Transformation & Change Consultation


What is Transformation & Change?  |  Consultation Process Resources  Stay Updated

What is Transformation & Change?

On May 14th, a paper entitled 'Transformation & Change' was presented to the SOAS Board of Trustees, outlining the scale of the challenge SOAS is currently facing and setting out the case for urgent, radical change. The need for change has been deemed urgent due to a number of factors, such as:

  1. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, SOAS face potential income loses of up to £16.9 million in 2020/21 (approx. 20% of their total budget)
  2. SOAS has limited cash resources, running in a deficit over recent years. There is no buffer for the effects that Covid 19 will have on their financial situation
  3. The Office For Students requires universities to have enough money to cover 30 days of operating costs or risk bankrupty and closure
  4. Over 70% of SOAS' income comes from student tuition fees, which will be affected by Covid 19

Believing in the strengths of the School, it is believed a period of robust transformation and change can ensure the long term academic and financial viability of SOAS. This period of change by SOAS to become economically sustainable is Transformation & Change.


Consultation Process

On June 9th a proposal was presented to the SOAS Board of Trustees outlining the changes believed to be needed in order for the School to remain financially viable. These changes must be signed off in the 2020/21 SOAS budget, which is due on July 30th (non-movable due to Office for Students and accountancy requirements).

From the 15th June the School has initiated a formal 30 day consultation period with staff, and the SU will be conducting a consultation with students. The consultation looks for feedback on the proposed ideas, as well as any alternative solutions.


SOAS Students' Union will be looking for student consultation through the following methods:


Consultation Method Date Area Description
Student Consultation Meeting no.1 23 June All

All student meeting, with SOAS SMT, to discuss T&C and the consultation process. This meeting was recorded.

Part 1: Link

Part 2: Link

Student Consultation Meeting no.2 10 July, 10:30am-12:20 All

Link to attend the meeting

Padlet for questions

Student Reps 22 June - 17 July Academic Student reps to engage actively with their departments
Department Meetings 22 June - 17 July Academic Department Managers should hold open meetings with their students. If your department has not advertised such a meeting, please speak to your Department Manager to encourage this!
Student Focus Groups* 22 June - 17 July Professional Services Organised focus groups to look into the proposed changes to different areas of the SOAS Professional Services departments. Sign up as a Student Engager now to take part!
Google Form 22 June - 17 July All Complete our Google Form to provide feedback on the Transformation & Change project any time over the consultation period.


*Focus Groups have been arranged for the following areas, on the following dates. Please do sign up ASAP if you would like to attend:

Focus Group Area Time and Date Links
Library, Learning & Research Thursday 2nd July, 3:30pm x
Planning, Legal, Governance, Communications and Project Friday 10th July, 3pm - 4pm x
Global Engagement Directorate Tuesday 14th July, 2pm- 3pm Join here
Student & Academic Services Monday 13th July, 11am - 12pm Join here
People Services Monday 13th July, 9:30am - 10:30am Join here
Estates and Property Services TBC Join here


All students are both welcomed and encouraged to contribute to this consultation.

Following the consultation process, the Students' Union will collate and produce a report detailing the feedback of students, to be presented to the SOAS Trustee Board to feed into their decision making process.



It is important to inform yourself about the proposals laid out in Transformation & Change so that you can better understand how these changes may affect you, and can feedback effectively. The following two documents detail the proposed changes for Academic and Professional Services departments.




Stay Updated

SOAS will be communicating updates about the progress of Transformation & Change as and when they can.

SOAS SU will communicate updates via email, and you can find all of our emails about Transformation & Change here if you'd like to refer back:


Email Subject Date Email
SU meeting on Wednesday to discuss restructuring plans at SOAS! 11 May 2020 Link
Talk to the SU on Monday and Tuesday! SOAS Transformation & Change Project 29 May 2020 Link
WE NEED PROPER ENGAGEMENT! #WhyIcameToSOAS - an open letter from students and alumni to SOAS management 5 June 2020 Link
Sign our open letter before tomorrow ! We need proper engagement in the SOAS Transformation & Change project 8 June 2020 Link
SOAS Transformation and Change Project - Next Steps! 22 June 2020 Link
Proposals are out now! SOAS SU update on Transformation & Change Project 6th July 2020 Link



This webpage was last updated on: 10 Jul 2020 17:52