London, England

Particular: Details

Location: London, UK

Established: 1829

Total Students: 32,895

Percentage of International Students: 26%

  • SOAS is one of the leading centres for international foundation and pre-master’s study in the UK, bringing 35 years’ expertise to innovative programmes.
  • The programmes allow students to create their own pathway to a degree by combining options from social sciences, humanities and business/ economics.
  • SOAS is one of the UK’s most international universities, with around half of SOAS’ students coming from outside the UK.
  • SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.
  • The SOAS library is the UK National Research Library for Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
  • The library houses over 1.3 million volumes.
  • It has a major collection of digital resources, archives, manuscripts, rare books, and special collections.
  • Completed in 1973, in recent years the Grade II* listed library has been updated to provide more seating and modern facilities.
  • Students at SOAS also have access to other University of London libraries, including the main library at Senate House.

Social Spaces

SOAS’ expansion in 2016 into the north block of the iconic Senate House building provided students with a variety of new learning spaces, seminar rooms, lecture theatres and breakout spaces – as well as cafés and informal social areas.

Faith and Spiritual practice

SOAS is a multifaith institution. It is served by a teams of chaplains, who offer many services including: prayer and worship, a confidential ear, a community of friendship and spiritual support. Three single-sex prayer rooms are available for private use.


A range of home-cooked, fresh, seasonal food with daily changing specials is available at lunchtime and early evening from the student refractory. Tea and coffee is available from the student shop (which has a cash machine), the atrium or library.

  • SOAS students have exclusive access to two residences – Dinwiddy House and Paul Robeson House, 20-minutes’ walk from campus.
  • The main options for students to choose from are halls of residence or private rented accommodation.
  • SOAS provides a huge variety of accommodation in terms of costs and location, so there really is something to suit all needs.
  • Information and assistance is provided in finding rooms in private halls, female-only halls, and private rented accommodation.
  • Bloomsbury campus (main) has access to 1,200+ spaces in university/college accommodation.
  • Tutors, academic development staff and other services all offer support.
  • Students can meet one-to-one with their personal tutor.
  • The Disability and Dyslexia support team provides specialist support.

Health Services

  • SOAS offers a student advice and wellbeing service.
  • Students are encouraged to register with a doctor on arrival.
  • Information is provided on GP practices, dentists, counselling, and sexual health.

Counselling and mental health support

  • SOAS offers a confidential student counselling and wellbeing service.
  • Counsellors accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Mental health check-ins are available.
  • A wellbeing drop-in is held daily.

Disability support

  • The SOAS Disability and Neurodiversity team provides information, advice and support.
  • Pre-application, students can contact the disability advisor to discuss requirements.
  • Support for a range of disabilities, learning differences, and health conditions.
  • A range of specialist support technology is available.
  • SOAS is well-served by all forms of public transport. It has excellent travel connections via bus, underground and train.
  • SOAS is close to both Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) and Goodge Street (Northern Line) underground stations.
  • Nearby Euston Station provides mainline rail links to the rest of the country.
  • It is only a 10-minute walk to the Eurostar hub at St Pancras, from where it is a short hop to Paris, and continental Europe.
  • Travel time from Heathrow Airport to Russell Square Station (Piccadilly Line) is approximately 1 hour.
National rankings
Complete (2020)[45] 44
Guardian (2020)[46] 58
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[47] 36=
Global rankings
QS (2020)[48] 288
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[49] Silver
  • SOAS’ central London location ensures there are plenty of part-time job opportunities for students to take advantage of.
  • Marketing annually recruits a team of student ambassadors to help out at events, with guided tours and other activities.
  • SOAS Careers’ Office includes any part-time openings in their newsletter, which is circulated weekly during term-time.

In justice, IdrisKutigi, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Sylvester UmaruOnu, Judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Herbert Chitepo, first Black Rhodesian Barrister, John Vinelott, lawyer and judge.

Prominent journalists and broadcasters such as, Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper in London, ZeinabBadawi, presenter of BBC World News Today, Martin Bright, political editor of the Jewish ChronicleJung Chang, who is best known for her family autobiography Wild SwansHosseinDerakhshan, Iranian blogger credited with starting the blogging revolution in Iran,[69] Jamal Elshayyal, news producer at Al Jazeera English, GhidaFakhry, news anchor at Al Jazeera English, James Harding, head of BBC News and former editor of The TimesLindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News correspondent and columnist for the New StatesmanSwapanDasgupta, Indian journalist and public intellectual, Dom Joly, television comedian and journalist, ElanJourno, Fellow and Director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand InstituteClive King, author of Stig of the DumpFreya Stark, travel writer, James Longman, former BBC journalist, now ABC News foreign correspondent and Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC’s Tokyo correspondent.

In academia, SOAS alumni include: Simon Digby, oriental scholar, KusumaKarunaratne, Sri Lankan academic, university administrator, Professor and scholar of Sinhalese language and literature, Wang Gungwu, Australian historian of Asia, Sir Martin Harris, educationalist, Gregory B. Lee, sinologist, Bernard Lewis, Orientalist, Duncan McCargo, political scientist, Robert L. McKenzie, scholar-cum-public commentator on forced migration and refugees, Than Tun, historian of Burma, Ivan van Sertima, historian and anthropologist, AbdurRahmanibn Yusuf Mangera, contemporary Muslim jurist and scholar, William Montgomery Watt, Islamic scholar, Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, a contemporary Muslim philosopher, and A. K. Narain, Professor and scholar of Indo-Greeks studies, Archeology, Ancient Indian History.

Noted writers include M. K. Asante author of Buck, filmmaker and professor, Raman Mundair, British poet and playwright. OluOguibe, a conceptual artist and academic, Derwin Panda, an electronic musician and producer, Paul Robeson, an American singer who was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, HimanshuSuri aka “Heems”, rapper and member of Das Racist, and DzongsarJamyangKhyentse Rinpoche, a Bhutanese lama and filmmaker are all alumni of the school.

In business, alumni include: Fred Eychaner, American businessman and philanthropist,[70] AbdulsalamHaykal, Syrian media entrepreneur, Sir Peter Parker, chairman of the British Railways BoardLesetjaKganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve BankAtiurRahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank and Sir Dermot de Trafford, British banker and baronet.


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