UCL envisages study quarter

March 26, 2004

University College London hopes to establish a university quarter in the capital, creating a largely traffic-free oasis around the Bloomsbury area.

A coherent urban campus shared by the Bloomsbury colleges and stretching from Euston to the British Museum, with restoration of the many squares, traffic-calming and pedestrianisation, landscaping and lighting, would create a haven within the capital.

The campus would integrate UCL and Birkbeck College, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the School of Pharmacy, the Institute of Education, the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The proposal is outlined in plans for UCL drafted by provost Malcolm Grant.

The proposals, which are open for consultation, will be discussed by the UCL council next month.

But while greater cooperation with the other colleges in the locality is on the agenda, Professor Grant also questions the value to UCL of its membership of the University of London.

The paper states: "It is difficult to understand what added value the University of London brings to UCL. There are important questions to be addressed about the efficiency of operation and the transparency of governance within the University of London - and about our future relationship with it.

"Given the shortage of resources, are we making the most of our relationship with the University of London? Should we be seeking fundamental reforms of the University of London? Are there opportunities for enhancing our teaching and research in collaboration with the Bloomsbury institutions that we should be pursuing?"

  • UCL and its sister hospital have recruited a 50-strong research team headed by Ian Jacobs from Barts and the London NHS Trust.

Professor Jacobs will head a new department of gynaecological oncology, dedicated to the screening, prevention and treatment of ovarian cancers and other malignancies that affect women. UCL and UCLH will also create an institute of women's health.

Professor Jacobs will bring with him £25 million of research grants from the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the National Health Service and other sources.

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