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UEL celebrates official launch of School of Social Sciences

students in class

More than 250 staff, students and guests gathered at UEL’s University Square Stratford complex to celebrate the official launch of the School of Social Sciences on 9 November.

Dean of the School, Professor Allaine Cerwonka, said the creation of an autonomous School underlined the importance of social sciences to academic and public discourse.

“It’s a bold step”, she said. “Having a distinct School gives us our own voice and shows the importance that the University of East London places on the social sciences.” 

The day included special keynote lectures by Penny Green, Professor of Law and Globalisation and Director of the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary, University of London, and Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.

“It has been an exciting and dynamic conference”, said Professor Green. “The range of perspectives has been broad and focused. Students are going to have an absolutely excellent education in the social sciences at UEL.”

The School, which actually opened its doors to students in September 2014, offers a number of taught and research undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in global studies, sociology and social policy and psychosocial studies.

Speaking at the end of the one-day conference, Professor Sassen said it was a great pleasure to visit UEL “as it celebrates this new social sciences element, and in such an interesting area of east London”.

The School has a number of research groups and centres, including a Centre for East London Studies. Its global focus has seen the School build partnerships with universities in the United States, Egypt, Holland, France, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria.

The day also featured shorter panel sessions on global cities, migration and identity and refugees, among other subjects.

Attendees were treated to a special lunchtime screening of Memories of the opening of the Berlin Wall: Commemoration, Context and Meaning, co-produced by UEL Sociology Professor, Molly Andrews.