ISSUE 5: 2020
t gives me great pleasure to introduce the fifth edition of WC1E: the magazine for alumni and friends of the University of London.
It has been an extraordinary and challenging year for all in our community affected by the unprecedented global events of 2020. My thoughts are with those who have been impacted, or have suffered loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The University’s Centre for the study of the Senses, part of the School of Advanced Study, played a key role bringing together the evidence that identified loss of smell and taste as an official symptom of COVID-19, and many of the University’s member institutions have contributed their expertise in response to the pandemic. You can read about the work of one of these member institutions – the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine – in this edition of the magazine. As a pioneer in flexible learning for more than 160 years, the University of London has been uniquely positioned to be able to support its community by continuing to provide worldwide access to education during this time of crisis. I am proud of the way the institution has been able to adapt so quickly to these new circumstances, redesigning assessment and examinations for our distance learning students around the world, as well as for our other programmes at the School of Advanced Study in London and the University of London Institute in Paris. We have also been able to support many of our world-class member institutions as they transitioned to online teaching at very short notice. In the coming weeks we will be publishing Transforming Education…Creating Futures, the University’s strategy for the next five years. This will build on our nearly 200 years of history in pioneering new ways of delivering education and broadening access, and will guide the University as we develop new ways of learning to meet the evolving needs of students. Changes to the School of Advanced Study will place the School at the heart of developments in humanities research. We are incredibly proud of our global community of alumni. Our graduates enhance the reputation of the University, helping to influence and shape the world in which we live to enable social good. In this edition of WC1E, you can read about alumnus and human rights champion Patrick Canagasingham and the work he is doing as COO of Habitat for Humanity International.
We also shine a spotlight on alumna Tanzie Turel, who supports the University by volunteering as an Alumni Group leader. In this edition, we also share some of the work undertaken by academics in the University’s School of Advanced Study. Dr Juanita Cox highlights important research undertaken to capture the oral history of the ‘Windrush Generation’, and Dr Michael Eades explains why this year’s Being Human festival theme of ‘New Worlds’ is more relevant now than ever. Our alumni play an important role in supporting the University’s mission and ensuring that we can remain a world leader in higher education. In this issue, we interview LLM alumnus József Váradi, who this year made a landmark gift of £1.2 million to establish the Váradi Scholarships, which will have a life-changing impact on 100 students around the world. Many of our alumni also supported our first Student Support Appeal, which provided bursaries to current students who were experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring they could continue their studies. It is thanks to the support of our alumni and friends that we can continue our mission to provide education for all who wish to learn. Looking ahead, summer 2021 sees the Institute of Historical Research start celebrations to mark 100 years since its creation and, in this edition of the magazine, you can read more about the Institute’s founding and future plans. In the meantime, I am delighted to share more about the University’s strategy with you on page 12. As higher education faces new and unique challenges, our strategy will harness the strengths of our history to define what a university is for the future, looking forward with optimism toward the University’s 200th anniversary. Our alumni and friends will be key to helping realise the University’s vision, and I look forward to working with you to achieve that vision. I hope you enjoy this edition of the magazine. I encourage you to keep in touch with us via the University of London Development Office and be an active member of our thriving community. Professor Wendy Thomson CBE Vice-Chancellor, University of London
Contents IN THIS ISSUE 04 NEWS 10 5 MINUTES WITH...
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy, Planning and Partnerships) and Director of Property, Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr
18 ALUMNI INTERVIEW
Patrick Canagasingham talks about his career as a human rights champion
26 ALUMNI INTERVIEW
Tanzie Turel shares her experience as an alumni volunteer
32 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
Chigozie Udemezue on her work to support widows in Africa
34 IN HISTORY
Past and future thinking at the Institute of Historical Research
40 ALUMNI OF TOMORROW
Anusavi Murugesh talks about her Business Placement with Unilever
42 ALUMNI INTERVIEW
Sandra Schwarzer on the importance of inclusive leadership
Highlights of alumni events during the past year
FEATURES 12 TRANSFORMING EDUCATION… CREATING FUTURES Looking ahead to the University’s next five-year strategy
14 NATIONALITY, IDENTITY AND BELONGING
Dr Juanita Cox on capturing the oral histories of the ‘Windrush Generation’
16 WELLBEING FOCUS: A VIEW FROM LONDON
Dr Adrian Clark on supporting students’ wellbeing in our halls of residence
22 ON THE FRONT LINE
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on their response to COVID-19
28 GET INVOLVED
How our alumni volunteers support the University
30 BEING HUMAN IN A NEW WORLD Dr Michael Eades on the 2020 Being Human festival
Sustainability Engagement Officer in the University’s Sustainability team.
PROFESSOR JO FOX
Director of the Institute of Historical Research and Professor of Modern History.
DR PHILIP CARTER
Communications Officer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Head of Digital and Publishing at the Institute of Historical Research.
Alumni Relations Manager in the University’s Development Office.
Student Experience Manager in the University’s Student Experience team.
DR ADRIAN CLARK
DR JUANITA COX
Student Health & Wellbeing Manager and Warden of Connaught Hall.
Digital Engagement Manager in the University’s Development Office.
Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study.
Lawyer and founder of the Healing Hearts Widows Support Foundation Inc. and alumna of the University.
DR MICHAEL EADES
Public Engagement Manager and Cultural Contexts Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study.
Michael Young interviews Michael Hayman on the role of corporate purpose
39 EMPLOYABILITY WITH GLOBAL REACH
Georgina Jeronymides-Norie on the success of the Business Placement Scheme
46 BREAKING BARRIERS TO EDUCATION
How support for our Scholarships Programme enables access to education
50 OUR GREEN FUTURE
Cat Acheson talks about the impact of COVID-19 on climate change
EXTRAS 08 CONNECTING LONDON AND THE WORLD 29 WELCOME NEW GRADUATES 45 ALUMNI BURSARY 49 STAY IN TOUCH 54 YOUR IMPACT IN 2019–2020 EDITORIAL
CONTRIBUTORS CAT ACHESON
36 WELCOME TO THE PURPOSE ECONOMY
Founder and CEO of Actual Agency and alumnus of the University.
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LOUISE FAUTLEY EDITOR
Alumni and Supporter Engagement Manager in the University’s Development Office.
HOLLY PETERSON EDITOR
Head of Constituency Engagement in the University’s Development Office.
ANTONIA BAILEY ART DIRECTOR
Head of Design and Production at the University.
GEMMA JESTICO GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Graphic Designer in the Design team at the University.
NEWS ULIP AND GOLDSMITHS LAUNCH ‘LOCALITIES OF WELCOMING IN HOSTILE TIMES’ The University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP), in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, has launched a new network linking researchers and activists engaged in neighbourhoods of welcome across Europe. Both universities have contributed to key research in this area, as well as led work with their own local refugee communities.
exchange information, discuss long-term strategies for welcoming and working with refugee communities, and develop a critical framework of key research areas in this field. Particular interest lies in the intersections between refugee-oriented work and other strategies for critical opposition, including Black Lives Matter actions, or the Gilets noirs in France.
Formed by ULIP’s Professor Anna-Louise Milne and Goldsmiths’ Professor Sue Clayton, ‘Localities of Welcoming in Hostile Times’ aims to connect people across Europe who are involved in refugee welcoming and support. The project is characterised by an effort to work across the boundaries between academic exploration and activist engagement, seeking to promote and
With the pandemic having a devastating impact on the human rights and living conditions of refugees, COVID-19 became the key topic of the network’s second online meeting, which took place on 9 July 2020. The meeting linked those in the UK with attendees in Serbia, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, and Malta, giving attendees the opportunity to exchange information and discuss key topics.
LIBRARY EXHIBITION HONOURS THE LIFE OF CHARLES DICKENS Senate House Library, the central library for the University of London and School of Advanced Study, has marked the 150th anniversary of Charles Dicken’s death with an online exhibition, celebrating his life and work as one of the world’s most renowned writers on childhood. Childhood in Dickensian London explores Victorian London from the 1830s until the turn of the 20th century, focusing on Dickens’s child characters and exploring the role of his writing in helping to create a better childhood for all. Through the online galleries, visitors can browse some of the rare and unique items in the Library’s collections, including works by Dickens and items related to his life, alongside examples of legislation that affected the lives of Victorian children. The online exhibition, which runs until the end of 2020, also features a video about Dickens’s London legacy with Lucinda Dickens-Hawksley, Dickens’s great-greatgreat granddaughter, as well as a series of blog posts written by the exhibition’s designers, curators and experts in the field. For details on Senate House Library’s exhibitions, visit london.ac.uk/senatehouse-library/exhibitions-and-events
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UOL LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE DEGREES
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED STUDY RESEARCH HELPS IDENTIFY LOSS OF SMELL AND TASTE AS COVID-19 SYMPTOM On 18 May 2020, the UK joined the US, Europe and the World Health Organization by including loss of smell or taste as an officially-recognised symptom of COVID-19. However, the ENT-UK, the professional association of ear, nose and throat surgeons, had been calling for anosmia (complete loss of smell) to be recognised as a marker for asymptomatic carriers of the virus since 24 March. As the UK lead for the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR), Professor Barry Smith, who is director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses (CenSes) – part of the University’s School of Advanced Study – played a key role in bringing together the clinical and scientific evidence that led to the UK recognising anosmia as an official COVID-19 symptom, and in designing a survey to capture new data. The survey can be taken at: bit.ly/UoLCovid19survey Professor Smith said: “If enough people are able to tell us about their sudden loss of smell or taste, and the
pattern of recovery, this will provide vital clues about the mechanisms of infection and any long-term consequences of the coronavirus.” CenSes helped to create a previous GCCR global survey of COVID-19 patients from around the world, which provided convincing evidence of the link between COVID-19 and the loss of smell, taste and chemesthesis (the kinds of tingling, burning sensations we get from herbs and spices like horseradish and peppermint). The survey had entries from 45,350 participants representing more than 40 countries, and the findings were published in the May edition of the journal Chemical Senses. In September 2020, Professor Smith joined experts to discuss the emotional side of COVID-19 smell loss in a webinar organised by AbScent, a charity for people with anosmia. A recording of the event is available on YouTube at: bit.ly/AbScentwebinar
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During this challenging time for higher education, and for students everywhere, the University of London has continued to develop a wide range of new programmes with the expertise of our Member Institutions and commercial partners. The University’s fully online degrees offer the same quality provision as equivalent campus-based programmes, but with the flexibility to fit your studies around your commitments. Many programmes are split into courses or modules that can be studied individually, and may be used as a credit towards a full qualification. Whether you want to enhance your skills to progress in your career, or study for personal interest, these online degrees cover a wide range of topics to suit your needs. Sam Brenton, Director of Education, Innovation and Development at the University of London, said: “We’ve been doing distance learning since the 19th century and, with today’s technology, we keep pushing at the boundaries of what’s possible. We know, too, that with the closure of campuses around the world, high-quality online education has a vital role to play in society, the global economy, and the lives of many millions of students everywhere. We’re proud to play our part in that effort, and to work with our world-leading partners to make it happen.” For more information, visit: london.ac.uk/new-courses
NEWS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF CULTURAL MEMORY This year, the Warburg Institute, part of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, held two special exhibitions in Berlin dedicated to the Institute’s founder Aby Warburg and his most famous work, the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne.
A LASTING LEGACY, REMEMBERING JOHN LUCAS Over the years, the University of London has been incredibly fortunate to benefit from the generosity of alumni and friends who have left a gift in their Will in support of the University. One of these former students was John Lucas, who studied a BSc Engineering at Northampton Polytechnic, now City, University of London, through what was then called the ‘External System’. After graduating in 1947, he started his career at a company called Foster Wheeler, a large engineering consultancy in the oil industry and, after progressing through the ranks of the company, he eventually was appointed as director. During his long and distinguished career, John was able to travel extensively, spending large amounts of time in the Middle East, South Africa, the USA, Colombia and Europe.
