Support Tamil Studies at SOAS

A project by: Tamil Studies UK

pledged of £500,000 target
Help support Tamil Studies as an area of vital scholarship and teaching at SOAS.

Tamil Studies at SOAS, University of London has a long history dating back over 75 years. However, as a result of increasing cuts in government funding, languages such as Tamil are no longer taught at SOAS. With a view to see Tamil Studies remain an area of scholarship and teaching in London, SOAS invites you to join the fundraising efforts of TamilStudiesUK ( to reinstate Tamil at SOAS. 

Our Aim:

  • Ensure Tamil is taught and is accessible for all university students, to a standard that provides credits for their degree, whatever their institution
  • Support Tamil language study and accreditation in schools and the community
  • Invigorate Tamil Studies at SOAS enabling students and academics to study and research Tamil culture and social sciences to the highest level
  • Award scholarships to ensure that academic and individual quality is the only requirement for access to Tamil Studies, for undergraduate and postgraduate applicants

The Future of Tamil Studies at SOAS

  • Invest in an endowment for scholarships to establish them in perpetuity
  • Conserve and digitise cultural and material heritage such as the palm-leaf manuscripts enhance the statue and surrounding environment of the Thiruvalluvar statue at SOAS with the aim of making it a ‘destination’ and focus for Tamil community events
  • Establish and support institutional partnerships valuable to Tamil and Tamil Studies in the UK and internationally
  • Create sustainable academic posts focused on innovative teaching and research of Tamil and Tamil Studies
  • Endow a professorial/senior academic Chair in Tamil and Tamil Studies

tamil at soas

World renowned Tamil Scholars such as Dr John Marr, Stuart Blackburn and David Shulman are the prodigies of SOAS. The famous English scholar M.S.H Thompson once taught Tamil here. Due to the government funding cuts, and lack of student participation, Tamil Studies in SOAS had to come to an unfortunate end. The partnership between SOAS and the TamilStudiesUK aims to invigorate Tamil Studies at SOAS.

Where will the money go?

Create a academic post, focused on innovative teaching and research of Tamil and Tamil Studies 

The establishment of academic posts and a Tamil Studies centre will enable Tamil Studies to once again take its place globally at SOAS alongside the study of other great regional traditions of scholarship for which the school is renowned. To give an idea of the costs and breakdown of the different levels of establishing Tamil Studies at SOAS, here are some figures setting out the funding requirements:

  • £4 million (INR 40 crore) for endowed Tamil Studies Scholarships
  • £6 million endowment (INR 60 crore) for a Chair in Tamil studies
  • £10 million endowment (INR 100 Crore) to establish a Centre

To say thank you, any donation of more than £1000 will feature on our online donor board. 

If for any reason the fundraising target is not achieved, the total amount raised will be maintained at SOAS as the TamilStudiesUK endowment, and the income generated will be used to fund various Tamil initiatives within SOAS.

Description of the image: Thiruvalluvar Statue Honouring at SOAS,  2020

Professor Edward Simpson, Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute with members of Tamil Chair UK in January 2020 marking the auspicious day of Pongal

Description of the image: Silapathikaram Drama performed by Tamil Arts and Culture School (TACS), Wales at Tamil Festival 2020 event at SOAS.

Others methods of donation

The easiest way to donate to the project is via this crowdfunding page. However SOAS also accepts donations via cheque, bank transfer, direct debit and shares. For more information please write to us at and we will be happy to facilitate your gift.

US Tax deductible Donations

In order to make a tax efficient gift from the US please donate via our Chapel & York US Foundation pages here and choose "Tamil Studies" from the campaign drop down box.