UCL's global citizenship programme makes coursework impactful

Updated: Oct 31, 2014, 12:51 PM IST

University College London offers extra-curricular and academic courses that enhance a student's study life. Prachi Rege takes a sneak peak into the new programmes.

With corporates around the world going global in their business vision, it is time for students, who will be tomorrow’s professionals to also be trained to function globally. Keeping this world view in mind, the University College London (UCL) has launched a two-week programme of additional activities for its undergraduate students across streams.

Called the Global Citizenship programme, UCL’s new initiative aims to boost their studies and impact the world by giving the students a chance to use their knowledge in a global context, learn new skills and see the world differently. "Under this programme we train students to look beyond their horizon and be aware of their individual responsibilities in the globalised 21st century," says Anthony Smith, vice provost, education and student affairs, UCL.

He further adds that activities of global citizenship programme will enable students to broaden their network. Some of the benefits of the programme are:

- Meeting new students

- Engaging with potential employers

- Seeing the bigger economic picture

- Becoming more aware of the complex global problems

- Learning extra skills and,

- Developing a professional edge through project work

Under the citizenship programme, the first year undergraduates focus on the research topics for the UCL Grand Challenge in the following four areas:

- Global Health

- Sustainable Cities

- Intercultural Interaction and

- Human Wellbeing

The programme is multidisciplinary, interactive and deliberately different from the student’s degree programme. "There's no specialist knowledge required and no work to be completed beforehand, leaving the student free to concentrate on his/ her degree exams," informs Smith.

The second and final year undergraduates are offered vocational courses on topics like enterprise, employability and the voluntary sector. This also includes work placements with local and national charity partners. "In the final year the priority is given to practical training, preparing the student for the real world work life," says Smith.

Academic courses:

With a focus on interdisciplinary study and research, UCL has launched a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc) degree programme. Modules in humanities, engineering and science are offered under this course coupled with an internship, and also an optional year abroad to hone language skills.

Students with a background in general science and engineering can apply to the University's new courses in Web Science and Big Data Analytics. The programme covers fundamental aspects of the web technology and big data. Topics like information search and retrieval, data mining and analytics, cloud computing, e-commerce and their business economic models, latest concepts of web 2.0 and social networks, artificial intelligence, finance, software engineering and machine vision are in the curriculum.

"We also have a customised course in Web Science and Big Data Analytics that is more research led, but is highly flexible and specific to suit the specific needs of students. It is geared to address a specific technical problem that the industry is facing in a cost-effective way," says Smith.

UCL Grand Challenges aims to:

• Cultivate leadership founded in excellence

• Foster cross-disciplinarity grounded in expertise

• Realise the impact of a global university