The annual RSAA Schools’ Day is organised jointly by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs (RSAA) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). It is a free event, and open to 6th Form students from both the state and private sectors.
The aim of these meetings is to introduce students to concepts and subjects they may not have previously explored as part of their curriculum and, we hope, to inspire them to take a closer interest in Asia.
There is a vast amount happening in Asia and press and television coverage can be patchy and superficial. We endeavour to pick hot subjects as well as more educational ones whilst allowing for what has been presented in previous years.
The programme consists of multiple, varied presentations with time for discussion after each. The speakers are all experts in their fields and ones that 6th Form students are unlikely to have had the opportunity to hear. We often have an Asian Ambassador or High Commissioner as the policies and views expressed by such speakers provide insights that go well beyond what appears in the media. Generally speakers give a brief background to their subject but the level of talk is school leaver to university in nature, treating those present as adults not school children.
Students also have the opportunity to try an Asian language in an introductory class led by lecturers from SOAS. Although languages such as Arabic or Mandarin are perennially popular, students might also have the chance to try more unusual options such as Tibetan or Lao.