UCL President & Provost

Provost's news

Provost's View: Women in the workplace (and what men can do to help)

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Seven

This week saw something of a departure for me. On Monday, it was my great pleasure to take part in SEVEN, a documentary play presented by the UCL Institute for Women’s Health and based on the real life stories of seven women’s rights activists from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia, Pakistan, Northern Ireland and Cambodia.

Provost’s View: 100 glorious years of SSEES

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Ssees

On 14 January, I attended a reception to launch the centenary year of the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies, more commonly known by its acronym, SSEES. SSEES joined the UCL community in August 1999, before which it was an independent School within the University of London.

Vice-Provost’s View: Professor Chris Husbands on education policy in the run-up to the General Election

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UCL IOE
  • Professor Chris Husbands is Director of the UCL Institute of Education and UCL Vice-Provost (Academic Development) a new role to which he was appointed on 11 Feb 2015 in which he will exercise general oversight of UCL’s human resource management policies and practices for academic and research staff.

Provost's View: Transforming UCL - changes on the UCL campus in 2015

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Wates House

Earlier this month, I attended two separate events to celebrate improvements to UCL's estate that have enhanced the experience of thousands of our students. The first of these was to celebrate the implementation of Wi-Fi in some 4,000 student rooms at our residences in record time. The second cause for celebration was the formal opening of the Cruciform Hub. This new facility is absolutely world-class and the whole development, based on exhaustive consultation with students undertaken by Library Services, has been done in a way that is consistent with the historic nature of the building.

Provost’s Long View: UCL Arena, Connected Curriculum and advancing research-based education

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Arena banner

In recent weeks I have, not surprisingly, written much about our outstanding research success and the results of REF 2014 – an achievement that continues to resonate around the sector, both in the UK and internationally.

Provost's View: Widening participation and fair access

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Widening participation

From our very beginning in 1826, UCL was open to all irrespective of religion, race, and (albeit a little later) gender. I wonder what our founders might have thought of the modern day desire and need to demonstrate ‘fair access’ and ‘widening participation’ (WP), with the requirement for us to report on both annually to HEFCE and the Office of Fair Access. I expect that they might have been mortified by the regulatory requirements, but I hope that they would have been seriously impressed by the importance we attach to this issue and by both the breadth and the depth of our efforts.

Provost's View: Reflections on Charlie Hebdo, REF and plans for the year ahead

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Freshers fayre

I was intending to write a very cheerful message to welcome all students and staff back to UCL and to be optimistic about our new year. Needless to say the shocking events last week in Paris and France have dampened my spirits. I would like to send UCL’s condolences and our sympathy to all the families that have suffered such a tragic loss and a message of support to all of the people of France, and particularly to our French colleagues in higher education. Like you, we uphold freedom of expression (within the law) as a fundamental principle that lies at the core of our values as an institution. Our collective UCL pencil is held high in the air in solidarity with all of you.

Vice-Provost’s View: A game-changing REF result

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David Price

Being of a generally sunny disposition, I casually stated in a December 2013 Vice-Provost’s View: “I’ve no doubt that our university’s research strengths will be properly recognised in a year’s time.” (I was to be pleasantly surprised.)

Provost's View: Looking back on autumn 2014

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Nobel prize theatre

A Nobel Prize, the green light for an Olympic Park campus and UCL’s merger with the Institute of Education have been three of the headlines for UCL in a term that has seen our university take great strides in its estates transformation, international partnerships, fundraising activity and development of UCL’s Grand Challenges approach.

Provost's View: UCL East – a new model for the university of the future

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Olympic Park

UCL has once again been at the heart of the news agenda over the past few days, with the announcement that the government will commit £141 million to a new cultural and education quarter. UCL is a founding partner in this venture and we will establish a second campus, UCL East, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Provost's Long View: UCL and the Institute of Education merger

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UCL IOE

On 25 November, UCL and the Institute of Education (IOE) announced a merger with effect from 2 December. Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the IOE and Professor Michael Arthur, President & Provost of UCL, describe the rationale for the merger and what the future may hold.

Provost’s View: Turning staff feedback into action

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Staff survey

From our upcoming merger with the Institute of Education to the development of our plans for UCL East, the university’s proposed presence on the Olympic Park, life at UCL is constantly evolving. In order to adapt to new challenges in the higher education environment and to drive the strategic transformation outlined in UCL 2034, we rely on the efforts of UCL staff working across all roles and at all levels in the institution. We want to retain excellent staff, and to encourage your commitment, loyalty and enthusiasm.

