UCL News


Seven questions with Anna Routova

16 March 2018

This week, meet Anna Routova, a first year BASc Arts & Sciences undergraduate from the Czech Republic, who presented her work on UCL's research-based education framework - the Connected Curriculum - at the recent Student's Union Education Conference.

Anna Routova

1. Why you are interested in Arts and Sciences and what do you plan to do in the future?

I enjoy studying Arts and Sciences simply because it is a highly interdisciplinary degree, and I cannot imagine myself studying a single discipline! I'm only in my first year, but I have been able to explore sociology, psychology and comparative politics already, whilst learning Mandarin from scratch! This degree is intellectually challenging and provides a unique opportunity for learning to understand the world from different disciplinary perspectives.

I'm very interested in education and international development academically so I'm hoping to explore both from different angles through my 2nd year modules. I also have a strong interest in Asia and I would love to do a study abroad year in Singapore later on in my studies.

In my free time, I love all things creative, from graphic design to photography and illustration. As a design officer of Free Hype, UCL's student led pro bono creative agency, I'm responsible for the visual identity of the society, which I really enjoy. My dream job would be one that somehow incorporates creativity and the causes I care about.

2. What is the most interesting thing you've done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

I have had the opportunity to be a Connected Curriculum (CC) student fellow at the UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education, which has been pretty exciting!

The Connected Curriculum is UCL's education framework, aimed at embedding UCL's research in programmes and transforming the curriculum to make it more relevant for tackling the complex challenges of today's world. My role as a student fellow has allowed me to meet many academics working on the different areas of the Connected Curriculum, and explore in-depth what they do. One of the most interesting elements of the CC is Liberating the Curriculum, which sparks discussion on making UCL's curriculum less Euro-centric and more inclusive.

With other student fellows, we have co-hosted a development group which brought together all the people working on the Connected Curriculum, and we were able to initiate our own suggestions for developing the CC. One particular challenge is that not many students at UCL have heard of the Connected Curriculum or understand how it affects their education, so I am currently looking into how this could be improved. It has been a great way to get lots of useful experience whilst making an impact, and for me it has involved lots of exciting things such as presenting our work at the Students' Union Education Conference!

3. Have you discovered any 'hidden gems' during your time at UCL?

One of them is definitely the view from the Arena Centre (1-19 Torrington place). There have been major refurbishments in the building recently, and there are some really nice study areas on the ground floor of the building.

I have only recently discovered the Central House library, which I love for being much less crowded than most libraries on campus. I also love Dillons café inside Waterstones!

4. Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London

1) Explore the art exhibitions at National Gallery, Tate Modern, Design Museum or the Hayward Gallery in Southbank Centre

2) Go on a street art tour in the Brick Lane area

3) Go for an amazing south-east Asian dinner to Sticky Mango restaurant near Waterloo

5. If you were Provost for the day, what one thing would you do?

It would be great to initiate a website or app which would offer a comprehensive overview of all the events that take place on campus on any given day. I feel like there is so much going on that it's easy to miss out on great talks and events.

6. Who inspires you and why?

I love listening to podcasts when I'm in need of inspiration, and my current favourite is 99percent invisible, which explores the origins of the unnoticed design and architecture that shape our world.

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

That I have a brother 16 years younger than me!