UCL Annual Review


Working with our partners in London

As a global leader in knowledge exchange, enterprise and open innovation with societal impact, we are establishing UCL at the centre of a cluster of organisations that will make London the premier destination for higher education. How we engage with the city and contribute to its improvement for all who live and work here is central to this aim.

UCL and Serpentine announce ground-breaking partnership across art, law and technology

The Deep Listener by Jakob Kudsk Steensen
The creative sector is estimated to generate around £47 billion for London's economy, and is a key part of the city's identity as a global capital. Now a new partnership between UCL and Serpentine will support the growth of emerging creative practices, and in the legal systems that exist to protect them.

We will be working with Serpentine's expertise as a contemporary arts venue, to explore a number of themes. The Bartlett School of Architecture will focus on the ‘metaverse’ (a shared 3D virtual space) as a playground for experimental architectural practices, whilst the future of art education will be explored by the Slade School of Fine Art on a brand new Art & Tech degree at UCL East. 

UCL Faculty of Laws will support artists on the legal side, developing our collective understanding of intellectual property and ownership, contracts that protect new forms of digital art, and mechanisms through which they are sold such as NFTs and ‘fractional investing’ in shares of artworks. 

This partnership will help create new working models that support cutting-edge practices. This will benefit the cultural sector as a whole, by supporting a new generation of creatives and their livelihoods for years to come.


Creating collaborations in Bloomsbury and East London via the London Framework

Academics on REAL project

A year on from its launch, the London Framework is providing UCL with a platform to create connections and contribute our expertise to our city’s improvement. 

Though the Memorandum of Understanding, we continue our close working with Camden Council through a number of innovative projects including the Rapid Evaluation & Learning (REAL) initiative. At the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, this project recruited 21 volunteers from across UCL academic and professional service staff to evaluate the enormous task of re-engineering of almost all the council’s key services within just a matter of days. This collaborative work to document a once-in-a-generation rapid response will ensure valuable learning for the council. 

In east London, home to our new Stratford campus opening later this year, we also strengthened our working with Newham Council in their pledge to make the borough a beacon of participatory democracy. The UCL Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project launched a new fellowship position that will focus on collaboration between local businesses and citizens by helping organisations adopt new approaches to policymaking. UCL Institute of Global Prosperity presented at Newham Sparks, the borough’s initiative to make Newham an international centre for the data sector – by exploring the role data plays in jobs and skills of the future, and in climate sustainability. 

We look forward to the many opportunities this next year brings as we continue to build relationships with our partners across the capital, and to be guided by the needs of local people in our activities.


Return of in-person activities at popular EAST Summer School

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY52B1YzBic


Ahead of the opening of our new UCL East campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park later this year, we have been working closely with our East Bank partners - UAL, Sadler’s Wells, BBC and the V&A to offer a range of exciting opportunities for east Londoners.

Last summer saw the welcome return of in-person activities for the EAST Summer School programme for 12-17 year olds, which we have co-hosted since 2019. The aim of the summer school is to engage and inspire young people on their terms through hands-on workshops in creative, tech and design practices - encouraging them to pursue careers or further studies in these emerging fields.

This year over 300 young people took part, enjoying the opportunity to make new friends and to explore their talents and interests across robotics and AI, augmented reality and medical engineering, documentary filmmaking, illustration, printmaking and object handling.

We look forward to the next year of working in east London with our neighbouring institutions and communities, and to the possibilities these collaborations will bring to both cutting-edge research and to quality of life in this part of London.



  • Landing page thumbnail: credit UCL
  • ‘The Deep Listener’, Serpentine Augmented Architecture commission, credit Jakob Kudsk Steensen

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