UCL President & Provost

Provost's news

Vice-Provost's View: Our education strategy: preparing our students for the wider world

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Anthony Smith

Over the last few years students' expectations of their universities have grown, competition has become more fierce for the best students and - as the government's recent green paper shows – the quality of teaching has been placed under greater political scrutiny than ever before.

Provost's Long View: A rolling TEF, a periodic REF, farewell HEFCE and a proposed new ‘Office for Students’ – the government’s green paper on higher education

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For the second time in a year, I will start my column by expressing the collective sorrow of UCL for the recent horrific attacks in Paris and the tragic loss of life. As I heard one TV commentator say, if the Charlie Hebdo episode was about attacking French values and freedom of speech, this weekend saw a direct attack on France and its citizens.

Vice-Provost’s View: Five tips to help you navigate Open Access

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Discovery downloads

UCL is a pioneer in Open Access (OA) – that is, making research outputs freely available online. In 2009, we became the first European university ranked in the global top ten in the THE–QS world university rankings to make our research free to all, and earlier this year, we celebrated the launch of the UK's first fully OA university press (UCL Press). UCL’s policy states that authors must deposit all of their research outputs in our institutional Open Access repository, UCL Discovery.

Vice Provost's View: The outlook for health at UCL

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David Lomas

Having been Vice-Provost (Health) for three months, I should like to start by thanking my predecessor Professor Sir John Tooke: health at UCL has gone from strength to strength over the past five and a half years.

Vice-Provost's View: Global Engagement Strategy – how’s it going?

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You may be wondering what’s been happening since we launched UCL’s new Global Engagement Strategy (GES) in May. Here’s a quick summary. You can find more detail on our website and by subscribing to our bimonthly newsletter, UCL Global News.

Provost’s Long View: The state of UCL – the good, the not so good, and the future challenges

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Last week, I had the opportunity to address an audience of students, staff and members of the public at the inaugural talk of UCL’s autumn Lunch Hour Lecture series. This autumn marks the start of my third year at UCL and after two years marked by some great successes and considerable challenges, it feels like a natural time to take stock.

Vice-Provost’s View: How your feedback can create a better UCL

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Rex Knight

UCL’s phenomenal success over the past 10–15 years in establishing itself as one of the world’s leading universities is fundamentally dependent on the talents and abilities of our staff. Whether you are an academic member of staff or you work in professional services, your commitment to excellence and your willingness to work in partnership are critical to our mission.

Provost’s and Vice-Provost’s View: Why the student experience matters

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With the academic session beginning once again, and the campus alive with new and returning students, we are turning our attention to how we can ensure that their experience at UCL is as rewarding and fulfilling as possible.

Provost's View: My priorities for 2015–2016

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Michael Arthru

It is my pleasure to welcome all staff and students to the beginning of a new academic year – a very important one for UCL, with much to do – as always.

Provost’s View: Women in Science

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UCL was the first University in England to admit women on equal terms to men. Equality between the sexes is one of our core values, yet this past fortnight our commitment to women and to women in science has been challenged, our reputation put under pressure and we have been part of an intense and uncomfortable media storm.

Provost’s Long View: A truly remarkable year

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As the longest day of the year – 21 June – fell last week, a collective sigh was almost audible across campus; one of relief from undergraduates now that term is behind them, and one of contemplation from postgraduates and staff bracing themselves for a summer of research and planning.

Vice Provost's View: Professor Sir John Tooke's farewell reflections on UCL SLMS

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Sir John Tooke

As I approach my last few weeks as Vice-Provost (Health) at UCL, I hope you will indulge me in a few reflections and thoughts for the future of this great institution. Clearing out my stuff, I came across my letter of application for the role, in which I emphasised three issues for the UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences (UCL SLMS): commitment to the whole translational spectrum whilst sustaining excellent discovery science; greater visibility of our core strengths; and the projection of SLMS as an intellectual hub for biomedical science, with effective partnership working at its core.

Provost’s View: Unveiling the mysteries of university finance

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Over the last few weeks, we have been working on UCL’s budget for next year. It will go to Council for approval in July, in time for the start of the 2015/16 financial year on 1 August.

Vice-Provost’s View: UCL East – imagining the future campus

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In taking on responsibility for leading the Academic Programme Board of UCL East, I have – not for the first time – been looking to UCL’s founders for inspiration.

Provost’s Long View: Preparing for QAA Review - a chance to showcase the best of UCL

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We have recently received confirmation that UCL will be subject to review by the Quality Assurance Agency in May 2016. This may sound a little strange, but I am actually looking forward to the review, for reasons that I will explain. The QAA is the UK-wide agency responsible for monitoring and advising on the standards and quality of UK higher education. As part of a common framework for quality assurance, all universities agree to be subject to an independent review by QAA every six years or so. UCL was last reviewed in 2009 and so we are definitely due a visit.

Vice-Provost's View: Launch of our new Global Engagement Strategy

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I’m delighted – and not a little relieved – to announce that Council approved the new GES on 13 April, after a full discussion on 30 March. The new strategy can be summarised as ‘London’s Global University works with partners to achieve fair solutions to global challenges’.

With great support from the Communications & Marketing office and others across UCL, we are launching with staff and students today:

Provost's View: What does the outcome of the general election mean for UCL?

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The opinion polls, we now know, were wrong. It seems around 3% of voters were telling the pollsters one thing, only to do another in the polling booth. I read an interesting analysis of this phenomenon at the weekend, but what does the result mean for UCL?

Vice-Provost's View: Farewell UCL

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Steve Caddick

It has been a great privilege to be Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at UCL and inevitably as I pack my bags to make the long trip from Gordon Street to the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road, I have been reflecting on the last five years. So much has changed and so much has been achieved by UCL.

Provost's View: Championing research-based education

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Teaching conference

Many of you know by now that one of our priorities – as outlined in UCL 2034 – is our commitment to teaching and learning excellence through research-based education. Many changes will be taking place over the next few years that will have a long-term impact on the future of UCL, and you’ll be hearing more about them from many parts of the university.

Provost’s Long View: UCL 2034 – turning words into action

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UCL 2034

With the general election looming, the emerging picture for the future funding of higher education is looking less than ideal. Although UCL has done well in HEFCE’s 2015/16 funding announcement today, with a 4% increase in our funding allocation for teaching and research, the underlying pressures were reflected in an overall drop of 5% for the sector as a whole.

Vice-Provost’s View: Optimising UCL’s contribution to medical innovation

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After our spectacular performance in REF 2014, there can be no doubt of UCL’s power in relationship to biomedical research and the impact of our work. The very structure of the UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences (UCL SLMS) reflects our commitment to translating research from bench to bedside to population – a structure that facilitates the impact for which we were recognised in the REF exercise. Neither is there any doubt that impact will be an even more significant component of the next REF. Despite this apparent incentive to focus on applied research, we must continue to champion the conduct of world-class fundamental discovery science with no obvious direct application for pragmatic reasons if no other.

Provost’s View: How philanthropy enables our students to succeed

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As many of you know, my office is located at the southern end of the Wilkins Building’s South Cloisters, which means I have an esteemed neighbour: Jeremy Bentham’s auto-icon.

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

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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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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.

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