SOAS University of London

Valerie Amos to take up new role at Oxford in Summer 2020

3 August 2019

Our Director, Baroness Valerie Amos, will be stepping down at the end of the next academic year, after five years in the post. University College Oxford will be publicly announcing her appointment, starting in August 2020, as the new Master of the College, succeeding Professor Ivor Crewe. 

Marie Staunton, Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees said:

“Valerie joined SOAS at a time of challenge for the School and with the senior leadership team, has taken strategic action to address the matter of SOAS’s sustainability through implementation of the academic strategy, investment in new international initiatives and improving the academic and overall experience for our students.    

“At a challenging time for higher education, through her public engagements in the UK and overseas, Valerie has championed SOAS as a voice for progressive HE, reaffirming SOAS values, giving us a distinctive place in the world academic community.
“Valerie has overseen significant and important changes at SOAS, including reform of our academic structures which have brought our academic leaders into the heart of senior decision-making in the School.

“She has also been at the forefront of leading work, on behalf of UUK and with NUS, nationally on the BAME attainment gap. She is a strong voice on the importance of inclusion, diversity and equality in higher education and more widely. 

“We will miss her greatly.

“We aim to appoint to allow a handover in July 2020 when there will also be time to reflect further on Valerie and SOAS’s successes since she joined us in 2015. In the meantime, I look forward to working with her and the Board of Trustees to continue to deliver our 2016-2020 strategy.” 

Valerie Amos said: “I am proud to be Director of SOAS, a university which provides a distinctive academic environment for staff and students. Global is in our DNA and SOAS occupies a special space in the world of higher education. We challenge, we question and we strive to remain true to our values. In the year ahead, I and the senior team will continue to focus on implementing the reforms which will help SOAS continue to thrive."

See also open letter response to Times 3 August article