UCL London


PVP London news

Professor Alan Thompson, Pro Vice Provost (London) provides his thoughts and updates on recent PVP London Office news and activity.

Issue 1: UCL striving to impact the lives of Londoners and beyond in COVID-19 crisis

London has a population of nearly 9 million people, with 270,000 of these people living within the London Borough of Camden alone, the home of UCL’s main Bloomsbury campus. Whilst UCL is also home to some 15,000 staff and 40,000 students, many of these staff and students have moved out of London during the current COVID-19 crisis, back to their home towns elsewhere in the UK and beyond. Unfortunately London has seen the biggest increase in cases of COVID-19 across the UK in recent days and, as would be expected, UCL is coming together as a community to play its part in.

heads sculpture

Issue 2: UCL transforming mental health and social wellbeing for all through Covid-19 epidemic

Covid-19 is effecting all of our lives in many ways and in this piece I focus on the ways in which UCL is impacting our mental health, not just within the UCL community but locally and nationally too. Whether you are working on the frontline as part of the NHS response to Covid-19, a key worker delivering food, working from home or home-schooling your children, the mental and social experiences we develop through this crisis will affect us all in different ways. 

Park people

Issue 3: How UCL is helping London’s communities and people through the Covid-19 pandemic

In this months piece I want to focus on the impact UCL has had on London’s communities and people. We’ve been living with the challenges of Covid-19 for nearly 10 weeks and the changes we’ve had to make to our daily lives have started to become the ‘new normal’. Whilst experts at UCL have responded amazingly to national and global challenges, there are many local initiatives directed specifically at our communities here in Bloomsbury and around UCL East. 


Issue 4: How UCL is supporting London’s business and economy sector in wake of Covid-19 fallout

It’s hard to believe that we have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic in London for over three months. In previous issues I have talked about the impact of the crisis on Londoners, communities and our mental health during lockdown. In this issue I want to focus on London’s economy and business sector and how UCL is responding to changes. Research from UCL has shown that the duration of lockdown matters more to economies than their severity because shorter lockdowns cause less disruption to regional and global supply chains. As lockdown rules are relaxed, UCL is contributing to renewing the London economy.

London bus

Issue 5: Advocating for UCL’s impact in London whilst adapting to new ways of working

A key part of my role as Pro Vice Provost (London) is to engage with our local communities, policy makers, local government and other partners in London. Whilst this has certainly been challenging, in particular as we develop a new London Framework for UCL in London, I have been very encouraged by the continued level of impact and support UCL has provided for London’s communities and beyond in such a time of crisis through research, community engagement and enterprise activities.

campus photo

Issue 6: Congratulations 2020 Graduands!

In what has been an unexpected and unprecedented academic year, I wanted to share my heartfelt congratulations to this year’s graduands. Whilst disappointed that unfortunately physical graduation ceremonies are not taking place this year due to the pandemic, it is important to recognise the impact and contributions that our graduates have had on UCL and London throughout their studies and university experience.

University street sign

Issue 7: Welcome back to London whether from near or far!

Monday 28 September officially marked the start of the new academic year and Term 1 for students. This last week we have welcomed many students to London, joining us from all over the world, not just from the UK. We are delighted to have the students physically in London but equally pleased to welcome all those students attending UCL virtually. We are all adjusting to our new way of working and it’s fantastic to see so many students embracing this change which we recognise is difficult for many but critical if we are to avoid any wider disruption.

London skyline

Issue 8: Pro-Vice-Provost’s View – Enhancing our place in our capital city

The past nine months have been a challenging time for us all with the coronavirus pandemic changing how we live, work and communicate with each other. Rewinding a few more months to July 2019 when I was appointed Pro-Vice-Provost (London), I did not foresee any of the challenges which we have all faced in 2020 and will continue to face in 2021 and beyond. Nevertheless, I am delighted to share that progress has very much continued in the PVP London Office, and if anything, COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of UCL’s relationships particularly with London but also nationally and internationally as well. 

London people talking

Issue 9: Underpinning the London Framework: the value of local and regional partnerships

Last month, on Thursday 5 November, we officially launched the UCL London Framework to a (virtual) room of over 60 colleagues spanning UCL and our partner organisations. Hosted by UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, the event marked a pivotal moment for the London Office as we now can move forward on working with the UCL community and our London partners to amplify UCL’s impact in and for London.

London underground tube

Issue 11: The future of London: recognising the challenges whilst paving the way for new opportunities

In this months London update I am delighted to welcome Siobhan Morris, Head of Programmes, UCL Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality, and Dr Olivia Stevenson, Deputy Director of UCL Public Policy who have kindly provided an update on their recent work with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Travers Smith, where they surveyed businesses across London on their role in addressing societal inequalities. 

UCL Academy

Issue 12: Working together to make an even greater contribution to our place in Camden

In this months London update I wanted to share how UCL, as an anchor in our locality, is impacting Camden and people across London. I am delighted that Professor Lucie Green, Chair of Governors at the UCL Academy and Professor in the UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics, has provided an update on the UCL Academy’s impact across Camden, which is truly impressive.

UCL East

Issue 13: Engaging with London: Partners, People and Place

In this months update I want to share how we are working with our partners, people and place across London. Professor Paola Lettieri, Director of UCL East shares how UCL is creating an open, publicly engaged campus in East London and I share updates from the Pro Vice Provost (London) Office on how we are engaging with our partners, as part of our objectives set out in the London Framework.