What makes a global citizen?
At SOAS, we believe that people who have the linguistic and cultural skills to transcend political borders and make an impact are true global citizens. And we know that SOAS graduates and scholars master such skills – sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
In South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, only 27% of people can read. A third of the population speaks Dinka, which is a complex language that distinguishes words not just by different consonants and vowels, but also by means of vowel duration, pitch and voice quality. Working closely with Dinka researchers in South Sudan and with linguists from the University of Edinburgh, and SOAS, ethnomusicologist Dr Angela Impey has compiled and transcribed an extensive collection of traditional Dinka songs, using this material to create one of the first ever written educational resources in the Dinka language.
This was hailed by Deng Yai, the nation’s Undersecretary for Education as “invaluable” to the development of education in South Sudan. “Apart from teaching Dinka children to read,” he says, “you are teaching them a great deal about their own culture.” Who would have thought that music can teach a nation to read?
We are now looking for people who share our passion to make the world a better place to offer gifts, large and small, to help us achieve these and many other objectives:
- offer scholarships to 10 percent of our postgraduate students – many of whom come to us from the developing world or with high levels of debt
- support undergraduates through a year abroad as part of their programme of study – especially those from less privileged backgrounds
- create a Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership to provide all students with opportunities in training, volunteering and enterprise
- transform our campus to provide learning facilities that match our academic excellence – including developing the final quadrant of Senate House, improving College Buildings and refurbishing the architectural gem that is the SOAS Library.