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South Asian Studies Institute

About us

The South Asian Studies Institute (the Institute) at the University of the Fraser Valley brings together South Asia scholars and students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to create a nexus point for programs and activities that support our vision. The Institute fosters inter-disciplinary scholarly research, community and public engagement on issues related to South Asia and the Canadian South Asian Diaspora. 

The Institute initiates, directs and implements the development, maintenance and enhancement of scholarship, research and engagement in collaboration with faculty, students and community. The Institute takes direction from UFV’s strategic goals to be a leader of social, cultural, economic and environmentally responsible development in the Fraser Valley

The Institute is a repository of the pioneering history of the Canadian South Asian Diaspora. We also undertake much needed contemporary research that benefits members of the community, government, organizations and agencies as well as the many facets of academia.

The Institute is also a gateway for individuals, organizations and agencies in BC who seek to do business with India and who want to understand the relationships and opportunities between our two countries. This work is undertaken by the BC Regional Innovation Chair on Canada-India Partnership Development.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Institute is to conduct and disseminate research with a goal to address community needs and challenges, to affect and influence strategies in the development of government policy, and that restores the Canadian public record. The Institute investigates and considers the complex successes, challenges and issues as well as the multi-faceted contributions of the Canadian South Asians. The Institute supports and responds to UFV’s three strategic goals

  • Provide the best undergraduate education in Canada;
  • Be a leader of social, cultural, economic, and environmentally-responsible development in the Fraser Valley;
  • Be innovative, entrepreneurial, and accountable in achieving our goals


  • Promote the study of and engagement with the Canadian South Asian Diaspora.
  • Undertake relevant and timely research and initiate collaborations with Faculty Associates and other individuals/institutions to undertake collaborative research
  • Maintain a hub of knowledge and research (e.g. provincial archival history, research exhibits, policy papers, discussion documents, published articles, etc.)
  • Support the building and enhancement of a repository of the Canadian South Asian Diaspora’s pioneering history that benefits academia, members of the community and informs Canadian history
  • House the BC Regional Innovation Chair on Canada-India Partnership Development. The Chair as a conduit provides critical linkages, business knowledge and information on doing business with India/Canada for those who want to take advantage of the opportunities and relationships between our two countries.


A comprehensive and innovative research plan.

  • Undertake research and publish findings on urgent and pertinent issues that are important and relevant to South Asian Studies, the region and the community. Collaborate and co-operate with international, national and local scholars in building research programs
  • Publish findings, present work at conferences and create networks of scholars with similar focus
  • Plan lectures, seminars, conferences, colloquiums, and research sharing days on South Asian Studies.
  • Support scholarship that will inform the development and promotion of South Asian Studies through Faculty Associates, visiting scholars, student research and interdisciplinary research consortiums
  • Develop, sustain and enhance Memorandums of Understandings with various Universities regarding South Asia and Diaspora Studies
  • Engage in UFV wide research activities, committees, programs and activities
  • Engage students in research activities and programs

Community engagement

  • Initiate events, programs and responses to community engagement
  • Create community partnerships and engagement that allow us to build synergies and cooperation across many disciplines, fields and interests.

Provide expert advice

  • The Institute provides expert advice to media, multi-sector stakeholders, all levels of government, community groups and organizations.

BC Regional Innovation Chair on Canada-India Partnership Development.

  • Develop Canada India business and economic development relations, research, and program development
  • Respond to local, provincial, federal policies and programs as well as community and business needs in Canada
  • Engage students in research and teach courses
  • Provide and develop educational opportunities for students through teaching, research and other project work