The exhibitions ran until 1 November 2020 at the Gemäldegalerie, and until 30 November 2020 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. For the first time since 1929, all 63 panels of the Bilderatlas were reconstructed using Warburg’s original materials for display at the HKW, whilst at the Gemäldegalerie visitors could see over 50 original artworks from the collections of the State Museums Berlin chosen by Warburg for inclusion in his encyclopaedic ‘image atlas’. You can take a virtual tour of the exhibitions via the Institute’s website at: bit.ly/WarburgVirtualExhibition2020 Founded by Aby Warburg in Hamburg, the Warburg Institute became part of
John generously donated 25% of his estate to the central University of London, as well as leaving 25% to City, University of London. The University is truly honoured to have received this generous bequest, which will have a lasting and significant impact to benefit generations to come. Legacy gifts play a vital role in the future of the University and, in turn, the lives of our students around the world. For more information, please visit: london.ac.uk/legacy-giving
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the University of London in 1944 and is now one of the world’s leading centres for studying the interaction of ideas, images and society. Through the Warburg Renaissance, the Institute is embarking on an intellectual and architectural transformation, creating opportunities to open its collections and expertise to new audiences, provide a haven for endangered scholars and special collections, and connect with digital partners to shape the future of cultural memory. The capital redevelopment will improve spaces for collections, students and visiting fellows, as well as introduce a new public hub featuring: a greatly expanded lecture theatre; the Institute’s first gallery for physical and digital exhibitions; and a digital lab where students and visitors can explore Aby Warburg’s pioneering work on images, including a touch-screen version of his Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. For more information, visit: warburg.sas.ac.uk/warburg-renaissance
Student Support Appeal success Thanks to the generosity of our alumni community, the University’s 2020 Student Support Appeal supported over 40 current distance and flexible learning students who had been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and were at risk of being forced to postpone or even abandon their studies.
he donations received have been used to provide bursaries of up to £500 each to support students, enabling them to overcome the financial challenges they were facing. One student who received a bursary said: “It is such a relief to hear this news. I am really grateful for your help and I am looking forward towards completing my degree this year.” The University would like to offer its heartfelt thanks to all those who
donated towards this year’s Appeal, helping to raise over £20,000. Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide said: “Collectively, gifts from alumni and friends make a huge difference to students in times of need. The impact of these donations will be far-reaching and have a transformative effect on enabling these students to continue with their education.”
In addition to the kind donations received for the Appeal, many of our alumni shared messages of support for current students:
“Good luck to all students who face economic difficulties. This is an extraordinary initiative and we must all commit to reducing barriers to accessing education.” “I am fortunate to have completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree with UoL. I hope my small donation might help others to achieve their dreams also. Financial struggles must not inhibit education.” “Thanks UoL for providing this opportunity to support future leaders, as no one should stop learning and developing due to financial difficulties.” “I am pleased to help those who want to better themselves and their communities through studying at the University of London. It changed my life – I hope it can change yours.”
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Connecting London and the world EXAMPLES OF OUR GLOBAL REACH University of London is the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading provider of distance learning, offering more than100 study programmes to around 50,000 students across 190 countries The
University works with a network of over 100 Recognised Teaching Centres located in 44 countries The
who help to deliver our
distance learning programmes
federation of 17 world leading Member Institutions It is a
and globally renowned
central academic bodies
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CONNECTING LONDON AND THE WORLD
distance learning programmes reduce the need for our students to travel, saving 102,873.63 tonnes of CO2e in 2018/19 Our
Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Advanced Study (SAS) The
brings together internationally-recognised
University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) has fostered cross-national partnerships, including those with Queen Mary The
During 2019/20, the
School of Advanced Study (SAS)
welcomed an international community of
postgraduate students from 26 countries
University of London in the UK and
across the world
in the USA
University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) was founded as the first British institute
in continental Europe
Since 2017, the
Being Human festival has worked internationally,
with events & programmes in Australia, Singapore, France, Italy and the USA
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DR GHAZWA ALWANI-STARR
Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr joined the University of London in 2016 and, earlier this year, she became the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy, Planning and Partnerships) and Director of Property. Prior to joining the University, she was Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Roehampton and, before then, she held the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Strategy and Commissioning in the NHS, Head of Design and Engagement at the Prince’s Foundation for Architecture, and Senior Projects Leader at BAA. Describe yourself in 10 words. Ambitious for our students, committed to the University, people-centred, results-driven (12 words, sorry!) Who or what inspires you? Who – Those who plough on regardless for public good; often they don’t even recognise how brilliant they are. What – Leveraging the power of ‘we’ and achieving more through collaboration and partnerships. What has been your proudest achievement? When you are a mother, it is easy to say ‘my kids’. I am of course very proud of them, but I recognise fully that having kids is a blessing and a privilege. My proudest professional moment is being one of six finalists for the Stirling Prize for Architecture for one of my buildings. Proudest personal achievement is running a half marathon for UNICEF in support of their Winter Blankets Appeal for Syrian refugees. What do you like most about working for the University of London? My colleagues! Each member of staff is committed to enabling people from all backgrounds and walks of life, who want to study for a University of London degree to do so anywhere around the world; and we don’t stop there, we help and support students and alumni to do their best in their studies and to realise their ambitions for their lives.
What do you think makes the University so unique? Our academic community: we are a federation of 17 world leading universities. Our home: London is the world’s most vibrant city. Our inclusive history: we were the first university to admit students regardless of their gender, race or religion, the first to admit women to study ‘special examinations’ and later, degree programmes, and in 1865, the first to give students the opportunity to study our degrees anywhere across the globe. Broadly speaking, what does your role as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy, Planning and Partnerships) and Director of Property involve? My main responsibilities are to lead on engaging with colleagues across the University and Member Institutions to develop and deliver our University strategy, to oversee our strategic planning function that provides the evidence base for our strategic actions across the Institution, and to develop partnerships to enable us to be more effective in delivering our mission. I am also responsible for strategic communications and marketing, and our relationships with our Trustees, Member Institutions and our great alumni community.
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5 MINUTES WITH
I also hold the enviable role of looking after our property portfolio. I am a very proud and privileged custodian of our buildings in London and Paris. Part of your job includes building partnerships with stakeholders. Why is this important? The University of London is a federation of a number of world-leading universities. Partnerships and collaboration are in our DNA. We also partner with Recognised Teaching Centres and alumni across the world to help us deliver our access mission. Our unique School of Advanced Study is also tasked by Research England, the UK government’s research funding body, to lead nationally on the promotion of, and public engagement with, research into the humanities. Delivering this relies on the excellent partnerships and relationships that the School has across the UK and internationally, as demonstrated by the Being Human festival with events held across the globe. The University of London is also home to some of the world’s most valuable library collections; our work to make this accessible to all who seek it, including our global alumni, relies on great partnerships with Member Institutions’ libraries, the British Library and other holders of library collections and archivists. Importantly, and with the UK leaving the EU at the end of this year, we will continue to work with our European partners, alumni and colleagues through ULIP, the University of London in Paris, to further strengthen our ties with our European neighbours. What role do you see alumni and supporters having in helping the University to reach its strategic goals? The generosity of alumni through philanthropic giving is fundamental
in supporting the University’s mission. Our alumni across the world provide an unrivalled network for our students to access information, support and opportunities. Higher education provides opportunities like no other, and our alumni hold important positions across the world; they themselves change people’s lives every day by utilising their education to the benefit of others and therefore help us in delivering our mission. They champion education, the humanities, research, public engagement and play a critical role in enabling the University to deliver its strategic objectives. The University of London has a long tradition and well-established brand – what is the next chapter for 2020 and beyond? The future is bright for the University of London. As we head towards our 200th anniversary in 2036, you will see us cement our position as the UK’s leader in global distance education and as the home for the dissemination and public engagement of research in the humanities. We will continue to innovate and lead the world in enabling access to higher education by keeping up with all technological and digital advancements, enabling new ways of teaching, learning, researching and engaging with knowledge. Some things will also stay the same; we will continue with our academic rigour, our flexibility and our dynamism, inspired by London, our home city. We will also stay true to our values of enabling social good, collaborating and innovating. I am very excited about leading the implementation of our new strategy and realising our ambitions for our students and our great, and unique, University.
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Transforming Education… Creating Futures Since its foundation in 1836, the University of London has played a pioneering role in global higher education, constantly innovating to foster learning and research at the very highest academic levels, whilst collaborating with our Member Institutions to connect learners and researchers with an unrivalled range of talent and knowledge.
e are continuously advancing ways to position digital technology to serve the human curiosity to learn, and providing flexible and adaptive approaches to suit the different needs of students across the world. Today, the University has established itself as an institution of global importance, which stands literally and metaphorically at the very heart of one of the world’s leading cities. Now is a time for opportunity and change. Demand for higher education is at an all-time high and growing; yet access continues to elude many, generation after generation. Moreover, with participation rates in higher education having never been higher, as more people gain qualifications so grows the importance of demonstrating value and impact. Whilst our vision is clear, the current landscape presents new and unique challenges for higher education. The University of London’s ambitious new five-year strategy Transforming Education…Creating Futures will address these challenges by harnessing the strengths of our history, connecting worlds across national, educational and economic divides, and forging a path for a worldclass university in a modern, global community. Launching on 24 November 2020, coinciding with the University’s annual Foundation Day, the strategy will build on our mission and core values, leading the way for a positive future. This is an exciting moment for the University of London and we look forward to sharing more with our community of alumni and friends, who will play an important role in helping the University to realise its vision.
Foundation Day 2020 The University of London Foundation Day marks the anniversary of the creation of the University by Royal Charter, which was granted by William IV on 28 November 1836. Since 1903, the event has also been an opportunity to award honorary degrees to distinguished individuals from both the academic and non-academic worlds. Recipients in previous years have included Winston Churchill, Judi Dench, T S Eliot, Margot Fonteyn and Henry Moore. The degrees are presented to the recipients in an evening ceremony at the University of London’s headquarters Senate House, held each autumn. Whilst current circumstances mean the University is unable to host a physical event this year, we are delighted to instead be hosting a virtual celebration of Foundation Day on 24 November 2020, where we will mark the occasion with a commemorative video. Viewers will be given insight into the history of the event, with the chance to watch messages from our Chancellor, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, who will launch the University’s strategy and outline our future plans. For more information, visit: london.ac.uk/foundation-day-2020
Connecting worlds across time and space Our alumni play a key part in the University's mission to connect worlds. Alumnus Sir Charles Kao, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, was a pioneer in the field of fibre optics. His ground-breaking research revolutionised telecommunications, allowing communication across time and space and creating a more interconnected world.
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Nationality, Identity and Belonging BY DR JUANITA COX
In April 2018, during the Commonwealth Summit in London, a major controversy broke over the treatment of members and descendants of the ‘Windrush Generation’ who had migrated to the UK from the Caribbean in the two decades after the end of the Second World War. This year, I had the opportunity to lead a research project with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) at the University’s School of Advanced Study (SAS), to capture the oral histories of these people and to examine their relationship to the British state. The purpose of the research was to explore key questions and highlight the importance of the Windrush Generation in higher education.
s the UK’s national centre for the promotion of research in the humanities, the School of Advanced Study is at the forefront of developing and supporting innovative research initiatives. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of research projects and programmes, bridging the gap between academia and social policies in order to take control of inequality and injustice across society. It is for this reason the ICwS and SAS chose to focus on the historic and contemporary issues of those individuals and communities affected by the Windrush scandal.
A ‘hostile environment’ Under the 1948 British Nationality Act, members of the Windrush Generation shared the status of ‘Citizens of the UK and Colonies’ (CUKCs). However, the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act removed the right of free entry into the UK of CUKCs. Subsequent acts in 1965, 1968, 1971 and 1981 further restricted the right of CUKCs and ‘Commonwealth citizens’ to enter and settle in Britain. Although Commonwealth citizens who had been settled in the UK for five years prior to 1 January 1973 (the date when the 1971 Act came into force) were entitled to right of abode, official records were not systematically kept of those who enjoyed such status. From 2010 onwards, Whitehall enforced a ‘hostile environment’ towards those suspected of being illegal immigrants. New legislation was introduced in the form of the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts, which made it more difficult for those who could not prove their legal right to be in the UK to remain in the country and to obtain work and accommodation. Over the course of the decade, significant numbers of Caribbean immigrants and their children, who lacked documentary evidence of their right to remain in the UK, found themselves threatened with, or subjected to, detention and deportation. Some of the most vulnerable members of British society found themselves trapped without recourse to legal aid. Uniquely positioned between academia, Westminster and society, ICwS set out
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to record and track the actual lived experiences of people and communities affected. The Institute investigated the extent of the British state’s efforts to inform Caribbean communities in London of the implications of immigration legislation, as well as to explore the circumstances that left members of the Windrush diaspora without legal proof of their right to remain in the UK.
Given the impossibility of a physical seminar, I conducted five additional interviews that focused on individuals whose right to British citizenship had been denied and had variously led to loss of employment, housing, healthcare or pension entitlements, while also making them vulnerable to detention or deportation. Online technology enabled witness interviews to be conducted from far-afield, supporting our aim of further representation of the Windrush Generation. Two interviewees were based in London, three were resident in Manchester, Burnley and Trinidad. Two had been born in Jamaica, the others in Antigua, St Lucia, and Dominica. Remote interviewing offered the witnesses greater control over when to terminate their interview. It also offered those reluctant to share emotions in public greater dignity due to the anonymity offered by turning off their camera.
Holding those in power to account for what happened was what the study hoped to achieve, highlighting a traditionally under-represented group within the higher education sector, while also enhancing the University’s engagement with this important community group.
