UCL Global


Year In Review: Celebrating UCL's global impact in 2023

15 December 2023

Discover the top global stories and news from UCL Global Engagement and the wider UCL community over the past year.

Compilation of Global Engagment images from 2023

Throughout 2023, at UCL, our academic and student communities have been collaborating across borders and boundaries, working with partners across the world to co-create fair solutions to pressing challenges.

And as London’s Global University, we have marked several defining moments that underscore our commitment to internationalisation. 

Here, we reflect on the top global stories of 2023 from UCL Global Engagement and the wider UCL community.


UCL academics awarded Global Engagement Funds 2022/23

In the eighth round of the UCL Global Engagement Funds (GEF), more than 70 academics were awarded funding to support their collaborations with colleagues around the world.

UCL academics awarded Partner Funds 2022/23

We ran 12 funding streams to support joint projects led by UCL academics with colleagues at UCL's key global partner institutions, from North America to Australia to East Asia. 


New strategic academic advisors appointed to help shape UCL’s global engagement

We announced Professor David Coen as UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost (Global Engagement) alongside the appointment of three Global Strategic Academic Advisors (GSAAs): Dr Uta Staiger (Europe), Professor Monica Lakhanpaul (India) and Director Katharine Carruthers (China). 

Celebrating International Mother Language Day

In honour of International Mother Language Day (21 February), Dr Michael Spence (UCL President & Provost) and Professor Li Wei (Director & Dean, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education & Society) met to discuss their shared love of languages, from raising bilingual children to preserving heritage languages.


Vice-Provost (RIGE) leads Japan visit to build on strong research links

In March, a UCL delegation led by Vice-Provost (RIGE) Professor Geraint Rees travelled to Japan to meet with key partners in the country. The week-long visit was Professor Rees’ first in his Vice-Provost role and strengthened UCL’s longstanding relationships with Osaka University (OU), Tohoku University (TU), RIKEN, HORIBA, and the British Embassy in Tokyo.


Provost's view in Portico Spring magazine 2023

In the Spring edition of Portico, UCL's magazine for alumni and supporters, Dr Michael Spence highlighted how UCL serves as a beacon of internationalism, demonstrating the value of global connections.


Reconnecting with UCL’s valued Chinese community

UCL received a warm welcome from key partners in academia and business, supporters, alumni, students and parents as part of a visit to mainland China in May following the lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

UCL ranked 9th in the 2024 QS World University Rankings

UCL is ranked in the top 10 globally for 12 years running, recognised for the strength of its international research network for the second year running, earning the second position globally.


UCL and Indian partners drive disability innovation through assistive technology

The Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) at UCL signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with colleagues from the Assistech Lab at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) and R2D2 lab at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras).



UCL welcomes policymakers for inaugural Global Insights and Summer Social

More than 100 guests in the diplomatic and policy community around the world joined us for an an evening’s discussion on artificial intelligence, followed by networking.


UCL academics collaborating internationally become ABSW Media Fellows

In UCL Global Engagement, we supported Oksana Pyzik and Dr Niall Jeffrey to join the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) Media Fellowship scheme 2023. The scheme aims to give scientists the confidence to engage with the media and build understanding between science and society.


Rejoining Horizon Europe is a ‘cause for celebration’

UCL leaders warmly welcomed the UK Government’s deal with the European Commission, enabling UK scientists to fully access Horizon Europe, the flagship £81bn (€95bn) research and innovation programme.

Applications open for the UCL Reach Alliance 2023-2024 cohort

UCL students applied to become student researchers on the Reach Alliance programme: a global research and leadership initiative founded at the University of Toronto, aimed at addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Celebrating 160 years of UCL-Japan friendship

In his first visit to Japan as UCL President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence met with key partners with whom the university collaborates to address a range of global challenges, from dementia to climate change.

UCL hosts inaugural EU-UK Youth Gathering

The UCL European Institute and the Delegation of the European Union to the UK brought together more than 120 students to discuss the primary challenges facing today's young people and share perspectives on EU-UK relations.


UCL strengthens commitment to India with 100 new Master’s scholarships and Summer School launch

During an institutional visit to India, UCL announced a new scholarship scheme to enable 100 of India’s brightest students to study at UCL, as well as our first ever Summer School for pre-university students in the country.

Navigating the UN Landscape: A UCL-GSPI capacity-building visit to Geneva

From 20-23 November, six UCL researchers travelled to Geneva to build confidence and gain insights into multilateral policymaking and science-policy engagement alongside counterparts from the University of Geneva and the University of Zurich.

UCL and New Giza University strengthen relationship with renewed health sciences collaboration

UCL and New Giza University, Egypt, signed a new Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy agreement, reinforcing shared commitment to advancing educational opportunities and fostering academic excellence. 

UCL deepens collaboration with partners in South Korea

In November, UCL achieved several milestones with partners in South Korea aimed at supporting the development of new collaborations across industry and academia. This included signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korea University.


New Global Strategic Academic Advisor (Africa) appointed

Julius Mugwagwa, Professor of Health Innovation and Public Policy at the UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, was announced as UCL’s Global Strategic Academic Advisor (Africa). In this part-time role, Professor Mugwagwa will be responsible for developing UCL’s approach to engagement and collaboration with Africa, providing academic expertise to steer UCL’s engagement there.


Further information

As London’s Global University, UCL works with partners across the world to co-create fair solutions to pressing challenges. Find out more about UCL's activity in each of the regions below: