Build a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated staff community
This has been a particularly challenging year for our staff, with the pandemic adding to existing concerns about the UK leaving the EU and the valuation of the USS pension scheme.
Despite this, our staff have continued to demonstrate their commitment to our students, our research and to each other over the past year. We continue to remain committed to offering all staff a total remuneration package of pay and benefits that is equitable and fair.
Finding an affordable long-term pension solution that remains an attractive benefit for our employees is a key component of the remuneration.
- Many staff volunteered to support the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic – from producing PPE for keyworkers, converting lab spaces for COVID-19 testing, to working with local gin distillery, Sipsmith, to produce hundreds of litres of hand sanitiser.
- We launched our Imperial@Home campaign to provide guidance to our staff on working from home, including how to look after their mental wellbeing during this time. We have been continually inspired by the dedication, spirit and effectiveness of our community working remotely and admire their resilience as we all continue to deliver and support the College’s mission.
- Our community, led by Imperial as One, our BAME advisory group, and our students’ union, came together to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. President Alice Gast announced a series of initiatives to address current and historic racial injustices and commissioned a working group to examine the College’s history and legacy.
Enrich the student experience
Our priority continues to be to keep both our student and staff communities safe. Our actions in response to the pandemic reflect this, both in the swift adjustments made to complete the 2019–20 academic year and in the planning for the new year.
We continue to believe that our students should enjoy a rich and vibrant student experience as part of a welcoming, inclusive community.
- In 2020, the College once again ranked highly compared to other London universities in the National Student Survey (NSS), improving by 12 places compared to last year. 81% of students reported that they were satisfied with their course. Participation by Imperial students in the NSS also increased this year to 75%, six percentage points higher than the national response rate.
- During the autumn term in 2019, we launched the Student Support Zone, which brings together wellbeing advice and resources for students, covering areas such as health, mental wellbeing, finance and housing, in one place. This made it easier to make these services available remotely in response to the pandemic.
Build strong relationships with our alumni and friends
Our alumni community is actively engaged with the life of the College through participation in events, volunteering their time as mentors and through their generous support.
This year we launched the Imperial Alumni Award, to celebrate achievements within our own community. The inaugural Alumni Award winners are:
- Professor Angela Vincent (Westminster Hospital Medical School 1966) and Harris Bokhari (Mathematics with Management 1999), who received the Distinguished Alumni Awards in recognition of their dedication to improving other people’s lives and approaching significant challenges head-on;
- Arjun Panesar (MEng Computing 2006), Aula Abbara (MBBS Medicine 2005, MD(Res) 2017), Ayesha Ofori (MSci Physics 2007), Dr Mohammedabbas Khaki (MBBS Medicine 2010), Dr Veronica Bray Durfey’s (PhD Earth Science and Engineering 2009) and Dr Veeru Kasivisvanathan (MBBS Medicine 2009) were all recipients of the Emerging Alumni Leader Award, celebrating Imperial graduates under the age of 40 who are remarkable leaders in their field, demonstrating outstanding achievements or making a substantial impact on society.
Our alumni have also played a significant part in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in their support for Imperial’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
The Fund was established to provide a means for donors to contribute to a pooled fund that will give the College the flexibility to quickly support high-impact projects in our efforts to tackle COVID-19.
By July 2020, the Fund had been backed by almost 900 of our alumni and friends, and had supported many projects to tackle the pandemic, including work to design and build emergency ventilators, develop a smartphone-based rapid test and support efforts in the creation of a vaccine.