SOAS University of London

SOAS continues to strengthen its financial position

7 December 2021

SOAS University of London has published its audited accounts for financial year 2020-21 showing continued strengthening of its financial position.

Our results for 2020-21 show an unrestricted surplus of £11.2m, which is due to the continued actions taken to monitor costs and the strong student recruitment we achieved in September 2021. This is a significant improvement from the deficit of £0.9m in 2019-20.

This stronger financial position is vital for SOAS to plan confidently for the future and to continually improve our academic project, student offering and infrastrustrure.

SOAS successfully delivered its teaching and research during the most challenging times of the pandemic. The impact of Covid required academics to rapidly adjust their teaching and research and, for professional services staff, their way of working.

The School also has in place a strong new leadership team to steer SOAS forward, under the directorship of Professor Adam Habib.

In line with our Strategic Plan, we will be using surpluses to improve the student experience and the continued development of our academic endeavour. This will include investing in and developing our student responsiveness – where the student journey is at the heart of the plan – and research intensity. The Strategic Plan also articulates a vision for a new model of international partnerships which is responsive to the transnational character of our global challenges. It commits SOAS to ensuring a socially just institutional community in which everyone experiences belonging and is treated with respect.

In her foreword to the accounts, Marie Staunton the Chair of Trustees, said:

 “We needed to create a firm financial foundation for the School to thrive – and we have taken strong and successful action, reflected in the positive financial position reported here in these statements.

 “I am also proud that we now have a new Strategic Plan in place as the basis for the renewal and revitalisation of the School – and to position SOAS to play a leading role in reimagining higher education globally.

“As an institution which is renewed to address the global issues of today, centering the perspectives of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, SOAS has a strong future with an opportunity to make a significant contribution to addressing the global challenges of our time

“It has been a privilege to serve as chair, as I truly believe that the world needs SOAS more than ever.”