Capturing oral histories during the pandemic This initial scoping project reviewed sources of primary and secondary material, and researched and recorded the location of oral history archives, all whilst connecting with interviewees willing to discuss their experiences and perceptions of the scandal. One of the aims of the oral history project was to ensure that the diversity of the Windrush Generation was represented as fully as possible. The focus of scholars on the experiences of Jamaican-heritage communities has tended to obscure the varied experiences of other Anglophone-Caribbean migrants, in particular those of Indian or Chinese background.
Findings and next steps
A major and significant one day witness seminar was planned for early June, aiming to highlight the importance of the Windrush Generation and to delve deeper into the experiences of those involved, to better understand why political events, changes, and legislations went unquestioned for so long. The seminar was due to be held at the Black Cultural Archives located in Brixton, South London, but as with so many events this year, it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. In response, the researchers turned to technology. Several of the interviewees were unfamiliar with using MS Teams video-conferencing technology, or did not even have access to computers, laptops and smartphones. Due to the UK lockdown rules, they were additionally unable to elicit help from family members or friends. While lockdown presented several challenges, it also provided an opportunity to explore the value of conducting online interviews. Five semistructured individual history interviews involved respondents from Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and St Lucia with varied ethnic backgrounds: Indian, Chinese, African, and mixed heritage.
The findings of this pilot project, alongside readings of Amelia Gentlemen’s The Windrush Betrayal (2019) and Wendy Williams’ Windrush Lessons Learned Review (2020), enabled us to identify gaps in the scholarship and to prepare for further research. Many of the transcripts and recordings of interviewees can be found on our dedicated web pages. A longer term Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project will, if given the go-ahead, offer a scholarly examination of the so-called ‘Windrush scandal’ within a fully trans-national framework, one that considers the agency of a wide variety of official and nonofficial actors from both sides of the Atlantic and the role of the post-colonial and Commonwealth contexts of international relations. Its key objective is to develop a unique digital research resource of extended interviews on the national and diplomatic activism around the Windrush scandal, supported by digitised government documents from the British archives and Caribbean government records. Ultimately, this vital research aims to give voice to traditionally under-represented people, to ensure we can learn from the past. Dr Juanita Cox is a visiting research fellow at the School of Advanced Study. You can read more about the project at: commonwealth.sas.ac.uk/researchprojects/oral-history-windrush-generation
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Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images: 22nd June 1948, Immigrants from the Caribbean island of Jamaica arrive at Tilbury, London, on board the ‘Empire Windrush’, this party are five young boxers and their manager.
A VIEW FROM LONDON BY DR ADRIAN CLARK
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, many university campuses closed and students faced the difficult choice of staying where they were, or returning ‘home’ – often a race against the clock while national borders closed as quickly as the campuses.
y the time the UK was put under lockdown on 23 March, around two-thirds of the 3,500 students in the University’s intercollegiate halls of residence had left London. For my work as Student Health & Wellbeing Manager, the months that followed focused almost exclusively on the University’s response to the pandemic and, in particular, keeping these London-based students safe and well. This marked an extraordinary end to my first year at the University, in a role I began in July 2019 after 17 years training and practising as an emergency physician in the National Health Service.
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Adapting with new procedures
At the time of writing, there have been nearly 30 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, leading to over a million deaths worldwide. The cost to the global economy could ultimately be many trillions of dollars. These numbers do not begin to convey the human impact of COVID-19 on individuals and families everywhere. It seems that everything has changed; many of us feel adrift in an ocean of uncertainty, having long lost any feeling of ground beneath our feet; and there is a sense that things may never be the same as they were before the pandemic. The respected journalist and broadcaster Krista Tippett described this as a “species moment.”
Drawing on evidence in disaster psychiatry and crisis management literature, my team and I adopted a number of measures believed to reduce the mental health risk. This included regular virtual checkins from our team of student Resident Advisors with students identified to be at especially high risk, uninterrupted access for students to speak with a Mental Health First Aider by video call if necessary, and advising students about small and simple practices to look after their wellbeing. We also directly addressed students’ fears about things like food availability and how an outbreak might be controlled in the intercollegiate halls.
Mental health impact on students Around the world, this generation of students has needed to draw upon their resilience and resourcefulness like no other generation has for perhaps the best part of a century. Students have been exposed to the same anxiety, grief, uncertainty, and isolation as everyone else. Moreover, students have had to adapt quickly to new methods of teaching and assessment. For those students who remained in the University’s intercollegiate halls, many were vulnerable in some way or another: those without supportive families, or with family members at high risk of COVID-19, and international students whose countries had already closed their borders. Financial insecurity affected many, either because they could no longer rely on support from their families, or because the bars, restaurants, and shops that employed students had closed. Therefore, alongside the obvious need to reduce the risk of virus transmission within our buildings and contain any possible cases, it was important to address the potential psychological and social impact of the pandemic and associated public health interventions. It is known that infectious disease outbreaks, and the public health interventions used to control them, can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. Mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic disorders have been observed to increase during and after epidemics, and pre-existing mental health problems can relapse or become more severe. These effects may be compounded by deterioration of social networks and reduced community cohesion. Those who are more likely to experience mental health consequences include people with a long-term health condition, those working in healthcare, people who suffer the loss of a loved one, and those with prior psychiatric history or exposure to trauma. All of these at-risk groups are represented in our student residential population.
We continued the provision of social and community events, moving these online, and provided early, clear, and regular communications with our students to promote a sense of self-efficacy, connectedness and hope, with frequent updates via campuslife.london.ac.uk My team continued to work on campus every day throughout the crisis: our standpoint was that we could only keep an accurate view of the situation and continue providing support for our students by being on site. For those students who needed to self-isolate, we supported those in our catered halls by delivering meals to them; for those in selfcatered accommodation, we helped them buy in groceries. We also set up a successful ‘bug buddy’ system, where residents could volunteer to support those in self-isolation with practical matters like shopping for food and medicines. This reduced the demand on staff time and we remain very grateful to those students who stepped up to help.
Safe to Stay When we started looking ahead to the 2020–2021 academic year, we knew that the transition period for students starting university was going to be harder than ever. Anxiety is naturally high amidst so much uncertainty. Based on a comprehensive risk assessment, we developed Safe to Stay, a programme of interventions and activities designed to ensure that our residential accommodation can deliver holistic support to help students stay safe and well through a wide range of possible projected scenarios. The way we do things now may be different, but we are proud to be able to provide a safe, supportive, and inclusive community environment for our student residents to enjoy a happy, successful, and engaging university experience in the heart of London. Dr Adrian Clark is Student Health & Wellbeing Manager, as well as Warden of Connaught Hall, at the University of London.
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BUILDING ON A HUMAN RIGHTS DEGREE
INTERVIEW BY LOUISE FAUTLEY
From his time as a student on the MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights course, to his 25 years of leadership in nongovernmental organisations and the private sector, UoL alumnus Patrick Canagasingham has made it his life’s mission to campaign for human rights.
s the recently appointed Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity International, Patrick is now playing a lead role in helping create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Patrick took time from his busy schedule to talk about the work he does with Habitat, the impact of his degree, and his lifelong passion for human rights. Can you tell me about Habitat’s mission and what role you play in helping the organisation to deliver it? Habitat for Humanity began as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976. Today, Habitat is a global housing nonprofit serving communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in 70 countries around the world. Since our founding more than 40 years ago, Habitat has helped more than 29 million people obtain a safer place to sleep at night, along with the strength, stability and independence to build a better future for themselves and their family. I have long admired the work that Habitat for Humanity does in communities around the world, and am happy to now lead Habitat operations in the U.S. and abroad. Can you share some of the most recent projects or campaigns the organisation has undertaken? Habitat recently launched a first-of-its-kind global fundraising campaign, ‘Homes, Communities, Hope + You’. The campaign allows the entire Habitat network to unite as one global organisation to support families in communities around the world for whom safe and affordable shelter has become
even more difficult to obtain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When any disaster hits – natural disaster, disease, economic fallout – it is often those who were already struggling who find themselves struggling even more. The proceeds from this campaign will allow Habitat greater ability to address housing deficits worldwide as well as support Habitat organisations to empower homeowners during the pandemic and help communities build back stronger and more resilient than ever. We also marked the first anniversary of Habitat’s U.S. advocacy campaign, ‘Cost of Home’. This campaign aims to improve home affordability for 10 million individuals over the next five years by promoting policy and systems change at every level of government in four key areas: supply and preservation of affordable homes, access to credit, land use, and communities of opportunity. We know the struggle, stress and pain of far too many families who have to make the difficult choice of either paying for housing or paying for basic necessities. We launched this campaign to address these issues at their root and create solutions that will increase and improve affordable housing. Why is having safe and decent housing so fundamental in creating a better future for families around the world? Study upon study has shown that safe housing has tremendous health and economic benefits. Families have greater economic mobility, education
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opportunities, and better access to health care and transportation. A healthy home is the vaccine that provides resiliency, immunity, and strength for children and their families. It can help prevent disease, improve physical, emotional, and mental health, as well as prevent unnecessary hospitalisations. I have seen firsthand the myriad ways in which a safe home is vital to a child’s health and future success in life. For example, I’ve visited communities in Ethiopia where safe and affordable housing was a challenge for families to obtain. There was a direct correlation between a child’s living situation and their ability to access education or to access healthcare. I believe that if a child is to have access to education or health, then having a safe home is absolutely vital.
Habitat has helped more than 29 million people obtain a safer place to sleep at night, along with the strength, stability and independence to build a better future for themselves and their family.
The ‘stay at home’ guidance put in place to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic has understandably led to many new challenges for those who were already experiencing housing crises. How has that situation changed the nature and focus of the work that Habitat does? We’ve been sheltering in our own homes for many months to stay safe and healthy, but we must also think about those who don’t have a decent place to live, those who live in conditions that aren’t conducive to good health, and those who have lost their income due to the economic impact of this pandemic. Many people don’t realise that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was not only a public health emergency, but a housing emergency as well. Habitat took early and proactive measures to protect the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the communities in which we serve. We suspended the vast majority of our construction activities throughout the US and around the world, we closed 900 home improvement Habitat ReStores in the U.S. and Canada, and we cancelled Global Village trips for the remainder of 2020. These measures placed substantial financial impacts on our organisation and we had to make some difficult decisions to cut expenses for the short- and longterm, which included pay cuts and staff layoffs. It is our goal that by launching our ‘Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign’, establishing a COVID-19 Critical Operations Fund, and receiving support from donors, the Habitat network will be able to raise the needed funds to continue its service in communities around the world. We are eager for Habitat to fully resume operations, as we know the need for housing is absolutely critical. But we also anticipate that this will take some time. We must continue to think about our people – staff, volunteers, people we serve – and make their health and safety a top priority.
