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YOUR UNIVERSITY The magazine for UWL alumni and friends


Winter 2019 IN THIS ISSUE Using LEGO for problem solving James Cleverly MP reflects on his degree Becoming the top modern university in London Addressing autism in criminal cases News and events from around the campus ®

Shape our Future

Whether you studied at the University of West London, or one of its predecessor institutions, you will know the lasting impact that education has on enriching people’s lives. To continue the University’s mission of providing access to a university education, irrespective of financial background, we need the help of our friends and supporters. Leaving a gift in your Will enables you to make a lasting and significant contribution to a cause that is close to your heart.

For further information, or to discuss leaving a legacy, please contact the Development Office on 020 8231 2627 or at or visit



from the Vice-Chancellor We begin a new academic year in the proud knowledge that the University of West London is now widely acknowledged as one of the leading modern universities in the country. This reputation is borne out by rankings, endorsements from our students and recognition from the sector. UWL has recorded the biggest rise of any university in the UK in the prestigious The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, climbing an impressive 31 places to number 52 nationally and entering the top 10 London universities list in 8th place. These excellent results come on the back of the career-focused University achieving record rates of student satisfaction in this year’s National Student Survey. 13 courses achieved a remarkable 100% satisfaction score and overall the University achieved a score of 87.42% for student satisfaction. We were also shortlisted for University of the Year and our library services team

won a prestigious national award for the exceptional services it provides. At 98%, we have one of the highest graduate employability rates in the country. But we do not rest on our laurels. We continue to invest in our facilities so that the learning environment promotes scholarship, creativity and well-being. With the support of the global Westmont Hospitality Group and our Chancellor, Laurence Geller CBE, we opened a stunning new facility for business start-ups. This was in addition to an EU-sponsored food lab aimed at driving innovation in food across the capital. A brand new Postgraduate and International Student Centre and a new Sports Centre are due to open this coming academic year. The University also acquired the Ealing-based Drama Studio London, which counts Emily Watson and Forest Whitaker as alumni. In research, our academics continue to make advancements on various fronts

– from suggesting methods to improve hydration in the elderly to analysing the growth in youth violence. The practical impact of their work on our communities and beyond is immeasurable. This list of UWL’s achievements is by no means complete but I hope it gives you a sense of the vibrant, thriving community of which you are part. If you have not had a chance to return since you graduated, I urge you to pay your alma mater a visit. We welcomed over 700 alumni and friends back on campus this year. I hope to connect with even more of you during the coming months.

Professor Peter John Vice-Chancellor 1








The Journey to Leadership from UWL Rt Hon James Cleverly MP reflects on his career.



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University News

Not Just for Kids Dr Yu-Chun Pan shows how LEGOÂŽ can be used for creative problem-solving.

Introducing our Honorary Graduates In July we conferred Honorary awards on those making an impact in their field.


Autism in the Dock Dr Daniele Alge looks at the difficulties in defining blameworthiness in autistic defendants.

What’s on the Menu? Honorary graduate Dr Andy Kemp MBE FIH looks at why the food industry needs to respond to climate change.

from the Chair 32 ofMessage the Alumni Association Alistair Telfer encourages alumni to keep in touch

YOUR UNIVERSITY contributors: Nicola Conway Alumni Relations Manager Luna Sidhu Director of Development and Alumni Relations Oliver Cobb Data and Operations Manager Catherine Lawson Development Manager Paul Hendrick Alumni Board Member



The Impact of Giving

Remarkable gifts that have allowed us to enhance our campus, support students and advance research.


The Gift of Time Alumnus Paul Hendrick on what it means to give back through volunteering.

Consulting Editor: Holly Howe Design: Moox Creative Design


Printed by: McLays


Honours for UWL


Alumni News and Events

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UWL Alumni Success Samantha Stevens discusses her Off-Broadway career.


Five minutes with… We talk to Honorary Doctor Stuart Wright

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Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, UWL alumnus




As a politician, James Cleverly has a very busy schedule. But with his degree in Hospitality Management, James is comfortable juggling tasks and took time to talk to us about his memories of studying at the University. Born and raised in Lewisham, south east London, before moving to Chelmsford in Essex, James initially saw his career as being with the army and signed up as an officer when he left school. But after getting a sports injury, he had to change direction. Thinking that a desk-based job would not be for him, James looked at various career options, before exploring hospitality,

as he felt it offered ‘lots of different opportunities and it played to my strengths such as making decisions under pressure’. He decided to do a degree in hospitality management at what was then known as the Ealing College of Higher Education in 1991. Following graduation, James ended up moving into publishing, before heading into the world of politics in 2002, when he stood for election for the London borough of Lewisham. Despite not winning that election, James persevered with his political ambitions and has since served on the London Assembly, was appointed as the Mayor of London’s youth ambassador in 2009, became the Chair of

the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority in 2012, and MP for Braintree in 2015. In 2018 he was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party before becoming a junior minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union. He launched a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party following Theresa May’s resignation but withdrew shortly after. He was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party in July 2019 following Boris Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister. He chatted with Luna Sidhu, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, about his time at the University and how his degree helps him in his present job. › 5


Tell us about your time at the University – any fond memories you can share with us? Well I met my wife at university, so that is the fondest of fond memories. It was her first year and my final year. I really enjoyed my time at university. I played a lot of rugby – in fact, just a few days ago I had a catch-up with one of the guys that I played rugby with who now works for the Department for International Trade. I still keep in touch with some of the people I was at university with. It was a great time. How did your university experience influence your life after graduation? There are elements of the course which I still use in my professional life. To be effective in the hospitality industry you must understand people, you need to understand teamwork. As an industry it is heavily dependent on teams working together at every level and sometimes under serious pressure (time pressure and emotional pressure). It was good learning how to work through team dynamics. And the financial side of the course – learning about business finance. I was never going to be an accountant but understanding some of those key ratios when looking at a set of accounts is important. I have been able to apply these skills in other areas. And just inter-personal skills. In the hospitality industry you have a diverse set of people from highly trained accountants, lawyers and executives to people at the start of their careers working part-time and you have to be able to interact with everybody, including the clients who are also diverse.

Houses of Parliament


You have been back on campus a couple of times since graduation, the last visit coinciding with the filming of Question Time, how did it feel coming back? I have been back a few times to catch up with the Vice-Chancellor. But this last visit blew me away. The University has transformed itself. Although it’s still on St Mary’s Road with that traditional frontage which has not changed very much, when you go in, it is bright, light and very modern. The campus reflects what the University has chosen to be, which is innovative and modern, and I think the physical space reflects that very well. When I was at university there were some buildings that had been there since the 60s, then the building stock was old and tired but now it looks impressive. What do you think about London as a city today? London is an amazing city. It has a massive international reputation, and massive international reach, making it absolutely key to the UK economy. It has a gravitational pull for people all over the UK and indeed all over the world. That is one of its real strengths. It is very cosmopolitan – as a city it has been a cultural magpie taking the best bits from temporary visitors, those that have made their homes here, as well as people that have been here for generations. It seems to blend these influences really well and that is one of its biggest strengths.

“The campus reflects what the University has chosen to be, innovative and modern”

What job did you want to have as a child? I was unsure for a long time – even up to my A levels I hadn’t really made up my mind. I thought I wanted to be an artist as I was quite good at art so I was thinking of graphic design for a while. Then I got bitten by the army bug and I threw myself into that, but I picked up an injury and my full-time military career came to an end. But then I joined the reserve forces and I have maintained a parallel career with them for over 25 years which I have absolutely loved. What spurred you into politics? When I was at university, if you had told me that I would end up in politics, I would have probably laughed. I think for me that is one of the things that I would like to get across – there is an opportunity for people to use the skills that they learned through their degrees. Even if they don’t end up doing exactly what they expected, it unlocks all kinds of opportunities.

“If you had told me I would end up in politics, I would have probably laughed ” While I took a bit of a weird meandering route into politics – I tried my hand at banking for a while which I did not really enjoy particularly, but then went into magazine publishing which I absolutely loved and that is what I did for most of my professional life. But as I said, some of the soft skills as well as the actual elements of the degree stood me in really good stead as I ultimately went into a very different career path. You can make choices and that is what I did and today I am in the Government and in Cabinet. I never thought I would be here. What are the biggest challenges you face as a politician? And the areas you enjoy the most? Politics is not easy, but I was trained in hospitality which is also time consuming: the hours are funny, and you work under pressure, so politics is not unique in those kinds of pressures. However, I suppose you do live your life in the public eye and that takes getting used to. I think sometimes in politics it is very polarised and that is difficult, but ultimately, I love being a Member of Parliament. I love representing my constituents and I love being a Government Minister and feeling that I am part of a team that can make a difference. ›


Who are your role models? This is a bit of a cliché, but my parents are very much my role models. I was an only child. My mother was a midwife in Lewisham Hospital, so she spent her career in the public service and my father was a small businessman, an entrepreneur, and they made a lot of sacrifices, they were not wealthy people at all. They took education incredibly seriously. My dad for a long while worked seven days a week and my mother even worked weekends and I thought that was normal and that is what everybody did. That work ethic is something I admire in them. What causes are you passionate about? For me politics is about how you enable things that you are passionate about to happen. For a long time, I have been passionate about how education, business and work can liberate people. It’s not just about paying the bills – it is much more than that. At a micro level, it’s about making sure that people are able to get a job that they value and enjoy and obviously education, particularly higher education, has a role to play in that. But at a macro or international level,

“There are elements of the course which I still use in my professional life” I co-chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade Out of Poverty, which was about helping developing countries establish economies that are sustainable. For me it is all about enabling things to happen through politics. What would be your top tips to students and graduates of UWL who want to pursue a career in politics? Get involved but recognise that it can be a long road. Sometimes people get lucky and things happen quickly but politics is a very funny world and it can take a long time. Get involved in your local party. But also parallel to that, have something in your life that gives you experience. For me it was reserve forces and a career in business, for others it might be public services or charitable work. But make sure that if you are going to become a full-time politician that you bring something to the table and the thing that you need to bring is experience. It will help to add value to your work. ■

Rt Hon James Cleverly MP



UNIVERSITY NEWS RECOGNITION MEANS BUSINESS UWL has been shortlisted for Business School of the Year in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. The Claude Littner Business School was recognised for its personalised, experience-focused learning approach that sees students work on live projects with real businesses. Speaking after being shortlisted, Dr Suresh Gamlath, Dean of the Business School, said: “We looked at what works best for our students and introduced innovative ways of teaching that are tailored to their needs. This new approach challenges our students to achieve beyond their self-perceived abilities and enables them to take their confidence and aspirations to a whole new level.” Student Ambassadors at UWL Brentford campus

UWL ACHIEVES TOP SPOT The University has been voted the top modern university* in London for overall satisfaction in the influential National Student Survey 2019. The government-backed survey asks final year students to give feedback on everything from teaching to library services, facilities to student voice. Professor Peter John, Vice-Chancellor of UWL, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be the top modern university in London for overall satisfaction but it is all down to our students. By listening to them we are able to continually improve our services, deliver a great student experience and ensure that everyone who graduates is career-ready. We are continuing to enhance our campus, upgrade facilities and we will be relentless in our focus to deliver the very best for our students.” 8

13 courses – a record number – also received 100% overall satisfaction from graduating students in this year’s survey, including Musical Theatre and Forensic Science, on the back of continued investment in teaching, facilities and student support.

The impact of this new learning approach has been described as ‘astounding’ with student satisfaction, progression and good-degree classification all increasing since its introduction. Over the last year, the Business School has also seen a dramatic improvement in the BAME attainment gap, dropping from 9% to a record low of 0.8%. ■

Professor Anthony Woodman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UWL, said: “We are committed to delivering the very best university experience to all our students but to secure 100% satisfaction on a course is exceptional and to secure this in so many subject areas is a remarkable achievement.” ■

* Modern universities are defined as higher education institutions that were granted university status in, and subsequent to, 1992.

Claude Littner with Business School student


Drama Studio London is now part of UWL

A DRAMATIC ENTRANCE TO UWL Ealing-based Drama Studio London, is now part of UWL. The Studio, which was established over 50 years ago, counts Emily Watson and Forest Whitaker as alumni and has established a reputation in the acting world for excellent vocational courses. Kit Thacker, Manager Director of Drama Studio London, said: “This is great news for our students who will now be able to access all the fabulous resources that UWL has to offer. This is a great opportunity to work with a renowned

university of national standing to deliver the best for our students while maintaining our distinct identity.” Professor Peter John, Vice-Chancellor of UWL, said: “We are a university that understands the creative industries and UWL is already home to thousands of students across a range of creative disciplines, so it makes perfect sense to bring Drama Studio London under the UWL umbrella so we can share resources and expertise and develop new creative collaborations.” ■



Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody, 2018

BRINGING BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY TO UWL Golden Globe award-winning box office smash Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the life and career of Queen front man – and one of UWL’s most notable alumni – Freddie Mercury. One of UWL’s lecturers worked behind the scenes on the film in a key role. London College of Music’s (LCM) David Combes was a vocal coach for Rami Malek, who won an Oscar® for best actor for his depiction of the late front man. David said: “Working with Rami was great. I learned a lot from him about what you can achieve if you put heart and soul into a project. Rami is one of the hardest working men I’ve met, and his commitment to creating something really special meant he put 100% into his time with me, his dialect coach and his movement coach – we were all hugely impressed with his commitment.” David first got involved with the film when he was brought in by the Musical Director Steve Sidwell, an arranger and composer best known for his work on the a cappella Honda choir advertising campaign and Grammy award-winning shows like Beautiful and We Will Rock You. 10

The UWL academic was asked to help Rami Malek emulate Freddie’s unique and powerful voice. “Rami naturally has a rich and resonant tone when he speaks, with a lot of natural rise and fall in pitch”, said David. “But when we first met he had quite a fragile relationship with his singing voice. I knew he had an instrument in there, but it was hidden. More than anything, he needed to rebuild a relationship with his singing voice that would allow him to use it as confidently and naturally in public as his speaking voice. That meant I had to find ways for him to start to sing, without it ever being ‘singing’.” Freddie Mercury famously had a fouroctave range. David helped Rami to prepare for the role vocally by tapping into his acting talent. “The obvious route was to use what he was confident at: acting. We found a way into singing using a lot a primal sounds like yelling, complaining and calling to build his voice up, and crying, whimpering and whingeing to extend his vocal range and open up those areas that felt least comfortable”, said David.

Asked about his favourite Queen song, David said: “That’s an impossible question to answer, you just have to see the film to start clocking up the dozens of iconic hits they had... nope, I’ve tried but narrowing down to one is too hard, I want them all (and I want them now).” ■

David Combes, LCM lectuer


Ice sculpture at LGCHT 70th anniversary dinner

70 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 70TH BIRTHDAY The University’s London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism (LGCHT) has marked its 70th birthday by raising more than £150,000 towards 70 new scholarships at its celebratory gala dinner. On 15 March, 300 distinguished guests, including the University’s Chancellor Laurence Geller CBE, celebrity chefs, worldrenowned hoteliers, and restaurateurs, came together at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington to celebrate the College's rich history and to toast to its bright future. The inauguration of a new fund was also

created to ensure more students are able to study hospitality and tourism in the future. The event also honoured Mr Arne M. Sorenson, President and Chief Executive at Marriott International, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of West London on the night. Hosting the event, Professor Peter John said: “Scholarship support is key to ensuring our students in need can access the financial assistance to help them achieve their goal of a degree and

ultimately their chosen career. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and their continuous belief in the success of our students.” In total, the dinner raised more than £150,000, doubling the number of donorbacked scholarships currently available in the College. The gifts came from alumni, industry, and individuals and will help ensure that finances are not a barrier for UWL students wishing to pursue an education in hospitality, tourism and aviation. ■

ACADEMIC RECOGNISED BY ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Professor Karim Murji has been given the award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences – a representative body for social sciences in the UK.

already contributed to national debates about crime and security, and how these complex issues affect citizens, governments and businesses in London and beyond.”

Professor Murji was selected by the Academy for his significant academic contribution to the social sciences. The award is granted to leading academics, policy-makers, and practitioners of the social sciences, following a process of peer review. He said: “I am honoured to join the distinguished Fellows of the Academy who comprise the leading social scientists in the UK. This achievement is also significant for a post-92 university and I am pleased to achieve this recognition for UWL. The University is well placed to conduct interdisciplinary research in this area. The Cybersecurity and Criminology Centre has

Professor Murji joined UWL in 2017 and is Director of the Cybersecurity and Criminology Centre. His research is concerned with culture, ethnicity and racism, and his most recent publication “Racism, Policy and Politics” looks at the relationship between race and ethnicity scholarship and ‘real world’ policy and politics. UWL Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joëlle Fanghanel said: “This is a great achievement and a reflection of the high level of socially relevant research currently taking place at the University of West London.” ■

Professor Karim Murji




Using LEGO® for creative problem-solving Apart from being widely loved by children, LEGO® can also be a great tool for adults to creatively solve problems. Dr Yu-Chun Pan has been leading research in this area at the University of West London.

Problem-solving is an important task in our everyday lives. From small problems, such as figuring out how to get to our summer holiday accommodation, to big problems, such as being tasked to improve our team performance, we need to solve problems all the time. The first step of problem-solving is to understand exactly what problems we are dealing with before we try to develop a solution through expressing our opinions. Therefore, we need to learn about the problem first. People construct and develop understanding in many ways. When people can play and have the freedom to explore the questions and answers from various perspectives, they have wider access to possibilities that can often lead to creative solutions to logic problems. In a conventional discussion, people might feel that they should follow ‘rules and guidelines’ to meet certain requirements and expectations, and they might feel that there is only one ‘correct’ answer. Avoiding this type of right/wrong situation can help maximise learning opportunities. One way of achieving this is to emphasise the playfulness of understanding problems and exploring potential solutions. This allows individuals to explore different avenues with fewer constraints. Such playfulness can be encouraged by having choices, so that different personalities can choose what they want to play with and how. 12

Children learn how to interact with the world and how to express themselves through playing. As we grow older, we can sometimes forget how to play. LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) is a powerful method to facilitate reflective thinking and creativity for people of all ages through purposeful play. LSP aims to connect minds and hands to create a deeper understanding of the world and its surroundings using LEGO® bricks as metaphors.

1. INTRODUCTION AND WARM-UP ACTIVITIES TO HELP PARTICIPANTS FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH EXPRESSING THEMSELVES METAPHORICALLY The warm-up activities help participants to get familiar with LEGO® (because some of them probably haven’t touched LEGO® for a very long time!). We can start with building something simple, such as a duck, or something more abstract, such as a typical Monday morning.

These metaphors can demonstrate the human cognitive process and provide a new way of expressing experiences and realities. Instead of using words or diagrams to express themselves, people are encouraged to use metaphors with LEGO® bricks to explore, construct and express.

2. THE FACILITATOR POSES THE QUESTION WE WANT TO DISCUSS WITH PARTICIPANTS AS A BUILDING CHALLENGE We can then move on to the building challenge for each group. Instead of asking a big complex question, we can break down the questions into smaller sequential questions, so individuals can form a shared understanding of what is to be explored while having the freedom to explore in their own ways.

Individuals identify and build challenges and opportunities as they think, instead of planning everything out before building. The spontaneous approach allows each participant to continuously develop, reflect and enhance their views. LSP has been used intensively to tackle complex problems by many organisations worldwide, including Google and NASA. Although LEGO® produces specific LSP sets, you can use any of the hundreds of bricks you may find hidden under the sofa or stored in the loft. So how do we use these bricks for creative problemsolving? There are five key steps in running an LSP problem-solving workshop:

3. PARTICIPANTS BUILD A MODEL Next, we ask the participants to use LEGO® bricks to construct their answers within a set time limit. During the building process, participants assign meanings to the bricks by metaphors. For example, a ladder could mean career progression, and a big circle could refer to an unfulfilled dream. Through building (and often amending), they go through a reflective process that is likely to deepen their thinking. By using their hands, participants also tend to register their thinking deeper into their minds. ›




Students using LEGO® Serious Play® in the classroom

4. PARTICIPANTS SHARE THEIR STORIES We then ask the participants to share the stories and meanings assigned to their LEGO® creations. It is essential that every participant’s story is heard. By sharing and hearing others’ stories, participants can further reflect on their own thoughts and understand different perspectives and viewpoints. 5. REFLECTIONS The reflection stage requires the participants and instructors to discuss and clarify the insights gained in the last step. We then summarise and find a suitable way (such as notes or diagrams) to record this discussion. Steps 2 to 5 can be an iterative cycle. We can use the first cycle to define the problem and the second cycle to develop a solution. Throughout each cycle, LSP facilitates communication and group problem-solving processes through exploring a subject by building 3D models. The collaborative nature of LSP supports social learning theory, which views learning as a cognitive process that takes place through observation or interaction in a social environment.


At the University of West London, I have been using LSP to help students develop tangible solutions. For example, I used LSP with students who seemed to struggle to meet deadlines. We wanted to explore what interventions could help them meet their deadlines. I asked the students in the workshop to use LEGO® bricks to create and present how they approach assignments (the scenario) and why deadlines are sometimes missed (the root issues). Once students finished their demonstrations, they were then asked to make changes to their builds to do something about the root issues. The students presented the changes to their builds and explained why the changes they made transformed the scenario. They looked at what was affecting their work such as issues with deadlines, other commitments or lack of interest. Through the storytelling, multiple perspectives were explained and exchanged among the students. The second stage of the building then allowed the students to develop solutions. It was key that it was the students themselves who collectively came up with the solutions. As the proud owners of the solutions, they were more willing to try them, because most of us do not like to be told what to

do. As the result of implementing their own interventions developed through LSP, the group of students significantly improved their assignment submission rate in the following semester. Playfulness enables us to explore different perspectives. I have witnessed it release creativity and consequently help people solve problems with solutions that they did not realise they had. In my opinion, people are more creative and capable than they give themselves credit for and playfulness can help us get there. ■

Dr Yu-Chun Pan has many years of experience in technology-enabled change and project portfolio management. He also focuses on how sustainability can be imbedded in project management practice. His innovative teaching approach has been recognised and he was awarded University of West London Teaching Fellowship in 2018. Dr Yu-Chun Pan Senior Lecturer in Applied Project Management, School of Computing and Engineering


Introducing our newest

HONORARY GRADUATES In July 2019 we welcomed 10 new Honorary Graduates to the University of West London community. Each of these individuals has been recognised for their outstanding contribution to civic or cultural life, unrivalled business success or long-term support for the University’s work.



