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Benjamin Meunier2 March 2017

[copied from liblist]


Are you a migrant from one of the EU countries living, working or studying in London?

If so, CyberCitizens Theatre Collective would like to invite you to take part in their interactive installation project ‘The Homeland(s): real and imagined’, which will be part of the UCL Festival of Culture. The installation will be publicly displayed at UCL in June 2017.


We would like to hear your story of arriving in London. What were your first impressions? What does London mean to you? What made you feel at home here?

We will be recording a collection of short stories, which will be used to create an interactive sound and visual artwork.


If you would like to share your story, please contact us at contact@cybercitizens.org 


You can also check our website for updates and announcements about the project.

CyberCitizens | HOMELAND(S)


CyberCitizens: a collective of emerging theatre makers, interested in producing new and interactive theatre experiences.



The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris20 January 2017


In light of the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit earlier this week, I wanted to write to address what that means for UK universities. The full text of the speech can be read here. Universities UK has issued a response to this speech, which can be found here and which I give in full below.

European Parliament

Universities UK responded today to Theresa May’s speech on Brexit

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “We welcome the prime minister’s commitment to ensuring that the UK remains open to international talent. It was good also to hear her talking about the international strength of our university system and the importance of continuing to collaborate in cutting-edge research and innovation.

The UK’s university system is indeed world-leading. Much of this success is due to our ability to attract talented students and staff from around the world and the world-class research we produce with international partners.

There are currently nearly half a million international students at UK universities, with over 125,000 of them from EU countries. 16% of academic staff at UK universities are from EU countries, while 12% are from non-EU countries.

Brexit negotiations must ensure that the UK is still open to EU and international students and that we can continue to access valuable and collaborative European research networks. It was encouraging to hear that the prime minister would like to see the UK continue to play a role in certain EU programmes.

Brexit poses many challenges, but with the right Government support, universities can play a central role in the UK’s economic success and global influence outside the EU. This will, however, require reforms to our current immigration system to ensure that the most talented international students, researchers and university staff can come to the UK and are welcomed, regardless of their nationality.”

For more information on the implications of Brexit for UK universities, see UUK’s Brexit FAQs.

What does this mean?

The Prime Minister’s speech, and UUK’s response, were discussed at the Library’s SMT meeting earlier this week. The speech contains no firm policy positions as yet for Higher Education going forward. There are, however, welcome signs that the Government recognises the challenges posed by the ‘Hard Brexit’ line which will be adopted as a negotiating position: assurance for EU citizens working in the UK, and for UK nationals working abroad; access to EU research funding or future research funding programmes; access to the Erasmus programme underpinning student and staff mobility – these are some of the major issues on which University bodies in the UK will be lobbying Government.

In the Library, we are looking at the impact of Brexit on the value of the £ against foreign currencies, to see how that affects our ability to purchase materials from abroad. Despite currency fluctuations, the projection for the current budget year is that the Library should be able to carry on purchasing as usual. We will, however, continue to keep the position under review. UCL will also update its information and guidance on Brexit as discussions develop.

I want to state yet again that UCL Library Services is recognised as a major European research library, which is open to the world and open for collaborations and partnerships. All colleagues who work in the Library are valued for their professionalism and the contribution they make to the success of our service. This acknowledgement will be uppermost in the minds of University leaders as they lobby Government to address the challenges and to seize the opportunities that Brexit brings.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

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

Benjamin Meunier5 September 2016

After the forum on Brexit implications hosted by the Provost on 12/07 (you can watch the event in full here), you are invited to this follow-up event:  What will Brexit mean for UCL? – a forum for the UCL Community. The forum will be taking place Monday 12 September 2016, details and registration link below:

Timings: 11:30am – 1:30pm (registration from 11am)

Venue: Darwin Lecture Theatre


Panel Introduction and Q&A chaired by Lori Houlihan, Vice-Provost (Development)


Panel membership:

– Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)

– Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International)

– Michael Browne, Head of European Research & Innovation


Registration link and agenda: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/what-will-brexit-mean-for-ucl-a-forum-for-the-ucl-community-tickets-27305028074


The Director’s View: Innovation in practice

Paul Ayris13 July 2016

Sharing innovation across UCL Library Services

On 12 July, I attended the Staff Afternoon at the UCL Institute of Education’s Newsam Library and Archives. This is based on an event which the IOE has run in previous years, which gives staff a chance to tell colleagues about their work. The IOE used lightning sessions (10 minute informal presentations) to do this and the emphasis was on making them both informative and light-hearted.

