SOAS University of London

SOAS Centenary

Second campus and facilities (2001-2011)

​​In 2001 a second campus opened at Vernon Square, Islington and its teaching and other rooms were expanded in 2005. At Russell Square, a five-storey Research Centre was opened by the Chancellor of the University of London, HRH The Princess Royal (2004).
Roof garden at Brunei Gallery_centenary_timeline

Expansion in activities was matched by expansion of facilities. With substantial support from the Sultan of Brune​i, in 1995 the Brunei Gallery building opened to promote world cultures through a programme of changing contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 2007 a magnificent celebration of the 'Treasures of SOAS' went on display featuring the School's remarkably rich but little known collections.

In 1996, the School was awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for its international distance-learning programmes in economics. The Queen's Anniversary Prizes reward 'outstanding achievement and excellence in UK universities and colleges.' In 2010, the School's Faculty of Languages and Cultures received a second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education, this time in recognition of the excellence, breadth, and depth of its teaching in the languages of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Queen's anniversary prize 2009_centenary_timeline

Pictured above: Michael Hutt and SOAS Director Paul Webley receive the School's second Queen's Anniversary Prize

In 2001 Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, barrister and broadcaster, was appointed President of SOAS, a position she held until 2011. In 2003, supported by a substantial endowment from the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, the London Middle East Institute was established. In 2005, SOAS innovation in language pedagogy was supported by the award, jointly with University College London, of a national Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the 'languages of the wider world'. A year later, economic psychologist Professor Paul Webley became the eighth director of the School.

In the twenty first century, language remains at the heart of SOAS scholarship. Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem has continued SOAS work of interpreting and analysing the Islamic World. More than 30 years of rigorous scholarship resulted in his 2004 and 2010 Oxford University Press translations of the Qur'an, achieving his aim of making 'the Qur'an accessible to everyone who speaks English' (pictured above.

The Department of Linguistics carries out significant research on endangered languages, pioneering language documentation skills (pictured left) and promoting revitalisation efforts in the face of the rapid diminishing of the world's linguistic diversity.

Increasingly SOAS research is engaging with contemporary challenges of globalisation, championing the rights of displaced people through research strengths in migration and diaspora for example, developing the governance and management of water, minerals, energy and nutrition.

Bakun dam, Malaysia

Pictured above: Bakun dam, Malaysia, subject of SOAS research into ​Chinese hydropower investment in Africa and Asia