After working as a management consultant, Ann spent 10 years as a Non-Executive Director on the board of a large acute hospital before being appointed Non-Executive Director to the board of the West London Mental Health Trust. She is also a founder trustee of the Ealing Music and Film Festival Trust.

A founder trustee and Chairman of Ealing Music and Film Festival, Patrick is also trustee of Girlguiding Cymru. Patrick is a senior member of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants and chairs their pro bono programme, using his many years of management consulting experience.



Fiona is the CEO and co-founder of the charity Alexander Devine, which provides a children’s hospice service for Berkshire and surrounding counties, as well as support for children and their families. Fiona has received many awards, including the Sue Ryder Woman of Achievement Award.

Best known for his 37-year career at the London restaurant Le Gavroche, Silvano was honoured with a Maestro del Lavoro (MdL) title given by the Italian government. He is Chairman Trustee of the Gold Service Scholarship, which supports young Front of House talent.



One of Britain’s most high-profile defence lawyers, Michael’s commitment to his clients and radical approach to forensics, evidence and disclosure have made him a champion of the individual in many miscarriages of justice cases. In 2015, Michael set up the charity Silence of Suicide (SOS) with his partner, Yvette Greenway.

Meenal is the Director of Shiva Foundation, which aims to tackle and prevent human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK, which she cofounded in 2012 with her husband. In 2015, Meenal was elected as the first Indian woman Councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council. She also cofounded the youth leadership NGO, Connect India. › 15




One of the world’s most in-demand mixer/producers of the last two decades, Spike has been Grammy-nominated 17 times and has won four times for his work on the albums ‘I Am… Sasha Fierce’ by Beyoncé, ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ by Madonna, ‘The Resistance’ by Muse, and ‘Divide’ by Ed Sheeran.

One of the most sought-after Heldentenors at international opera houses, John was celebrated as Stolzing at the Bavarian State Opera Festival in Munich, in Toulouse, and in Peter Konwitschny’s production at the Hamburg State Opera. Now retired, John has a studio of professional singers with whom he works with and mentors.



Hailed by the BBC as an ‘Advertising Legend’, Robin cofounded the advertising agency Wight Collins Rutherford and Scott (WCRS) in 1979. In 2001, Robin launched the Ideas Foundation, which identifies and nurtures creativity in young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He also helped raise £50m for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

An internationally renowned expert in patient safety, Suzette is currently in a joint role as Senior Advisor for the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Resolution. She is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London. ■

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21/10/2019 16:02


AUTISM IN THE DOCK: Can the law do justice to both vulnerable defendants and their victims?

Although the modern criminal justice system strives to accommodate defendants with autism, Dr Daniele Alge explains that criminal law is based on the idea of ‘reasonable man’ and recent cases have highlighted the difficulties in defining blameworthiness in autistic defendants. ›



“Can and should criminal law take account of defendants’ autistic traits and consider them a defence?” Over the past decade, there has been considerable progress in recognising the issues faced by individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Alongside social changes and increased public awareness, the criminal justice system has become aware of potential challenges involved in dealing with autistic suspects, defendants and witnesses. However, criminal law itself is based on the 19th century legal ideal of the ‘reasonable man’. The reasonable man is neurotypical, that is to say, not autistic or with other neurodiverse attributes. This results in the potential for inconsistency and injustice; can and should criminal law take account of defendants’ autistic traits and consider them a defence? If so, what are the consequences for the victims of their crimes? The current diagnostic criteria for autism are ‘persistent difficulties with social 18

communication and social interaction’ and ‘restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests’ (which includes sensory behaviour), present since early childhood, to the extent that these ‘limit and impair everyday functioning’. These factors, especially alongside the learning impairments or mental health issues which many autistic individuals may also have, can provide real challenges in determining the appropriate level of criminal blameworthiness of individuals with autism. It is important to note that there is no evidence that autism itself causes offending behaviour, but features of the condition may predispose some autistic individuals to contact with the criminal justice system. For example, poor understanding of social rules and cues, impulsive behaviour, reduced ability to express empathy, or a tendency to aggression when anxious can all lead to situations in which the criminal justice system may become involved. ›


There are a range of guidelines for professionals within the criminal justice system but inconsistencies and gaps remain. Crucially, it is the ‘black letter’ of the criminal law itself which determines the criteria for guilt of a particular offence, and there are no specific provisions for autism or related disorders in criminal law. Cases over the past decade have increasingly highlighted some of the tensions in reconciling autism with understandings of criminal culpability and punishment. One key case was Gary McKinnon’s high profile battle against extradition to face computer hacking charges in the US. His extradition was blocked by the British government in 2012, and the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue charges against him in the English courts, in part because of medical evidence of the severity of his Asperger syndrome and depression. McKinnon benefitted from a great deal of public support (his victim was the US government), and while he was never found ‘not guilty’, a decision was made that he should not stand trial. The issues become more morally complex in cases of inter-personal violence or sexual offences, where there are greater calls for justice to be seen to be done for the victim. In order to determine culpability when a trial takes place, criminal law relies on two fundamental elements: the actus reus (guilty act) and the mens rea (guilty mind), and both elements must be present in order for a defendant to be guilty of an offence. The definition of mens rea varies greatly between offences and the result is that a variety of tests operate within criminal law, in order for juries and

the judiciary to assess the culpability of a defendant’s ‘guilty mind’ against the specific criteria for the offence with which they are charged. There are particular complexities around the mens rea for rape and autistic defendants because the criteria relate to the reasonableness of a belief in consent, having regard to all the circumstances (Sexual Offences Act 2003, s.1). Research on autism and offending has identified sexual offending as a potential issue, given the social communication inherent in an understanding of consent and physical boundaries. Impulsivity and a lack of understanding of physical boundaries could also play a role in sexual offences committed by defendants with autism.

“There are no specific provisions for autism or related disorders in criminal law” This has been acknowledged as a factor in some criminal cases. For example, Lord Justice Hughes in the Court of Appeal in 2018 gave the example of a situation in which reasonableness of a belief could turn on a defendant’s ability to read subtle social signals. In a 2008 case, R v Sultan, the defendant was granted a retrial after evidence of his Asperger syndrome had not been considered by the jury in the course of his rape trial. More recently, the case of Keith Hearne in Ireland appeared in the media; Hearne lost an appeal against his 12year sentence for rape after the judge

dismissed his claims that his autism and other disorders had not been given adequate weight. Given the wide spectrum of the condition, some autistic rape defendants will have an adequate understanding of consent, some may have an understanding depending on the context, while others may have extremely limited understanding despite functioning well in other respects. The only workable standard of a reasonable belief in all the circumstances then becomes a belief unique to the defendant, supported by medical evidence. However the law was expressly intended to achieve a more objective mens rea for rape and the courts are likely to be presented with further difficult cases as a result, particularly as social awareness of autism grows. Alongside an increased awareness of autism, there are ever louder calls for victims to have greater rights within the criminal justice system, in particular with regard to sexual offences. This tension between the interests of victims and fairness to defendants who are not the ‘reasonable’ man will not be easily resolved. ■ Dr Daniele Alge is the Head of Subject for Criminology at UWL and teaches in the areas of criminal law and criminal justice. Her PhD was on plea bargaining and her research focuses on the defendant’s role in the criminal trial and the relationship between criminal law and the broader justice system. Dr Daniele Alge, Senior Lecturer and Head of Subject for Criminology





WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Dr Andy Kemp MBE FIH, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from UWL in 2017 for his services to hospitality, looks at the key issues affecting the food industry now, from food waste and the use of plastics to climate change and sustainability. Andy is Group Sales and Marketing Director at Bidfood, one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK.

