New campus gets set to open in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

14 January 2022

UCL’s brand new campus, UCL East, is just months away from opening in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at East Bank in September as part of the education and cultural legacy of London 2012.

UCL’s brand new campus, UCL East, is just months away from opening in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at East Bank in September as part of the education and cultural legacy of London 2012.

UCL East will be home to around 60 innovative new UCL degree programmes and research in fields like decarbonising transport, biodiversity, robotics, AI, disability and accessibility, sport science and technology, manufacturing, architecture, health, finance, business, media, heritage and culture.

From September 2022, UCL will be offering not just one but two iconic locations in London to work, study and live in, building on our reputation for collaboration, disruption and innovation. It will help turn UCL’s excellence in research, teaching and learning into an even greater number of practical applications that deliver economic and social value to London and the world.

The new campus on the waterfront in the Park will include apartments for over 500 students, cafes, a shop, state of the art research laboratories, fabrication workshops, a unique urban room for public engagement, a cinema and public art installations. Frequent high-speed trains between Stratford International and London St Pancras will link UCL East with UCL’s Bloomsbury campus.

Students will study in cutting-edge new research centres on courses developed with experts from business and industry in a unique environment bringing diverse minds from different disciplines together to tackle the biggest issues facing the world today.

Themes linking research and teaching at UCL East will include sustainable cities, transformative technology,  global health, justice and equality, human wellbeing and cultural understanding, all of which are areas of priority for UCL’s Grand Challenges programme of cross-disciplinary research.

UCL is a partner of East Bank, the new education and cultural development created by the Mayor of London, and including the BBC, V&A, Sadler’s Wells and the UAL London College of Fashion. The new campus will also place UCL in the heart of the UK’s newest and biggest innovation district, SHIFT, which is set to drive enterprise and investment at the Queen Elizabeth Park, in London and beyond.

Since 2016, UCL East Director Professor Paola Lettieri FREng, has been heading up the team of world leading academics from across nine of UCL’s Faculties, who have been planning and designing the new facilities and courses for UCL East. Professor Lettieri said:

“I can’t wait to welcome students, staff and the public onto what I believe will be the most exciting university campus in the world. Not only are we in the Olympic Park, itself a living testbed for technology and innovation - whether hydrogen powered vehicles or the latest wheelchair technology – but we also have a campus and ways of working that have discovery, sustainability and biodiversity at their core. We can guarantee that studying, working or living at UCL East will be your chance to change the world.

“The issues facing people and the planet have never been more complex or more urgent. The increased scale and space that UCL East will give us, on a campus where departments and faculties are all coming together to problem solve under the same roof, will accelerate breakthroughs and the disruptive discoveries UCL is known for around the world.

“Just as importantly, the challenges around public health, inequality, economic development, social justice and sustainability that UCL has long worked to address, all impact on lives in east London. Our programmes at UCL East include work with our local community and surrounding boroughs to design research opportunities that ensure our staff and students have an immediate impact beyond the lab or lecture theatre. We will be working on the issues local people say are important to them. I look forward to welcoming you to UCL East in September.”

The first building to open its doors at UCL East will be on Pool St West, close to the London Stadium, ArcelorMittal Orbit attraction and the Aquatics Centre, just 10 minutes’ walk from Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, the Lee Valley VeloPark and Abba Voyage, and within easy reach of Hackney Wick with its mix of restaurants and bars.

A second, larger building on the campus will open at Marshgate in September 2023 when UCL East will also be home to an exciting range of new undergraduate degrees as well as many more new postgraduate courses. Around 260 staff and 3,600 students will work and study on the UCL East campus once it is fully up and running.

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Faculties), said: “Since UCL was founded in 1826, we have gained a reputation for doing things differently to create a better world. We were the first university in England to welcome students of all faiths or no faith, and the first to teach women on an equal footing with men. Innovating for a fairer society is what we do.

“This is the largest expansion in our history. Along with our East Bank partners, we are driving the most ambitious education and cultural development in the UK since the Great Exhibition gave rise to the Kensington museums in London in 1861, but with all the added benefits that the Olympic Park brings.

“Studying or working at UCL East will provide our students and staff with unprecedented opportunities to be at the forefront of new knowledge, make an impact in our communities and build diverse professional and social networks that will last a lifetime and change lives. There is no better time to be at UCL as we enter this extraordinary new chapter in our history.”

Explore postgraduate degrees based at UCL East from September 2022:

The East Bank development, which also comprises the Here East innovation hub, where UCL already has engineering science and built environment facilities, is delivering an estimated 2,500 new jobs. It will generate around £1.5bn in economic value to Stratford and the surrounding area and aims to bring an additional 1.5 million visitors to the Olympic Park annually.

East Bank partners UAL London College of Fashion will be joining UCL in the Park in the autumn of 2023, followed by Sadler’s Wells East in the winter of 2023 and then new BBC studios and the V&A East Storehouse and East Museum across 2024 and 2025.

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