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School of Oriental and African Studies
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About this university
The School of Oriental and African Studies or SOAS is a public research university and constituent college of the University of London. It was founded in 1916 and has seen a number of heads of state from around the world graduate from its courses as well as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Supreme Court Judges. The university specialises in humanities, languages and social sciences in relation to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The university has the 9th highest percentage of international students of any university in the world, with 43% of students being from outside the UK. This means there is plenty of help and advice on hands for students travelling from outside the UK to study. The International Students House is the heart of activities outside the classroom, including club nights, lectures, fitness classes and sports. There is even a travelling club to see more of the UK and Europe and special holiday events. All international students receive free membership of the House and it also has 600 student accommodation spaces. The universityâ€™s Student Union is a focal point for extracurricular activities and operates around 160 different clubs and societies for students to become involved with. These range from sports, to cultural and political issues and even arts and dining societies. They also operate the Union bar, two common rooms and the Snack Bar at Russell Square. There are a wide range of sports clubs to get involved with ranging from traditional sports such as cricket, football and tennis to casual sports, swimming teams and even mixed lacrosse. There are also plenty of recreational activities to get involved with including cheerleading, cycling, dart and poker to skateboarding, survival groups and even a UN Society. Students can also opt to get involved with volunteering and charity work to offer something back to the community including No Borders and Save the Children.
There are two main campuses of the university within a twenty minute walk of one another. The main campus is Russel Square Campus, located in the Bloomsbury area of central London and close to Russell Square. Here are the College Buildings, the Faber Buildings and 21-22 Russell Square. The university library is within the Philips building. The other campus is Vernon Square in Islington, near Kingâ€™s Cross station. Notable campus features includes the Brunei Gallery, built with an endowment from the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam. It includes a bookshop, lecture theatre, conference and exhibition space as well a Japanese roof top garden. The university has two main halls of residence both of which are owned by Shaftesbury Student Housing. The main one is Dinwiddy House, on Pentonville Road containing over 500 en-suite rooms in clusters. Nearby is Paul Robeson House, named for an African musician who attended the university. It is occupied by postgraduate students and those attending summer schools. Students from SOAS can also apply to the University of London intercollegiate halls of residence around the city.
There are courses available from this university with the following field of studies: