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SOAS receives major gift for students’ new hub in Senate House North Block

2 May 2014

The Garfield Weston Foundation has donated a major gift worth £332,000 to SOAS, University of London to develop a new student hub in the Senate House North Block.

The Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making trust, which supports a broad range of organisations and activities that share a commitment to making a positive impact to the lives of the communities in which they work, and that are driven by a desire to achieve excellence.

The donation will dramatically improve student services at SOAS through the creation of the one-stop student hub. The hub will include the student advice and wellbeing service, and the careers and enterprise service, all within the redeveloped Senate House North Block building.

Architects' impression of Senate House North Block entrance

Architects' impression of Senate House North Block entrance

Student services are currently located in two separate locations - key departments such Registry  - including fees, scholarships, exams - Student Advice and Wellbeing and the Cashiers office are located at Vernon Square, whereas others such as Faculty Offices, Academic Development Directorate and the Students’ Union are at Russell Square.

Director of Garfield Weston Foundation Philippa Charles said: “The Foundation is especially keen to support projects that deliver services directly to the beneficiaries. We are, therefore, delighted to support the creation of a new hub to help improve student services at SOAS.”

Director of Development and Alumni Relations Matthew Gorman said: “This donation will help to provide a transformational student experience - frontline support on a range of issues such as finance and housing will be centred all in one place.  We would like to thank Garfield Weston Foundation for its generous donation.”

SOAS’ vision for the redevelopment of Senate House North Block is to create a vibrant 21st century campus which befits its international standing and one which nurtures excellence, supports intellectual endeavour and facilitates new styles of teaching and learning. The Senate House North Block project is also central to SOAS’ Centenary Fundraising Campaign, part of the celebrations to mark the School’s first 100 years in 2016.