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Filipino students to benefit from S$4 million gifted to SMU

Filipino business leaders
Filipino business leaders, including Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, raised S$4 million in support of outstanding Filipino students who wish to pursue higher education at the Singapore Management University. This S$4 million gift is the first and largest contribution to date from a collective group of overseas donors.

Amount presented by the Philippine community is the first and largest contribution to date from a collective group of overseas donors.

Singapore, 28 February 2024 (Wednesday) – A group of distinguished industry leaders and the corporate community in the Philippines have come together to raise S$4 million in support of outstanding Filipino students who wish to pursue their higher education at the Singapore Management University (SMU). This S$4 million gift is the first and largest contribution to date from a collective group of overseas donors to SMU.

The fundraising effort towards the SMU Philippine Community Fund was initiated by Mr Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation and Chair of SMU International Advisory Council (IAC) Philippines, who served as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 2010 to January 2024. Under his leadership, members of the SMU IAC Philippines and various Philippine conglomerates, foundations and individuals came together to champion the educational aspirations of outstanding Filipino students.

The contributors to the gift are:

  1. Bank of the Philippine Islands
  2. Filinvest International Pte Ltd
  3. First Philippine Holdings Corporation
  4. Globe Telecom, Inc.
  5. Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
  6. ICTSI Foundation, Inc
  7. Jollibee Group Foundation
  8. Megaworld Corporation
  9. Mrs Maria Victoria Cuisia
  10. Mrs Teresita Sy-Coson
  11. SMU Philippines Alumni Chapter & Friends

Dedicated to advancing education and fostering industry growth, this gift provides international undergraduate scholarships, postgraduate scholarships and exchange scholarships for outstanding Filipino students. Innovation internship grants will be open for application by all SMU undergraduates.

Commencing in Academic Year 2024/2025, the scholarships will provide each undergraduate and postgraduate recipient with S$20,000 per year. Exchange and internship students will receive S$5,000 each, per year. The fund will benefit up to 11 students annually and will last in perpetuity.

This philanthropic contribution unlocks a broad range of opportunities for learning and development, fostering the cultivation of future leaders and innovators. Its potential positive influence extends beyond the deserving Filipino students to elevate their families and the broader community.

“It is an honor for the International Advisory Council of the Philippines to kickstart the SMU Philippine Fund. We hope that this will catalyze tremendous growth and impact for Filipinos who wish to study in one of the region’s leading higher education institutions,” says Mr Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Professor Lily Kong, SMU President said, “Aligned with SMU Vision 2025’s strategic priority of Growth in Asia, this partnership will contribute to the region’s development and enhance the university’s international standing. As we commemorate 55 years of bilateral relations between Singapore and the Philippines this year, I am confident that this collaboration will leave a lasting and positive impact on both countries, and I look forward to further engagements with industry leaders in the Philippines.”


About Singapore Management University

A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world-class research and distinguished teaching. Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading-edge research with global impact and to produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. SMU’s education is known for its highly interactive, collaborative and project-based approach to learning.

Home to over 13,000 students across undergraduate, postgraduate professional and postgraduate research programmes, SMU is comprised of eight schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Computing and Information Systems, Yong Pung How School of Law, School of Social Sciences. College of Integrative Studies and College of Graduate Research Studies. SMU offers a wide range of bachelors’, masters’ and PhD degree programmes in the disciplinary areas associated with the six schools, as well as in multidisciplinary combinations of these areas.

SMU emphasises rigorous, high-impact, multi- and interdisciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance. SMU faculty members collaborate with leading international researchers and universities around the world, as well as with partners in the business community and public sector. SMU’s city campus is a modern facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with business, government and the wider community. www.smu.edu.sg

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