SOAS, University of London, is one of the world’s preeminent educational institutions dedicated to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Founded as the School of Oriental Studies (and formally opened by King George V) the world-renowned institution celebrates its centenary in 2016-17, with a programme of cultural and academic events.
Despite its already impressive reputation, the university aims to use its 100th birthday as a springboard to deepen its impact on the rapidly changing world.
The university’s world-class scholars are well-placed to provide the analysis and understanding demanded by the phenomenal economic growth in China and India, political upheaval in the Middle East, the burgeoning middle classes of Africa. New courses, including BA International Relations and BA English, demonstrate the constant innovation of SOAS’s teaching programmes.
Research themes for the year will include global voices; heritage of humanity; global interactions; sharing a small planet; and global diplomacy and governance.
Centenary commemorations will include a symposium on Chinese Buddhist Arts bringing together leading scholars of Chinese Calligraphy and Buddhist arts, who will address topics such as the influence of Buddhism on Chinese arts, cultural interactions between India and China and Buddhist arts in the Dunhuang Caves.
The centenary events programme will also include Qin performances, talks on Buddhism and Daoism, a tea ceremony and Dunhuang Dance performance, as well as an exhibition of Master Venerable Hsing Yun’s One-Stroke Calligraphy.
SOAS itself boasts the world-famous China Institute which showcases the strength of China Studies in the humanities and the social sciences, from ancient times to the present. It also has Europe’s largest Centre of Buddhist Studies and a large number of expert scholars and specialist researchers working on topics on China and Buddhism.