UCL News


UCL student wins Erasmus prize

8 December 2006

UCL undergraduate David Tett (UCL French) has won the photography category at the UK Erasmus Student Awards 2006.

erasmus Abla Kandalaft (UCL History) was also short listed for the essay prize.

The awards ­­- open to all UK-based students who participated in the Erasmus programme in the 2005-2006 academic year ­- culminated in presentations from the short listed entrants to panels of expert judges. Both the essays and photographs must reflect the experiences of the students during their studies abroad.

Erasmus (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is the European Commission's educational programme for higher education students, tutors and institutions. It was introduced in 1987 with the aim of increasing student mobility within the European Community.

All the finalists received awards from Professor Duncan Rice, Chairman of the UK Socrates Council, and prize cheques to the winners were presented by Richard Reid from NatWest Bank who sponsored the prizes.

David received his cheque for £650 for his portfolio of photographs from his time in Montpellier, France. He said: "These pictures aim to illustrate a highly eventful year spent abroad. As a keen photographer, my time in France proved to be an invaluable experience, helping me boost my portfolio. During my second term at L'Université Paul Valery, I decided to take on work experience at a local newspaper. I could not have chosen a better time, as the anti-CPE demonstrations were beginning to gather momentum. As a front line reporter, I truly felt in the thick of the action and was finally able to witness a French national pastime first-hand. Every day there were new people and new challenges to meet."

Abla also spent her study abroad programme in France, and her essay gave an account of her impressions on French higher education and how the massive protests over employment law last year reflected an ongoing crisis. She said: "I was asked by UCL to compile a dossier of essays based on historical research I did in Paris and because I had access to both cities, I based one of the topics on a cross-cultural comparison between Paris and London, regarding the treatment of abandoned children. I mentioned a few personal things like my annoyance at French conservative attitude to clothes and food and the hassle of bureaucracy. I mentioned one thing that became very dear to me, a drama course I undertook which culminated in a performance of Tchekov's plays."

During his keynote address, Bill Rammell, Minster for Lifelong Learning and Further and Higher Education, said: "We need to make sure more students can and do take full advantage of the chances available to study abroad. I want as many of our students as possible to benefit from this type of experience. Through their words and images, the finalists show us what a positive difference the Erasmus programme has made to their personal and academic development. Congratulations to all of the finalists on their successful completion of Erasmus exchanges and award entries."

Image: Sport-science students perform dance routines during a demonstration