Spotlight on Mark Copestake
30 November 2012
This week the spotlight is on Mark Copestake, Project Officer for Education Partnerships in the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education).
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am the Project Officer for Education Partnerships based in the office of the Vice-Provost (Education) in Gordon Square. UCL is the only sole university sponsor of an Academy school (The UCL Academy in Camden) and also maintains a Partnership for Excellence with City & Islington College. I am responsible for coordinating UCL's support for these institutions including a comprehensive programme of activities and academic input. It's my role to ensure that UCL meets its commitments as partner and as sponsor, and its obligations in relation to these commitments as set out in its Access Agreement.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I started working at UCL last week. My previous role was School and College Relations Manager at an education charity called the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF). The SMF works with UCL and other institutions to support high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds to get into the top universities and professions.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Well I've only worked here for a week! Saying that, I've got lots of ideas of how the university can support its partner schools and colleges. With the creation of the brand new UCL Academy, there is a real opportunity for the university to build up strong relationships with the staff, students and parents and for us to really contribute to and enhance the school curriculum.
Not only is the partnership about raising the aspirations of the students, it's about using the university's knowledge and resources to improve attainment and strengthen the link between further and higher education. The partnerships with the UCL Academy and City & Islington College provide both UCL and school staff with the chance to develop their understanding of the transition between further and higher education, including the admissions process, and to collaborate with subject colleagues in a different education sector.
Internally, it will be important for me to work closely with the Outreach team and departments like the Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) to involve the UCL community in all disciplines at our partner institutions. Irrespective of whether you're a student, an academic or other staff member, if you are interested in getting involved in this exciting new partnership and feel you have something to offer, I would love to hear from you on email@example.com.
What is your life like outside UCL?
I like to try and keep fit and recently completed my first half marathon in Amsterdam. I tend to go through phases of liking different sports and have dabbled in rowing and tennis in the past. I studied History of Art at university so I also like to try and see as many exhibitions as I can around London. I have just bought my first flat so in the last few months I have become quite a dab hand at DIY.