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‘Major donation’ for Senate House expansion and research

Tom King, BA Politics

SOAS has received a £749,000 donation from the Wolfson Foundation, a charity which supports higher education in the UK.


The grant will go towards the school’s expansion into the North Block of Senate House which is due to be completed in Spring 2016 as well as funding scholarships for postgraduate students.


SOAS is one of only nine higher education institutions to have received funding for Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in Humanities, which will allow three students to conduct research across history, literature and languages over three years beginning in 2015. There are currently six Wolfson-funded scholars at the school working in research on post-colonial studies, cultural literacy, linguistics and history. A further three scholars will begin their studies this academic year.


The school’s Director Paul Webley said “The Wolfson Foundation shares SOAS’ commitment to academic excellence.”


“By extending the scholarship programme, this latest grant will also help to ensure we continue to attract the best global candidates, who will thrive in the intellectually vigorous and inspiring environment offered by SOAS.”


Wolfson Foundation Chief Executive Paul Ramsbottom said: “We have a long history of supporting excellence in the cultural and academic spheres in the UK. The impact of SOAS, a relatively small London-based institution, far outweighs its size – its teaching, learning and research enriches society on a global scale.”


The Senate House project will see SOAS move to a single site; with the sale of the Vernon Square campus. SOAS previously received a £5 million donation from the Alphawood Foundation to contribute to the cost of renovating the 1920s North Block to serve as a state-of-the-art learning centre and student hub. Webley said “By supporting the ambitious redevelopment of Senate House North Block, the Wolfson Foundation will make a huge impact on our plans to create a single vibrant campus for a 21st Century institution.”


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