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Donors who gave a total of £32,125 towards the work of the Centre for Access to Justice in 2013/14.


“Society has grown comfortable with black people in sport or music, [but] it has a problem with black people leading in public life and academia. This [idea] that black life is… anti-intellectual still echoes down the corridors of time.” These are the words of Dr William Ackah, Lecturer in Community and Voluntary Sector Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, speaking at an event hosted by UCL and chaired by President and Provost Michael Arthur in March 2014.

There are just 85 black professors out of 18,510 in the UK, and while the proportion of black students has increased steadily each year and now stands at six per cent, the percentage of black professors shows a striking disparity, remaining at around 0.4% (according to the Equality Challenge Unit’s annual statistical report).

Shirley Anne Tate, Associate Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, said black academics were often excluded from academic networks crucial for advancement and struggled to find mentors, because black academics were seen as outsiders. Meanwhile, Dr Lisa Amanda Palmer, a lecturer in working with children, young people and families at Newman University, Birmingham, claimed that university campuses were like the “colonies” of British imperial times, “where intellectual power and authority are [always] white”.

According to one blogger the event, “Why isn’t my professor black?”, which was attended by around 350 people, was “an insightful event that exposed racial issues in the academic system”.


Olympic site proposal

Plans for a new campus on the site of the 2012 London Olympics have been unveiled, part of the University’s vision for the future.

Based on the initial ideas, and if approved, some buildings at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site could be finished as soon as 2018, with an academic presence of more than 3,000 students and 450 academic and non-academic staff by 2025.

According to Vice-Provost Professor Stephen Caddick: “Our new ‘open, connected campus’ – UCL East – will provide a unique environment for university researchers and educators to work side by side with researchers and innovators from other organisations, and with entrepreneurs. It is a striking example of our future vision being strongly influenced by the UCL 2034 strategy, focusing on the longer term and with a renewed commitment to working in partnership with, and for, London.

“There will also be a strong focus on attracting experts from across disciplines and sectors, and for the campus to attract and facilitate interactions between large international corporations, small businesses and universities. In short, a university campus fit for the 21st century.”


Image produced by Stanton Williams as part of a visioning exercise in preparation for a Masterplan competition soon to be announced.

  • Contents 2014/15Contents 2014/15
  • DeconstructedDeconstructed
  • LettersLetters
  • New Centre for Brain ScienceNew Centre for Brain Science
  • Free RadicalFree Radical
  • Jeremy Bentham SpeaksJeremy Bentham Speaks
  • Why isn’t my professor black?Why isn’t my professor black?
  • Extra CurricularExtra Curricular
  • The Strong RoomThe Strong Room
  • CloisteredCloistered
  • Market EconomyMarket Economy
  • Head in the CloudsHead in the Clouds
  • R is for ReadingR is for Reading
  • Back to the FutureBack to the Future
  • On BeautyOn Beauty
  • Hello London!Hello London!
  • Cruciformed medicsCruciformed medics
  • A vision for 2034A vision for 2034
  • Reading ListReading List
  • London  vs  WorldLondon vs World
Portico Issue 1. 2014/15