What are some of the main challenges that Habitat and other international development advocates are facing? And can you tell us more about Habitat’s vision for the future? The economic turbulence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led Habitat, a largely donor-funded nonprofit, to revise its revenue projections. Many of the local and national Habitat organisations – some of whom are also facing funding shortfalls – have already made similar expense reductions. It is becoming very clear that whenever the virus subsides, the economy will look far different than it did just months ago. The U.S. and global economies will have a long way to go toward recovery, which will have an enormous impact on charitable giving. While we face these challenging times, Habitat’s vision for the future remains optimistic. We have been making careful and judicious decisions for our FY2021 budget. We are eager to see the impact of our recently launched ‘Homes, Communities, Hope + You’ campaign and see how we, as one global network and ministry, can work together to address housing needs around the world and support families who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. When did you first realise that you were passionate about championing human rights? Was there a particular moment in your life which led to this? I have held a strong passion for human rights since I was a young boy. I was born and raised in Sri Lanka, and I mention this because living in Sri Lanka helped shape what I wanted to do in my life. Growing up, I experienced the challenges that came with living in a part of a world that was no stranger to poverty and conflict. My father was a public servant who worked hard to serve his community, and he impressed upon us at a young age a strong call to service. When he passed, it was up to my mother, who was a young child bride and then became a young widow, to raise me and my siblings. It was during this time that I was exposed to a very different world that included gender inequalities and disparities. It was a truly eye-opening experience for me, and it inspired my passion for human rights. When my family and I arrived in Canada in the late 80s, I made a commitment to myself to work in a sector or
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I have learned that in order to be a strong leader, you must have a strong sense of passion. Having passion for what you do is the driving force behind getting out of bed each morning. industry that would positively impact people and communities. As I’ve navigated and advanced in my career working with organisations such as World Vision Canada, Children Believe, and now Habitat for Humanity, my passion for human rights and advocacy has only grown stronger and deeper. You have held leadership positions in many global non-profit organisations. What do you think it takes to be a strong leader, particularly in this field? I have been in the non-profit field for more than 25 years, and I have learned that in order to be a strong leader, you must have a strong sense of passion. Having passion for what you do is the driving force behind getting out of bed each morning. It makes you excited to come into work every day, and makes you feel like you are making a difference day in and day out. You must realise that this passion is something much bigger than you, and this passion is why you have a particular vision or mission that you have to pursue. I believe that passion is instilled in you, and that particular passion, whatever it may be, is instilled in you for a reason. Outside of your role with Habitat, what have been some of the most memorable and rewarding moments of your career? I’ve had many opportunities to engage with communities around the world and work with them to create solutions to the most challenging issues around poverty and injustice. The reason I find this so rewarding is because it’s not me or the organisation
I represent that is coming up with the solutions, it’s the people. They’re the ones that recognise the issues within their communities and they own the process of creating the necessary solutions. There is one moment that stands out in particular of a group of young women in India. They belonged to a very marginalised social group and they were facing the problem of child marriage in their community. These young women took it upon themselves to become peer educators and advocate alongside their elders to change the norms within their society and ensure action was being taken to stop child marriage. I was working with Children Believe at the time, and we walked with them and worked together on what a possible solution could look like. But it was these young women who were the drivers behind this change and became the peer champions for this issue. Moments like these give me a lot of inspiration and hope. Tell us about your path to education. Why did you decide to study for an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights? What stood out about the course and the University of London? I had a deep desire to be a change agent and I knew I wanted to focus my career on social issues, primarily around human rights. I attended York University in Toronto and graduated with a degree in political science, but I realised that if I wanted to pursue this passion, I had to do more. I needed to specialise and ground myself in the academic side of social issues and human rights. I looked for programmes in Canada as well as in the United States, and while there were related programs, they weren’t specific to human rights. I later heard about this new programme at the University of London, the MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights, and after learning about the programme and its curriculum, I was convinced that this was the programme I
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needed. I was impressed with the University’s rich history, high reputation and strong alumni, and I knew that was where I was meant to be. You were in the course’s inaugural class of 1995/1996, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Looking back over the past 25 years, how valuable was your master’s degree in helping further your personal and professional goals? I found it extremely useful. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme stretched me intellectually with regard to human rights issues. The programme made it a point to engage practitioners within the field of human rights to contribute in very pragmatic ways, such as leading and participating in lectures or providing input to help shape the curriculum. Having the opportunity to engage with colleagues who shared the same passion I had, as well as learning from those who were in the field day in and day out, really helped shape my personal and professional goals. Five years ago, you delivered a keynote speech at a conference marking 20 years of the MA course, which was also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of alumni like yourself. How did it feel to be back at the University and to be part of this special event? I was absolutely thrilled to be back. It gave me the chance to reconnect with old colleagues and reminisce about my time at the University. I even had the opportunity to meet the director and architect of the programme, Professor James Manor and share the head table with him, which was a great honour for me. It was amazing to look back at 20 years of the programme and see how it has grown and evolved, but also how it has produced graduates that are making a tangible difference in the field of human rights. Being reminded of the importance of this programme and how it helped shape my career and further my passion was a very humbling experience for me.
What is your secret to having a happy and fulfilled life, both with your work and at home? I believe it is important to have a strong support system. My wife, Sugi, has been very supportive of my passion from the very beginning. I am extremely thankful to have had a strong and incredible woman by my side throughout this journey. It is important to emphasise that our marriage is also a partnership, and that we are in this journey together. Being in this particular field means moving around and working in different parts of the world, and because of that, my family has had to make many sacrifices. But it has allowed my family to be by my side as I’ve responded to this calling and to support me through it. Having their support for my passion has meant so much to me and I am truly grateful to them. How does the University of London’s mission of providing access to education and connecting worlds resonate with you and the work that you do? It absolutely resonates with me. Without a doubt, I believe my time at the University of London helped shape my own thinking and views as I’ve pursued my career. The University is very global in its approach, and I applaud it for providing students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and perspectives of the world we live in. I think it’s wonderful that it is now more feasible to access the University and receive not only higher education but receive quality higher education, whether virtually or in campuses around the world. I believe the University has been very proactive in meeting the demands of current and future students and has been consistent in keeping up with a world that is advancing rapidly. I will always look back fondly on my time at the University of London, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that the MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights has provided me. Read more about the work of Habitat for Humanity International at: habitat.org Learn about human rights programmes at the University’s School of Advanced Study: hrc.sas.ac.uk/graduate-study
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FRONT LINE BY TOMMY BULLEN
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is one of the many University of London Member Institutions who are playing a key role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’d been confronted with death, but always from the outside. This, from the inside, was different.
Photo: © Heidi Larson
he director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Professor Peter Piot, has spent his career researching deadly infectious diseases; however, even he was shocked by the severity of COVID-19 when he became infected earlier this year. This
new virus took the world by surprise, and with societies around the world facing unprecedented public health challenges, there’s an urgent need for scientists to provide solutions. With a strong track record of responding to emergencies and major outbreaks, LSHTM’s expertise has played a role in the pandemic response worldwide – and its research has only been part of the story. Many clinically trained staff and students have returned to work in the NHS, the communications team has been working tirelessly to tackle the wave of misinformation about the pandemic, and professors and alumni are advising the UK government and organisations including the World Health Organization and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Modelling: predicting the unpredictable
The first scientists at LSHTM studying the virus in the earliest days of the pandemic were those at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases. An initial paper published in January provided one of the first estimates of the reproductive rate (R0) of the virus in Wuhan. Prof John Edmunds, part of the modelling team, said in the LSHTM Viral podcast in late January: “I think the probability of the coronavirus coming to the UK and spreading widely in the UK is very high. I think that there’s very little chance that it’s not going to spread everywhere in the coming months. The consequences? We don’t know yet.” As the modellers were acutely aware, more information was urgently needed to understand the risk the virus posed to the rest of the world. When hundreds became infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in February, it highlighted how easily the disease could spread. LSHTM scientists estimated that nearly five times as many aboard could have become infected, had the ship not imposed strict quarantine measures. Lead researcher Prof Annelise Wilder-Smith forewarned that: “In Europe we need a change in mindset, and to potentially implement more draconian measures than we’ve probably ever seen in the continent.”
A poll conducted by The Guardian in May indicated that 51 per cent of people had seen fake news about coronavirus on social media, while 64 per cent of voters were now more likely to listen to expert advice from scientists and researchers. Here are five ways LSHTM has provided accurate information during the pandemic: 1. LSHTM Viral – the School’s podcast interviews experts on the science behind the pandemic, with over 100,000 episode streams. 2. Live Q&A – this YouTube series provides the answers to public questions, straight from the experts. 3. In the news – LSHTM research and expert commentary on COVID-19 appeared in more than 66,000 pieces of global media coverage between January-June 2020. 4. Coronavirus books for children – researchers teamed up with leading illustrators and publishers to provide free educational resources for children. 5. COVID-19 education – LSHTM’s free online course brought the latest coronavirus research to over 200,000 participants. Follow @LSHTM on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get the latest COVID-19 news.
As the virus then reached the UK, the modellers turned their attention to studying the pandemic at home, publishing papers in March and April estimating the critical-care bed capacity, the proportion of cases being reported, the UK R number and the impact of different lockdown measures. This provided much-needed information to the government at a time of national crisis, with all of their findings publicly available.
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Africa: the next frontier?
As the virus raged in Europe and began to take hold in the Americas, fears were growing that Africa would become the next COVID-19 hotspot. The continent has crowded cities, large, multigenerational households and people battling existing health conditions. Prof Francesco Checchi, an LSHTM epidemiologist, explained: “That all amounts to a very worrying picture in terms of how the virus can be transmitted in these settings, but also the risk to individuals of developing severe disease. But what is perhaps most concerning is the baseline state of health services in these countries.” LSHTM’s Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit in The Gambia and the MRC/UVRI (Uganda Virus Research Institute) & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit were at the forefront of stepping up the response. They offered their labs and expertise to boost national testing capacities, critical to local contact tracing and quarantining efforts. They continue to monitor
the spread of the disease in population samples from across Africa and are using machine learning to provide real-time analyses of its evolving biology. As ‘wash your hands’ became the new mantra for people around the world, this was easier said than done in low-resource countries, where soap and clean water aren’t readily available. Underpinned by behavioural science research, LSHTM experts developed and trialled single-use soap tabs in Tanzania, aimed to increase handwashing while reducing cross-contamination from bars of soap. And with global supplies of PPE and medical equipment drying up, LSHTM teams in The Gambia began 3D-printing their own protective equipment and ventilators. Dr Babatunde Awokola, who specialises in respiratory medicine, explained: “We recently innovated the printing of face shields. This is one of the tools that is important to ensure health workers on the frontline are not getting infected.”
BARKING MAD? THE DOGS LEARNING TO SNIFF OUT COVID-19 In May, LSHTM launched a clinical trial in partnership with Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University and funded by the UK Government, to find out if dogs could be trained to accurately detect people with COVID-19, even if asymptomatic. This team previously worked together to demonstrate that dogs can detect odours from humans with malaria with extremely high accuracy. If the trial gathers sufficient evidence, the first set of dogs could be deployed to key points of entry into the UK within six months to assist with the rapid screening of people travelling from abroad.
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Vaccines: a future without COVID-19?
With cases still increasing in many parts of the world, and those that have brought the virus under control prone to flare ups, it seems hard to imagine a future without COVID-19. Many scientists agree that hopes of life returning to normal rest on the discovery of a safe and effective vaccine. Earlier this year LSHTM launched a vaccine tracker – an online tool to monitor the progress of every COVID-19 vaccine in development worldwide.
ALUMNI STORIES: DR MININIM OSEJI
However, administering COVID-19 vaccines brings its own challenges, including scaling up manufacturing to potentially billions of doses. LSHTM is part of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, which received an additional £131 million in May from the UK government to fast track the building of its permanent facility, and will be able to produce 70 million vaccine doses within 4-6 months once a vaccine is approved.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Oseji has led a team of volunteers who have been coordinating donations of reusable facemasks for the elderly, using social media to inform people about how to prevent catching the virus, and promoting the use of telemedicine to provide safe, remote medical care.
Dr Oseji, an alumna of four LSHTM courses, is Permanent Secretary for the Delta State Ministry of Health in Asaba, Nigeria, and National President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria.
There are also concerns about the consequences of the disease on existing immunisation programmes, many of which are on hold due to overstretched healthcare systems. As Prof Beate Kampmann, director of LSHTM’s Vaccine Centre explained: “More people died of measles in the Congo than died of Ebola in the latest outbreak. I’m really concerned that routine vaccination clinics will be downscaled, or that people will be very worried about coming to these clinics…and that might leave a whole generation of children exposed to vaccinepreventable infections.” If a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, it will be vital that existing immunisation programmes are not further deprioritised, leading to deadly outbreaks of readily preventable diseases.
She has also been working to strengthen the health system in Delta State and ensure lessons are learned from the pandemic to safeguard the future sustainability of healthcare in the region. “So far, the measures taken have helped to curb the spread of the disease in Delta State where I live and work.”
What next? As the pandemic continues to unfold across the world, it’s increasingly likely that the virus is here to stay. Peter Piot said: “We will need to reverse our thinking about this epidemic; this is going to be about societies living with COVID-19. It could become endemic, it could become part of our human condition.” The work at LSHTM is far from over. Find out more about LSHTM’s ongoing work at: bit.ly/LSHTM-COVID19 Tommy Bullen is Communications Officer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, one of the University of London’s 17 Member Institutions.
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Tanzie Turel graduated from the University in 2004 with a BScÂ Economics and Management and, as one of the US Alumni Group leaders, has been an active supporter of alumni activities for many years. We caught up with her earlier this year to hear more about her role as an alumni volunteer.
INTERVIEW BY DANIEL HUTCHINSON
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What made you choose to study with the University of London? The reputation of high quality, international accessibility and flexibility. In the year 2000, when I began, the University of London represented the ‘Gold Standard’ in distance education and it continues to represent this today. At the time, I was unable to travel to the UK, but with a secondary schooling that was from the UK, I wished to continue within the British system of education. This is where the University and its extraordinary international programmes came in – I was able to work toward a British degree, wherever I was in the world. Ultimately, I ended up studying in three cities over four years – Mumbai, Dubai and finally, New York. What was your experience as a distance-learning student like? Challenging yet tremendously rewarding. A distance education is not everyone’s cup of tea. It stems from an innate degree of curiosity. The programmes encourage a student to develop a unique spectrum of qualities ranging from resourcefulness, intellectual maturity and life balance to discipline, patience and perseverance. Once evolved, these characteristics build the student into a force to be reckoned with in the field that they pursue. What impact has your University of London degree had on you, including further study and your career? It made me an enthusiastic, confident and self-reliant learner. I was offered a job at an international family office investment firm in New York the month before I graduated. A year later, I was accepted into the Executive Masters in Finance programme at Baruch – as one of the youngest in the class. A degree from the University of London with academic direction from the LSE, and the ability to gain work experience while obtaining the undergraduate degree, was a major differentiator. As a global student, I brought a distinctive perspective professionally and to the Master’s cohort. It fills one with a great sense of accomplishment to be able to apply knowledge gained to guide and help those less fortunate with their financial and economic circumstances. What made you decide to become an Alumni Group leader? The strong desire to want to help fellow students and give back to the University that taught us the strength of ‘access to quality education for all’ and how it can empower one to change their world and make the world better for others – no matter who you are or where you are from. All you need is one, singular quality – an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. It is an honour for all alumni to support what the University represents – ‘worldwide access, for one and all, to the opportunity for quality education’.
