Azirah Hashim is Professor Emeritus in the English Language Department, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya. She has held several leadership positions including Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Institute (2015-2020), Director of the Centre for ASEAN Regionalism (2015-2018), Dean of the Humanities Research Cluster (2010-2015), Chairperson of the Research Ethics Committee (2013-2015) and Dean and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya (2003-2009, 1996-2002). Currently, she is a member of the steering group for the ASEAN Higher Education Community of Practice, SEAMEO RIHED (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre)-SHARE and a member of the Standing Working Group of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Education representing the Asia-Europe Institute.
Her research interests include English in multilingual contexts, internationalisation of higher education in ASEAN and Academic and Professional Discourse. Publications include English in Southeast Asia and ASEAN: Transformation of Language Habitats, Routledge co-authored with Gerhard Leitner (2021), Communicating with Asia: the Future of English as a Global Language , Cambridge University Press edited with Gerhard Leitner and Hans-Georg Wolf (2016, 2019) and articles in journals such as English Today, Discourse Studies and Multilingua.
She is President of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA - https://aila.info/) from 2021 to 2024 and is Founding President of the Malaysian Association of Applied Linguistics. In addition, she is an honorary life member and in the executive committee of the Asia Pacific Languages for Specific Purposes and Professional Communication Association and is a former executive committee member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.
She was on the MyExpert committee at the Ministry of Higher Education involved in capacity building in higher education projects in Cambodia and Laos and was project leader of an Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education 'Building research capacity in Malaysia and Laos' (2017-2021). She also headed the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence: ASEAN and the EU in Dialogue (2017-2021). In 2009, she was awarded the Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany for a research stay at Free University Berlin and is a Fellow of the Foundation. In 2020, she was a recipient of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute Research Fellowship, Trinity College Dublin and in 2021, recipient of the Humboldt Fellowship for a renewed stay at FRIAS, University of Freiburg, Germany. She was also FRIAS Senior Fellow and Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union at University of Freiburg, Germany in 2022. She is Humboldt Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/en/) from 2021 to 2024 and ASEAN Higher Education Expert in the EU SHARE programme on higher education in the ASEAN region from 2021 to 2022.
Azirah is on the editorial and advisory board of English Today, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, World Englishes, Journal of Sociolinguistic Studies, GEMA Journal of Language Studies, Journal of Intercultural Communication, Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Asian Journal of English Language Studies and AEI Insights: an international journal on Asia-Europe relations. Also, she is a reviewer for several journals, external examiner and assessor for several universities and on the editorial board of the Asia TEFL book series.
On 29 April 2023, Azirah was awarded Honorary Membership of the Linguistic Society of the Philippines for distinguished contribution to linguistics and language research. She was also elected Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in April 2023.