10 actually good things that happened to London unis in 2020

Despite the train wreck that was this year, there was still a lot of good that came about for our London universities.

There’s no denying that 2020 was a bad year and if anyone says otherwise they are lying. However, that doesn’t mean to say that it was all doom and gloom. Some good things did happen in London.

During this appalling year, students and academics across London have done their bit in making this year a bit less dreadful. From medical advancements to media projects to volunteering there are some good things in amongst all those really really horrible ones.

So we put together a list of some of the good things that took place across London unis in 2020.

1. UCL came to the forefront with the production of new ventilators 

The non-invasive UCL-Ventura breathing aid was developed in under 100 hours and was deployed to nearly 50 NHS hospitals across the country. Using around 70% less oxygen than the original model of the ventilator, these far more efficient ventilators showed UCL playing a vital role in the fight against COVID.

2. The University of London committed to promoting race equality

Consequently to the Black Lives Matter movement this summer, University of London took a number of steps suggested by the University’s Race Equality Group. These included the encouragement of applications from BAME staff, ensuring diverse interview panels, and Unconscious Bias and Race Awareness training for all staff.

The staff of the School of Advanced Study have also developed a programme with a focus on race equality, including the creation of an oral history of the Windrush Generation, national efforts to decolonise the history curriculum, and a new seminar series on Black British History.

3. City University opened a new law school building

After two years of construction, City University finally opened the doors to its new City Law School Building. This new and shiny building can be found on Sebastian Street.

The building includes a law library, mock courtroom and new lecture theatre.

4. The Goldsmith Carrots

Does anyone actually know what happened to the 30 tonnes of carrots dumped on Goldsmiths campus?

Whether you considered them to be a work of art or a complete waste, at least students got to fill up on carrot cake (and raise over £1600 for local food banks)

5. The University of London’s collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency

The UN agency employs over 18,000 people with the aim to aid and protect refugees and stateless people. This year UoL signed an agreement enabling all UN Refugee Agency employees to be eligible for a 10% bursary for UoL’s master’s programme in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies, which offers a legal, practical and theoretical understanding of refugee protection and forced migration.

6. Imperial once again outincelled every London Uni with their extensive Covid Research material 

The research is incredible, like genuinely super useful. A total game-changer for understanding Covid but the moral of the story is: such useful material could only be produced by some next level nerds. The elite incels to end all incels, Imperial College London.

7. UCL crushed Kings at Varsity

TeamUCL absolutely hammered Kings at Varsity. TeamUCL crushed KCLSU in all the following sports at  in Varsity this spring: Climbing and Mountaineering, Swimming, Women’s Waterpolo, Men’s Hockey, Weightlifting, Women’s Fencing, Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse, Tennis, American Football, RUMS Women’s Hockey, Basketball, Badminton, Men’s & Women’s Volleyball, Taekwondo, Netball, Cycling, Ultimate Frisbee, RUMS Men’s Football and RUMS Netball.

TeamUCL Women’s Lacrosse

8. LCC Students volunteered with charities across London to help their marketing

Students from London College of Communication offered their services to help end poverty and inequality across parts of London. They have helped groups who have faced adversity because of Covid-19 and are helping them to communicate their mission to their communities through innovative design, media and screen solutions. 

9. LSE set up a project dedicated to shining light on the forgotten women of the past 

It’s really heartwarming to see LSE students doing something that isn’t stressing about their spring week/ vac scheme. After Professor Patrick Wallis found a handwritten historical source from Lock Asylum in the 1800s, many students have taken to transcribing the register in the hopes of bringing to light the lives of these forgotten women. Read more about the project here. 

10. Students from across London have tried to make the best of a bad job

Sports teams have raised thousands for charity during the pandemic. Medical Students from across London have stepped up, volunteering in hospitals, putting themselves out into the field or offering child care facilities for frontline workers.

Other students have worked for charities and many other startups that have been essential during the pandemic such as Medic Mind. Creatives have produced podcasts, digital art exhibitions, fashion labels and much much more.

Students have called for universities to acknowledge the Death of George Floyd and seek justice for current black students. They’ve attended rent strikes, worker’s strikes and BLM protests.

For all this year has been up there in the worst of the worst, it’s reassuring to see some of the good things that did come out of this year.

And we say, see you never 2020 and here’s to a better 2021.