Food waste vs climate change On 12 June 2019, the UK’s carbon emissions target was amended to the new, much more challenging goal of ‘net zero’ greenhouse gases by 2050. Whether or not you think this is challenging enough, or even possible, it is big news, and we will all need to rethink our approach to the way we run our businesses, our economy and everyday living to achieve this. So with climate change and emissions topping the agenda, why is food waste still such a hot topic? Food waste that decomposes in landfill sites releases methane – a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere. Across the globe, food loss and waste account for four times


more greenhouse gas emissions than aviation1, and are comparable to road transport.

up to the Plate’, committing to help halve food waste by 2030, and raise public awareness of the issue.

Approximately one third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted, and in the UK the food and drink sector produces more than 10.2 million tonnes of food waste annually after leaving the farm gate – around 20% of our overall emissions. Around 10% can be attributed to hospitality and foodservice, and another 18% to manufacturing.

Making a commitment is one thing, but to make a practical difference to the levels of waste the industry produces, we need to become more practical too. Redistributing surplus food, educating staff and customers, reducing the amount of food in the bin through more efficient operations and careful menu planning, setting targets and measuring progress – these are all proven ways of reducing waste levels.

The food we waste is a vital part of the jigsaw if we are to achieve our net zero greenhouse gas target, and the foodservice and hospitality industry has a crucial role to play. Bidfood and many operators, suppliers and organisations like us have joined key commitments like Courtauld 2025, or more recently ‘Step

The good news is that while education, training and new processes have to be put in place and maintained to make a difference, the resulting efficiencies not only have a positive impact on climate change, but they bring commercial benefits too. ›

Recent figures reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)



Action on plastic and packaging

understand where we can reduce plastic and cardboard packaging weight.

Recently, there has also been a strong focus in the media on single-use packaging and plastics in particular, highlighting the shocking threat it poses to our planet. It is vital that our industry does as much as possible to tackle this threat, and as wholesalers, we need to engage the whole way along the supply chain with customers, suppliers and staff to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic and packaging that the foodservice and hospitality sectors have become so accustomed to relying on, especially for on-the-go food solutions.

Healthier and more sustainable menus

It is vital that foodservice and hospitality businesses work closely with industry experts, such as the Foodservice Packaging Association, to collaborate and work towards achieving targets and commitments in this area. Wholesalers can play their part by reducing single-use plastic in their own brand ranges, where possible, and encourage and educate customers, suppliers and employees to take a more sustainable and practical approach as well as understanding how best to dispose of packaging, be that through reducing, reusing or recycling. At Bidfood we now offer an extensive range of plastic alternatives for food on-the-go, helping customers make better choices. We set targets, and religiously track and measure our progress in recycling, as well as scrutinising our own brand ranges to 22

As well as addressing climate change and plastic pollution, we must all face the stark reality that with a growing population, our diets and lifestyles must change as the planet cannot sustain our eating habits, nor can our health. Protein alternatives, and the rise of plant-based diets, are now firmly established as key food trends driving significant change in consumer choice. Diners now favour diets that offer higher levels of nutrition and menu choices that are more environmentally friendly. For many, this means eating more vegetables and fibre, reducing meat intake and food miles, as well as embracing innovative plant-based dishes, protein alternatives and cleaner formulations. Fuelled by changing consumer attitudes and demand, at Bidfood our own vegan range has grown exponentially and now numbers over 300 products. We’re also working with customers directly to design menus and concepts that tune into these trends. Obesity is one of the biggest public health issues in the UK, and at Bidfood a major aspect of our work is about working towards government voluntary initiatives which aim to reduce childhood obesity levels by half by 2030. We can also expect a rapidly evolving landscape of food

standards, regulations and requirements for reformulation to reduce sugar, calories, salt and fat. At my company, we have found that within the bakery and desserts category, consumers often won’t choose a low sugar option, and so it is important to reformulate products to improve their nutritional value without impacting taste. The role of laboratories like the University’s West London Food Innovation Laboratory will be crucial in helping achieve innovative food products that cater to our nation’s sweet tooth, offering sweetness without the sugar. Drawing from my own experience, a number of years ago, I introduced Lo-Salt to the UK from our supplier the Klinge Brothers, who had already worked out the need to reduce sodium in our diets, and the benefits of potassium on high blood pressure. As an industry we must do everything we can to learn from and support our universities who seed the innovations and innovators of the future. ■

Dr Andy Kemp MBE FIH is an honorary graduate of UWL and Group Sales and Marketing Director at Bidfood. Andy was awarded an MBE this year for services to the hospitality industry. Dr Andy Kemp MBE FIH


THE IMPACT OF GIVING In these pages we are pleased to bring you news of some remarkable gifts that have allowed us to further enhance our campus, support students and advance research.

Professor Peter John, Vice-Chancellor with Lord Ranger at Rami Ranger House

RAMI RANGER HOUSE: A BRAND NEW POSTGRADUATE AND INTERNATIONAL CENTRE A generous gift from Lord Ranger CBE supported the construction of a brandnew Postgraduate and International Student Centre at UWL. The centre has been designed as a supportive and collaborative learning space for students undertaking postgraduate studies. The University’s eight schools and colleges offer a variety of masters, postgraduate diplomas and PhD courses; currently 700 of the University’s 12,000 students are postgraduate students with recruitment increasing year on year.

Many of them are also international students, their presence bringing a global perspective to classroom discussions. Our aim is to double the number of postgraduate students to 1,500 by 2022. The benefits of postgraduate study are numerous for individuals, the University and wider society. Individuals learn new skills and knowledge helping them to progress in their careers, while also advancing solutions to local and global challenges. However, undertaking a postgraduate degree can be challenging as it relies heavily on the individual’s personal commitment and academic ability to conduct their own research.

This new building, which is three storeys high, offers spaces for collaborative working, socialising, supervision and mentoring on the ground floor. The first floor has work spaces for the postgraduate and international support teams to use while the second floor provides guest accommodation for visiting scholars. Commenting on the centre, Lord Ranger said: “I hope the building provides UWL students with all the foundations needed to nurture a thriving postgraduate and international community and enhance their student experience.” ■




This academic year will see an exciting new addition to the University of West London’s campus: a modern, multipurpose health and fitness Sports Centre. It was much needed as the current Student Union gym is small and oversubscribed. Only 3% of UWL students participate in sports. This is worrying given the clear correlation between good health and academic performance. Students cite financial and time pressures as the main reasons for the low participation. This new facility situated in the heart of the Ealing campus will give staff and students access 24

to health and fitness training in their free time. The Sports Centre will include two fitness suites dedicated to both cardiovascular and weight training to support both individuals and teams in achieving their fitness and well-being goals. In addition, a variety of classes and activities will be on offer, ranging from yoga to dance and movement, for those who wish to develop new skills or prefer to work out as part of a group. The University will ensure that the Sports Centre remains affordable in comparison

to other leisure centres in the area, and it will be open year-round. Alumni and local residents will also be welcome to use the centre. The development of the Sports Centre was supported by a generous gift from Sport England. The Sports Centre is part of UWL’s wider agenda to embed a health and well-being culture at the University and in the local community. ■  lumni who hold a valid alumni A card can join the sports centre at a discounted rate. Visit


SUPPORT OUR SCHOLARSHIPS APPEAL Financial support at university can make all the difference between completing your studies successfully or not being able to make it to the end of your course. Here at the University, we have over 12,000 students who are talented, hardworking and ambitious. However, many come from disadvantaged backgrounds and lack the cultural and financial safety net of their peers in other institutions. Half of our current undergraduates come from households with incomes below £25,000 p.a. and 53% are from households where they are the first to attend university. Statistics show that two thirds of students worry about money all or almost all of the time (NUS Insight Survey, 2016), so much so that 36% of them say it affects their

mental health. Just under 20% even use bank overdrafts and credit cards to fund their education. For such students, financial support is key to enabling them to complete their degrees. We are delighted that last year over 60 donors chose to support our students with scholarships and prizes ranging from £500 prizes to half-fee remission scholarships. The impact of this support is enormous. In the words of one recipient:

“I have been raised in a community where alcohol and drug abuse are common and not considered as an issue. No words can describe how honoured I am to receive this award.

