UCL East opens with promise to ‘break down academic boundaries’

Research heavyweight seeks to tackle the world’s major problems in single biggest expansion in 200 years

September 18, 2023
Source: James Tye / UCL

UCL is preparing to launch its new east London campus, which seeks to harness the power of the research heavyweight to tackle the biggest challenges the world faces.

The Bloomsbury-based institution has expanded into Stratford’s Olympic Park with two new buildings: One Pool Street – which opened last year next to the London Aquatics Centre – and Marshgate, which sits next to the London Stadium and Sir Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit.

It is the single largest expansion in the university’s near 200-year history and is designed to encourage a focus on environmental issues and “breaking down boundaries between academic disciplines”.

UCL East will be joined later this month in what is being called the “East Bank culture, innovation and learning quarter” by the University of the Arts London, whose London College of Fashion is moving from its current location just off Oxford Street in central London. 

Other cultural institutions including Sadler’s Wells East, the V&A East and BBC Music Studios are due to open in the next few years, thanks to significant investment from the Mayor of London, including a £100 million grant given to UCL.

Stratford has undergone significant redevelopment after London hosted the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Several other universities now have a presence in the park, with the London branch campuses of Staffordshire, Loughborough and Teesside universities based in nearby Here East and the University of East London’s Stratford campus also nearby.

The pro-provost of UCL East, Paola Lettieri, said the new campus was intended to “expose [students] to new ways of thinking and working across disciplines in spaces that encourage people to talk and cross-pollinate different ideas”.

“The world is facing unprecedented challenges in areas such as climate, decarbonisation and sustainability,” she said. “I’m confident our new UCL East campus will foster even more of the breakthroughs and discoveries that UCL is renowned for.”

Marshgate will welcome its first undergraduate and postgraduate students from 25 September. The eight-storey building hosts research labs, a library and exhibition spaces.

It will be home to research centres including the Advanced Propulsion Lab, which will focus on decarbonisation of the transport sector, and the Manufacturing Futures Lab, which focuses on sustainability in manufacturing.

One Pool Street has been open since Autumn 2022 and includes teaching spaces, a cinema and accommodation for more than 500 students.

UCL’s president, Michael Spence, said the campus was “the culmination of years of hard work alongside local and global partners who share our vision and passion for excellence”.

He said it was “part of an investment of young minds and energy to drive local innovation that can transform lives”. 

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “UCL East will attract scholars from across the world who will nurture and inspire students for generations to come, helping to build a better London for everyone.”


Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Related articles

Related universities