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SOAS University of London

London, United Kingdom

Public -1916


Acceptance Rate


Male: Female Ratio

January and September



Student: Teacher Ratio

History, Affiliations, Ranking

SOAS is one of the world's major institutes for the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, having been founded in 1916. The School of Oriental Studies was established in 1916 at 2 Finsbury Circus, London, where the London Institution was then located. The school was granted a royal charter on June 5, 1916, and its first pupils were accepted on January 18, 1917. George V formally opened the institution a month later, on February 23, 1917. Earl Curzon of Kedleston, previously Viceroy of India, and many other government officials were among those present. The university is affiliated with the University of London, ACU, and Universities UK and is officially recognized/chartered by the Privy Council. It has been ranked 53rd by the Complete Rankings 2022 nationally, and 346th by the QS World University Rankings 2022, globally. 

Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses

Based in the heart of London, SOAS is located in Russell Square and is accessible by all forms of public transport. It consists of the College Buildings (the Phillips Building and the Old Building), the Brunei Gallery building, 53 Gordon Square (that houses the Doctoral School), and the Paul Webley Wing, which has been open since 2016. (the North Block of the Senate House). The Phillips Building houses the SOAS library, which was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun in 1973. SOAS is separated into three faculties: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Languages and Cultures, and Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of London. These are subdivided even further into academic departments. SOAS has several Centres and Institutes, that are each associated with a certain faculty. SOAS University of London provides over 350 undergraduate degree options in social sciences, humanities, and languages taught by world-renowned professors, as well as 200+ postgraduate (taught and distant learning) programs with a unique regional focus and worldwide significance.

Accomplishments and Alumni

At its graduation ceremonies on July 20-22, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) recognized the achievements of four important worldwide personalities in human rights, law, journalism, and the arts. The number of graduates this year was the most in the school's history. Over three days, almost 2,000 friends and family members cheered on over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students as they received their degrees. On Wednesday, July 20, and Thursday, July 21, filmmaker Rithy Panh and linguist Herman Batibo received Honorary Fellowships. On Friday, July 22nd, human rights barrister Baroness Kennedy QC was conferred an Honorary Fellowship, commemorating the end of her year as President of SOAS. Zeinab Badawi, a well-known radio and television journalist, was given an Honorary Degree (DLit). Some other notable alumni of this university are Bülent Ecevit (former Prime Minister of Turkey), Desi Anwar (journalist and presenter, Metro TV, Jakarta, Indonesia), and M. K. Asante, Jr. (writer and filmmaker).

Student Diversity and Visiting Companies 

There were 2,740 undergraduate students in 2019/20. Around 2012, 41% of attendees were well above the age of 21 and 60% were female. SOAS has foreign students from 140 countries, as per the QS World University Rankings. SOAS has over 5500 students, including foreign students from over 133 countries, yet because of its modest size, it maintains a pleasant and inclusive atmosphere. SOAS University of London has a dedicated web page where part-time, full-time, and internship opportunities are advertised. Students can find employment, internships, and volunteer activities using CareerZone - SOAS' career management system. Six months after graduation, 95 percent of students surveyed said they were working full time, studying, or doing something else. UN Organizations, Bank of England, HM Treasury, HSBC Bank, Bloomberg, Deloitte, Standard Chartered Bank, and others are some of the most prevalent employers of graduates.

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