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SITE: Students in the East



Mapping UCL’s involvement in London

By ucfapay, on 20 March 2017

As a university in London, UCL is located in a huge, diverse city with many different communities. A key part of the student experience is the ability of students to get involved in these communities, and visit parts of London that are different from Bloomsbury and the university atmosphere, hopefully leading to them having a sense not just of studying at UCL, but of living in London. So, how does UCL perform in this aspect of student life?

UCL has various different types of involvement in many parts of London, including placements for students from the Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) as well as other organisations. However, it seems that knowing about and accessing these opportunities is not so simple for students. The student experience coordinator of UCL’s School of Management in Canary Wharf told us how she was approached by a student who wanted to get involved in the local community, but was unsure how to do this or even what the local community was. The VSU told us that, although it’s possible that volunteering activities in East London have increased since the announcement of UCL East, they don’t have any way to confirm this. When we met with staff from the Centre for Access to Justice, who have a legal advice clinic in Stratford that provides pro bono legal services, they talked about how they were never sure what other community outreach projects UCL was doing in the area, as there is often no communication between departments about these projects.

We think we’ve found a gap in resources that we may be able to help provide: a map that locates all of UCL’s volunteering placements, community outreach programmes, and general activities throughout London. This map would provide students and staff with information about what is happening where. To start with, we have a list of addresses where the VSU and the Centre for Access to Justice have involvements. We’re hoping that after the conclusion of the Students in the East project, the map could be continued, with each department and project adding their own inputs until we have a comprehensive map that students and staff can use to see the spread of UCL’s outreach in London.

By Azra Gordy

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