SOAS University of London

SOAS awarded grant to advance Philippine Studies

14 November 2017

SOAS University of London has been awarded a grant of £75,000 by the Philippine Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs to advance Philippine Studies at SOAS.

Last month, His Excellency Antonio Lagdameo, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the UK, the Hon. Senator Loren Legarda, member of the Republic of the Philippines Senate, SOAS’s Dr Ben Murtagh and Dr Cristina Juan met with SOAS Director Baroness Valerie Amos CH to sign the gift agreement.

Over the next three years, the grant will cover Philippine-related lectures, workshops, exhibitions, conferences and travel grants for students and academics doing research in the region and for Philippine students and staff studying at SOAS. This will include an Annual Philippine Studies Workshop and publication; an Annual Postgraduate Conference on Southeast Asian Studies; Philippine film screenings and digitization of SOAS Philippine materials.

Senator Legarda and His Excellency Antonio Lagdameo also welcomed the suggestion for SOAS to include the languages of the more than one hundred Philippine ethno-linguistic groups in the Native Languages Documentation Project of the Endangered Languages Program. They also highlighted the potential to increase funding to document the extinct and endangered languages in the Philippines.

Senator Legarda said. “I support this initiative, especially for an archipelagic country, like ours, that has remote islands with small groups of people whose spoken languages are almost lost. We welcome further collaboration with SOAS, through skills trainings and other capacity enhancement activities, in order to comprehensively document all endangered languages of our ethno-linguistic groups in the country.”

Dr Ben Murtagh, Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at SOAS, said: “We are really excited by the boost to our provision of teaching on the Philippines that this gift will provide. The grant will also enable us to support a number of external facing events on the Philippines so there will be benefit for students, staff and the wider SOAS community.”