SOAS masthead

SOAS, University of London, is one of our very regular thesis binding customers. So what does SOAS stand for and what are they all about? We did a little research to find out the answer and to learn more about the university. To answer the first part of the question, SOAS is an abbreviation of The School of Oriental & African Studies. It is located in London’s prestigious Bloomsbury area and its websitedescribes it as “the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East”. It is no Aung San Suu Kyi rdcsurprise, therefore, that notable SOAS alumni include none other than Aung San Suu Kyi of Burmese fame as well as many other famous people including the Crown Princess of Norway, Enoch Powell, the Duke of Norfolk, the writer, human rights campaigner and charity fundraiser Jemima Khan and, perhaps a little incongruently, the award-winning comedian and journalist Dom Joly. Many more notable alumni can be seen here.

SOAS’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses include studies of language, culture, law, social science, arts and humanities, with over 350 degree courses on offer.  SOAS is rare – indeed it is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in its niche area of study. Specialising in Africa, Asia, the Near and Middle East means its students have to involve themselves in some difficult issues including those surrounding democracy, human rights, poverty and religion to name just a few. In a world of ever-shrinking borders this specialist language, cultural, social and often political knowledge is of enormous value. Indeed its students are urged to ‘think beyond borders’ and when there is turmoil of one kind or another in the regions of the world under scrutiny at SOAS, it is this university or its alumni who are approached for those hard-to-find answers, which are so often tangled up in history, culture and language.

SOAS has excellent facilities but, of special note, its library is an amazing resource which attracts scholars and academics from around the world. It contains over 1.5 million items in over 400 languages plus high tech electronic research tools, hence being ranked within the top 5 universities in the UK for its library and IT facilities.

Originally founded in 1916, the university will shortly celebrate its centenary and we take this opportunity to congratulate it in advance and to thank its staff and students for the thesis binding and printing work which we undertake for them so regularly. And long may it continue!

If you are a university student and need disserations printed, theses bound or any other type of bespoke bookbinding undertaken, we invite you to try one of the oldest and most experienced bookbinders in the UK; The Document Centre. Located in South London, SE1, we have a drop-in shop near London Bridge, other drop-off points around London and a fully on-line thesis binding ‘upload and order’facility — for that all you do is select your desired options and upload your thesis as an Acrobat PDF document. Turnaround options include same day through to 3 working days and we even deliver free of charge to many London universities. More details can be found here.

Main photo by Umezo Kamata; thumbnail photo by Claude Truong-Ngoc, both licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.