UCL Global


UCL scales up activity with global Reach Alliance

8 February 2023

The Reach Alliance, a global network of top universities, published its first UCL-led research report, with two more projects mentored by five UCL academics in the pipeline.

UCL Reach Alliance students presenting at conference

The first UCL-led report with the Reach Alliance was co-mentored by Dr Kate Roll from the UCL Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and Dr Sara Hillman from UCL Population Health Sciences. Led by UCL students Tiffany Kwok, Deveney Bazinet, Poppy Pierce, Catherine Cooke and Haleema Adil, the case study in the London Borough of Camden showed that UK immigration policies harm maternal health.

The report shows that the UK’s “punitive and ethically fraught” immigration policies disrupt the delivery of humane maternity care to recent refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants (RASU). The report, "Accessing Maternal Healthcare in a Hostile Environment," states that in order to better support migrant groups, UK immigration policies must be repealed, with greater attention paid to migrant-focused maternal care.

The report is UCL’s first with the Reach Alliance, a student-driven, faculty-mentored research and leadership initiative aimed at addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which it joined in 2021.

The Reach Alliance, headquartered at the University of Toronto, also includes the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Singapore Management University, the University of Melbourne in Australia, Ashesi University in Ghana, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and the University of Oxford in the UK.

Two more UCL-Reach projects underway

The next two UCL-Reach Alliance projects have already begun. In their second project, Dr Roll and Dr Hillman are mentoring UCL students Laura Herren, Francesca Lanzarotti and Savo Noori on a project in Nepal entitled ‘Women’s access to healthcare in Nepal,’ which focuses on SDGs 3 (good health and wellbeing), 5 (gender equality) and 10 (reduced inequalities).

More UCL mentors have also joined the initiative, resulting in a third research project led by the support and expert guidance of three additional UCL researchers from a wider range of disciplines.

The new UCL mentors are Monica Lakhanpaul, Global Strategic Academic Advisor and Professor of Integrated Community Child Health at Great Ormond Street (GOS) Institute of Child Health, Priti Parikh, Professor of Infrastructure Engineering and International Development at the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, and Dr Celine Lewis, NIHR Advanced Fellow at GOS Institute of Child Health. They will also be joined by Dr Nadia Svirydzenka, Associate Professor at De Montfort University.

The four researchers will mentor UCL students James Grant, Lorenzo Dall’Omo, Anna Pearl Johnson and Safaa Yaseen on a project entitled ‘The importance of play for children living in temporary accommodation with limited resources,’ which focuses on SDGs 10 (reduced inequalities), 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals). 

Clément Leroy, UCL Senior Global Engagement Manager (Americas), said: “It has been truly inspiring to witness the success of our first UCL Reach case study, the quality of the work and its impact speak for themselves! We are very excited to build on this success with two new teams of students this year, and to enable more connections with all the students and mentors of partner universities in the extended Reach Alliance.”

The Reach Alliance was founded in 2015 at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. 

More information


  • Credit: Reach Alliance
  • Caption: UCL students presenting on their case study at the Reach Research Conference in Toronto