Happy New Year!
As semester two begins, it has been wonderful to feel the buzz of activity returning to our University after a well-deserved break over the festive period.
It feels great to be back on campus, welcoming new and returning students, and feeling energised by the myriad of exciting events, activities and opportunities at Westminster.
Just yesterday I had the pleasure of opening our fabulous new sports hall at Harrow – the Den – home of the Westminster Dragons. This new space has been designed to meet the fantastic growth in engagement with our Sports Clubs and Societies over the last year – with more than 10,000 students now active; making friends, having fun. The Den further supports the wellbeing of our Westminster students by encouraging participation in our wider University community, as well as providing a space for our amazing Dragons teams to further grow and flourish. Go Dragons!
For 2024, our focus remains on realising the ambitions of our Being Westminster strategy:
In Education, our students’ experience and wellbeing will continue to be our priority. We will further develop our authentic learning approaches which equip our students so brilliantly for the world of work, as great global citizens.
In Research and Knowledge Exchange, we will continue our endeavours to grow the impact of our distinct programmes for a more sustainable, equitable and healthier world.
In Employability, we will expand our employer networks and increase student engagement in our innovative and impactful programmes, particularly internationally.
In Global Engagement, we will further strengthen the support for our community of international students here at Westminster and will enhance our transnational education partnerships maintaining our distinctive identity and positive impacts as a truly global university.
In Sustainable Development, we will embed the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in our practices, including the design of our courses and our approach to authentic learning.
Meanwhile, wellbeing and inclusion will continue to guide all our behaviours and delivery, creating a place, culture and environment where everyone can feel safe and be themselves. This work is ongoing and encompasses a huge range of activity.
It is in the areas of Employability and Global Engagement that your contributions as volunteers, partners and ambassadors are most crucial. As a global alumni network, your connections, experience and support are an invaluable resource for current Westminster students.
As our links with you continue to grow, so does your commitment to supporting current students through our employability programmes – as mentors, speakers, hosts and ambassadors.
For those of you already engaged, we are so grateful for all the time you are dedicating to our students. For those of you not yet engaged, I would like to encourage you to become an active volunteer, mentor or supporter of our students at the University. You can find out more here.
To support our employability objectives described above, we would also be very keen to hear from you if you are able to provide internships, placements or employment opportunities for our students, especially those of you based outside of the UK. We have a real need and ambition to help our students find their way into work around the world.
For those of you who have recently graduated and are looking to develop your employability skills, there are plenty of career events and resources available. From workshops for budding entrepreneurs and freelancers, to our Graduate Success series for more general careers support. Make the most of what is on offer and start the year off with some positive progress in your career.
There is so much for us to build on together this year, and I very much look forward to continuing to work together and support each other in 2024.
All best wishes