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Student successes celebrated at London event

Publication date: Oct 9, 2006 3:06:24 PM

A student who arrived in the UK from Iran aged 15 speaking minimal English and who has now started a degree in Electronic Engineering & Communications at UCL – is among the many success stories of a partnership between UCL and City and Islington College (CIC). This achievement and others will be celebrated at an event in London on Monday 9 October.

UCL (University College London) Diary Notice

EVENT: Celebration of UCL (University College London) and City and Islington College Partnership

WHEN: Monday 9 October 2006, 5.30 to 7pm,

WHERE: City and Islington Sixth Form College, Goswell Road, Angel, London, EC1V 7LA

Now in its sixth year, the partnership began in 2000 with the dual objectives of encouraging students to aim higher, while also getting academics to look at how universities can encourage aspiration and smooth the transition from college to university.

The success stories to be recognised this year include:

* Amin Amiri – Provost’s Prize.

Each year UCL Vice-Provost Michael Worton awards a £2000 prize to a high-flying student who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in gaining a place at UCL. This year’s award goes to Amin Amiri, who gained AABB in sciences at A-level and has just started a degree in Electronic Engineering & Communications at UCL. “I started being fascinated by sciences when I was 11,” says Amin. “I’m especially interested in nanotechnology and communication and after my degree I would like to work with conduction polymers.”

* Desmond Hymes – Helena Kennedy Foundation bursary.

The Helena Kennedy Foundation bursary is awarded to students who have overcome significant challenges to gain a place at university and this is the first year that UCL has sponsored an award. This year the £2000 award goes to Desmond Hymes, who will also be joining the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

* The partnership will welcome Tracey Gardiner as the new Staff Fellow for 2006/7.

One staff fellowship is awarded every year to a CIC teacher who will work on a research project at UCL for half a day a week. Tracey teaches Art and Textiles at City and Islington Sixth Form College and will work with the UCL Slade School of Fine Art researching obstacles to black and minority ethnic students taking up fine art degrees. The staff fellowship is just one of the ways staff benefit from the scheme – Humanities and Business team staff enjoyed an away day in July looking at UCL’s many collections and brainstorming how to involve them in teaching at the college, and staff also hold honorary UCL library cards.

The Partnership co-ordinator Peter Murray said: “One real strength of the partnership is the diversity of its elements. The tutor mentoring schemes for aspiring medics and lawyers give our sixth-formers the opportunity to learn what a course is really like from university students. Visits from academics have also been popular – Professor Steve Jones comes every year to give a lecture to students studying biology and other subjects, and it’s always packed. This year we also took a group of biologists to work in UCL labs at the forefront of molecular genetics research, which is incredibly inspiring for them. We are also piloting a library sharing scheme to allow students to use UCL’s libraries – students have been really impressed by the buildings and the books and journals available”.

UCL Vice-Provost Professor Michael Worton thinks that the partnership’s strong research element could benefit not only UCL and CIC, but also other organisations. “Our shared action research projects in maths and foreign languages, for instance, are bearing fruit that will help not only our two institutions, but could also ultimately benefit other universities, FE colleges and schools. Another area of real importance to us is our shared commitment to enhancing our understanding of what academic practice can and should be in a fast-changing educational world,” he said.

Notes for Editors

1. For further information, please contact Susan Carnell on s.carnell@adm.ucl.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9726, Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 271 364.

2. Michael Worton, Peter Murray and Amin Amiri will be available for interview at the celebration and can be contacted before and after the event via Susan Carnell.

3. Media representatives are warmly invited to attend. Photographs of the event are being taken and will be made available on request.

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. In the government’s most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5* and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence. UCL is the fourth-ranked UK university in the 2005 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Mahatma Gandhi (Laws 1889, Indian political and spiritual leader); Jonathan Dimbleby (Philosophy 1969, writer and television presenter); Junichiro Koizumi(Economics 1969, Prime Minister of Japan); Lord Woolf (Laws 1954 – former Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales); Alexander Graham Bell (Phonetics 1860s – inventor of the telephone); and members of the band Coldplay.