News Article

Community Statement

Dear SOAS Community,   

On behalf of the Students’ Union our deepest condolences go out to all in the SOAS Community, the friends and family of Samaria Ayanle, a first year SOAS student studying BA in Japanese and the History of Art.   

We want to acknowledge the pain and grief felt by all here at SOAS and those who knew Samaria, our thoughts are with you all. The pain of such a loss is felt by our entire community, now more than ever is the time to stand united as a community by reaching out to your fellow students to support them through this time.  

Now is the time to focus on support, but we also want to acknowledge that there are wider issues around wellbeing and duty of care.  The Students’ Union takes this very seriously.  The Students’ Union became aware that Samaria was missing on Monday 10th March, when we were contacted on social media by Samaria’s friends. We immediately reached out to the university, and got in touch with the students to offer support.  

SOAS SU Advice Service will be holding a drop in next Monday 18th March from 2pm-3pm in the Hussain Choudhary Room. All students who would like support are encouraged to attend.  

If you have any information, please contact 101 with the following CRIS reference 6005321/24.  

Let us stand united as a resilient and compassionate community.   

We understand that the loss of a fellow student, Samaria Ayanle will have a profound impact on many of the wider SOAS community. During this difficult time, we want to remind all students that support is available to help you cope with any challenges you may face academically and well as with personal wellbeing.    If you have been affected by the loss and feel unable to fully prepare or complete your assignments or exams, we want to reassure you that you can apply for mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances (MC) allow you to apply for an extension up to 23:59hrs on the day your assessment is due. Alternatively, you can make an MC claim for deferral up to 7 calendar days after the due date if you won't be able to hand in your work and need to defer the assessment to the next opportunity. 

If you aren't able to sit an exam because you are "Unfit to Sit", you can make an MC claim up to 7 calendar days after the day of the exam. Considering the current situation, SOAS will be accepting any requests for extensions or deferrals that are requested due to bereavement without the usual requirement for further evidence. 

We encourage students to reach out to the Students Union Advice service, or to the SOAS student support teams including the SAaW (Student Advice and Wellbeing) team who can help to signpost you to both internal and external resources to support with your individual mental and physical wellbeing.

Don't forget that if you need any additional support or advice during your studies, you can self-refer to Support to Study ( Staff will help you navigate and access all the support options available to you, and come up with a plan to help you stay on track with your studies if required.

Sending love and light, 

SOAS Students' Union 


We also want to make all students aware of the support that is available: 

  1. If you or someone you know is in crisis, which means someone's life is at risk of you cannot keep yourself or someone else safe call 999 
  2. If you are experiencing mental health issues, call NHS 111 or visit the NHS website for more information here
  3. Gower Street Health Centre provide a 24 hour duty doctor who can be contacted on 020 7636 7628 
  4. SOAS University Student Counselling Service, to access the service log a ticket on SID or call on 0207 074 5015 
  5. Samaritans provide a 24/7 listening and befriending service, which can be accessed by calling 08457 909090, emailing or visiting their website 
  6. Spectrum Life is a free student assistance programme providing emotional and practical support and is accessible 24/7. It can be accessed by calling 08000318227, or by the website To register enter your SOAS email, a password and the SOAS org code which is SOASUoL. 
  7. SOAS Students’ Union Advice Service can provide independent advice and appointments can be booked through 

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