Statue of Thiruvalluvar, SOAS, University of London

The newly launched SOAS South Asia Institute aims to consolidate SOAS’ research strengths in the region and make SOAS the premier UK institution for the multi-disciplinary study of South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives.

The creation of the Institute marks a renewal of the School’s focus on this region. It represents the largest multi-disciplinary community of scholars working on South Asia of any university in Europe.  The Institute promotes research and teaching on the region through the work of more than 50 affiliated academics in twelve humanities and social sciences departments, plus a roughly equal number of research students.  SOAS has South Asian specialists in the fields of Languages and Cultures; Anthropology; Art and Archaeology; Development Studies; Economics; History; Law; Music; Religions; and Politics.

The SSAI is developing a new Advanced Masters programme in South Asian Studies, which it plans to offer for the first time in 2014. All of its teaching programmes provide students with a range of skills that are rarely available elsewhere, including an interdisciplinary understanding of South Asian society and advanced proficiency in languages, such as Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Sanskrit and Urdu.

The SSAI also maintains a busy programme of talks, seminars, workshops, book launches and film screenings, most of which are open to the general public.

The SOAS South Asia Institute is led by Michael Hutt, Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies at SOAS, University of London.

Professor Hutt commented: “The SOAS South Asia Institute will aim to become the UK’s leading centre for the study of the societies and cultures of South Asia. It will develop new relationships with educational and research institutions in the region and with commerce and business and government departments in the UK. It will introduce new programmes of postgraduate teaching and research training and produce a new generation of South Asia researchers whose distinctive blend of disciplinary skills and cultural and linguistic fluencies will mark them out as products of SOAS.”