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Thanking UCL’s Chinese supporters during COVID-19

27 May 2020

UCL partners and alumni in China have rallied to support the university in its efforts to fight COVID-19 by donating valuable time and resources

UCLH staff receiving PPE equipment donated by Peking University

Peking University, Zheijang University and many Chinese alumni have sent vital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to assist UCLH staff caring for patients and to support UCL’s testing and research.

More than 220,000 pieces of PPE, including masks, coveralls and goggles, have been offered to UCL from alumni and supporters in Greater China so far. The UCL Coronavirus Response Fund was launched in March and UCL has now raised over £480,000 to help find solutions to the challenges that coronavirus brings, at a pace that would, under normal circumstances, be considered impossible.

Many UCL alumni have also dedicated their time to supporting hospitals in China. Hang Wang, who graduated from MSc Telecommunications in 2009, has spearheaded UCL alumni support of Chinese hospitals in Henan, organising 20 boxes of PPE to Zhengzhou First Affiliated Hospital and Zhengzhou Municipal People's government.

Alumnus volunteer Hang Wang spearheaded UCL alumni support of Chinese hospitals in Henan

Partners in China and around the globe have also been sharing their knowledge and experiences of coping with the pandemic so far. UCL’s President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, has written to thank them personally for their ongoing support.


Since COVID-19 emerged, UCL’s world-leading experts have been involved in all aspects of the challenge, from developing rapid testing and tracking systems and predicting the future of the outbreak, to advising and critiquing government responses to the crisis.

UCL’s Coronavirus Response Fund has been helping to transform challenge into change through raising critical funding to support the university’s activity. It is enabling immediate research to better understand the virus and find a vaccine, as well as work to assess the long-term impacts it may have.

Hiu Ng, Founding President of the Alumni Club of Beijing, and her husband Daniel Foa have donated surgical masks and made generous financial contributions to both UCLH and the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund for PPE supplies and urgent research. 

Hiu said the couple, who are both UCL Honorary Fellows, had wanted to support UCL as part of their commitment to raising awareness of the long-term impact of climate change: "Every little droplet of positive action from all corners of the world added together can form a transformative wave of love. This viral epidemic reminds us that we can no longer ignore the signals from climate change.

“Our united efforts are a part of the solution. Mankind must live responsibly and consciously. We hope through these challenging times that countries around the world become even kinder, wiser and more environmentally friendly."

Other alumni from across China have also rallied support for UCL during this time. Qiannan Xiao, who graduated in 2017 with an MPA in Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy, organised the offer of 12,000 masks to UCLH from Shenzhen Unilumin Group. Qiannan is an active member of UCL Club of Beijing and has volunteered at a number of events in China, including the UCL China Graduation Celebration last November. 

Alumna volunteer Qiannan Xiao organised a donation of 12,000 masks from Shenzhen Unilumin Group to UCLH

UCL Club of Beijing members have donated to this date 167,200 pairs of medical gloves, 448,950 pieces of medical grade surgical masks, 1,800 sets of protective suits, 3,200 thermometers, 850 vacuum-packed Halal roasted chicken, all the administrative and logistical delivery costs and additionally cash donations of nearly £40,000 to 130 receiving units and individuals in 21 countries and territories.

Katharine Carruthers, UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost (East Asia) described how moved UCL staff have been by the offers of support, advice and lifesaving equipment in the face of the crisis.

She said: “We are immensely grateful to UCL’s amazing community of alumni, partners and supporters who have offered their time and resources to us. Their swift response perfectly demonstrates the importance of continued global collaboration during challenging times like these.”


More information

UCL is committed to the global fight against COVID-19 – read how we are contributing here

Find out how you can support activity through the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund


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