SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Hagio Prize 13th Anniversary

The award entitles the winner to a short stay in Japan, usually around six weeks, costing up to £5000. The stay may vary in detail according to individual requirements, but will likely include travel within Japan, residence with a Japanese family and/or a work placement with a Japanese or foreign company in Japan.

The main costs covered by the award will include:

  • Return air fare (economy or excursion class) between the winner's home country and Japan*
  • Any academic fee in Japan
  • A Japanese rail pass
  • Contribution to accommodation and living expenses
  • Visa fees; passport costs; insurance cover

* If the winner is already entitled to paid travel to Japan, e.g. to take up employment there, the saving on airfares may be used, in agreement with Thomson Reuters Foundation and SOAS, for further educational travel in Japan.

The prize money is to be used for the winner's expenses only.


The award is open to students studying for the SOAS Diploma in Modern Japanese Full-time or Part-time. Confirmation of the award will be subject to successful completion of the Diploma Programme, and they must pass the final examination. Successful candidates are likely to be in their 20's.

The winner must hold a valid passport and meet any necessary visa requirement.

Application Procedure

Candidates should apply to SOAS Language Centre in the academic year during which they will sit the final examination for the Diploma. They must submit an essay in English of up to 1000 words, explaining (a) their reasons for taking up the study of Japanese, and (b) how they would expect to benefit from the travel award.

Selection Procedure

The award is managed by a Selection and Advisory Board comprising representatives of Mrs Fumiko Hagio, Thomson Reuters Foundation and SOAS. All eligible candidates will be interviewed by SOAS Language Centre members, who will assess their spoken and written Japanese and submit a short list to the Board with comments on agreed criteria (including the student’s performance to date at SOAS, progress in the Japanese language, extent of living in Japan, perceived benefit to the individual and achievement of the award’s aim of promoting international understanding of Japan). The Selection and Advisory Board will select the winner by unanimous agreement of all members present.

The Selection and Advisory Board may withdraw or terminate an award, by unanimous agreement, if the behavior of the holder is judged to be unacceptable in any way. The decision of the Board is final.


The deadline for applications each year is 30th April. The winner will be announced in June. The award must be taken up within six months of the announcement, at dates to be agreed with all parties.


The winner is required to submit a number of “blog” reports to Thomson Reuters Foundation during the travel period, including an assessment of how far the objectives of the Prize were met and any suggestions for improvement. The Board can use this report for its own internal business purposes.

Funds will be released to the winner upon receipt of each of the reports.

Article & Talk

The winner will also be asked to contribute text or notes for an article which may be edited and published by Thomson Reuters Foundation and SOAS, and to give a talk, if back in the UK, to the following year’s Diploma students at SOAS.

  • The Board reserves the right to withdraw or terminate an award if the behaviour of the holder is deemed to be inappropriate. The Board's decision is final.
  • The award is not open to employees or their families of Thomson Reuters Foundation or SOAS.