UCL European Institute


Monthly Spotlight, March 2024

6 March 2024

In this edition of our monthly spotlight we feature Dr Ben Noble and Master's student Jiacheng Zhang (Billy).

Ben and Billy

In our Monthly Spotlight, we feature an academic and a student from the UCL community with an interest in Europe. If you are interested in being featured in a future edition, or would like to recommend someone, please contact us here.


Ben Noble

Dr Ben Noble is Associate Professor of Russian Politics in UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES). He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a regular contributor to media discussions about contemporary Russian domestic politics. 

In his profile, Ben writes:

The UK is, of course, very much part of Europe culturally and historically, if no longer part of the European Union. But it’s also geographically separate. The tension between belonging and not continues to shape the UK’s domestic and foreign policy.



Read Ben's full profile

Jiacheng Zhang (Billy)

Jiacheng is in his final year of a Master's degree in Speech and Language Therapy and serves as President of the UCL European Society. Originally from Shanghai, he has a keen interest in Europe.


Jiacheng writes:

I joined the European Society in September, driven by an interest in the Spanish language and European cultures. I've found that the ways in which people communicate and socialize here are markedly different from my experiences in China, especially the cuisine!



Read Jiacheng's full profile