Receiving this scholarship boosts my confidence and motivates me to maintain great attendance and academic standing.” Scholarships and bursaries ensure that finances are not a barrier to accessing and succeeding at the University. By donating to a scholarship or bursary, you are not only making a life changing investment in an individual, but enabling them to make a positive contribution to society. ■  o make a gift, please visit T



SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH TAKING A CREATIVE LOOK AT DEMENTIA CARE Led by Professor Victoria Tischler, the Dementia Care Centre (DCC) at UWL specialises in creative solutions to make lives better for people with dementia.

PREVENTING NON-VENTILATOR HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED PNEUMONIA: THE PRHAPS STUDY A research team led by Professor Heather Loveday has received a grant of £65,965 from the Healthcare Infection Society for a research project which seeks to develop strategies to minimise the risk of hospital patients developing Non-Ventilator Hospital-acquired Pneumonia (NV-HAP). NV-HAP refers to a pneumonia in patients who have not had a breathing tube and usually develops several days after admission to hospital.

Many patients admitted to hospital have some risk of developing NV-HAP and it is an important cause of serious illness and sometimes death. If a patient develops NV-HAP, it requires treatment with antibiotics and also increases the length of time a patient will have to stay in hospital. Professor Loveday’s work seeks to mitigate these risks. ■

TACKLING SOCIAL ISOLATION AND LONELINESS TO AID RECOVERY OF PEOPLE WITH DUAL DIAGNOSIS This 18 months’ research project, funded by a grant of £26,300 from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, constitutes an enhancement of a peer-led support programme for people who have been diagnosed as suffering from both mental illness and addictive disorders (also known as ‘dual diagnosis’). The current project was inspired by feedback given by 21 Dual Diagnosis Anonymous (DDA UK) members during 26

an evaluation of the DDA programme conducted by UWL researcher Dr Raffaella Milani in 2017-2018. It will support the recovery of DDA UK members by encouraging them to actively tackle their social isolation and loneliness by designing and participating in social activities. Dr Milani will then assess the effectiveness of this approach in combating mental illness and addiction. ■

Over the last year the DCC team has embarked upon a number of research projects with donors and partners including Montessori St Nicholas and Culture&. As part of Dementia Awareness Week 2019 the DCC staged the Imagination Café in partnership with CW+ (Chelsea and Westminster Hospital's charity) and The Harlequins Foundation to showcase creative and multisensory approaches to improve the lives of people with dementia. Victoria says, “Our vision at UWL is to create community hubs where the creative arts are an integral part of a holistic approach to dementia care.” ■

Become an Alumni Champion Whether you are a new graduate or studied with us some time ago, there are many ways for you to stay involved and play an active role in our alumni community.


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Attend events

Join us for networking receptions, dinners, lectures and careerfocused events and workshops. Our alumni events are a great way to network and keep-in touch with UWL. We can even help organise a reunion for you and your former classmates.

Give a donation

Make a transformative difference to a student by giving a regular or one-off donation towards a bursary fund, or by supporting an academic prize or special project.

Offer a student placement or internship Give your business an edge and benefit from access to our talented and skilled students.

Assist with student recruitment

Talk to a prospective student at a careers fair, online or over the phone and inspire them to study at UWL. Provide an Alumni profile for us to feature in marketing materials.

Support outreach activities

Volunteer with the Outreach Team and help to raise aspirations among young and mature learners from under-represented groups in the local community.

Share your expertise

Speak to current students or recent graduates and give them the benefit of your experience, while also gaining vital skills for your own professional development.

Recruit employees

Advertise vacancies to students and recent graduates for free through the Employment Services team.

Help us reconnect

Encourage your classmates to register their details with the Alumni Association, helping us to grow and strengthen our alumni network.

For more information: 020 8231 0188 or To volunteer: To donate to a scholarship or bursary fund:


THE GIFT OF TIME Paul Hendrick is Principal Software Engineer at Oracle in Reading. Having studied as a mature learner – he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Computing and Information Systems in 2011 – Paul has been a great support to the University through his volunteering over the years. He told us why he got involved and what it means to give back. ›



Paul organises an annual UWL student visit to Oracle.

Tell us about your experience of volunteering at UWL Originally I started volunteering as a course representative while I was still a student, but after I graduated, I was approached by the Development and Alumni Relations team to join the Alumni Board.

can (and I do) give money, I get a better feeling from giving time than I do money.

I heard through the Board that there were vacancies for student mentors and I thought that it would be useful if I could help guide a student towards the world of work. I was then asked if I would join the Industry Consultative Committee for the School of Computing and Engineering, which helps ensure that the University and its courses are more closely aligned with industry, meaning that the graduates can show that they have relevant knowledge for the workplace today.

Would you recommend volunteering at UWL and why? Easily, yes. The staff at UWL are friendly and supportive so it makes volunteering easy and it’s great to keep in touch with the university that gave me so much and to see the huge improvements that are continuing to be made.

Once a year, I invite a group of up to 50 students to visit Oracle so they can experience a small part of what it is like to work in a huge multi-national company. Why do you volunteer? Quite simply, it feels good to be able to give back – I always felt that the gift of time is something that is priceless. Whereas you

When you see someone that you have mentored get a job and they say it was because they followed the advice that you have given, it is a special feeling – it makes the volunteering worthwhile.

Given that it only takes a couple of hours at a time, it can help the students achieve their goals both now and in the future, and of course, it’s good to give! You really can’t put a price on that. ■ If you are interested in volunteering opportunities at UWL, we would love to hear from you: 020 8231 0188


■ ■

Student representative for HND Computing and Information Systems 2009-10 Served on the Alumni Board since 2012 Founding member of the Industry Consultative Committee for Computing since 2015 Advertises Oracle employment opportunities and internships annually to students Advocate for transnational education in Hong Kong Hosts annual student visits to Oracle One of our most engaged alumni members, attending most events Proofreads the alumni magazine (including this one!)



UWL ALUMNI SUCCESS Samantha Stevens, BA (Hons) Musical Theatre, 2012

British performer Samantha Stevens has been passionate about the performing arts from a young age. She obtained a BTEC National Diploma in Musical Theatre at Stratford-Upon-Avon College before coming to UWL to gain her BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre. She moved to New York to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and this year appeared Off-Broadway in The Handmaid’s Parody, which she wrote and starred in. › 30


Samantha Stevens enjoying her new home of New York

Why did you decide to study at UWL? It had been a bit of a crazy summer, and I ended up auditioning very last minute. My original path was meant to take me to the north of the UK, but fate intervened as my heart was telling me I needed to be in London. I remember driving into Ealing and falling in love with the area, and after auditioning, I felt excited and hopeful to return and start training at the London College of Music. What did you enjoy most about your time at UWL? It may be a cliché, but I made friends for life! There is a fantastic sense of community across all courses making it feel like your new extended family. I was able to train all day while only being 20 minutes away from the West End! What have you been doing since you graduated in 2012? I travelled across the UK and Europe performing in cabarets, concerts and shows. I continued to train, be open and adaptable, and met more incredible people that work within the industry, both on and off stage. In 2016 I moved to New York to complete an intensive program at AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) and since graduation, I have been working on developing new American musicals.

