiative forms part of the greater strategies of the RCS Cyprus Branch to promote, secure, and support academic activities and scientific work focusing on the role and impact of Cyprus as an indispensable part of the Commonwealth.

Read the full text of the open letter here.

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