16 April 2019
SOAS University of London hosted its first graduation celebration event in Singapore to mark the graduation of some 40 Alphawood Scholarship students. The graduation event included four cohorts of Alphawood Scholars who graduated from SOAS between 2014 and 2018, completing Masters and Postgraduate Diploma programmes in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS.
Graduates came from across the region including from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia as well as Singapore to take part in the celebratory event at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
The Director of SOAS, Baroness Valerie Amos CH, gave the opening remarks and highlighted the range of work many of the graduates are now involved in since completing their studies – from galleries, universities, national parks and heritage centres, departments of government and civil society organisations. She added: “The impact you all have in this field is extraordinary” in helping to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP) was established at SOAS in 2014 through the generous and visionary support of the Alphawood Foundation. Its mission is to support and advance the understanding and preservation of Southeast Asian Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture from ancient to pre-modern times. Through the Alphawood Scholarship scheme, SAAAP has made available over 90 awards to Southeast Asian scholars.
The Graduation Celebration launched a weekend of partnership, alumni, and prospective student engagement events in Singapore, including Masterclasses on Asian Art with leading SOAS experts; an all-alumni dinner with the Alphawood Scholars; a British Council event where Baroness Amos spoke on Leadership for the Global Age; and SOAS also took part in an overseas education exhibition aimed at prospective students.
The SOAS Director also gave a series of media interviews on the UK's decision to leave the UK and its impact on universities on BBC Newsday, CNBC Squawk Box and Channel NewsAsia.