What are your current projects? I created the Handmaid’s Parody – a musical based on Margaret Atwood’s book and TV series The Handmaid’s Tale. It follows the same story, but pokes fun at the reality and parallels of America right now. I moved at a very interesting time in both UK and US history – this story is scarily very relevant. Originally, I was just playing around with characters and songs, but have now performed it twice OffBroadway. You can find more about the show at What has been the highlight of your career so far? Having a show that I had created appear Off-Broadway and having Broadway producers interested in helping us get to the next level – I am still gobsmacked! How did your time at UWL aid your personal and professional development? It taught me that hard work and persistence is a big part of a career in the performing arts, but also in life. Politics will always come into play regardless of your ambitions, but being a kind, genuinely open person will always aid you further in the long run. Of course, university is the first chapter of real adult life; so from there you learn how to find your way, both in the city and in this crazy world!

What advice would you give to UWL students and graduates? There is nothing more appealing than kindness. Share a smile with someone you don’t know each day and be there for those around you. Keep on top of your work but find time to take care of yourself too. Balance is key. Understand your own vision of success because everyone’s is different. Just because yours isn’t the same doesn’t make you a failure after graduation – we all have our own journeys. If someone told me when I started UWL in 2009 that I would be living in New York, working as an actress in 10-years’ time, I would have laughed and asked them to not mock my dreams. But here I am! ■

Samantha Stevens in New York




from the Chair of the Alumni Association I was particularly pleased to welcome so many alumni to the event that took place at Mail Rail at the Postal Museum in central London earlier this year. This was our second annual alumni event attracting a diverse group of graduates. It was great to be able to meet so many of you from across the years and feel a true sense of connection between the schools and colleges. As members of your Alumni Board, we endeavour to create exciting and attractive opportunities for you to remain connected with your University. Graduation is not the end; it is the beginning of a new relationship with your University. Please keep in touch, either by attending events or just visiting the campus. Make sure to update your contact details when they change and don’t forget to apply for an Alumni card – among other things, it gives you access to campus and enables you to use the library. We are currently looking for new volunteers to join the Alumni Board. If you are passionate about supporting the UWL student and alumni community we would love to hear from you. Please do contact the alumni team for more information. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting more of you in the year ahead.

Alistair Telfer FIH (MBA ’93) Chair, Alumni Association




HONOURS FOR UWL An alumna, two honorary graduates and an alumni board member received honours this year. Rami Ranger CBE received a peerage, Leyla Hussein an OBE, and Dr Andy Kemp FIH and Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw received MBEs. We look at their careers below.

Leyla Hussein OBE

Dr Andy Kemp MBE FIH



Leyla Hussein was awarded an OBE for her work to end female genital mutilation (FGM). She is a consultant, a psychotherapist, an international lecturer on FGM and gender rights, a strategic advisor for The Girl Generation and is the founder of Dahlia Project, a specialist psychotherapist/counselling service for survivors of FGM.

Dr Andy Kemp was awarded an MBE for his dedication and commitment to the hospitality industry. Andy is Group Sales and Marketing Director at Bidfood, one of the largest UK foodservice providers.

PgDip Counselling (2010), Honorary member (2018)

Her e-petition ‘Stop FGM in the UK Now’, triggered a debate in Parliament on FGM in the UK and she gave evidence at the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the matter. Leyla said: “Every day, foremost in my mind are the 200 million plus girls and women who are living with FGM and all those who died because of it. I began my work against FGM to understand what had happened to me as a young girl and to make sure I was able to protect my daughter. I share this special recognition with everyone who is part of the global movement to end FGM and I hope it inspires us all to go on to achieve our goal of a world free from FGM.”

Honorary member (2017)

Andy has supported initiatives such as the Michael Caines Academy, while continuing to fight fearlessly at government level on issues such as Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) and holiday hunger. Andy also champions the importance of the maintenance of nutritional standards for the feeding of the elderly and has seen some of these initiatives given recognition in the House of Commons. Commenting on this award, Andy said: “I am extremely humbled and grateful to be recognised in such a way, but truly believe that I’m receiving this award not only on my behalf, but on behalf of all of the many bodies and charities that I represent.” › 33


Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw MBE

Lord Ranger CBE



Honorary member (2012), Alumni Board member and UWL visiting professor

Honorary member (2016)

An honorary academic and Alumni Board member at the University, Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw was awarded an MBE for her services to people with learning disabilities and mental health treatment. She said: “This award means a lot to me with reference to the fact that my 44 years of work in the NHS has now been recognised. I have worked diligently in the field of mental health and intellectual disability where the people are most vulnerable in society.”

Honorary member and businessman Rami Ranger CBE was recently nominated to serve as a life peer in the House of Lords by former Prime Minister Theresa May in her resignation honours list. Lord Ranger’s company Sun Mark Ltd has won five consecutive Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the only company to have received this honour. He said: “My story shows that one does not need a rich father, an elite education or the old schoolboy network to help one in life. What one needs is self-respect, ethics, commitment, vision and empathy.” ■

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The Graduate Outcomes survey is here You will be contacted 15 months after graduation by email or phone to be asked about your activities and views

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Register or update your contact details at to hear about future events

CHOO CHOO: ALL ABOARD THE ALUMNI MAIL RAIL! The 2019 Annual Alumni Reception was held at Mail Rail at The Postal Museum. It was a fun evening of food, drinks, networking and a train ride through long forgotten underground mail tunnels. This annual event aims to bring together graduates of all ages from UWL, Thames Valley University and predecessor institutions. Many instagrammable opportunities arose with interactive games and props on-hand, with many guests dressing up as postal workers and railway engineers!

Laurence Llewellyn

IN MEMORY OF LAURENCE LLEWELLYN It is with great sadness that we share the news that our Alumni Board member and recent graduate Laurence Llewellyn passed away at the end of August. Laurence joined the Alumni Board in 2015, having graduated with Distinction in 2014 with a Masters in Composition from the London College of Music (LCM). Both the Alumni Board and LCM benefitted significantly from his insight, dedication 36

Fang Lu, a recent MBA graduate had this to say: “It was such a great opportunity to network with alumni and UWL staff. Sharing study experiences, career choices and UWL’s development, we all felt proud of being part of the University and its achievements. It was also fun to take the ride on Mail Rail, a very special experience. The event was fantastic.” ■

and professional expertise. Even after he was taken ill in January 2018, he continued to remain involved with the work of the Alumni Board, giving encouragement and input to the alumni team and fellow board members. He will always be remembered for his calm, pleasant and helpful manner. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time. ■

Annual Alumni Reception at the Postal Museum


MALAYSIAN CELEBRITY CHEF DELIGHTS DINERS AT PILLARS RESTAURANT University alumni, students, and the local community in Ealing enjoyed a taste of Malaysia in February during an authentic dining experience prepared by Zamzani Abdul Wahab, one of Malaysia’s most recognised and loved celebrity chefs.

Expert Panel at Victor Ceserani Lecture

INFLUENTIAL HOSPITALITY LEADERS TALK FOOD, HOSPITALITY AND BREXIT Leading figures from the food and hospitality industry gathered to hear the influential behavioural economist, Roger Martin-Fagg, speak about potential risks and opportunities the sector faces after Brexit, during a lecture hosted at the Institute of Directors. Part of UWL’s Victor Ceserani Lecture Series, which is dedicated to highlighting issues of importance in the sector, Roger spoke about the impact of human behaviour on the economy, as well as explaining how key indicators, such as money supply and consumer confidence, can be used to predict the future direction of the economy.