Provost's View: Advancing race equality at UCL

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why isnt my professor black

In March of this year, I chaired an event at UCL titled ‘Why isn’t my professor black?’. It was attended by 350 staff, students and members of the wider community and has now been viewed online almost 3,000 times. It was an extraordinary event. I can still hear the clear, often impassioned voices of our black and minority ethnic staff and students explaining how UCL’s aspirations on equality and inclusion can often be rather different from lived reality. Despite higher education’s reputation for enlightened thinking, panelists and audience members at the event were united in the view that universities are generally no better than other institutions in society in addressing racial disadvantage.

Vice-Provost's View: London’s Global University, Globally Engaged

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UCL global

Thank you to the several hundred UCL colleagues who completed our survey on the new Global Engagement Strategy, and the 100+ who came to the Town Hall event on 14 October which marked the formal opening of the consultation.

Campaign for UCL 2034 - fundraising for excellence

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UCL's Portico

To deliver on UCL 2034, we will need to implement effectively and to stay focused on what really matters. One of the major projects arising from our strategy is our fundraising ‘Campaign for UCL 2034’ – in essence, a campaign that is led by a combination of myself and Lori Houlihan, UCL’s Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, but that will, in reality, only be successful at the level that we intend, if it is understood and owned by all of us, staff and students alike.

Vice-Provost's View: From local to global – UCL and London

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London

The rise of UCL and London

Over the past decade or so, UCL has experienced a dramatic surge in global reputation and growth. Although this is the consequence of the outstanding work carried out by the UCL community over many decades, our success is likely to have been aided by being in one of the world’s leading cities: London.

Provost's View: Implementing our strategy – rethinking promotions, acting on student feedback and Grand Challenges

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Grand challenges

Back at UCL after a visit to the New York tri-state area, I have returned to an atmosphere of great anticipation, as we stand at the cusp of major decisions for the future of the university, and as we begin to do some important work on implementing UCL 2034.

Provost’s View: Meeting UCL friends in New York

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Provost

This week, I have been in the New York tri-state area, along with Dame Nicola Brewer (Vice-Provost, International Affairs), Dame Hazel Genn (Dean of the Faculty of Laws) and Lori Houlihan (Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations). We have been kept busy with a breakfast briefing on UCL 2034, gathering input on UCL’s international strategy, and the Annual Alumni Party, this year attended by more than 100 former students.

Provost’s View: Transforming UCL takes shape

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Cruciform hub

As I have been out and about around campus in the past few weeks, I have been reminded of the unparalleled scale and pace of transformation that we are undertaking on our estate. I am also delighted to tell you that on two consecutive days, I have heard members of the academic community congratulating UCL Estates on a job well done at 140 Hampstead Road and at the new Cruciform hub. It was music to my ears.

Provost’s Long View: A momentous year ahead

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Freshers

The beginning of any new academic year is exciting, but for all of us at UCL, this year is shaping up to be one that is going to be of major importance too, as we make some key decisions that will shape and determine our future.

Provost’s Long View: Reflecting on my first year

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Portico

As this will be the last Provost’s View before the summer break, I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my first year in office and comment on what it has been like to join UCL at such an exciting and interesting time.

Provost’s View: Celebrating excellence and success

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Public engagement

With the end of the examination period and the approach of summer, it feels like an appropriate time for us to pay tribute to some of the award-winning activity that has taken place across the university over the past few weeks.

Vice-Provost’s View: UCL & the Olympic Park

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

It is now four months since my last Vice-Provost’s view outlining our plans to establish a new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP).

Provost’s Long View: Planning to prosper

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Planning

Given the size and complexity of UCL, it is essential for us to plan carefully. We are, after all, a community of nearly 10,000 staff and more than 28,000 (25,000 FTE) students with a turnover of greater than £1bn per annum. You certainly wouldn't want to get the planning process wrong – there is simply too much at stake.

Vice-Provost’s View: delivering health benefits by working in partnership

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John Tooke

I write this Vice-Provost’s View having just chaired a session at the International Conference on Engineering, Science and Technology in Beijing. What, you may well ask, has that got to do with health and the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS)?

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