The University magically transported knowledge from London to a curious young lady in a tiny apartment in Mumbai, India. They ensured that study materials were delivered to my door and that there were examination centres wherever I was in the world. Why do you feel it is important for alumni to stay connected to the University? We, as alumni, shoulder the responsibility to support and promote quality education for all. Our ideas will inspire the generations to come. Alumni can commit to share resources and knowledge along with networking with one another to share ideas and explore opportunities with both alumni and current students. What advice would you give to those soon to be graduating from the University of London? Rise to the challenge and do everything that you can to always help others. Together, we can make the world a better place. What does it mean to you to be part of the University of London’s alumni community? It gives me a great sense of pride to be an alumna and support one of the oldest, largest, most progressive and highly diverse educational institutions of our time. How would you summarise your experience of the University of London? As alumnus Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The University of London magically transported knowledge from London to a curious young lady in a tiny apartment in Mumbai, India. They ensured that study materials were delivered to my door and that there were examination centres wherever I was in the world. I did not own a computer but I did not need one to successfully complete my degree. Fifteen years later, when I finally made it to London, you invited me to walk with fellow students at the graduation ceremony. For over 150 years you have delivered education to those that could otherwise have not accessed it. You changed the world for millions like me. For more information about alumni groups, or if you are interested in joining or starting a group in your region, please contact Daniel Hutchinson, Alumni Relations Manager, at: email@example.com
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Trinidad & Tobago
Germany Switzerland Hungary
Malaysia Sri Lanka
Alumni Ambassadors across
Brazil Mauritius Uruguay
BY DANIEL HUTCHINSON
ur alumni community is an extremely important part of the University of London. Our alumni are our students of yesterday and our leaders, thinkers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We want our alumni to continue to feel part of the UoL community and have the opportunity to give back to the University in meaningful ways. Alumni volunteering is a rewarding experience that can enhance your CV, open up networking opportunities and continue your connection with UoL. We value the input and expertise that our alumni can contribute to our activities with the range of experiences you bring to the table.
Alumni Ambassador programme There are many ways in which we would encourage you to get involved with the University. One of our main initiatives is our Alumni Ambassador programme, which allows alumni to provide support, insight and advice for both prospective and current students. The year 2020 has seen the relaunch of this programme, bringing together existing Ambassadors with some new faces, and we are so thankful for the time that these alumni give to support those following in their footsteps. Ambassadors assist in answering questions about the programme they studied, settling those nerves of a prospective student accepting a place at the University, and offer advice on what it is like to be a University of London student, wherever you are in the world.
Alumni Groups Our Alumni Groups across the globe continue to facilitate local meet-ups, networking opportunities and an opportunity to socialise with fellow alumni in their country of residence. Over the coming year I will be working on supporting our Alumni Groups even further to help grow our reach across the world, and to ensure that you are all able to stay connected to the University post-graduation.
Volunteering Volunteering with the University does not necessarily have to be an official position. We are always keen to hear about your University experience and career path, to feature you in our communications as an alumni profile, to inspire those students wishing to follow you. We are increasing our event output to include more digital events, after the success of our first alumni digital event in June of this year, and we welcome ideas for topics and volunteers to speak at these events. With all these opportunities, and more in development over the coming years, there is no better time to get involved. You can find out more on volunteering with the University by contacting me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting: london.ac.uk/alumni/volunteering Daniel Hutchinson joined the University in January 2020 as Alumni Relations Manager, and provides opportunities for graduates of our distance and flexible learning programmes to engage in the life of the University.
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WELCOME NEW GRADUATES
Welcome new graduates!
hether you studied with the University of London Institute in Paris, took a postgraduate course with the School of Advanced Study, or were one of our distance and flexible learning students, by completing your studies you are now a member of the University of London’s global alumni community. We warmly welcome you into our thriving network of over. One million graduates, spread across 190 countries. Wherever life takes you and whichever career path you choose, you will always have a lifelong connection to the University of London. The University is here to support you in your future endeavours – so do stay in touch! Find out more about benefits and services available for new graduates, as well as ways you can get involved, by visiting: london.ac.uk/new-graduates
Reaching the end of your studies is a demanding undertaking, which requires a huge amount of dedication and hard work. We also know that 2020 has been a challenging year for many. You should feel incredibly proud of all you have achieved. Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide
Studying with ULIP changed the direction of my life, and I’m endlessly grateful to all the brilliant, supportive staff there who encouraged me every step of the way. Cat Byers, MA Urban History and Culture
I loved having the opportunity to get a world class education and connecting with fellow students from my home country in Peru. Having a class with classmates from different backgrounds and perspectives was a beautiful experience. Cassia Arellano, BSc Business Administration with Marketing
I found the Institute of English Studies to be an excellent place to study, with a real passion for advancing the study of the field of book history. Sara Charles, MRes History of the Book
My ULIP degree gave me the opportunity to study French and live abroad, all whilst becoming more independent, resilient and of course, more enriched. Kameni Chaddha, BA French Studies
Studying with the University of London has given me the opportunity to engage and have dialogue with like-minded individuals across the world. The nexus of academic support is indispensable. Nishiki Bhavnani, Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights Law
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In addition to the remarkable research community at the Warburg Institute, I studied alongside a wonderful cohort of students, many of whom came from a variation of disciplinary backgrounds. Rita Yates, MA Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture
New World BY DR MICHAEL EADES
Every festival offers an opportunity to glimpse an alternative world. Normal rules are suspended. Conventions are relaxed. Different ways of living and working seem possible. Festivals are places where alternative worlds come, briefly, in to being. They help us imagine how things might be different.
ur theme for this year’s Being Human festival is ‘New Worlds’. It could hardly be more topical. When we decided this theme for the UK’s national festival of the humanities, we had a few things in mind. We were thinking of the ‘New World’ that the UK was entering on leaving the EU. We were thinking of the turn of the decade and all of the hope and nostalgia that it brings. We were thinking of the anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to the ‘New World’ in 1620. But of course our theme has a different resonance now. The COVID-19 crisis has swept the globe, taking the old world with it. As the crisis continues, more and more people have begun to say that, come what may, the world cannot simply ‘return to
normal’ when it passes. Too many problems have been exposed. Too many possibilities have been glimpsed. Now more than ever, we need big ideas. We need the humanities: the subjects that help us to understand what it means to be human.
Being Human in 2020 Being Human festival takes place every November in venues across the UK. Run by the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, it is the only nationwide festival in the world that celebrates the humanities and humanities research. We exist to take new ideas in subjects from Art History to
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Philosophy, Literature to Languages, Classics to Cultural Studies, and make them as accessible and relevant to as many people as possible. This year, events will be taking place across the country between 12–22 November. The team have worked hard to make sure not only that the festival goes ahead, but that we can deliver a festival that is safe and socially-distanced, blending small faceto-face events with online activities. Having more online means that for the first time people will be able to tune in from around the world. The only limit is choosing which of the many activities to join! We have festival ‘Hubs’ in four cities across the UK: Glasgow in Scotland, Swansea in Wales, with Derby and Sheffield acting as our English Hubs. Beyond this, we have activities large and small popping up in over 40 towns and cities across the country – with events also happening in Paris and other cities internationally.
Programme highlights Our programme reflects some of the key issues of the year so far. The festival will be launched by Professor David Olusoga, whose work on Black British History and de-colonisation has shaped so much of the debate as Black Lives Matter protests grew around the world. Another of our patrons, Bonnie Greer, will feature in the programme too, in conversation with our Festival Director, Professor Sarah Churchwell just four days after the US election. They will be unpicking the role that race, Black Lives Matter and national identity will play in one of the major political events of the year. The University of London federation is playing a leading role in the programme. Goldsmiths, University of London are taking over a repair shop in New Cross, where they’ll be running workshops on waste, recycling and sustainability. Queen Mary University of London are organising sensory workshops exploring the history of migration in the East End. Senate House Library will be delving into their Terry Pratchett archives to explore the fantastical worlds of one of Britain’s best-loved writers, whilst the University of London Institute in Paris will be coordinating book-binding workshops with refugee groups in Paris. Activities are also being organised by other Member Institutions, including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, UCL, LSE, King’s College London, SOAS and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Coming together for the humanities Outside London, our national programme also reflects current events. From museums exploring ways to de-colonise their collections, to events exploring our relationship with nature and the importance of open spaces, to activities exploring the lost industries of ‘left behind’ corners of the country, the festival will respond to the key concerns of 2020 in creative ways. We have a feminist rap battle based on ancient Mesopotamian texts and we have an opportunity to play a game of feminist Cluedo. We have nature walks and socially-distanced dance performances. We have activities in care homes, where residents will receive hand-delivered activity packs to enable them to take part. This year we are also introducing a new series of events, ‘Being Human Cafés’. Based around the notion that even the most complicated research can be explained in the time it takes to have a cup of tea or coffee, our Cafés will be popping up at a grassroots level right across the country. Some will be in actual cafés, others will be online. What they will all have in common is that they will offer people an opportunity to come together, have a chat, and learn something new and inspiring about humanities research.
See you in November This is just a tiny selection of what we have planned this year. There will be much, much more popping up across the University of London, across the UK and (digitally) across the world. 2020 has turned out to be a different type of ‘New World’ to the one that we’d imagined, but one thing is clear: it is a world that needs the humanities more than ever. The Being Human festival runs from 12-22 November 2020. To explore the festival programme visit: beinghumanfestival.org Follow the festival on Twitter and Instagram @BeingHumanfest Dr Michael Eades is curator and manager of the Being Human festival.
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be d out to s turne a h w 0 e 2 0 2 e of ‘N ent typ a differ ne that o to the ’ ld e r o W , but on agined ld o w we’d im is a r clear: it ies it n a thing is he hum t s d e e that n an ever. more th
A voice for widows
BY CHIGOZIE UDEMEZUE
As a lawyer and someone with a keen focus on providing advocacy and legal intervention to vulnerable people in society, particularly widows in Africa, my experiences and knowledge of the law has equipped me to be a better change maker. When confronted with the many issues that widows face, especially those regarding human rights violations, my legal background assists in helping them find solutions or redress in the law.
n 2008, I founded the Healing Hearts Widows Support Foundation Inc. (HHWSF) in Nigeria and our approach is very simple. At HHWSF, we have always asked, ‘why should a widow lose her sense of dignity, livelihood, pride, or hope because she lost her husband?’ No doubt, death is a sorrowful thing, and it is right for a bereaved person to mourn the deceased; but, sadly, African women are at the receiving end of negative stigmas that come with the death of their husbands. This has led our team to approach charity and advocacy for widows in a more pragmatic and far-reaching way.
Initial exposure to the treatment of widows As a child in the 1980s, I encountered first-hand how widows were treated. I remember delivering meals to an elderly blind widow and attending funerals where you could see how the widows were being treated. In those days, I would take food items from the house without permission, and give them out to widows who lived or worked at the market on my way to high school. When I was working as a lawyer at Women’s Aid Collective, I was exposed further to the many gory tales of how widows were being accused, molested, or discriminated against by their communities. I was often moved to tears listening to their ordeals. Women’s Aid Collective provided legal support to indigent women and girls, and among them were widows and their children. I was part of the team responsible for attending to their different needs regarding human rights violations. That experience sowed a seed in my heart and, having taken part in the International Visitor Leadership Program (a professional exchange program for emerging leaders in their field), this exposure was the push I needed to do more. I resisted the urge to do this for more than two years, yet my husband constantly encouraged me, saying that I was born and equipped to do so. My husband was supportive, participated in our activities and provided the funding at the initial stage, which eventually led to the birth of HHWSF.
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Extending support throughout the world
When I listen to the inspiring stories of widows who pass through our foundation, they inspire me to keep doing the work we do, even in the face of limited resources and challenges.