Professor Joëlle Fanghanel, Pro ViceChancellor at UWL, said: “For 70 years our London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism has not only been producing the next generation of trailblazing talent, but we have also been leading the debate on sector issues. Tonight was a great example of this, and it was encouraging to see so many people from across the sector coming together to network and discuss this crucial topic.” The lecture was followed by a panel discussion that included representatives from the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, Integrity International Group and UK Hospitality. ■

Zamzani, or Chef Zam as he is more popularly known, joined forces with students to deliver the finest cuisine in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The chef flew from Malaysia especially for the sold-out event which took place at Pillars restaurant, part of the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism. Addressing the guests, Chef Zam said: “It is an honour and a great privilege to be here at my alma mater, cooking for you tonight. I am grateful for the opportunity to do something to say thank you to the College for giving me a scholarship back in 2003 and to showcase the beauty, culture and hospitality of my Malaysian country through its cuisine. It’s a pleasure working with the apprentice chefs here.” ■

Chef Zam prepares a feast for alumni




From left to right: Peter Nicholls, Simon Davis, Jon Walsh and Philip Siddell

In February 1969 Simon Davis, Peter Nicholls, Philip Siddell and Jon Walsh met at the start of their Business Studies Degree Course at Ealing Technical College Business School and soon became firm friends. Having kept in touch over the years, in April 2019 they returned to Ealing to visit the University, marking their 50year anniversary.

After visiting the places they used to live, they returned to the University where Alumni Relations Manager, Nicola Conway, gave them a guided tour of the campus and told them about the other sites as well as the Claude Littner Business School. Jon, Peter, Philip and Simon were very proud of the Business Studies degrees

they gained at (what was then known as) Ealing Technical College and proud of the College itself. Having toured the University in its latest guise, hearing about its innovations and rise up through the rankings and having spoken with an enthusiastic group of students working together in the library, they left feeling proud to be among its alumni. ■

CLIVE COLEMAN ENTERTAINS ALUMNI AT THE ANNUAL LAW DINNER Alumni from the School of Law and Criminology and the next generation of talented students rubbed shoulders at the School’s 11th annual dinner, held at the UWL Pillars restaurant on 28 November 2018. There were almost 70 alumni and guests in attendance. A highlight of the evening was a speech by honorary graduate, Clive Coleman. Clive is a barrister, award-winning journalist, comedy writer and playwright. He currently works as the BBC’s Legal Correspondent. Clive entertained the crowd with anecdotes from his career as a barrister. A great night of excellent food, drink and networking was had by all. ■ 38

Clive Coleman entertaining guests at the Law dinner

Will you help transform lives? Every gift, no matter how big or small, makes a difference By donating to scholarships you will provide talented students with the financial support that they need. Donations from alumni and friends have an amazing impact on the lives of low-income students. Your generosity and kindness will allow them to pursue higher learning at UWL that otherwise may have been out of reach.

Please donate to scholarships today:

Together, we can help our students work their way to a better future.

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FIVE MINUTES WITH... Stuart Wright

As Chief Technology Officer at computer games company SEGA Europe, Stuart is responsible for IT and technology functions across SEGA’s European publishing operations, having worked with the company for over 10 years. A veteran in the IT industry with over 15 years’ experience operating at an executive level in the games industry, Stuart has been recognised as an industry innovator and a leading authority on technology within the publishing field. In the last few years Stuart has been driving SEGA’s technology strategy for business intelligence. With the introduction of advanced data analytics, and machine learning, SEGA has been able to improve customer experience as well as product design. In 2018, Stuart received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from UWL’s School of Computing and Engineering for his services to the sector. He also supports the University by serving on the Industry Consultative Committee for Computing.

What is your most prized possession? I tend to lose or mislay pretty much every possession, so my prize possession at the moment is the remaining hair I have on my head, and my car keys.

What would be the title of your biography? Dr Stuart Wright: How my UWL Honorary Doctorate Kick Started my Cosmetic Surgery Career.

Where do you most like to spend time? And why? I should say getting out of town and breathing some country air. It’s important to recharge and take some perspective. However, the cold reality is that I like to spend time in a dark room playing computer games – mainly both Apex Legends and PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) at the moment, I just love it!

What do you love most about your job? Working in the games industry and at SEGA is a dream job as I’m surrounded by innovative, clever, enthusiastic people. All my staff without exception are super smart and teach me something new every day without fail.

What was the last book you read? Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, which is a wild ride and a document of our time. However, for anyone seeking an adventure or a detour, I would recommend The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Making Classic Breads by Peter Reinhart. This book has revolutionised my breadmaking. What or who makes you laugh out loud? Comedian Bob Mortimer’s Twitter feed. Also, my old mate Clive has me in stitches with among other things, his contemporary dance. What’s your idea of the perfect day? A walk with my wife along the coast of St. Agnes in Cornwall, either in the sun or the rain – it doesn’t matter. Followed by dinner at the restaurant at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life? Don’t let anyone be the judge of what you are capable of and don’t let your class get in the way of your ambition. Three words to describe yourself? Unsubtle, inquisitive, impulsive.


What would you have liked to have done if you hadn’t taken this career path? Originally I went to college and trained as a chef for two years, working in kitchens for over five years with some amazing people. It was a rewarding, if very tough, profession. I would love to have continued cheffing and maybe to have been lucky enough to work in a top restaurant. If you could invent something, what would it be? A device that kicks me in the shins under the table when I’m about to say something unsubtle or unthoughtful. My wife who regularly performs this function is not always available. What has been your proudest achievement? That in spite of everything, the show is still on the road. Who or what inspires you? At the moment it’s the England Women’s national football team. They are very impressive. What advice would you give to recent graduates? Aim high, and if you think you are already aiming high, seriously, you can aim higher! Let’s go! ■


UPCOMING EVENTS Details of all alumni events and public lectures can be seen at

Ealing Vintage Lunch

Donors and Scholars Reception

Wednesday 13 November 2019, 11.45am for 12.15pm

Wednesday 18 March 2020, 3-5pm

Pillars restaurant, UWL, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London W5 5RF Join us for the vintage lunch 2019. All past staff and alumni of the hospitality school from 1948 to 1975 are warmly invited to attend this special event.

Pillars restaurant, UWL, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5RF The Annual Donors and Scholars Reception, in its tenth year, will be an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the University’s generous donors and talented students. Booking: by invitation only


School of Law Dinner Wednesday 27 November 2019, 6.30-9.30pm Pillars restaurant, UWL, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5RF Join us this November at the annual alumni dinner for the School of Law (formerly School of Law and Criminology). Our guest speaker for the evening will be eminent barrister Michael Mansfield QC. Law alumni and their guests are welcome.

Annual celebration for the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism (LGCHT). Thursday 26 March 2020, time to be confirmed Pillars restaurant, UWL, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5RF Join us for a lovely evening of food, drink and networking at the LGCHT annual celebration.


Booking: details to be released shortly

Music Matters

Annual Alumni Reception at the House of Lords

Thursday 12 March 2020, 9am-6pm Weston Hall, UWL, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5RF

Tuesday 12 May 2020, 6.30-8.30pm

A conference that will address how to embed music in the care of people living with dementia.

Join us for the annual alumni celebration in the iconic and prestigious surroundings of the House of Lords. Catch up with old friends, make new connections and enjoy a fascinating tour. All alumni and their guests are welcome.

Booking: details to be released shortly

Booking: details to be released shortly

Details correct at the time of publication.

To ensure you receive your invitation to these or any other future events, please update your contact details at


Office of Development and Alumni Relations University of West London St Mary’s Road Ealing London W5 5RF

+ 44 (0)20 8231 0188 University of West London UWLAlumniAssoc uwlalumni @UWLAlumni

Profile for University of West London (UWL) Alumni Community

Your University: The magazine for UWL alumni and friends, Winter 2019