**Edited at the request of TSR mods**
SOAS has a very good international reputation and is one of the foremost institutions for the study of the Orient and Africa, or anywhere Europeans are a minority. Whilst it has some very good nationally rated departments for all kinds of things including History and Economics, it surprisingly, and to its credit, also has quite an inclusive admissions policy. This place is definitely better than Queen Mary’s or Goldsmiths in those respects. However, SOAS, like other universities in London with a multicultural majority ethos
(note, TSR, change of content) it has a shabby aesthetic and undesirable detritus surrounding it, which in my opinion is absolutely repulsive and abhorrent…
On the several occasions that I have walked through the SOAS campus I have noticed drug dealers hanging around the perimeter gate leading onto Russell Square. The first time this happened I went to the security office and complained. However, they did not do anything (they were probably related to the drug dealers). The dealers probably decide to hang outside SOAS simply because it is sympathetic to African "culture". Indeed, SOAS has a long history of drug use on campus, probably by the aforementioned rich white kids with dreadlocks.
According to Wikipedia “The SOAS bar used to be one of the most famous students' union bars in the UK due to frequent incidents of drug use… The rate of drug use and dealing in the bar got to such levels that it was raided by the police a number of times in the 1990s.” This only changed due to new licensing laws made in 2005. The union thought they would lose the licence so they made it smoke free.
And on the subject of the union: “SOAS Students' Union is known for being the most radically left wing student union in the UK… its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict often results in accusations of Anti-Semitism… the local Student Respect group has on many occasions hosted talks by George Galloway MP… one society that has had a particular impact on SOAS life is the Palestinian Society. It regularly hosts controversial speakers, some of whom have been involved in hijackings.” The kind of people who Enoch Powell was concerned about.
The union is also very militant, in the same way toddlers throw fits when they can’t have things they want and haven’t learned basic sociological rules of conduct: it has carried out several “occupations” of SOAS buildings in protest at all kinds of things from library fines to the cost of a cup of tea.
So, sounds like a great place to go to university. A dogmatic, intolerant mix of drugs, Muslims, George Galloway, and anti-semitism… what more could you want?