President's foreword

My first year at Imperial has been truly inspirational and I’m proud to be leading one of the best universities in the world. Imperial’s star is rising with great momentum, and we have a powerful story to tell the world.

It’s been a busy year in the best possible way. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about our community’s passions through visiting departments, holding In Conversation with the President events and over more informal suppers. I’ve shared in the excitement of our students as they start their academic journeys and as they graduate ready for their careers. I’ve been immersed in the collaborative research across departments and showcased new initiatives such as the new Medical School in partnership with the University of Cumbria, our sixth form Maths School for the next generation of STEM students, and the I-X initiative to tackle global challenges with artificial intelligence and data science. I’ve met with our alumni around the world and enjoyed strengthening our partnerships with our peer universities, industry partners, the UN and other like-minded organisations.

I’ve been impressed by Imperial’s convening power and impact across a multitude of disciplines. Most recently this has paid dividends as part of a collective sectoral effort to persuade the UK Government to associate with Horizon Europe – putting the UK back at the heart of the world’s largest transnational research and innovation ecosystem. Thanks to the spirit of innovation that runs through everything we do, Imperial’s community is making key contributions towards tackling the world’s biggest challenges.

Reflecting on the year covered by this Annual Report, it’s clear that we have a lot to be proud of. Imperial has been ranked 8th in the world in the Times Higher Education world rankings, complementing our top 10 place in the QS World University Rankings, and was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. These accolades are testament to the commitment, determination, and ambition of our entire community to make the world a better place.

I simply can’t cover the full range of significant milestones and achievements in this year’s report, but they include sending Imperial kit on a space mission to assess the habitability of Jupiter’s moons, sharing pioneering technology to support the world’s first net zero flight, Imperial graduates winning the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot prize and the opening of the state-of-the-art Royce facility for future-facing materials. These are all shining examples of the quality of our education and research, and I hope you enjoy reading more in this report. They were delivered through the collective efforts of our brilliant Imperial community and my thanks go to all those involved.

Together we have also made great strides towards making Imperial an enjoyable, inclusive and supportive place to work and study. With our new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy we have committed to nurturing a culture of compassion, care and belonging where everyone gets the help they need, when they need it. We’ve also renamed our central library as the Abdus Salam Library to celebrate the legacy of inspirational Imperial people from our past and to inspire our future leaders. There is still much work to be done, but these are positive steps in the right direction.

While Imperial’s recent performance has been outstanding, we are not resting on our laurels. In our last annual report, I shared that we will be taking a fresh look at Imperial’s Strategy and our ambition for the next two decades. As part of this we will also work to strengthen Imperial’s brand and share Imperial’s story even more effectively with the world to persuade others to join us, partner with us and invest in us. I’m delighted that so many of Imperial’s global community have engaged with our strategy review to-date. We hope to announce our new plans to the world during the first quarter of 2024. Our overarching ambition is to build on Imperial’s past achievement and impressive current international positioning and realise our full potential as a force for good in the UK and wider world.

Professor Hugh Brady
President of Imperial College London

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