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UCL delegation consolidates North America partnerships and celebrates alumni

5 March 2020

The beginning of March marked the start of UCL’s North America tour, which will see a delegation of UCL academics visit Canada and the US to consolidate existing partnerships and raise UCL’s profile and brand authority across North America.

Attendees at the 2020 alumni and friends reception in Toronto.

The trip will be Professor Michael Arthur’s final visit as President & Provost of UCL to meet UCL alumni and partners on the East Coast.

Starting in Toronto, UCL Deans Professor Geraint Rees (Life Sciences), Professor Sasha Roseneil (Social and Historical Sciences) and Professor Christoph Lindner (The Bartlett) met with counterparts at the University of Toronto (U of T) to consolidate links between the two institutions.

As part of the tour, UCL hosted an afternoon tea in Toronto for alumni volunteers and a reception for the UCL alumni community, advocates and student offer holders, supported by UCL academics. These events celebrated UCL’s community of over 23,500 North American alumni, and encouraged attendees to volunteer their time to support UCL’s It’s All Academic Campaign. To-date, this successful philanthropy and engagement Campaign has been supported by 220,000 volunteering hours, with over 43,000 donations – including from over 9,000 alumni.

Following his meeting with U of T President, Professor Meric Gertler, Professor Arthur said: “It has been a real honour to have led UCL since 2013 and to have supported development of impactful partnerships with leading institutions such as U of T, and I am confident that building on the strength of our academic collaboration, our partnership will go from strength to strength in the future.”

As strategic global partners, UCL and U of T have over 30 academic-led collaborations, spanning all four UCL schools and 11 faculties. This include working together to understand chronic pain in children, improve teenage health after cancer treatment, and extend the student exchange programme. Read about how a UCL student’s visit to U of T and SickKids (Hospital for Sick Children) changed the course of his PhD.

Since 2017, further collaborations have developed through a joint seed-funding programme, such as the recent funding call for AI workshops.

At the Toronto alumni reception, building on Professor Arthur’s comments on the importance of UCL’s global community, Professor Rees talked to the audience about the current status of Artificial Intelligence and its potential to radically change how people live, work, socialise, travel, learn and understand ourselves.

In the next part of the tour, Professor Brad Karp (Regional Pro-Vice Provost Americas) and Dr Ruth Mandel (Vice-Dean International for Social and Historical Sciences) will join the delegation to meet with their counterparts at Yale, NYU and the University of Chicago.

Through these meetings, UCL will look to deepen existing partnerships, which are the foundation for new ideas and discovery. Read about how a PhD student made the most of her recent student exchange to Yale.

These visits will be underpinned by further UCL receptions in New York, Boston and Washington DC for alumni, volunteers and supporters. The US is home to the highest volume of UCL’s international alumni community, with activity supported by the UCL Friends and Alumni Association (UCL FAA) – a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and funds for UCL’s research, education and innovation.

As London’s global university, UCL is focused on global citizenships and building productive international partnerships. For the latest news about UCL’s international activity, partnerships and opportunities, subscribe to UCL’s bimonthly Global Update newsletter.

UCL has a global alumni community of over 300,000 former students, with a huge range of useful services and benefits. For more information, visit the UCL Alumni website or contact alumni@ucl.ac.uk. To find out about UCL’s philanthropy and engagement Campaign, visit the It’s All Academic Campaign website.