All posts by Patricia Whitehorne

Global Goals: Take Action

On the 28th of April 2016 the London International Development Centre and the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity will host the Global Goals: Take Action conference.

The event will take place in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, on behalf of UCL, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), SOAS, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), and Birkbeck. The conference will address the challenges presented by the post-2015 development agenda.

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development (also known as the SDGs) build on the Millennium Development Goals, which focused on meeting the needs of the world’s poorest in low and middle income countries.

The new Global Goals are universal, so will be applicable to developed, as well as developing countries.

The conference aims to challenge students to think about the impact of the goals and how that might be relevant to them in the future, and guide them towards training and careers.

The event is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students from all disciplines from UCL, LSHTM, SOAS, RVC, and Birkbeck.

The Global Goals are set to run from 2015 to 2030, a time scale which will coincide with a sizable proportion of current students’ careers. The conference will be targeted at students from across all subject areas – to include medicine, public health, engineering, politics, law, pharmacy, veterinary science, anthropology, geography, environmental sciences and development studies, among others.

The day will kick off with a panel debate, then everyone will have the opportunity to get involved in more focused discussions with leading experts in international development around clusters of goals on six desks.

The themes for the desks will be:


The conference will end with a high profile guest who will bring together the day’s ideas towards action for 2030.

The conference is free for all undergraduate and postgraduate students from Birkbeck, UCL, SOAS, LSHTM, and RVC.

You can book a place here.

How much do you know about the goals? Please take our survey.

New digital donor wall goes live

A new digital wall acknowledging the support of donors and volunteers to the College has been unveiled in the main Malet Street building, comprising of two monitors that are continuously updated. One screen will acknowledge the support of volunteers and donors, including those who have bequeathed money to Birkbeck.  The other will use engaging animations to provide information on past projects and the latest fundraising efforts.

A forthcoming project set to feature is the annual Telephone Campaign. Around 4,000 alumni will be called over four weeks this Spring, and the running fundraising total will be on displayed at the end of each calling night.


The purpose of the wall is to raise awareness among students and staff of the importance of philanthropy to the College. Birkbeck has a long and proud relationship with its alumni based on goodwill and commitment. In the last financial year donations exceeded £5 million, with individual gifts ranging from £2 to £1.4 million, and over £1m was left in legacies.

Donors who give £1,000 or more not only have the pleasure of seeing their names on the wall, but will also become members of one of three giving circles, where they can enjoy additional rewards of recognition, including exclusive event invitations and an annual update report detailing how their funds have been used.

Donations to the College – no matter how large or small – have helped to support students in all disciplines and at all levels of study.  Contributions have also helped to facilitate world-class academic research and have contributed towards the improvement of teaching spaces and equipment.

Besides cash donations, some former students choose to support the College by volunteering their time and expertise. Opportunities to interact with current and prospective students include mentoring, speaking on employability panels, giving advice or just sparing the time to talk and share experiences at networking events.

One such event was a new initiative, Careers Clinic: a collaborative program between the Alumni Relations and Birkbeck Talent teams, that pairs students with a qualified volunteer alumnus to receive one-to-one, bespoke CV and careers guidance to help raise their career aspiration and grow their confidence.

As Birkbeck approaches its bicentenary in 2023, it is scaling up its ambition to establish itself as a world-class research and teaching institution, whilst staying true to its core mission of breaking down barriers and providing evening university education to all.  The ongoing support and generosity of the alumni community are vital factors in helping the university achieve its aims.  Visitors stopping by the new digital donor wall will be able to see and reflect on the impact that donors have had, and current students may be inspired to continue their connection through giving, after their time in the classroom has ended.