SOAS University of London

SOAS plans for a strong and sustainable future

7 May 2020

The action we are taking to address our financial position is being commented on in the press. We have responded promptly to the short-term impacts of Covid-19 with an immediate move in March to remote working to support students and staff for this academic year, and we are looking at options for the new academic year to ensure that our students and staff have the best possible support and access to services, depending on the situation at the time.

The financial challenges caused by Covid-19 is a matter affecting all universities in the UK. Every institution needs to plan for significant changes in their income caused by Covid-19 which has impacted every country across the world. SOAS is taking decisive action now so that we can continue to ensure we provide an excellent student experience to our new and returning students.

The importance of SOAS continuing to play its distinctive role in UK and world HE is vital – as the very latest THE Impact rankings on the UN Sustainable Development Goals demonstrate. We are proud to play a world-leading role on finding solutions to some of the key challenges the world is facing.

SOAS has already taken steps to reduce its deficit position, but the impact of Covid-19 has put finances in the HE sector under even greater pressure than before. We have taken short-term action to reduce costs for example pausing capital spend, line by line scrutiny of non pay budgets, reducing the use of building space in Bloomsbury outside our core estate.

We have also engaged with prospective students through virtual open days and other SOAS events, to reassure them of our continued commitment to offering a high quality student experience.

Additional proposals for change are being developed now to be implemented by September 2020.