University of East London's 'twofold approach' during the Covid pandemic


University and College Union members are due to strike over planned redundancies at the University of East London. - Credit: Google Maps

What a 12 months it has been.

Our focus at the University of East London (UEL) over this period has been twofold. Firstly, to support the wellbeing – mental and physical – of our students and staff, and secondly, to continue to provide the highest level of careers-focused education to 17,000 learners from across the world.

Our dual-delivery model has been a real success. We’ve embraced the latest technology, innovated with learning methods and brought along with us, through a significant level of hardship funding, those who may not have had sufficient access to IT equipment or digital services.

Dr Ian Pickup, chief operating officer, University of East London

Dr Ian Pickup, UEL, explains how the university coped with the Covid pandemic - Credit: UEL

We have worked hard to mitigate the spread of the virus. Our asymptomatic testing centre at the Docklands Campus remains open and provides a vital service to all those within the UEL family, as well as to several community organisations.

On a related note, I can announce that we have just been approved as a vaccination pop-up centre. It reflects on the superb work of the test centre and builds on our efforts to support the residents of Newham and beyond.

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Finally, as we start to come out of lockdown, I’d like to highlight just a couple of examples of the work our people have done during the pandemic to support others.

Four law students who have been undertaking a placement in the office of MP Stephen Timms have played a very significant role. With legal aid in short supply, Mark Fallon, Oluwabunmi Otunuga, Patricia Mckenzie and Faridah Adeyemo have been supporting constituents on a number of cases, ranging from housing to financial disputes.

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And to Rob Waterson, director of careers and enterprise in our school of health, sport and bioscience, I extend my sincere gratitude for the work he has done to support and advise staff at NHS Nightingale.

The Nightingale recently closed its doors, leaving hundreds of its staff pondering the next step of their journey. Rob took it upon himself to advise over 60 staff on the options available to them, both at UEL and in the wider fields of nursing and healthcare.

I wish you all a safe and happy summer.

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