PH Embassy Launches 1st Campus Caravan

The Embassy of the Philippines in London launched its pioneering Campus Caravan programme on 03 October, the official start of the academic year in the United Kingdom.
The Embassy Campus Caravan aims to establish links between the Embassy and the different universities in the UK and Ireland, as well as to strengthen existing ones with the goal of establishing strategic partnerships that will strengthen and widen institutional linkages among Philippine and British universities, increase British and Philippine student mobilisation, and establish Philippine studies as an important field in the academe.
During each Campus Caravan leg, the Embassy engaged representatives from the university administration on possible areas of collaboration, as well as funding and scholarship opportunities for Filipino students.  The Embassy also met with Filipino students currently enrolled in the university to explore partnerships and future activities aimed at igniting interest on Philippine arts, history, and culture among the university’s non-Filipino students.
“Our aim is to engage with Filipino and Filipino-British students to encourage them to celebrate their cultural heritage and to get to know the Philippines on a deeper level,” said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo at a gathering with Filipino and Filipino-British students enrolled at King’s College London.  “This is also the reason why we are actively engaging with museums, galleries, libraries, and other places of learning in order to establish the breadth and depth of the cultural interaction that the Philippines has with the United Kingdom.  By doing so, we hope to be able to provide people like you—students, artists, bloggers, social media influencers—accurate and interesting materials so that you could share what the Philippines stands for with those you study and work with.”
The Embassy Campus Caravan recently visited the University of Birmingham and King’s College London on 03 and 05 October, respectively.  The Campus Caravan is expected to visit other major universities in the UK within academic year.
“The Embassy considers universities, museums, galleries, and other places of learning and discovery as important partners in Philippine public and cultural diplomacy,” said Stacy Danika Alcantara-Garcia, the Embassy’s Public and Cultural Diplomacy Officer.  “The strategic partnerships we hope to forge with these academic and cultural institutions will enable us to inspire citizens of the United Kingdom to dig deeper into Philippine arts, history, and culture and to get to know our country beyond media clichés.”
At present, the Embassy has partnered with SOAS University of London to establish the first Philippine Studies Centre in the United Kingdom.  SOAS’ Philippine Studies Centre is the Embassy’s official partner in the annual Philippine Studies Conference in the UK, and has also been a repository of a growing collection of Filipiniana materials, which has been an important facility for researchers.
According to 2017 data, there are around 783 Filipino students in the UK, a number of which are funded through scholarships, grants, and student loans, while an equally significant number fund their studies through private sources.

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