I arrived in London on Sunday morning and had the rest of the day to check into my hotel and stroll around the city. Even from the outside, the campus of UCL looked impressive and huge - especially the typical red brick style is beautiful.
Lesley Coles - The British Education System
On Monday, we were warmly welcomed; about 20 people from 13 different countries, mainly staff from International Offices, gathered and presented their universities to the other participants.
After a typically English lunch - consisting of sandwiches - we were taken on a tour through the main building of UCL. In the course of this tour, we learned a lot about Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the university, whose body is mummified and exhibited in the university. The “Jeremy Bentham Project” aims to compile the countless works of Bentham.
Tuesday morning we spent with the women of “ASTREA” of UCL, who fight for gender equality through supporting female staff and through fighting for better chances for women in leadership positions. In the afternoon, we attended a very interesting and intensive lecture about the complex British school system. It consists of three very different systems combined into one. Even within London, the various districts use different systems; therefore, even neighboring districts can have dissimilar structures. We also talked about the “ranking” of the “good” schools and the problems involved.
On Wednesday, we were able to watch short summaries of the interesting workshops of the group “CPD@PaLS” of UCL. These included “Presentation and media skills for non-native speakers” and the very interesting taster workshop “Contemporary English Pronunciation” by Dr. Geoff Lindsey.
On Thursday, we had time at our disposal in order to enjoy the city’s cultural offerings.
On Friday, we could choose which department to visit. I personally chose the Institute of Education “IOE”, which was very interesting. The visit of the three-story library (Europe’s biggest “Educational library”) was the highlight of the short, but intensive tour of the building. The student service point, a contact point for all potential problems of the students, also impressed me. The competent employees either handle inquires and problems themselves or forward them immediately to colleagues from respective areas.
After lunch, which the university provided, we received our “letters of attendance” and reluctantly said goodbye to an immensely interesting and nice stay at this beautiful and large university.