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Joe Buckley

Do not be surprised if you discover that you are drinking coffee with a former Malaysian political prisoner, or sitting in a lecture next to a journalist who reported from Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. Both have happened to me. Every single person at SOAS has an interesting story to tell, and adds something unique and valuable to our community. So will you.

MSc Labour, Social Movements and Development

I’ll come out and say it: SOAS is the greatest university in the world. Every day, you will hear dozens of different languages being spoken, and encounter a fantastic array of different activities. We are a community full of exciting people, and our heterogeneity is what makes us special. Do not be surprised if you discover that you are drinking coffee with a former Malaysian political prisoner, or sitting in a lecture next to a journalist who reported from Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. Both have happened to me. Every single person at SOAS has an interesting story to tell, and adds something unique and valuable to our community. So will you.

All the staff at SOAS, from the academics and cleaners to the librarians and counsellors, are passionate and committed. They are as much a part of our wonderful diverse tapestry as are the students. More specifically, the teachers in the Development Studies department truly care about trying to ameliorate the world, and many of them have been practitioners. Furthermore, they do not treat students as customers, but as worthwhile and valuable individuals - “our new hopes,” as one of my lecturers said to me when I was in a local pub with him.

Academically, SOAS is at the top of its game. In our studies and research, we particularly value our critical approach to orthodoxy, and the School has the highest concentration of heterodox social scientists in Europe, if not the world. Furthermore, as SOAS is a leader in its field, the free evening lectures are phenomenal. Each department and centre has them, often weekly, and they are open to all students. Many of the world’s greatest thinkers and actors come to speak. The Development Studies Department’s events are especially exciting, and are designed to feed into our studies and enthusiasms.

Deciding to come here will be one of the greatest decisions you ever make. You will find a warm, welcoming second home in the centre of London.