In advocating for better livelihoods for widows, we at HHWSF strive to empower them to fend for themselves. While we ensure we take care of their immediate needs, amidst their pain, grief, or loss, like providing them with clothes, food, money and adequate shelter, we also equip them with practical life skills and networks that empower them for economic and social freedom. We have developed strategic relationships with partners and sponsors across different parts of the world, who sign up to extend their hand of support to these widows, in some cases, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;adoptingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; their children for scholarship in schools at various levels. HHWSF is about giving every widow in Africa, especially widows in eastern Nigeria, a chance to experience a better lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;a hope and voice to be all God has created them to be.
in the face of limited resources and challenges. Imagine being able to support a widow to start a new business, send her children back to school, fund her family healthcare, or provide better living spaces. This is what gives me joy. Seeing these widows rise from their pain to living their full potential is the greatest motivation that I would not trade for anything. More importantly, I get excited when I see widows take ownership of their lives and begin to live an economically-free and purpose-driven life. Rather than slide into self-pity or negativity, they become free in their minds and act to create outstanding results. That is where I get my kick!
Sadly, I lost my husband in 2013 to an unfortunate drunk driving accident and I was left to raise my three children myself. I am a widow so I know what it means to lose someone you truly love and to be subjected to rejection, dejection, loneliness, or that excruciating burden of having to fend for the entire family alone. So today, when I see widows struggle through these same issues, it moves me to want to help even more than I did prior to my bereavement. This is why what I do at HHWSF is beyond work for me; I consider it a calling.
A desire to make change
Empowerment across Africa Helping widows in Africa to find their voice, to own it, use it and to give them the power to stand on their feet and raise their children in a safe and empowered space is about giving them a fair chance to be all they want to be. This, for me, is not just another activity but also an overarching mission to make the world, especially Africa, a better place. If a widow is empowered, it extends to her children who later grow up to become better citizens of the society. As a widow myself, I know the role that my empowerment has played on the lives of my children and that is why I am committed to extending it to more widows across Africa. The lives we affect on a daily basis are what excite me at HHWSF. When I listen to the inspiring stories of widows who pass through our foundation, they inspire me to keep doing the work we do, even
Going forward for HHWSF, we are committed to our mission of extending empowerment and support to more widows across Africa. We want to put a complete stop to the stereotypes and marginalisation that widows in Africa face because of primordial sentiments, cultures, or dogmas attributed to the death of their husbands. We want to see more widows live a purposedriven life and not be subjected to self-pity, discrimination, or poverty. Hence, we are currently working with our individual and institutional partners around the world who believe in what we are doing and are willing to work with us to address these ills. In 10 years, we desire an Africa where widows are no longer treated as secondclass citizens and where widows themselves will live purposefully in every area of their lives. An alumna of the University of London, Chigozie completed her Master of Laws in 2015 via distance learning.
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BY PROFESSOR JO FOX AND DR PHILIP CARTER
The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) is the UK’s national centre for history, and is one of the institutes that comprise the University’s School of Advanced Study. Founded in 1921, the IHR is currently preparing to mark the centenary of its creation. Summer 2021 sees the launch of ‘Our Century’ — a 12-month festival of activities that explores history’s past, present and future, and the IHR’s central role in shaping the discipline in the 2020s and beyond.
n 8 July 1921, the great and good gathered at the University of London’s new home in Bloomsbury. The invited party, including politicians, church leaders, diplomats and senior academics, were there to celebrate the opening of the University’s new Institute of Historical Research. Guest of honour was Herbert Fisher, president of the Board of Education, whose address was subsequently reported in The Times newspaper. The Institute’s creation was, he declared: “a notable stage in the development of historical studies.” Its students would be “trained in methods of historical research,” with the University of London set to become “a centre of historical training and education, richer in opportunities than Paris or Berlin.” Fisher concluded by praising Albert Pollard, the Institute’s inspiration and founding director, whose “signal energy and zeal” had made possible this new home for history.
A pressing need Fisher was quite right. For more than a decade, Pollard had been planning and arguing for a national centre of historical research. The need was pressing. History as a scholarly discipline was then in its infancy and still regarded by many as a mere branch of literature. In contrast, those campaigning for a new approach to the past advocated rigorous archival-based study, ‘scientific’ research methods and qualifications such as the PhD – first awarded in History by a British university in 1921. By the late 1910s, Pollard and others feared Britain was lagging far behind in this race for a modern research culture – a rivalry which accounts for Fisher’s competitive reference to Paris and Berlin in his speech. The race was also speeding up, hastened by profound changes that followed the end of the First World War. In Britain suffrage reform had greatly increased the number of working-class men and women aged over 30 now able to vote. Meanwhile, from across Europe came calls for greater international collaboration to avoid returning to the horrors of modern warfare. To its champions, History and historical knowledge were essential tools in cultivating both a responsible mass electorate and a new spirit of internationalism. In an essay from 1920, Pollard spoke of his proposed ‘School of Historical Research’ as having a “practical bearing upon our present problems and our present discontents.” The world was in flux and the coming decade full of uncertainty. “It is useless simply to know things as they are; we want to know what
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they will be, and we have no way of guessing… unless we know what they were.” For Pollard, history was “the dossier of mankind,” and his Institute was where future editions should be compiled.
100 years Now, 100 years after this call, the IHR’s current staff are preparing to mark the centenary of its creation. Beginning on 8 July 2021, the Institute will host ‘Our Century’, a 12-month festival of history which revisits, and updates for the 2020s, Pollard’s views on the value of historical thinking and research. Much, of course, has changed since 1921. The archival research culture that Pollard sought is now central to academic history. So too the infrastructure of libraries, seminars and peer-reviewed publishing that the IHR has done much to promote over the past century, and in which it continues to innovate. The scope of current historical research likewise far exceeds that undertaken by previous generations. Histories of women, gender, working people, minority groups, ethnicity, identity, global exchange or the environment are just some of the research initiatives that have reshaped, and continue to broaden, the discipline. Technological change meanwhile brings innovative ways of analysing and quantifying the past, along with powerful new forms of communication. Over its first 100 years, the Institute of Historical Research has played a leading role in these developments: both as a centre for digital, community and regional history, and as the national meeting place where historians come together to think and collaborate.
And now And yet, despite these changes, it’s also striking just how relevant Pollard’s founding vision remains for those now preparing the Institute’s centenary year. Today we too face a range of “present problems and discontents” – from populism and social exclusion, to national rivalries and the unknown legacies of a pandemic – that uncannily echo those of 1921. What is history’s place in and contribution to their resolution?
By taking ‘Our Century’ as our theme we’ll engage directly with this question. The IHR centenary is certainly a chance to look back: to reflect on history’s development as a discipline since the 1920s. But more importantly it’s an opportunity – in the spirit of the Institute’s founders – to explore new ways of thinking that will shape research in the 2020s and beyond; and to consider how historical understanding can help us face, and fashion, our coming century. This work will engage the wider community, including archivists, curators, public historians and broadcasters, who make up today’s rich historical culture. As a national and international programme of events, ‘Our Century’ will show how historical research is no longer the preserve of universities; and encourage us to recover the many hidden and marginalised histories yet to be told.
A unique experiment Twelve months after the Bloomsbury celebrations of July 1921, Albert Pollard sat down to write the Institute’s first annual review. It had, he thought, been a productive year. Hundreds of historians and students were now visiting the IHR from British and overseas universities; weekly seminars provided insights on new research methods; Institute staff were advising government on matters of foreign policy; and as a “laboratory of historical research” the IHR was serving not just academics “but the community as a whole.” Seldom given to gush, Pollard did allow himself one moment of congratulation at the end of his report. The IHR, he concluded: “is a unique experiment. There has been nothing quite like it.” There hadn’t and, a century on, there isn’t – as we aim to show from July 2021. Professor Jo Fox is Director of the Institute of Historical Research. Dr Philip Carter is Director of Digital and Publishing at the Institute of Historical Research.
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Below: the first home of the Institute of Historical Research from 1921. This temporary ‘hut’ as it was known, located on Malet Street, was the site of the IHR until its move to Senate House in 1938.
WELCOME TO THE PURPOSE ECONOMY Michael Young Michael Hayman A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL HAYMAN BY MICHAEL YOUNG What is the role of the corporation in society? Should shareholder interests and the profit motive be the singular focus of businesses, or can corporations be a force of good and agents of change?
n the age of COVID-19 and amid calls for greater social justice, climate action and racial equality, corporations and their CEOs are under intense scrutiny about the role they play in either driving real change or simply skirting responsibility and reinforcing the status quo while profiting handsomely. How consumer, employees, investors and society should judge corporations is by no means a settled question. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with entrepreneur and author Michael Hayman about this topic in detail. Michael has an international
business background and in 2018, he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Purpose Economy at the University of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Advanced Study (SAS). Michael and I got into a wide-ranging discussion about his role and the evolving role of the corporation in society. Tell us about the Purpose Economy at the University of London. The goal of the Purpose Economy within the Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Advanced Study is to examine the human aspects of how businesses, in partnership with stakeholders, can create a more
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purposeful world; to study the systemic change required and investigate what business as a force for good is, and what being an agent of change in society could actually mean in practice. Many of the institutions within the University of London have been looking at the issues around social change for some time. Given the pace of change in the world right now and a number of systemic issues with global and trans-generational impact, there is an opportunity to bring together social, economic and political perspectives about the purpose economy into an area of more focused study. How should we define corporate purpose and why is it important to broaden our understanding of the role of corporations? Purpose speaks to the intention of an organisation and the change it seeks to affect. It is a belief system and a set of organising ideas about the future of the planet, the future of society, and fairness within society. The notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been around for more than 20 years, and while these initiatives were often eyecatching, they always ran the risk of never truly
being integrated into the business strategy. In turn, the negative externalities of the business were never accounted for, let alone priced. Today, with the advent of reporting frameworks and methodologies such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) there can be closer alignment between the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Investors now view exposure to environmental risk, leadership diversity, worker safety, pay equity and social equity in terms of financial risk and corporate survivability. These issues are no longer nice-to-have. There are very stark economic consequences for organisations that do not manage environmental, social and governance risks. The pandemic has â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pulled the future forward,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and we are seeing studies which prove that companies that are prioritising people, planet and profits are outperforming peers and competitors. There is much scepticism about the notion of a purposeful corporation. How should we respond to that criticism? There is no question that we should judge a corporation by their actions and not by their words. The actions of corporations are more visible and discoverable, which is good news for transparency.
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There are very stark economic consequences for organisations that do not manage environmental, social and governance risks. Tone and deed must be firmly connected and aligned. The days of purpose-washing or virtue signalling are over. And it is not just investors that are making decisions about where to allocate capital that will hold businesses to account, but also consumers and employees, both current and future, who are making decisions about which brands to buy and which companies to work for that will last for generations. Within organisations around the world there is definitely change afoot, and COVID may have accelerated elements of that change, but we are seeing leaders stepping forward to meet a broader set of environmental and social obligations and responsibilities. One of the early exemplars of the idea of conscious capitalism or corporate purpose was John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods. Doing good isn’t only about doing good for good’s sake. It was because good has a better outcome. Good had the outcome of building a better company. Mackey saw the rise of the conscious consumer: the consumer who knows what they want to eat and why they want to eat it. He saw that this was going to be the future of choice, the future of good corporations, and it was an authentic passion that didn’t just drive the founder of this company, it drove everyone you met from the shop floor right the way through to the CEO’s office. The sense of purpose had a phenomenal, galvanising effect on the attitude, spirit and culture of the team. How will the Purpose Economy at the School of Advanced Study contribute to our understanding of the role of the corporation in society? The job of a university is to pose the questions and not lead with the answers. And as it relates to corporate purpose, the jury is still out. There are companies that are not making the changes fast enough that are still successful companies and may well go on being successful companies.
At the same time, there are other companies that are incredibly connected to and aligned with their stakeholders. The issue is that we’re living in this process of accelerated change, but we don’t know yet where the change is going. I think that the job of a university is to approach issues like this with a fair and open mind to actually understand the consequences of that change now. For many campaigning for equality, diversity and fairness the charge to corporations has been to change what has been promised before, but ultimately was never delivered upon. Now, there is a renewed sense of urgency because COVID has provided a glimpse of the future that no one likes, and if we continue to leave social issues unaddressed there will be grave planetary consequences. So, a hypothesis to work on is whether a global crisis can actually create the impetus for a different type of change – one which brings new ideas that have a better chance of affecting change now, than they had before. If I were to answer the question on a personal basis, I have a positive outlook. I believe that business has the potential to be an improving force in society and an obligation to do what it can to do so. But there are lots of examples and there are lots of challenges – especially as we emerge into a technological age where we have to put a lot of trust in young corporations, and this poses questions that remain unanswered. What we hope to explore within the Purpose Economy is a better understanding of corporate purpose that will help shape issues of accountability and guide evolution of our understanding of the role of businesses right the way around the world. Michael Young graduated from the University of London with a BSc International Relations and is a US Alumni Group leader. He is the founder and CEO of Actual Agency and hosts the Purpose, Inc. podcast, where he talks to industry leaders about corporate purpose and stakeholder capitalism. Listen to the podcast at: actual.agency/podcast Michael Hayman CBE DL is Honorary Professor of the Purpose Economy at the University of London, where he also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Economics. He is an entrepreneur, broadcaster, and co-author of the book, Mission: How the Best in Business Break Through (Penguin, 2016). He is co-founder of firm Seven Hills.
