SOAS University of London

By Nick Butler, Head of International
Nick Butler,Head of International

Nick Butler

Head of International

Nick Butler, Head of International

Nick Butler, the Head of International at SOAS University of London, he is responsible for the overall direction of student recruitment within the School with specific responsibility for Japan, Korea, and Pakistan. Before joining SOAS in 2007, he was associated with British Council and Royal Holloway. He has also worked overseas in Brazil, Pakistan, Austria, and Romania previously. He has Masters Degrees in Classics and Linguistics.

Being a student of SOAS University of London, or in other words, being one of the SOASians (as they like to be called), is a great opportunity to be with people who are passionate about their studies and curious about the world we live in. SOASians are politically conscientious and adopt a global worldview, which is very much strengthened by SOAS’s non-Eurocentric approach to the curriculum. Be it issues such as migration and refugees, decolonisation, climate change and the environment, freedom of speech or gender equality, SOASians strive for social justice and equality and can frequently be found debating, and sometimes protesting. “From day one at our central London campus, students will be encouraged to challenge conventional views and think globally - and that’s one of the reasons why our graduates go on to develop careers that make a real difference,” says Nick Butler, Head of International, SOAS University of London.

"Being a research-driven University, SOAS has extended several partnerships with universities and research institutes in South Asia, which provide a basis for mutually beneficial collaborations in both teaching and research."

Instituted in 1916, SOAS University of London that hosts students from 135different nationalities today comprises of a dynamic, diverse and thriving student environment.
The University owing to its exemplary research contribution and outstanding and exciting programme offerings has been consistently ranked among the top higher education institutions in the UK and the world. In the 2018 QS World University Rankings with four of its subject areas across a broad range of disciplines, SOAS was ranked amongst the world's top 25 along with grabbing the 11th ranking in the UK and 2nd in London for Business and Management by The Guardian University League Table 2019.

Embracing an interdisciplinary approach, the University conducts a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, classified into five schools, ten departments and five centers. However, the business programmes of the University, i.e. BSc in Management, BSc in Accounting and Finance and International Management are some of the popular UG level courses that are favored by the Indian students. "Our Masters programmes in Finance and Financial Law, Public Financial Management, Public Policy and Management and so on, also attract the Indian students a lot," shares Nick.

The Making of Effective Leaders

Being a research-driven University, SOAS has extended several partnerships with universities and research institutes in South Asia, which provide a basis for mutually beneficial collaborations in both teaching and research. Nick pinpoints, "We have strong relationships with a number of Indian institutions such as JNU, Presidency, TISS, St Xavier's and many more. With our interdisciplinary themes and links, we make-up one of the largest centers of South Asian studies outside the subcontinent, which brings incalculable benefits to our students".

The University draws on a long tradition of management research that dates from Edith Penrose's pioneering work in the 1950's on the theory of the growth of the firm, large international corporations, oil economies, patents, innovation, and economic development. Today, the campus of SOAS is endowed with one of the most diverse communities of scholars. While most of its members' research and teaching activities are related primarily to India, scholars also focus on Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. Given research the priority, the talented faculty members of the University as well make sure to enable students to preach innovation and apply critical thinking to real-world issues and management processes.

For an Enriching Outcome

According to reports, London is the most diverse area within the UK, with over half a million Indians. "Nestled in the center of London, SOAS is home to a large number of Indian students along with students from other foreign countries. Hence, we organize optimum welcome activities at the beginning of the term that greatly supports the easy transition of our international students in the University and in introducing them to the collegial community at SOAS," states Nick. The University boasts on acknowledging over 160 student societies including the India Society and the society of Indian Dance, which provides the students from varied countries a platform to pursue their respective interests. Nick adds, "Our students are facilitated with the opportunity to design their own intellectual journey by allowing them take modules from across SOAS's wide range of subjects. Moreover, they can also learn a language alongside their degree, which we offer as a module choice within our programmes of study".

Having an explicit idea regarding the financial constraints that most of the international students go through, the University offers a wide range of awards like International Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for the School of Finance and Management and SOAS International Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship, including a number of special scholarships for Indian students like Felix and Chevening scholarships. From career services to welfare advice and counseling services to medical services, SOAS takes the onus to look after the fulfillment of dreams carrying which international students enters the University. Maintaining the status of being a leading Higher Education institution in Europe specializing in the study of Asia, Africa and the near and the Middle East, SOAS over the years has produced several heads of state, government ministers, ambassadors, Supreme Court judges, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and many other notable leaders.