What did I learn? Well, amongst many things, I heard about a year in the life of the IOE Library and Archives; and quite a lot about detective fiction which is set in educational establishments. I saw how useful the Erasmus program is, enabling members of staff to travel to other European countries to learn best practice. The ORSEM database, of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine) exam papers, was described in some detail. This was very timely, because I had just answered a copyright query for the IOE Library and Archives on the ORSEM database. 2012nov-ug13-d2-089External speakers from elsewhere in UCL Library Services were also invited to speak. We had a demonstration of contrasting forms of library video from across UCL; a detailed look at important research in the UCL Records Office about the early history of race and religion amongst University College’s first students; and an overview of the first year of publishing activity from UCL Press.

The afternoon was an excellent example of how to highlight best practice and build teams. Congratulations to Bernard Scaife and his colleagues for an enjoyable day, where I saw how innovation in practice can help shape the future development of libraries.

WhyWePostThe theme of innovation was continued in the evening when I attended the Chair of UCL Council’s Dinner in the Jeremy Bentham Room. This is an annual dinner hosted by the Chair of Council, Dame DeAnne Julius. The Chair of Council highlighted a number of developments across the whole of UCL, which she felt contributed to the growing success and importance of the University to Higher Education across the globe. To my great delight, one of the innovative initiatives to which the Chair drew attention was the first year of publishing in UCL Press. DeAnne underlined that the Press was the UK’s first fully Open Access University Press and that this was in the spirit of UCL’s tradition of radical, disruptive thinking. She highlighted the number of downloads that UCL Press monographs are receiving – over 30,000 in year 1 – and the large number of countries – over 160 – in which these downloads are being made.

The new Student Centre: Nicholas Hare Architects

The new Student Centre: Nicholas Hare Architects

In his response, the Provost also highlighted a number of important developments which will contribute to the growing success of UCL. One of the most significant is the creation of the new Student Centre, which is timetabled to open in the academic session 2018-19. This will deliver an extra 1,000 learning spaces into UCL and these will be managed, as all centrally-provided learning spaces are, by the Library. The Provost highlighted just what a tremendous impact the new Student Centre will have on the Student Experience.

12 July 2016 was a memorable day for me. Earlier that morning I had watched the livestream of the Town Meeting discussing the impact on UCL staff and students of the recent EU Referendum result. UCL is providing copious information, which I have shared here on the LibNet Blog. UCL truly values all its staff and students and will fight for the best outcome in the forthcoming negotiations. The IOE’s Staff Afternoon underlined the importance of innovative staff development and sharing ideas – a great model for everyone to follow. The Council Dinner in the evening made me realize once again just how valued UCL Library Services is in the UCL community and how proud I am to be a small part of the work which all colleagues in the Library contribute to our success.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services


The Director’s View: EU Referendum follow-up

Paul Ayris12 July 2016

EU Referendum news

I want to write to share further information with you on how UCL is managing the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union following the Referendum of 23 June.

Some days ago, I shared with the UCL Brexit Working Group a list of 13 questions which had been raised by members of Library staff about the implications of the Referendum result for them and their careers. These questions have been used to help formulate new information for EU nationals and students in UCL. These appear as a list of Frequently Asked Questions in a new webpage, which includes FAQs about the impact of the Referendum outcome on our staff and student community, including information about applying for UK citizenship: look here. UCL has also set up a helpline to provide information. If you have any queries which are not answered by the text on the website, please direct them to: eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk

Big Ben 558619_448617221849848_1734285370_nThree of the original questions from Library colleagues refer to local issues and I am happy to give answers to these questions here:

Question: Will UCL HR and the Library Services Personnel Team have the appropriate resource (staffing and financial) in place to deal with all the extra work in checking statuses, dealing with queries, and applying for work permits if and when necessary? Will UCL be prepared to apply for work permits if it becomes necessary for professional services staff?

Response: To ensure adequate resource allocation and process efficiency, the Personnel Team will work in partnership with HR Advisory to meet the requirements of any possible change in the visa processes.

Question: Will UCL be able to issue proof of employment, including contracts for those staff who do not have them, to all EU staff – especially those who wish to apply for residency or citizenship? NB: some staff are reporting that they do not have a formal contract.