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EMPLOYABILITY WITH GLOBAL REACH
Employability with global reach:
changing lives with business placements BY GEORGINA JERONYMIDES-NORIE
The University of London is dedicated to providing students with the skills, qualities and experience they need to be successful in their future careers. Employability is a key consideration for many when choosing their academic institution and we see the preparation of students for the graduate job market as an integral aspect of their student experience.
ur standing as a leading provider of distance and flexible learning means we are in a unique position to offer our global student community first-hand workplace experience spanning several countries. One way we are able to do this is through the University of London Business Placement Scheme, which offers our students life-changing work-based learning opportunities. Not only do students gain a unique chance to boost their employability in their chosen field, but placement providers also benefit from the enthusiasm and dedication of our outstanding student cohort.
Offering business placements Since the initiative launched four years ago, we have worked with over 30 organisations to offer business placements in a wide range of industries, including multinational corporations, law, tech and airline companies, for which we’ve received thousands of applications. The best part of facilitating this process is having had the pleasure of seeing over one hundred students go on to achieve success in their placements, often resulting in subsequent job offers upon completion of their studies. Joanne Harris, Associate Director: Student Experience, who leads on the Business Placement Scheme, said: “Facilitating Business Placements becomes more rewarding every year, with students telling us about the lasting positive impact their placements have had on their academic, professional and personal development.”
Enhancing employability The University champions lifelong learning when it comes to enhancing employability, which is why we mirror a commercial recruitment process. Before and after applying for a Business Placement, we provide students with rich resources and guidance on how to enhance their CVs, written applications and interview skills, making this scheme a learning experience for all who apply. This approach has seen us shortlisted by the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in the ‘Most Improved Commitment to Employability’ category for two consecutive years.
Exceptional students The success of the Business Placement Scheme is, of course, a testament to our exceptional students. One of my main roles as Student Experience Manager has been supporting students throughout their Business Placement journeys. Through this, I have witnessed inspiring levels of work-ethic and ambition, and a willingness to learn and grow in every way possible. Some students have travelled to cities and countries they have never visited before for their placement. Why? Because they know it will make them stand out when applying for future career opportunities. To find out more about offering a Business Placement, visit: bit.ly/business-placement
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Business Placement Scheme profile
Unlimited potential at Unilever
Anusaviâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story BY GEORGINA JERONYMIDES-NORIE
Anusavi Murugesh, a recent BSc Accounting and Finance graduate based in Sri Lanka, shares how participating in the University of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business Placement Scheme led to her being selected for the prestigious Unilever Leadership Internship Programme 2019.
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ALUMNI OF TOMORROW
Unilever Leadership Internship Programme
The encouraging environment in which to learn new skills and software, meeting fellow colleagues from different backgrounds, and the mentorship from my managers have been just some of the benefits. I can see the improvement in the way I observe things and I am learning every day.
Anusavi said she was particularly drawn to the Unilever opportunity because of their excellent reputation with graduates; they are the most desired employer in 44 countries. She applied for the Business Placement Scheme straight away. A few weeks later, Ansuavi was excited to find out that, as part of the Business Placement Scheme, she had been shortlisted for the prestigious Unilever Leadership Internship Programme, in the Finance department. She said: “Words can’t describe how joyful I was at that minute.” Anusavi stood out amongst the vast number of high-quality applications and felt that being shortlisted was already a fantastic achievement.
corporate lifestyle in a really positive way. The encouraging environment in which to learn new skills and software, meeting fellow colleagues from different backgrounds, and the mentorship from my managers have been just some of the benefits. I can see the improvement in the way I observe things and I am learning every day.”
The journey didn’t end there. Anusavi went on to impress Unilever’s recruitment team in a two-phase selection process, which involved an initial interview, followed by a group and individual presentation at the company’s assessment centre. This level of scrutiny isn’t uncommon in today’s job market and she clearly demonstrated great potential and transferrable skills that could be applied in her role.
Business Placement experience Her first week was action-packed, meeting the previous cohort of interns who shared their tips, going on field trips and even a cooking lesson with the Unilever Food Solutions chef – a highlight for Anusavi as a keen home cook. As her placement progressed, Anusavi was given more responsibility working on a project that focused on the ease of financial reporting across Unilever in a global capacity. A typical day would involve working across different types of software and collaborative meetings with managers and colleagues. But it wasn’t all work and no play, she said: “Not to forget the fun parts of working at Unilever, we organised exciting events like potluck, cricket trophy and movie nights to make work life more interactive and social!” When we asked Anusavi what her experience at Unilever had taught her, it became even more apparent that the Business Placement had a tremendous impact on her job-readiness: “Just like first love, a first job also has a special place in our hearts. I have been exposed to the
Career outlook Participating in the Business Placement Scheme encourages students to think about what they want from their careers. Anusavi’s response to this opportunity shows an aspiration towards both professional and personal fulfilment. She shared: “I would like to create a brand identity for myself and build up traits to be an inspiration to those who look up to me, as well as settling down with a beautiful family. My purpose in life is to be a better person than I was yesterday. I want to make at least one person smile every day.” Anusavi’s goals are so admirable because she highlights career as just one aspect of who we are, what we do and how we make a lasting impact in the world. The University of London is determined to equip learners, like Anusavi, with skills that help them to both find the right career and thrive beyond their studies.
Future possibilities Needless to say, being offered a place on the Unilever Leadership Internship Progamme has given Anusavi an exceptional start to her professional life. With her vision of seeking success while making a positive change in the world, there’s no doubt that this University of London graduate has a very bright future ahead. Georgina Jeronymides-Norie is a Student Experience Manager at the University of London.
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LEADING 42 WC1E | london.ac.uk/alumni
Graduating with a BA French Studies from the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) back in 2001, Sandra Schwarzer is now a consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, working across the firm’s Board & CEO, Public Sector and Technology practices. Currently based in London, she recruits for C-suite technology executives as well as non-executive director roles in the UK and Europe, advising with a particular focus on diversity and instating the importance of inclusive leadership within global companies. You started your higher education by studying with the University of London Institute in Paris. Why did you choose to study in Paris? To be honest, it was pure luck that I found the University of London Institute in Paris. I had originally planned to move to the UK to study, but after completing my Abitur (qualification granted at the end of secondary education) in Germany, I decided to take a year out to work in Paris. I was working in an Irish pub where I met some British students who were studying with ULIP. They then convinced me to apply for the BA French Studies!
culture. Just learning how to communicate with others who have grown up in different countries and in different circumstances is so important.
What key skills did you develop through your undergraduate degree, which have been most helpful throughout your life and career? Well, at the time of studying, I thought it was the ability to speak French fluently as admittedly, my language skills were not that great when I started out. Most of the classes were taught entirely in French, which meant that I needed to quickly get over my fear of getting it wrong. In the end, it helped me learn the language much faster. That’s the real advantage of studying French in France…you get to practice all day long! Nowadays, I consider the cross-cultural experience more generally as the most valuable. I was the only German in the programme year, so I learned both the French and British
What was your favourite thing about studying in Paris? Without a doubt, it would have to be the location of ULIP. I mean, who can say that they are within a stone’s throw of the Eiffel Tower and Invalides! It was incredible that every piece of history we were studying still had landmarks across the city. After graduating, I went on to do further study, then before I knew it, what was supposed to be a year’s stay had turned into a 15-year stint! In your current position as a consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, you advise clients on how to recruit and retain impactful leaders. What qualities do you consider essential for top-level management roles? Adaptability and courage in leading others are must-have skills, as well as cross-cultural awareness and good communication of course! However, I think as you advance in your career you learn that it is less about your own knowledge and more about understanding and identifying who can deliver. It is essential to know how to navigate complex stakeholder demands, whilst remaining human-centric in your approach.
CHANGE INTERVIEW BY ELLIE McGUFFOG
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I try to approach others and situations in a way where different voices can be heard, where people feel like they can be themselves and it doesn’t impact your ability to succeed. Your role focuses on establishing and solidifying inclusive leadership within companies, a subject on which you have also written a number of articles. With this topic being particularly pertinent in today’s world, I have to ask, what does inclusivity mean to you? In 1987, my mother left East Germany with me when I was just 10 years old and we settled close to Frankfurt. And whilst I found myself in a country where they spoke the same language, every cultural norm between East and West Germany was completely different. This situation made me very aware of how often we hide our true selves to fit in and not be noticed. I try to approach others and situations in a way where different voices can be heard, where people feel like they can be themselves and it doesn’t impact your ability to succeed. To understand other cultures has always been a driving force for me – and still is to this day. What effect can fostering a culture of inclusion have on a company and its employees? It takes a lot of vulnerability for an organisation to say ‘we don’t have all the answers’. But, it is vital that they have the desire to listen, to learn of and to overcome biases, and work collaboratively to create a culture together. We all need to play a part in holding ourselves and others accountable. Personally, my experience has always been better in organisations who embraced inclusivity as a lived value – I felt more empowered to make decisions or raise issues, even when I wasn’t sure how it would be received. You were previously director of career services at INSEAD, helping MBA alumni realise their career vision and strategy, and enter the finance, technology or non-profit sectors. What words of advice would you give to the Class of 2020? Well when the 2008 financial crisis hit, we went to the alumni who had graduated during three previous economic downturns, and asked them this very question – the overwhelming majority said something to this effect: “Back then, it felt like the worst thing that could have happened – but in hindsight, the crisis was a gift. We had to ask ourselves what we really wanted. Many of us started businesses we would never have had the guts to start.” It is not going to be easy;
in fact, it may be incredibly frustrating and feel overwhelming at times. My advice would be to spend time thinking about your skills and what you want to learn, whether this be through continuing formal education, or in a job/volunteer role. Often there is the belief that we need to live up to someone else’s expectation – and that we often have false assumptions of what these expectations are. I believe this is a key psychological barrier we need to overcome when looking to change careers or having to adapt to new environments. Therefore, I would encourage you not to try to think ahead to the next 10 years, because, at the end of the day, careers will no longer be linear. There will be many sidesteps, or maybe even some seemingly downward moves but these can still help you acquire new skills. Speaking of having the ability to adapt, how has your typical working day been affected by lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic? I consider myself tremendously lucky that I am part of a global business, and we work across a wide range of industries to find the technology leaders for the future – probably one of the most in-demand roles right now. My role did become a little tougher as the decision to move jobs can be very hard when the world is filled with uncertainty. I probably spent more time with contacts who were in industries that were struggling, or were losing their jobs. It also became a lot more intense to juggle responsibilities as a single parent. I lowered my expectations and evaluated what I was realistically able to achieve, instead of trying to do everything. I had to learn how to set boundaries between both the workday and home, but also for my children who didn’t quite understand why I didn’t have time if I was at home. You have achieved a lot in your career, but what have been some of the proudest moments in your life so far? I would have to say that seeing my children thrive and become their own person has been the most fulfilling and equally hardest thing I have done. Watching my mum have the courage to leave an oppressive country was certainly a turning point in my life and has allowed me to keep going even in the really difficult moments of divorce, grief and challenges in my career. But professionally speaking, a highlight has always been seeing former team members go on to be successful in their own careers. I was lucky enough to have had a fabulous boss previously who taught me a lot – and so I try to give back as much as I can. You can read Sandra’s article Why Inclusive Leadership Matters in Work-Life Integration on the Russell Reynolds Associates’ website: bit.ly/RussReynolds-Leadership
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Take your next steps by studying again Graduates of the central University of London can enrol on further courses with a bursary of, in most cases, at least 10 per cent off course fees. The bursary is available for most of our courses, including diplomas, certificates, individual modules and degrees. Find out more at: london.ac.uk/alumni/alumni-bursary
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Widening access to education has always been at the heart of the University of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission. We were the first university in the UK to welcome students from all faiths, the first to open its doors to women, and the first to give students the opportunity to study wherever they are in the world.
Our vision is to ensure that a University of London education remains accessible to all who wish to study. The Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Scholarships Programme, much of which is funded through the generosity of our alumni and friends, helps break down the financial barriers to education, providing crucial support to students who are unable to afford to study for a university degree.
