SOAS University of London

Governance at SOAS

This area of the site provides information on the governance of SOAS, University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies).

Legal and Charitable Status

Legal Status: Charter, Articles, Standing Orders and their Annexes

SOAS University of London (‘SOAS’ or ‘the School’) is a chartered higher education institution. Its Royal Charter, granted in 1916, established the School as a self-governing institution. The School assumed its current title in 1938. The Charter and Articles set out the School’s responsibilities and powers. The Standing Orders and their Annexes are derived from the Charter and Articles. These detail the terms of reference of Committees and other matters governing the School.

The School is a legally independent corporate body as well as a Charity. It is a college of the University of London and complies with the University’s Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations. The School operates effectively as a small and specialist university in its own right, and since 2011 has had the authority to award degrees in its own name.

The full version of the Charter, Articles, Standing Orders and their Annexes is on the School’s website. 

The School's correspondence address: 
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Statement of Public Benefit

The Charities Act 2006 places an obligation on charities to illustrate how they benefit the public.

SOAS is the only higher education institution in the UK specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The School is a remarkable institution which uniquely combines language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus. Within Europe SOAS has the largest concentration of academic staff concerned with Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It delivers its charitable objective, the advancement of education, through its teaching and research.

SOAS is committed to promoting global understanding and making a positive impact on the world through research, teaching, and the translation of research into policy.

SOAS has more than 5,000 students on campus from over 130 countries, and 45% of them are from outside the UK. More than a quarter of the School’s degree programmes offer students the opportunity to spend a year studying in another country, learning from another culture. The School is structured academically into three faculties, each contributing to the charitable aims of the institution.

SOAS organises and hosts a variety of exhibitions and events relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The School also organises a range of outreach activities to ensure that students from all backgrounds are encouraged into higher education.

Organisation of the School


Her Majesty The Queen


Zeinab Badawi


The Rt Hon Sir Anthony Evans QC BA MA LLM

Board of Trustees

Under the School's Charter and Standing Orders, Board of Trustees has absolute authority within the School with overall responsibility for the general supervision, direction and control of all aspects of the School. This section links to minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings and information about its membership.

Charter and Standing Orders

SOAS's Charter (originally granted in 1916) sets out SOAS's system of self-governance. Standing Orders and Annexes to Standing Orders are approved by the Board of Trustees and operationalise the Charter.

Policy Documents


This section links to the web pages of individual School committees, which provide information about the committee's functions, and committee minutes and agendas where available.

Financial Statements

This section links to the webpage that includes the School's Annual Audited Financial Statements.