100 years of SOAS
SOAS, University of London celebrates its centenary in 2016-17.
Our key anniversary dates are:
5 June 1916 - the School (of Oriental Studies) receives its Royal Charter
18 January 1917 - the first students are admitted
23 February 1917 - the School is formally opened by the King Emperor George V
The SOAS storySOAS was founded as the School of Oriental Studies. Over the last century we have built a strong academic reputation throughout the world and especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. To find out about the people and events that have made the School what it is today, explore the Centenary Timeline and the Centenary Blog and visit our alumni profiles
Planning our futureAs SOAS approaches its centenary, our goal is to deepen our impact on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Phenomenal economic growth in China and India, political upheaval in the Middle East, the burgeoning middle classes of Africa – our world class scholars are well-placed to provide the analysis and understanding of our rapidly changing world. Our new courses, such as BA International Relations and BA English are examples of the constant innovation we bring to our teaching programmes in order to equip and inform today’s and tomorrow’s global citizens and institutions.
Architects' impression of the atrium at the heart of the redeveloped Senate House North Block
As SOAS embarks on its second century, it will offer state of the art research, teaching and student provision, all in one precinct. It will ensure the future of SOAS as a top flight university which offers a unique resource for a complex world, and an institution of which our alumni can remain truly proud.
Centenary research themes
Our five centenary research themes frame the School’s key aspirations for its future research.
- Global voices
- Heritage of humanity
- Global interactions
- Sharing a small planet
- Global diplomacy and governance
Marking our centenary
Our centenary year runs from June 2016 to July 2017.A year of events and activities with our world-wide community will mark our achievements of the last hundred years and chart our future course as a scholarly resource of global relevance, guardian of specialist knowledge and champion of the issues that matter in the regions that matter in the 21st century.
Among significant events in the UK and our regions will be the launch of the newly developed North Block of Senate House. Find out more about our centenary programme as it develops
Be a part of the SOAS centenary celebrations
A chance to reflect
'I hope that all who support SOAS - and those who, as yet, don’t - will realise how fortunate we are to have such an institution in our midst. Understanding the world is just as worthy of our resources as defending ourselves against enemies – enemies we might not have made if we’d had a little more understanding in the first place.'
Michael Palin, Honorary Fellow
- Gerasimos Tsourapas wins Two Academic Awards
- SOAS in the media Friday 27 November 2015
- SOAS celebrates completion of North Block’s spectacular glass roof
- 28 Nov Lampedusa: Caught Between Shipwreck and Tourism
- 30 Nov Experiments in (Re)Colonization: The League of Nations, the Damascus Bombing, and “Independence” for Iraq
- 01 Dec Germany - Master and More
Contact the Centenary team
Shoshana Goodman, Centenary Project Manager
email@example.com 020 7898 4621
SOAS Centenary Blog
Visit the SOAS Centenary Timeline Blog