UCL News


Celebrating ten years of the UCL Academy

5 June 2023

UCL staff visited the UCL Academy at the end of May to celebrate ten years since its establishment. Showcasing the achievements and progress made over the past decade, the event highlighted the successful partnership between UCL and the academy in promoting academic excellence.

A group of nine smiling people visiting the UCL Academy. The group include UCL's Provost Dr Michael Spence, MP Tulip Siddiq and the school's Chair of Governers Professor Lucie Green.

In a vibrant celebration of education and achievement, some of our staff members attended the Founders Day event at UCL Academy. The event featured notable speakers, including UCL’s President & Provost Dr Michael Spence, Professor Lucie Green, UCL Professor of Physics and the UCL Academy’s Chair of Governors, and Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn. 

Attendees from UCL also included Professor Anthony Smith, Vice Provost (Faculties), Professor Alan Thompson, Pro-Provost (London) and Dean of Brain Sciences, Kirsty Walker, Vice President (External Engagement), Dr Clare Goudy (Provost’s Chief of Staff), Amy Lightstone, Head of Engagement and Operations (UCL London), and Sarah Beech, Project Officer (UCL London). They were treated to a tour of the UCL Academy facilities and showcases from the talented students, including impressive displays of fencing, Kosovan dance, and Mandarin language skills among others. 

The event showcased the remarkable progress made since the Academy’s inception in 2012. UCL, as the first university in the country to become the sole sponsor of an academy, has aimed to make a lasting impact on education. By fostering a partnership between a world-class university and an inner London school, UCL has strived to promote academic excellence and bridge the gap between secondary and higher education.

Robin Street, Co-Principal of the Academy, expressed his gratitude, stating, “Our students and staff at the Academy were overwhelmed by the words of encouragement, and pride from Dr Spence and so many of his colleagues who attended on Wednesday. The school has come so far in the first ten years.  It is impossible to overstate the importance and significance that UCL's support has given in helping transform the lives of students at the Academy with the opportunities provided inside and outside the classroom. We can only begin to imagine how much more can be achieved in the next ten years!"

Professor Lucie Green added, “It was fantastic to visit UCL Academy to celebrate ten years since the school's foundation. As the Chair of Governers, I'm particularly proud of the myriad successes of our students and staff alike. I'm delighted that our vision – of a new model for collaboration between schools and universities, bringing exciting educational opportunities to our students to help them become well-rounded citizens and leaders of the future – has come to life so successfully, and look forward to the next ten years.”

UCL’s decision to apply for sponsor status in 2008 was driven by its vision of fostering continuous collaboration and knowledge exchange between the university and the academy. The government approved UCL’s application, leading to the opening of UCL Academy in 2012 with 180 students in Foundation (Year 7) and 125 students in Level 3 (Year 12). Over the years, the academy has grown and, in September 2016, reached its full capacity.

A significant milestone was achieved in 2017 when the inaugural class of 2012, who joined as Year 7 students, became the first cohort to undertake GCSE examinations. The students surpassed expectations, achieving excellent results in core subjects, and showcasing the academy’s commitment to academic excellence. 

Professor Alan Thompson, UCL’s Pro-Provost (London) said “Our relationship with the UCL Academy continues to go from strength to strength and we are immensely proud of the students and staff for all their work in making the school such a success. We look forward to hosting Year 7 and Year 12 students at UCL in June when they will tour our campus once again, and I’d like to thank all those involved in the partnership over the past 10 years, and beyond, for their contributions to this important collaboration”.

Further links  

•    UCL Academy
•    UCL London
•    UCL London on Twitter