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Wellbeing@UCL launch event

GuestBlogger26 January 2017

pencil-iconWritten by Faaiza Bokhari (UCL Occupational Health & Wellbeing)

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur and Karen Smith, UCL Wellbeing Consultant

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur
and Karen Smith, UCL Wellbeing Consultant

Wellbeing isn’t just about ourselves, but also about what we can do for others – this was something that UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur was keen to emphasise at the launch of Wellbeing@UCL – UCL’s five-year wellbeing strategy for the whole of the UCL community.

On 18 January, I attended the launch in the South Cloisters as a member of the UCL Occupational Health and Wellbeing team, which has been working on the wellbeing strategy as part of a new holistic approach to occupational health. More than 500 staff and students attended on the day, demonstrating the importance of wellbeing to our staff and students.

The buzz around the event was fantastic, and it was great to see so many people coming together for something that could prove really valuable to the community. Attendees were interested to find out more about UCL’s future plans, particularly the six ‘pillars’ of the Wellbeing@UCL strategy, and spending time on the Occupational Health and Wellbeing stand gave me the opportunity to connect with people one-on-one.

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What will Brexit mean for UCL? – a forum for the UCL community

GuestBlogger13 July 2016

pencil-iconWritten by Tom Butler (UCL Philosophy)

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur addresses audience membersIn reaction to the political confusion that has occurred following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, a Q&A session was arranged to provide some clarity about what Brexit means for UCL’s staff and students.

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, was joined by colleagues Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research); Wendy Appleby, UCL Registrar and Nigel Waugh, Director of UCL Human Resources, each providing insight from their own professional backgrounds. Completing the panel was Simon Kenny, a lawyer working for firm Eversheds in their immigration practice. The discussion was chaired by Dame Nicola Brewer, UCL Vice-Provost (International).

The event was an opportunity for staff and students, particularly those from countries within the EU, to find answers to any queries they had regarding Brexit.

As the event progressed, it became clear that there were two types of questions being presented to the panel: firstly, individuals asked for advice about what they should do with regard to the EU referendum result; and secondly, staff and students asked what actions UCL was taking and planning to take.

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International Women’s Day: Inspiring women, and what’s funny about Everyday Sexism?

MelissaBradshaw16 March 2016

“If we didn’t have a pretty awesome sense of humour there’d be a f*** load more murders.”

Just one of many memorable quotes from two of UCL’s many International Women’s Day events.

Inspiring women

“I don’t think you should apply for that job. They don’t take women, or people from red brick universities”, Nicola Brewer was told. She is now Dame Nicola Brewer, and UCL’s Vice-Provost (International), having held roles such as the first Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Dame Brewer was listing a series of pieces of advice she’d been given. “I’d like you to guess if I followed them.” The answer was always obviously “no you didn’t!”

Nicola Brewer

Dame Nicola Brewer

Defiance

Defiance or doing things in spite of obstacles was a refrain at the afternoon of ‘Inspiring Women, where several prominent women in academia took to the stage for a session of career reflection and inspiration

Those obstacles ranged from having to give a lecture holding a baby, to homelessness: and the achievements were great.

Dr Celia Caulcott UCL Vice-Provost (Enterprise) claimed that she is 10 years behind her male peers. “That’s the 10 years I took out for my family. I’m so glad I did.”  She also wrote the paper for doubling the funding for the human genome project, and as the Executive Director, Innovation and Skills at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, she changed part of the system of innovation and discovery in the UK.

“I’m telling you this in a light-hearted way,” said Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, telling us how she made her way up from homelessness, divorce, and trying to do a PhD as a single mum with three children.

“But I did spend a lot of time quietly weeping while the children were in bed.” When rejected for housing benefit, she consulted the law statute books, found out the council were wrong, and kept a roof over her head. She is now UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Africa and the Middle East). (more…)

UCL Annual Scholarships and Bursaries Reception 2016

GuestBlogger5 February 2016

Written by Bronwen Butler, Geography (International programme) BA.

To kick off philanthropy month on February 1st UCL held its annual Scholarships and Bursaries Reception. The event has gone from strength to strength each year; from a tiny affair which Provost Michael Arthur jokingly said “could have been held in a broom cupboard” to a vibrant event to which over 500 people are invited to celebrate UCL, the generosity of its donors and the importance of philanthropy.

(small) RWD16_UCL Scholarship Event_127

Image: (left – right): Professor Geraint Rees, Provost Michael Arthur, Naimeh Masumy, Janie Gammans, Maureen Amar, Richard Jenkins

President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur opened the event with a warm welcome to all the donors, staff and recipients in attendance. He discussed the importance of the UCL philanthropic Campaign and the university’s achievement as one of the top universities at fundraising in the UK this year. He briefly looked to UCL’s future developments before introducing the first student speaker Naimeh Masumy.

Naimeh Masumy is a full time LLM Law Student at UCL, originally from Iran. She is an ambitious young woman who has clearly battled against the odds to be here. Naimeh is a student with a bright future in the energy law sector but she is one of many people who simply could not think about life at UCL without a scholarship:

 “I have to say I would not be here without the Ardalan Family Scholarship. In my whole life, I have come to realize that education is the most transcendent gift one can be given, and the Ardalan Scholarship gave me that gift, it allowed me to have a foot in the door of the future, a future I was once unable to envision”.

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