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Royal Docks Education and Enterprise Festival showcases the University of East London

Aerial view of Docklands campus

Festival offerings include public launch of UEL's new 10-year strategy and a concert by Professor Green

Royal Docks Education and Enterprise Festival showcases the University of East London pioneering futures 

Heavy rain didn’t stop students, staff, alumni, business partners and community members from coming together on 12 June to take part in the University of East London’s Royal Docks Education and Enterprise Festival.

Held at the Docklands campus, the Festival offered a wide range of activities, including a concert by rapper Professor Green, the final of its Talent & Diversity Hackathon in association with Microsoft, interactive robots, live music, virtual reality experiments, architecture showcase, entrepreneurial market, and more. 

The Festival also provided an opportunity to launch publicly the University’s new ambitious and important 10-year strategy - Vision 2028. Pioneering futures globally for a 4.0 economy and inclusive society, the University’s strategy is reflected in the new brand identity revealed at the Festival. Drawing on its heritage from 1898 and focusing confidently on the future, the University is developing talent and innovation for East London and around the world.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president, said, “There is an incredible amount of talent and enterprise at the University of East London, and the Royal Docks Education and Enterprise Festival was a wonderful showcase for this today. This is a celebration of everything that makes the University of East London great, but it is also a springboard into the future, as evidenced by the launch of our new strategy, new brand identity and other highlights including announcing the inception of the RADTECH Design Innovation Hub in partnership with Tongji University in China and ABP. 

The day-long event wrapped up with a performance by East London rapper and performer Professor Green, who wowed the crowd with an exciting performance.

The day began on a more serious note, with an international networking event where University leaders explored potential partnerships with colleges overseas as well as opportunities to collaborate and provide international pathways for students.

This was followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the University of East London and Tongji University in Shanghai to collaborate on design-led innovation. The signing followed a high-level roundtable, part of London Tech Week.

Other events which took place over the course of the day included:

•The official launch of the new University brand and visual identity. The new brand reflects the University’s rich heritage and forward-facing future, and features a new logo which incorporates the phoenix, University shield, industry cogs, wave and torch.  

•Phantom Recruitment Method, an automated employment recruitment platform, took the crown over three other talented teams at the final of the University’s Talent and Diversity Hackathon. The ideas presented were formed at a day-long Hackathon held in April with partners including Microsoft and ABP Royal Albert Dock. 

•Top architecture talent was on display as part of a student showcase for the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering. Kate Macintosh, an architect who designed some of the UK’s most innovative public housing projects, helped give out students awards.

Partners with a presence at the Festival included West Ham United, Excel London, the LDE University Technical College and Microsoft. 

Ella McKenzie, a student studying animation, said, “It’s been really good to be at the Festival today and it’s been great to see the passion and energy of the community. I think it’s really good that the University of East London is able to showcase its talent and community with an event like this.”

Ish Gwegweni, sports participation and development officer at UEL, said, “I think that today has been a fantastic event and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being here. I’m really impressed with the scale of the event and how we’ve had everything going on. My favourite part by far was seeing Professor Green perform. He has electric energy and brought the place to life, even with the rain. We’re getting to see this all for free – it’s been amazing!”

Dr Sharon Cahill, head of the Department of Psychological Sciences, said, “We had lots of young people come round from the community and schools trying out our mirror drawing and our virtual reality (VR) stand. We have been doing demonstrations to illustrate psychology in the real world. These demos are ways to show how the brain works and helps people to think about physical activities.”

Mbaw Kamara, a film studies student, said, “There was a good amount of game and activities provided. I especially loved the graffiti wall! I hope this becomes a yearly event.” 

Tristan Foot, acting university secretary, said, “The day has been absolutely successful. Regarding our new University strategy – Vision 2028, we have done a lot of envisaging and brainstorming and done a lot of consultation about what our future might be. It’s about putting our ideas out there, getting feedback and seeing how ideas transfer into reality. The Festival is the first opportunity we have had to do that publicly - to turn it from concept to living reality.”