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D O N O R SP OT L I G H T:
JÓZSEF VÁRADI Earlier this year, the University of London was honoured to receive a donation of £1.2million from alumnus József Váradi to establish the Váradi Scholarships. Over the next ten years, this landmark gift – the largest given towards scholarships by any living individual in the University’s 184-year history – will support 100 students from all around the world studying through our distance and flexible learning programmes, with a particular focus on those from Central and Eastern Europe. As the co-founder of Wizz Air and its CEO since 2003, József Váradi has forged a successful career in the international business world. In 2018, he was named CEO of the Year in Central and Eastern Europe (CEESAR Award) and in the same year, he represented Hungary at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year. József studied at Budapest University of Economic Sciences (now called Corvinus University of Budapest), before completing an LLM with merit via distance learning with the University of London in 2014, specialising in International Business Law. He sees “intellectual stimulus as a cornerstone of human life” and credits his law degree with giving him a new perspective on the legal profession. “Lawyers used to come across with me in my professional life like sacred cows. My LLM studies put me in a position to see these people as human beings who may be challenged,” said József. “On a personal note, I love the ever-evolving logic behind law, as it is an integrating and reflective science in the crossroad of politics and economics, as well as genuine human and social developments.” The ability to study via distance learning alongside his work commitments allowed József to make the best use of travel time during his business trips. He considers the University of London a “top-notch framework for education that tailors its offering to varying personal needs and circumstances.” When asked about his motivation to give back to the University, József said: “Similarly to my professional life, I wanted to find the highest return on investment. I want people to live a better life and I’m eager to contribute to it with my intellectual and financial capacity.” A believer in the University’s mission to widen access to education, József decided
to donate towards student scholarships and give others the opportunity to follow in his footsteps by studying for a University of London degree. “The scholarship is an enabler to make a difference for those who are keen to learn and develop themselves”, said József. “In my mind, there is no better investment than investing in the education of people who are naturally driven. As the saying goes, you give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, or you teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
In my mind, there is no better investment than investing in the education of people who are naturally driven. The long-term impact of József’s philanthropy goes beyond the immediate need to support students through their studies. Not only will his gift have a transformative effect on the lives of the 100 students who will receive a Váradi Scholarship, but also in turn on the lives of their families and communities. How does József feel knowing that his support will have such far-reaching impact? “I inherently want to do the right thing and I want to do it right”, he explains. “It will certainly feel very good if people are able to capitalise on this small financial token and could think of their studies as one of the driving forces behind the impact they achieve in their lives.” Looking to the future, the University has a mission to connect worlds across national, educational and economic divides – a concept which József agrees with wholeheartedly. “Humanity is increasingly a global phenomenon and it won’t change”, he said. “Global access to global systems is already a profound principle of our lives and developments. I’m particularly keen on getting Central and Eastern Europe to be levelled up to the highest standards in education to help its economic and social convergence.” Thanks to the support of alumni like József and the life-changing impact of scholarships, the University is able to fulfil its mission and continue to enable access to education across the globe.
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T H E I M PAC T O F:
SCHOL ARSHIPS During 2019/20, philanthropically-funded scholarships supported 24 students studying with the School of Advanced Study, the University of London Institute in Paris, or through the University’s distance and flexible learning programmes. To find out more about supporting the University and our students, please visit: london.ac.uk/support
Support for our scholarship programmes allows students from around the world, regardless of their personal circumstances, to improve their lives and the lives of their communities through education. Professor Mary Stiasny OBE Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide.
There is no doubt that, had I not been offered this scholarship, I would not have been able to pursue this course. It has awarded me the opportunity to continue to support my family alongside my studies, without allowing the burden of fees to cause any barriers in my professional development. Abigail Leitao, BSc Computer Science student and recipient of the J&J Scholarship.
Learning about the Internet of Things has been a passion to me, but I was limited financially. Thanks to the Váradi Scholarship, my aspirations are becoming reality. Olawale Juwon, BSc Computer Science student and recipient of a Váradi Scholarship.
Receiving a scholarship has been invaluably helpful in allowing me to continue higher education. Since I chose to undertake my master’s degree in France I was not eligible for a postgraduate loan from the UK government, and with my family unable to cover the fees, it would not have been at all possible for me to attend university abroad in the near future. Abiba Coulibaly, MA Urban History and Culture student at the University of London Institute in Paris, and recipient of the Convocation Trust Scholarship.
I will always be grateful for being awarded a Sambrook Fund Scholarship. Without it, I would not have been able to pursue the area of study which I am most passionate about. The Sambrook Fund made it a possible for me to afford this once in a lifetime opportunity. Ian Dooley, MA History of the Book student at the Institute of English Studies, and recipient of the Sambrook Fund Scholarship.
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STAY IN TOUCH
Stay in touch As a lifetime member of the University of London alumni community, you are incredibly important to us.
The University provides a number of benefits and services to all alumni, including a programme of events and engagement opportunities. Find out more: london.ac.uk/alumni
You are part of a global community of more than one million graduates. We are here to help you build a lasting relationship with your University and each other. Wherever you are in the world, and whenever or whatever you studied, we invite you to stay connected and be an active part of your community.
Keeping your contact details up-to-date will ensure that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on communications, news and invitations from the University of London. Update your details online: www.alumni.london.ac.uk/stayintouch
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OUR GREEN FUTURE BY CAT ACHESON
COVID-19, climate change, and the University of London’s commitment to sustainability.
hat will the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the Climate Crisis? In the spring of 2020, when lockdowns around the world put the brakes on economic activity and confined whole populations to their homes, many people looked for a silver lining and wondered if this dire situation would at least help to stop climate change. There’s no denying that 2020 has proven to be an extraordinary year in terms of carbon emissions. At the end of April, the International Energy Agency forecast that global energy demand would contract by 6 per cent in 2020, as the pandemic dealt a massive shock to the world economy. This is equivalent to removing the annual energy demand of India, the thirdlargest electricity consumer in the world. Global energy-related CO2 emissions are set to fall by 8 per cent this year as a result – an unprecedented decrease and almost six times larger than the drop in emissions during the financial crisis of 2009. It’s tempting to believe that this will be the start of a new era, and that the world will never go back to an environmentally-disastrous economic growth model driven by unfettered fossil fuel combustion. But without major international commitments and coordinated strategies to replace the carbon economy with a green alternative, emissions will quickly rebound as the COVID-19 crisis subsides. 2020 could indeed be a turning point, but only if we seize this opportunity for radical change.
A Green Recovery We need a Green Recovery: one which kick-starts the transition to an environmentally-sustainable, sociallyjust economic system. As governments around the world implement fiscal stimulus packages to resuscitate the economy, it is crucial that these
measures align with the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. This means no bailouts given to companies unless they can demonstrate how they will change their practices to substantially reduce their carbon emissions. There have already been positive examples of this, for example the French Government’s bailout package for Air France, which was granted on the condition that the airline will cut almost all domestic flights where the journey could easily be made by rail instead. However, climate stipulations to bailout packages won’t be enough to prevent catastrophic global heating on their own, or to secure the path to clean and inclusive economic growth. We also need large-scale investment in new green projects such as renewable power generation, energy efficiency innovation, and ecosystem regeneration. Investment in low-carbon projects during the COVID-19 recovery period will not only benefit the climate; the evidence shows that it will also deliver myriad co-benefits for people and society. From cleaner air and improved public health, to more green spaces, better indoor living conditions and new employment opportunities, a Green Recovery offers the possibility of a ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon future, where everyone benefits equally, and no-one is left behind.
Positive investment by the UK A recent report by WWF and Vivid Economics – adapted specifically for the context of the COVID-19 recovery – sets out how investment to bring the UK to its target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 would deliver £90 billion of annual benefits across all areas of society. Retrofitting homes for energy efficiency, for example, would create immediate job opportunities and would help to tackle fuel poverty, thereby potentially saving the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) billions of pounds annually. Meanwhile, expanding offshore wind capacity would support 28,000 new
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jobs, and bring much needed development to economically vulnerable regions such as England’s North-East. Investing in a low-carbon transition also makes simple business sense: a new report led by the University of Oxford compared green stimulus packages against traditional ‘brown’ recovery packages such as those rolled out in 2009, and found that the green recovery pathway would deliver higher short-term returns per pound invested, and long-term cost savings.
Resilient future At the University of London, we’re committed to being part of the global shift towards a greener, more resilient future, and we’re continuing to make progress on our ambition of reaching net zero operational carbon emissions. So far, we’ve succeeded in reducing our carbon emissions by 51 per cent against a 2010 baseline, through ambitious projects like newly-installed solar panels which formed part of a £2.5 million Energy Performance Contract to make our buildings in central London operate as efficiently as possible. We’re currently working with local stakeholders in the Bloomsbury Heat and Power Consortium to further decarbonise our shared heating and cooling network, through innovations such as utilising waste heat from the sewer network. This will help us reduce the carbon cost of heating a number of our buildings by 79 per cent – a reduction that we will continue to build on. We’re also tackling the carbon impacts of our supply chains through our sustainable sourcing policy, and have begun calculating our ‘Scope Three’ emissions, so that we can reduce the environmental impact of all activities connected with the University, not just what we do on-site. Giving back to our local and global community is also an important part of our commitment to sustainability. We’re working with local partners to develop plans to improve biodiversity in Bloomsbury’s green spaces, and we’re even becoming a certified Hedgehog Friendly Campus! Meanwhile, our Reduce the Juice sustainability engagement programme is going global this year in response to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, with exciting online events and opportunities lined up to help students and staff become successful advocates for a sustainable future, wherever in the world they happen to be.
At the University of London, we’re committed to being part of the global shift towards a greener, more resilient future.
If you would like to find out more about the Sustainability Team’s work to make the University of London part of a climate-neutral, greener world, visit: london.ac.uk/sustainability or email: email@example.com You can also visit: london.ac.uk/reduce-the-juice to find out about our Reduce the Juice programme.
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Our global events bring our community of alumni and friends together to celebrate, debate and collaborate.
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF ENGAGEMENT IN MALAYSIA
The University of London held a special event at the British High Commissionerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Residence in Kuala Lumpur to mark 30 years of University of London engagement with Malaysia. We were delighted to launch our award-nominated Business
Placement scheme in partnership with high profile companies, allowing UoL students in Malaysia to gain work-based opportunities that help them stand out in their future careers.
RECONNECTING WITH ALUMNI IN HONG KONG
Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Thomson CBE and Pro ViceChancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide Professor Mary Stiasny OBE were hosts of the Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaugural alumni event in Hong Kong, which also launched the UoL Hong Kong alumni group. Alumnus
Arthur Chow, CEO and co-founder of 6waves, talked about his transition from the corporate world to the excitement of a start-up. As a graduate of UoL, Arthur shared how his University of London law degree helped him build 6waves into a leading global publisher of independent online games.
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UOL HOSTS FIRST VIRTUAL ALUMNI EVENT
In June 2020, the University was proud to present our first digital event for alumni and friends: Surviving and Thriving in a Pandemic: Wellbeing in a Time of Crisis. The panel discussion was chaired by Professor Peter Kopelman and included insightful comments from alumni Kon Yin Tong and Asha Menon, who were joined by Zee Yoong Kang and Professor Barry Smith. Read more about the panellists at: bit.ly/UoLWellbeingEvent2020 The enlightening and wide-ranging discussion included comments on how the Singapore Health Board has maintained the importance of general wellbeing in a time of great stress and illness, as well as how Sport Singapore has adapted efforts to curb COVID-19 in Singapore and the impact this has had on sporting events. The discussion also included the humanities’ place in the decision making of government as well as how the ‘Class of COVID-19’ should prepare for the job market.
You can view the full panel discussion online at: bit.ly/UoLvirtualevent2020 Alumna and event attendee Beverley Hon said: “The University of London has always regularly reached out to its alumni around the world and this first digital event was a great way of connecting people in these challenging times. Professor Peter Kopelman and others brought up pertinent points about leadership and how it affects communities, especially with the pandemic going on. I was particularly intrigued by the study Professor Barry Smith of the Institute of Philosophy is doing on those who have had their sense of smell affected by the COVID-19 virus. There is so much for the world to learn and I look forward to hearing more about it. A fantastic digital event overall and hopefully the start of many more.”
UOL OPENS ITS DOORS VIRTUALLY
This year, the University of London team presented exclusive virtual tours through its iconic headquarters, Senate House, as part of Open House London 2020. There were three tours a day, followed by a live Q&A, taking guests through
the key parts of the building and revealing some of Senate House’s finest secrets along the way. You can access the tours and Q&A here: bit.ly/UoLOpenHouse2020
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Your impact in
2019–2020 330 alumni & friends living in 46 countries
volunteered their time
alumni and friends
40 students affected by the
raised through our
2020 Student Support Appeal
88,000 alumni and friends received our newsletters
900 people updated their
First virtual alumni event was viewed by
hundreds of alumni across the world A huge thank you to our alumni and friends for their involvement and support. 54 WC1E | london.ac.uk/alumni
WC1E is the magazine for alumni and friends of the University of London Copyright ÂŠ University of London, 2020.
Update your details online: www.alumni.london.ac.uk/stayintouch Your data: the University of London is committed to protecting your personal data and being transparent about what information we hold about you, and what we do with that information. You can find our full privacy statement for alumni, supporters and friends at: www.alumni.london.ac.uk/yourdata Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright ÂŠ University of London, November 2020. All details correct at the time of publication.
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