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05 October 2017

King's launches inaugural London Stories publication

King's College London today launches the first edition of an annual publication highlighting the projects, partnerships, research and student initiatives that demonstrate how King's is helping London to address its challenges and opportunities.

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London Stories demonstrates the breadth and depth of King’s commitment and connectivity to the city in which we live, work and learn. One of the five underpinning pillars of King’s Vision 2029 is its London ambitions: for the university to make a valuable contribution to the capital’s health and success through collaborations that both draw London into King’s and put King’s expertise to work in ways that have meaning for London. By 2029, King’s aims to be regarded throughout the world as London’s leading civic university.

The publication will be unveiled at a breakfast launch jointly hosted by the President & Principal, Professor Edward Byrne and the Assistant Principal (London), Deborah Bull, bringing together colleagues from across the university representing the departments, research collaborations, partnerships and student societies from which the stories are drawn.

Left to right: Deborah Bull (Assistant Principal, London), Anya Johti (President, KCL STAR), Professor Edward Byrne AC (President & Principal, King's College London
Left to right: Deborah Bull (Assistant Principal, London), Anya Johti (President, KCL STAR), Professor Edward Byrne AC (President & Principal, King's College London

London Stories demonstrates some of the many ways in which King’s is delivering on its ambition to contribute to London’s health and success, fulfilling its role as a major institution at the heart of the capital. The publication features, amongst other stories:

  • King’s Maths School. A state-funded school in south London that is one of the highest-achieving in the UK, run in partnership with King’s.
  • King’s Legal Clinic. A service from King’s law students offering free legal advice to the public (and a valuable hands on learning experience).
  • The Thames Plastic Lab. Bringing together King’s academics in the Departments of Geography, Chemistry and Informatics, King’s students, an artist-in-residence and London schools to highlight the impact of plastic waste on our environment.
  • K+. King’s flagship widening participation programme supporting students from non-selective state schools across London and Greater London.
  • Urban Mind. An app that gathers data on city living to understand how urban environments affect mental wellbeing, developed in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, with external partners.
  • Commission on London. A two-year King’s Policy Institute study which looks at future challenges and issues facing London and their possible solutions.

Representing one of the many ways in which King’s students interact with and contribute to London is Anya Johti, President of the KCL STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Society, which provides homework support for children from refugee backgrounds now living in London. Speaking at the launch of London Stories, Anya described the work of the KCL STAR student volunteers: ‘The homework club offers support with maths, English and science and also runs fun activities. It helps improve the confidence of the children, many of whom cannot find support with their homework at home as their parents are unable to speak, read or write enough English to help.’

The Principal, Professor Edward Byrne highlighted the London Stories as examples of how the university puts its energy and expertise to work in London: ‘Together, these stories serve to show the breadth and depth of our commitment and connectivity to the city in which we live, work and learn. They demonstrate the value we place on collaboration and partnership and underline how our relationships in the city have the power to enhance the student experience, increase the relevance of our research and enable us to play a greater civic role in the city we call home.’

Also speaking at the launch Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal (London), said: ‘London is central to King’s Strategic Vision 2029 and these stories bring that vision to life. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and London ever more complex, its universities have an imperative to rediscover their civic purpose – to draw down global connections to deliver local benefits, support place-making, develop talent and bring together diverse voices to spark new ideas. Partnership with London is not an end in itself – it’s an effective way of achieving the ambitions we’ve set ourselves on the road to our 200th anniversary.’

Representatives of King's SMILE Society
Representatives of King's SMILE Society

Strategic Vision 2029

King’s Strategic Vision 2029 is King’s College London’s newly launched strategy to 2029, the university’s 200th anniversary. It was developed by the King’s community of students and staff and is an articulation of how King’s will make the world a better place by focusing on five key strategic priorities: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; an international community that serves the world.

The Vision demonstrates how King’s will continue to inspire future generations, through a rounded education, to be the critical thinkers, problem solvers and change-makers the world needs. Through the highest quality disciplinary research and interdisciplinary collaborations, King’s staff and students will contribute insights into and solutions for the world’s many diverse challenges. As a community of staff, students, partners and collaborators, King’s will serve the needs and aspirations of society both locally and across the globe.

Read London Stories 2017

Together, these stories serve to show the breadth and depth of our commitment and connectivity to the city in which we live, work and learn. They demonstrate the value we place on collaboration and partnership and underline how our relationships in the city have the power to enhance the student experience, increase the relevance of our research and enable us to play a greater civic role in the city we call home.

Professor Edward Byrne, Principal

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