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    I have an offer to study International Business MENA in September 2016 but I'm concerned about the reputation of what have been described to me as 'selfish rich kids' disrupting the learning with demonstrations and protests.
    I understand people can be very passionate about a cause or an injustice and want to express this. But I'm paying big fees to study at university and I don't want to go to a university where classes cant take places or I'm genuinely scared to be on campus (some of the stories I've heard are of protesters getting violent and physically not allowing students to enter or leave buildings)
    So I want to know, honestly, if this is a common occurrence and who are the people doing this? Do they not care to get an education?
    Honest answers please!
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    Hey,

    I'm in my final year at SOAS and over the three years it's probably been 0-2 days a year missed which is basically nothing. I've never felt scared to go on campus and neither do I know anyone who's been scared to go on campus. There's been a bit more protesting this year because of a lot of specific issues around course cuts and the new director but I wouldn't say it was scary or really violent.
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    @linds999 OK 2 days or less is nothing! I've not heard of protests about the new director, what are they protesting about her?
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    (Original post by hannah94733)
    @linds999 OK 2 days or less is nothing! I've not heard of protests about the new director, what are they protesting about her?
    Hello I'm a first year student at SOAS. I can't speak on the behalf of other students and their experiences, but I've had an incredibly challenging first year. Read my post and carefully reconsider your offer, there are a few quite significant issues at the institution that you need to be aware of. I wish somebody had informed me of this when I applied last year, I certainly would not be at SOAS today.

    1. SOAS is a fervently radical left-wing university. It is an institution shaped by its politics. You cannot get away from this. You will ALWAYS overhear someone discussing political issues where ever you go, even in the damn toilets! Its politics is expressed through academia and the views of its students. Typical themes are vehement social justice, pacifist rhetoric, pro-socialist/communist economic, political and social models, LGBTQI nonsense, Muslim apologist narratives (no mention of antisemitism on campus though), an endless stream of invites to protests and demonstrations, some of which are violent, and anti-Western/American/British/white rhetoric. Race baiting, open borders, anything illegal or anarchy-related also linger in the place.

    2. Students at SOAS, contrary to what they may admit, are mostly MIDDLE/UPPER CLASS and privately educated, including international students (they'd have to be to afford £16k+ a year). These people do not operate within reality, and seem to advocate egalitarian values with Utopian ideals. Isn't it ironic to see students rage against capitalism and carry around Mac laptops, expensive phones and wear designer clothes? Laughable.

    3. Yes, protests DO happen at SOAS and at times ARE disruptive. I've experienced it myself. It was the first few weeks of the first term. SOAS had appointed a new director, an ex-Labour Party minister (under the Tony Blair government) who holds a title of Baroness. Valerie Amos is a qualified woman with great credentials and a respectable political career. She proposed some cuts to administration and several departments, as well as some courses which were attended by LESS THAN FIVE STUDENTS. The Students Union RAGED. I could not quite follow the entire circus that was the 'anti-austerity' nonsense but here are a few points I'd like to make about the issue:

    - The cuts are necessary, SOAS is spending far too much on poorly run courses with low attendance rates. Amos is doing the right thing, slashing funding to the most useless of courses and investing in marketing and other services at SOAS which desperately need money (including facilities and the interior decor of the place, it's hideous).
    - The Student Union were angry with some staff cuts and proposals to reduce tutor salaries I believe (SOAS students can correct me if I'm wrong), so they staged a protest in response. This was a secretly organised protest among students and staff. I had a 9 am lecture that day. Walking in, the protesters were outside waving banners but being relatively quiet. 30 minutes in, I believe, the fire alarm went off. We were forced to evacuate the building and hurdle outside. SOAS only has one entrance and exit, so all students and staff gathered in the same place.

    To my dismay, students AND SOME STAFF started chanting and hollering, like a raging mob at a rally. Then some students proceeded to approach the entrance, interlocking each other by the arms and formed a sort of blockage. Eventually I realised that this was a an organised BOYCOTT and that the fire alarm was INTENTIONALLY pulled to bring attention to this nonsense. People were trying to re-enter the building, while the students barricading the doors were forcefully pushing away them. An argument erupted and one of the protesters was scolding the students who were attempting to break through. It got pretty nasty. The university was shut for two days and ALL classes were cancelled. Some of them were roaming around the square in masks intimidating and provoking students, while others were smugly sitting on the entrance leisurely talking to each other and safeguarding the building. What a circus.

    Later I found out that many of those in the protest were tutors and lecturers, while others DID NOT EVEN ATTEND SOAS. They were just there supporting it. SOAS only sent out an email to students to apologise. A few days earlier the same mob tried to force their way into a conference where Amos was speaking (I think) and looted the place and intimidating people in the audience. Disgraceful. No disciplinary action was taken against these students, NONE.

    What was even more shocking was me trying to engage with other students about the disruption, many just shrugged it off or laughed in delight, as if it was somehow justified. We never received another apology from any of the staff and lectures were inconveniently rescheduled several weeks later.

    This is not an every day occurrence of course, but no other university in Britain would tolerate such behaviour or be forced to shut down and pause lessons because of intimidation from a mob of selfish thugs fighting a dead cause. Shameful.

    Carefully consider this. and make sure you assess your decision. SOAS is not a a place for every one and it is not welcoming to those who deny its doctrine and dogmas.
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    This year there was a lot of protests, tbh it was fun watching some of them, was like the real life version of the zombie scenes from world war z😂. The reasons for some of the protests were outrageous as well, like there was protests for justice for cleansers lmao
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    I know someone at SOAS and judging by his Facebook posts, he spends more time protesting and being outraged than actually studying.
 
 
 
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