Lucie Pollard is the Director of the London Campus UWS and has been in this role for the last four years. Before that she was a Faculty Operating Officer for Education and Health at the University of Greenwich. She has a BSc and PhD. in Nutrition from the University of London. Lucie represents the campus and its students across the wider university and has recently been involved in creating the new campus at its fantastic Docklands location.
Lucie talks about her career journey and why she is proud to work at UWS London campus.
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How did I become Director of the London campus?
Initially I started my career as a nutrition lecturer and really enjoyed learning to use different techniques to ensure that all the students in the class were able to fully understand the topic and were able to develop the skills needed to communicate that knowledge. This desire to enhance student learning led to my appointment as a School Director of Learning and Quality, a role that helped me to grow professional and develop my leadership skills. I was also very lucky in this role as I was able to travel to a number of different countries such as India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Of course when I first started I was the only female on the schools executive but over time there has been a huge shift in the number of women in senior roles in university, but I am always keen to support students from under represented backgrounds to take on roles within the university.
What makes the London campus a great place to study?
The London campus is UWS’ fifth campus, and is very much a part of the university, providing students with the same support and academic provision as all our students. The London campus is supported by some really great academics who are committed to supporting the students and who want to make sure that students leave with the most relevant and up to date knowledge. We are continually looking at our programmes to ensure that we are offering cutting edge courses that will enable our graduates to succeed in getting jobs. The campus’ real strength of is its students, and we have an amazing group of talented students from such diverse backgrounds who help the staff to create a sense of family on campus. Finally I think what makes the campus great is that students are given a voice and are listened to.
I won’t deny that making the campus great during Covid has been challenging for me, my staff and our students but we are all learning and making improvements as we go.
How in such a diverse campus do I make sure that all the students are heard and supported?
The university has lots of different platforms to ensure that students are heard. We ask students to feed back to us about their learning experiences on each module. We also ask students to nominate student representatives for their course who will then feedback to staff about their experiences at the university. The student union also has strong representation from London students who sit at the major university committees and ensure that the needs of London students are represented.
But these are just the formal mechanisms, we also encourage are students to come and talk to us, and tell us what is going on with their studies and outside of their studies and we feed this information back to the university. At UWS we listen to student feedback as its important to us that we continually enhance our provision.
How do I ensure that the London students are part of the UWS student community?
The London campus is one of five campuses and the university works to ensure that all the students feel part of the university. That sense of belonging is so important if students are to engage with their programmes and succeed. The success of the London campus depends on the success of its students and so I highlight all our students successes and their concerns at every possible opportunity.
What are my top priorities for the London campus?
My top priority is always the students, at UWS students we are here for our students. I want the London campus to develop a set of programmes that enable graduates to be ready for a career in any part of the world, with the skills and confidence needed. It important for the campus to appreciate the truly diverse make up of its students and to ensure that all students reach their fullest potential.
What is the best advice I have ever received?
Never stop learning and never stop being curious. It’s amazing how many people think they have nothing new to learn and how much they are missing out on. But having a mentor/coach always makes a key difference, and learning from them about leadership, how to lead in difficult times and being steady when others are anxious.
What books am I reading at the moment?
I tend to listen to books and not read them. I have just finished listening to Only in Naples: lessons in food and La Famiglia which made me hungry as I listened to the food being created. I am about to start reading Becoming by Michele Obama, as she is clearly an amazing and confident woman.
Three fun facts about me
I took up running (Jogging) two years ago and now I’m a complete addict, and cannot wait for the next half marathon.
I love food – which is what really started my interest in nutrition and really enjoy baking. If the family tell me to stop baking cakes and biscuits for them then I start baking biscuits for the dog.
I spent my childhood living outside the UK and meeting people from all over the world, which has given me a curiosity for learning more about different cultures.