The SOAS School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, celebrated its centennial in 2016, having begun its education life in 1916 as the School of Oriental Studies. Located in central London, within the Bloomsbury community, SOAS grew over the course of the next two decades and also acquired a solid reputation as an integral area in the area of African studies.

In the post-war climate of 1946, the Scarborough Commission was set up to consider an expansion of educational opportunities about the continent of Asia. That made SOAS one of the chief beneficiaries of the money. By 1961, the Hayter Report, the concept of social science educational expansion offered more money to help the school grow.

One of the main areas for research on campus is the massive library that has an estimated 1.5 million items as part of its collection. In addition to focus on the continents of Asia and Africa, SOAS now also has undertaken to passing on knowledge related to the Middle East. Scholars from around the world use this National Research Library.

65 opinions

for “SOAS School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London”

  1. 5

    One of five UK national research libraries, with great collections of books in languages of Africa, Asia and Middle East.

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  2. 1

    No refund policy what so ever! I paid 300 GBP for one semester language course and after 2 lessons I informed the course office that I couldn’t take course because my employer had assigned me to a 2-month project outside London. I didn’t even ask refund, only to get maybe a 30% discount on the next semester.
    Very stubborn and inflexible.
    @SOAS, you are language school after all – Please show some customer service.

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  3. 5

    I had a magnificent 3 years studying here. If by any chance you read this and are questioning whether to study here, please do it, you won’t regret a minute of it.

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  4. 5

    Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy within SOAS is an amazing program for those interested in international relations, diplomacy or global energy and climate change. The students who study at the centre consist of some of the brightest and interesting individuals that the world has to offer. The curriculum is very diverse, including a theoretical approach, amazing practical skills trainings and an incredible trip to Geneva to visit the UN. My time at SOAS has been very happy and I highly recommend it.

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  5. 5

    Learned to be an adult here! Amazing education & solid reputation

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  6. 5

    The highest concentration of international students than any academic institutions in the world, SOAS University of London is a cultural hub, where world culture and traditions meet. World class academics and amazing students.

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  7. 5

    Best school you can find. Super quirky place, full of nice open-minded people unafraid of getting in touch and telling there story or listening to yours. Excellent library and great atmosphere.

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  8. 5

    Great place to learn. Check out their events – open to the public and delivered by experts.

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  9. 4

    Pretty awesome place which keeps getting better. New societies such as the Banking and Finance society have helped make leading companies value our worth as leading students by bringing in wealth managers from Goldman Sachs and senior lawyers from Clifford Chance. The new senate building is also pretty amazing. Definitely worth a look. Great leadership with a strong strategy. Just wish the school would embrace technology more such as recording lectures.

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  10. 4

    PhD programmes are worth to study. You cannot miss the library right in front of it.

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  11. 5

    An amazing experience- if you get the opportunity GO THERE!!

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  12. 4

    They have a revolving door system here… Try not to get your brolly caught in it. Only visited a/the(?) student union. Walls are decorated with events for motivational liberal causes. Which all sounds exhausting. Toilet had a McDonald’s-esque hourly check rota. Which was encouraging.

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  13. 5

    Best Place in the world to study, I have studied at KCL too but nothing compares. Small Community University like no other, friends from every corner of the world, new cultures explored and most of all Wonderful World Class Professors who go out of their own way to help students.

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  14. 4

    Best place to learn Japanese in the whole country, that is not an exaggeration. Their histrory and standing speaks for itself with a lively student scene.

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  15. 5

    I really enjoyed learning Arabic at SOAS. I really felt I was in a university where the Arabi was a functional and useful language within the university itself.

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  16. 5

    One of the best academic experiences of my life.

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  17. 5

    Completed a masters (LLM) about 6 years ago, loved the inter-collegiate system, sharing of resources and expertise. Could have changed better or worse since.

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  18. E ol mom signs before a studious im twelve years old im Italian asj

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  19. 5

    SOAS gets 5 stars, although in recent years, with the new Principal, things have gone a bit strange. It’s become a shopping channel parody of its former self and former laissez faire glory. There’s been a massive growth of middle management that’s frankly not needed, and also everything seems to be micromanaged down to the electric sockets at reception. Bring back the good old days that were all about trusting people to do their job, and trusting people to get their degree. No wonder it’s gone down the the ratings.

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  20. 5

    The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is a college of the University of London and the only Higher Education institution in the UK specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

    SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    SOAS at a glance:
    SOAS has more than 4,400 students, 40% of whom are on postgraduate or research programmes
    We welcome students from more than 100 countries and roughly 50% of postgraduates are from countries outside the UK/EU
    With around 300 staff members, SOAS has the largest concentration of academics concerned with Asia, Africa and the Middle East at any university in the world
    Small group teaching remains an important feature of study at SOAS – our student-staff ratio (12:1) is one of the best in the UK
    SOAS has about 100 postgraduate programmes (taught and distance learning) in the social sciences, humanities and languages with a distinctive regional focus and global relevance
    The School offers an unparalleled range of non-European languages, all of which can be studied without prior knowledge
    The Library has more than 1.2 million volumes and extensive electronic resources and is the national library for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world
    In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise 11 of our departments were awarded top ratings of 5 or 5*
    Teaching Quality Audits at the School have been very positive, and all departments assessed in recent years have been awarded maximum or near-maximum ratings

    “In 2008, SOAS jumped 15 places up to ninth best university nationwide in The Good University Guide, and we were rated fourth in London. We also moved three places up to eighth in The Guardian newspaper’s league tables of top UK universities.”

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