Response: Any staff members who state they do not have a formal contract are to contact the Personnel Office who will follow up with HR Advisory to provide staff with a copy of their employment contract.

Question: Could guidance be issued to all recruiting managers as soon as possible to instruct them that there must be no discrimination against EU citizens applying for a job?

Response: Recruiting Managers are unaware of an applicant’s immigration status at the time of recruitment.  There is no possibility for the recruitment and selection panel to discriminate on the basis of immigration status.

Colleagues should know that the Provost is writing individually to each (non-British) EU member of staff in the coming days to re-assure them. If colleagues have not received a letter by Friday, I would recommend that they should contact the email address eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk

Also, there is a Town Hall meeting today (Tuesday) at 11.00: bookings can be made here.The event is also being livestreamed and the link is here – the Provost, Professor David Price and Wendy Appleby as well as Dame Nicola Brewer will be there to take questions on what Brexit means for UCL staff.

Let me re-assure colleagues once more that no changes will take place in the next 2 years, whilst details of the discussions between the UK and the European Union on their new relationship are agreed. UCL understands how sensitive these issues are and is lobbying hard for the best deal for EU nationals working in UCL, who are trusted and valued as an integral part of the UCL family.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services

The Director’s View: EU Referendum follow up

Paul Ayris1 July 2016

Procedures to follow in cases of alleged discriminatory behaviour

I am posting these lines following a request from colleagues to spell out what procedures should be followed in cases of alleged discriminatory behavour.

Jeremy Bentham, who invented the word 'international'

Jeremy Bentham, who invented the word ‘international’

First, I reiterate the statement UCL’s President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur has made that we have a zero tolerance approach to behaviour or incidents of a discriminatory nature.

Any incidents of a racial or other discriminatory nature within UCL are dealt with via UCL’s Dignity at Work statement.

Staff are welcome to discuss any incidents with their line manager or with the Library Services DEOLOs Breege Whiten (x31342) and Grazia Manzotti (x42156). You can raise incidents or behaviour that you have been directly involved in or incidents that you have witnessed.

Guidance can also be sought from the Library Services’ Personnel Team by contacting Margareth Ainley, Interim Departmental Personnel Manager. All incidents raised will be handled professionally and confidentially.

Incidents outside UCL can be reported by calling the police on 101, contacting Crimestoppers or using the True Vision website. True Vision (Association of Chief Police Officers) provides information and further guidance on identifying and reporting incidents of discrimination or hate crimes.

Colleagues should know that UCL has established a top-level Brexit ‘task and finish’ group, which is attended by the Provost. The role of this ‘task and finish’ group is to advise the Provost and guide UCL through the short-, medium- and long-term implications of Brexit, with a particular immediate focus on internal and external communication. I, as Head of the Division of Library Services, will be the contact between the group and the Library. I will share with you all pertinent news, alongside the group’s own public communications, and also discuss with the group pertinent issues of concern to Library colleagues.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services


From Rex Knight, Vice-Provost (Operations)

Paul Ayris29 June 2016

From the Vice-Provost (Operations): EU Referendum

Dear colleagues

I am writing because I want to reinforce some of the key messages that UCL has been communicating to staff and students in recent days.

EC-10847210_917071835004382_3074128324967377870_oFirst of all, we are all very conscious that we are entering on a period of uncertainty and the potential for major change. We will do our best to keep you informed as and when we know more about what the implications for UCL will be. We will be using The Week and our website for communication so please do look at them. If you haven’t seen the Provost’s video, which you can access from the home page, I would encourage you to do so.

Change is clearly on the way, but it is not coming quickly. Once a new Prime Minister is appointed and has appointed their Government, time will be  needed to decide a negotiating position, and the exit process from that date will take two years to negotiate and then several years (ten years has been suggested) to implement. So, nothing will change for the next two and a half years at least, and changes will not be immediate thereafter.

There are some obvious implications for UCL in terms of staff recruitment, student recruitment and access to research funding. As I have already said, we will have time to plan for change. I don’t believe that any Government will want to harm the UK’s world-class universities, so I am sure that in the negotiations steps will be taken to protect the interests of universities, and through UUK and the Russell Group we have effective mechanisms for lobbying. Given the strength of UCL, our reputation and world-leading performance, I am confident that we will be able to anticipate, plan for, and deal with the challenges ahead, so I am confident that we will be able to deal with any challenges we face without a major impact on us.

