Spotlight on, UCL Consultant's Tony Osude
3 June 2019
This week's UCL Spotlight is our very own Director - BSC and Project Management, Tony Osude
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am a Director at UCL Consultants (UCLC) – part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise - and specifically work across UCL to develop, design, deliver and market UCL’s Bespoke Short Courses (or Custom Executive Education) to businesses and governments in the UK and internationally. It is a pretty broad remit in that the role ranges from developing opportunities with clients and academic colleagues to designing programmes, negotiating the commercial arrangements and managing their delivery. As we offer access to all UCL’s expertise, I work across all our disciplines and importantly I work on how we can best leverage an interdisciplinary approach to provide a richer, more insightful set of programmes to solve the problems our clients have.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I joined UCLC in September 2016. Before that I worked in a range of international roles in professional education, the most recent being International Director at BPP. My role there was largely centred around managing the company’s centres outside the UK, building new partnerships and creating a BPP presence in new countries. Prior to all that I qualified as a lawyer, went on to train lawyers before extending into professional education in accountancy, actuaries and banking.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I don’t know if there is one thing I would point to. Going back a little while it was a few of the pro bono projects on housing and benefits cases I worked on. Overall, I would say education and the opportunities it provides is what I am most passionate about – in one of my previous roles my team led the development of professional education centres in Vietnam. About five years later whilst in Toronto it was amazing to see one of our first students having established a career in Canada. She was from very modest means and had been able to bring her family with her and support her extended family back home. At UCL, I am particularly thrilled at how we have developed a new division that is reflective of the university’s strengths and culture and provides a differentiated executive education experience compared to that of our peer group of universities. Our projects have great societal and organisational impact and importantly, the academics and the clients we work with relish the experience and appreciate the results.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
We are working on a project to transform teaching and learning across the 21 Universities in Poland. We are working alongside five top-tier universities in Europe and over the next three-and-a-half years will have worked with over 1200 academics from those universities. The scale and complexity of the project is quite immense and it will deliver a sustainable impact on the economy in Poland for years to come. Academics from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) are leading from our side with UCL colleagues from other departments also involved including UCL Arena.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Harper Lee’s How to Kill a Mockingbird is probably my favourite read and then it’s a toss up between All the President’s Men and The Godfather for favourite film – the themes of corruption in power and politics, injustice, personal interest over public interest are unfortunately timeless.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Can’t quite remember but I think it starts with “A horse walks into a bar…”
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Lord Denning (one of the most influential possibly controversial Judges we have had), Helena Kennedy QC, Billy McNeil (Former Capitan of my childhood team, Glasgow Celtic). Martin Luther King (who else could come up with – “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward Justice), Francois Pienaar, the Captain of the 1995 South Africa rugby team and the BBC’s foreign correspondent Kate Adie.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Look at life as a tapestry and not a grand plan. Enjoy all your experiences and always seek out new ones. Learn about everything and anything. Enjoy the company of everyone and anyone. Remember to admire your tapestry as you weave it - like life it will always be work in progress.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I was hours away from signing to play professional rugby union when I had a sudden change of heart and walked off to qualify as a lawyer instead.
What is your favourite place?
Wherever my wife and children are! I have had the good fortune to travel to many places and I have a few favourite places. Walking along the Cotswold Way around Cheltenham, the Trossach’s (not far from where I was born) and the hills, beaches and islands in and around Lantau Island, (Hong Kong) would be another.