A note from the Vice-Chancellor
I want look at how Kingston represents the 'best of British' by being outward looking, welcoming people from many destinations, providing education, sanctuary and work. Our international students enrich the experience for all our students and I believe that a student coming to Kingston has the good fortune to be at a university that is a mirror of the rich international environments that most people will be living and working in during the 21st century. A Kingston graduate will be used to working with people from many backgrounds; cultural, religious, ethnic. Students that go to universities that are less diverse are disadvantaged in many ways.
We try to keep in touch with our alumni around the world and to combine travel, for example when visiting partner universities abroad, with alumni events. In the past few weeks Deputy Vice-Chancellor David Mackintosh has hosted an alumni event in Toronto and I was at an event hosted by the British Ambassador in Athens attended by about 250 guests. Future events in Mumbai and Moscow are in my diary. I have also visited partner universities in Michigan (Grand Valley State University) and North Carolina (UNC). We are looking forward to the alumni events this summer at the House of Commons for those that graduated in 2007 and at the House of Lords for those that graduated in 2002, 1987 or earlier.
So do keep in touch with the Alumni Office so that we can let you know if there is an event planned where you are. If you are nearer to home we also want you to keep in touch and let us know what you are doing.
Our recent telephone calling campaign broke all records and I am grateful to the students who made the calls. It is clear from talking with them that they enjoyed making contact with alumni and when I visited the telephone room it was clear that there were interesting calls going on; students were getting advice about career progression and learning interesting things about the history of their department. Those connections between the current University and its past are important to us.
I am looking forward to having lunch with Bob Smith, the Vice-Chancellor before Sir Peter Scott, so that I can learn more about the University and its history. I recently met Bob Smith at the opening of the magnificent new Kingston Business School, a building which had an excellent write up in the London Evening Standard – not usually noted for being kind about new buildings. It represents our ambition and intention to look forward positively in spite of the difficult economic times we are in. In the next newsletter I hope that some of our current plans have come to fruition and I can write further about our ambitions and future plans, in the meantime do look at our new University strategy.
Professor Julius Weinberg MA MSc MEd DM FRCP FFPHM FRSA