Asian University for Women Vice Chancellor, Professor Nirmala Rao, OBE FAcSS, was recently interviewed by Bloomberg Day Break Asia on the topic of ‘Empowering Women Through Education.’ In a conversation with Juliette Saly, Professor Rao spoke about the opportunities that higher education creates and its ability to create gender parity: “We believe that education is crucial to establishing equality among sexes,” Professor Rao remarked.
Professor Nirmala Rao joined Asian University for Women as its Vice Chancellor in February 2017. Formerly Pro-Director at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, for nearly a decade, Nirmala held a similar post as Pro-Warden for Academic Affairs at Goldsmiths College, University of London, between 2005 and 2007.
She took her first degree in Economics at Delhi University in 1979, and subsequently received her MA and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She arrived in the UK in the late 1980s and took up her first research post at the Policy Studies Institute. In 1993 she was awarded her PhD and the following year appointed as a Lecturer in Politics at Goldsmiths College. She has published extensively in the field of urban governance and has served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Her publications include Governing London; Cities in Transition; Local Political Leadership; and Reshaping City Governance.
Nirmala was elected academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences in 2003. She has extensive experience of public service and has also served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Centre for Good Governance, Government of Andhra Pradesh. A Trustee of the Learning from Experience Trust, Nirmala was for a number of years an appointed member of the Architects Registration Board, lay member of the General Council of the Bar and a non-executive director of Ealing Hospital NHS Trust. She was awarded an OBE for services to scholarship at the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011.