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Ernest Koh is an historian of Southeast Asia. A former Visiting Fellow with the University of Washington and Beijing University, he took up his current position with UC’s Global Studies program in 2020.

Ernest’s work revolves around the study of competing nationalisms within post-colonial states, and how these competitions shape the nature of nation-building projects in the region. He is the author of several books and journal articles, including Singapore Stories (2010), Diaspora at War (2013), the forthcoming Maids and Modernity in Postcolonial Singapore, and a transnational history of middle management spanning Japan and Singapore. His monograph on the Second World War was turned into the award-winning historical documentary Forgotten Heroes in 2020 by the Singapore government’s media subsidiary CNA. He has since helped to produce two further documentaries on the deportation of Asian sailors and their families from Australia and the UK at the end of the Second World War.

Previously the inaugural Director of Australia’s first Centre for Undergraduate Research (CURIE) whilst at Monash University, Ernest is the recipient of several awards for his contributions to student learning. These include an OLT Citation for Learning and Teaching from the Commonwealth Government of Australia, a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence from Monash University, an Excellence in Teaching Award (Early-Career) from the University of Western Australia, as well as accolades for his work in the area of international online education from the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards, the Victorian International Education Awards, the IIE’s Andrew Heiskell Awards, and the QS-Wharton School’s Reimagine Education Awards.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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