As with the rest of the UCL community, the fact that Professional Services at UCL attracts staff from around the world is a source of our strength, and something that we celebrate. It has been saddening to see recent reports from around the UK of an increase in reporting of racist incidents and comments. I have no reason to expect that this will be an issue at UCL, but I would like to send a clear message to all staff that any such behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If any colleague is subject to such unacceptable behaviour I would encourage them to report it, and it will be taken seriously. Whatever happens with our relationship with the EU, we are all committed to tolerance, respect, and fairness for all.

Best wishes

Rex Knight

Vice-Provost (Operations)

The Director’s View: EU Referendum and a Statement from BIS

Paul Ayris28 June 2016

Statement from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science

Following on from my posting of earlier today, I would like to share with you a Statement from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, which addresses the issues which are of importance to UK universities going forward:

‘EU and international students make an important contribution to our world-class universities, and our European neighbours are among some of our closest research partners.

European ParliamentThere are obviously big discussions to be had with our European partners, and I look forward to working with the sector to ensure its voice is fully represented and that it continues to go from strength to strength.

EU students who are eligible under current rules to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company will continue to do so for courses they are currently enrolled on or about to start this coming year. The Master’s Loans launched today are also still available to eligible EU students. EU students will continue to receive funding for the duration of their courses. Information on the eligibility criteria, including residency rules, is available. The SLC have provided more information at ‘EU Nationals and Student Finance in England’

Further future funding arrangements with the EU will be determined as part of the UK’s discussions on its membership and we will provide what updates and clarity we can.

As the Prime Minister has stated, there will be no immediate changes following the EU Referendum, including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living here. This includes those studying or working at UK universities.

For students, visitors, businesses and entrepreneurs who are already in the UK or who wish to come here, there will be no immediate change to our visa policies.

The referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017. The UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme will be determined as a part of wider discussions with the EU.

More broadly, existing UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue to be subject to current arrangements.

Horizon 2020 research funding
The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European science funding will be a matter for future discussions. Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research’

I hope this is helpful, and I will continue to share news with you as things develop.


Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services

The Director’s View: EU Referendum and Provost’s video

Paul Ayris28 June 2016

Provost’s Video

I am writing in the light of my recent post on the UK’s EU Referendum to invite all colleagues in UCL Library Services to view the new video from the EC-10847210_917071835004382_3074128324967377870_oProvost which addresses some of the immediate questions which staff and students have been posing.

Universities UK and the Russell Group of research-intensive universities are working to safeguard future access to EU funding streams, including for research via Horizon 2020, ERC (European Research Council) and Marie Curie, and for Erasmus exchanges. We will also be working to ensure that staff from other member states of the EU maintain a right to remain and work. We will be fighting to ensure that we maintain the right to free movement of staff and students from Europe and the rest of the world.

I will continue to write on this issue as things develop. Finally, and importantly, the most worrying aspect of the way that this debate has been promoted by the Leave campaign is that it has played on xenophobia and racism. Please know that if you are subject to any form of abuse, or if you witness any, that this is unacceptable behaviour and you will have my full support and that of UCL in addressing it.


Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services

The Director’s View: Referendum result

Paul Ayris24 June 2016

Referendum result

I am writing following the Provost’s e-mail to all-staff today, in light of the result of yesterday’s EU Referendum. I want particularly to echo the Provost’s words when he writes: ‘Today, more than ever, I want to reaffirm to you all that UCL will remain a global university through our outlook, people and enduring international partnerships. I also want in particular to address UCL’s staff and students from all countries of the European Union. We value you enormously – your contribution to UCL life is intrinsic to what the university stands for.’

University bodies such as Universities UK and the Russell Group of research-intensive universities are already working to support the position of the UK’s outstanding HEC-10847210_917071835004382_3074128324967377870_oE infrastructure following the result of the Referendum. The Russell Group has already said: ‘The UK has not yet left the EU so it is important that our staff and students from other member countries understand that there will be no immediate impact on their status at our universities.’

Clearly, there are significant challenges for the UK and for UK universities to tackle in the coming weeks and months. If any member of UCL Library Services staff has a particular concern about the impact of the Referendum result, they should raise the matter with their immediate line manager. We can then discuss any pertinent issues with UCL to identify what the solution could be.

Change is an opportunity, as well as a challenge. We greatly value all our staff members and their contribution to the success of the Library’s services. I can assure you that this will not change.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services