What is the best part of your role as Pro-Vice Chancellor (International)? Without a doubt, it is meeting students from such diverse backgrounds, both socially and economically. They come from all over the world, and for many of them, they study in very difficult circumstances.
Studying with us enables them and empowers them to make huge differences to their own lives and in many cases to the lives of those around them – the lives of people in their country. I have always felt linked to the University and immensely proud of its innovative history that goes back to 1836. I’m particularly proud to be part of the University’s commitment to education for anybody who can benefit and of the University’s commitment to education for women. I believe that quality education should be available for all and what the University of London does extremely well is to offer an internationally renowned degree which it protects rigorously in terms of its curriculum and its examinations. I’m pleased to have made a contribution to delivering that.
Could you discuss how the availability of distance and flexible learning, offered by the University of London, is opening up access to women around the world? About 50% of the students we now have on our distance and flexible learning programmes are women, in the 190 countries where we are operating. That’s 50% of 50,000 students around the globe. I think we can be really proud of the strides that women have made in their goals and outcomes.
For women, studying at University of London has often been a way for them to access higher education when they’ve not been able to for social reasons. For a lot of our women students they’re the first in their family to achieve higher education and we have some wonderful examples of women who have been assertive in achieving success in roles that one would have considered impossible for women 50 years ago.