The People section of the strategy sets out our aspirations for our staff community, the experience our students have at Imperial beyond their studies, and how we engage with our alumni.

Building a supportive, inclusive and motivated staff community

Amongst our staff community, Imperial is one of Britain’s most family-friendly workplaces, ranked amongst the top 30 by the Working Families charity. The 2017 Staff Survey found that 87 per cent of our staff are proud to work for the College. 

In 2017, the College appointed Professor Stephen Curry as Imperial’s first Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), for an initial period of two years. Reporting to the Provost, Professor Curry will help lead the College’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion for staff and students across all protected characteristics.

Having launched a programme to train staff to become Mental Health First Aiders in 2013, the College now has over 250 staff who have undertaken this specialist training, which equips staff to provide help to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained. 

Building a supportive, inclusive and motivated staff community

Sally Campbell, Safety Compliance Manager in the Faculty of Medicine

Help at hand

Sally Campbell, Safety Compliance Manager in the Faculty of Medicine, is a Mental Health First Aid instructor. "The most rewarding thing about being a Mental Health First Aider is having the confidence to know what to say and to be able to help someone,” she says.

Centre for Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Materials

Equality in action

Imperial has held a Silver Athena SWAN institutional award since 2012 (renewed in 2016) - one of only 13 institutions in the UK to hold Silver. No institution holds an institutional gold award

Enriching the student experience

We are continuing to invest in our student experience. Student Services has been restructured in order to provide a seamless and consistent high quality offereing across areas such as welfare support, careers and specialist services for particular groups such as disabled students.

We have significantly enhanced opportunities for students to fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions through new facilities such as the Enterprise Lab and the new Advanced Hackspace at White City. The College’s Enterprising Activity Report 2016/17, shows how programmes such as the WEInnovate programme for female entrepreneurs and the VCC Challenge are yielding results.

In 2018, Imperial MIT and launched an 'unparalleled' student exchange, where Imperial students in 10 academic departments can apply to spend a year at MIT, with students from nine MIT departments enjoying the chance to spend a semester or full year at Imperial. The new exchange builds on a longstanding undergraduate exchange in Materials, a successful undergraduate summer research exchange which started in 2013,

Imperial undergraduates also have the chance to join hundreds of students from around the world for a 2 week learning and cultural experience in Beijing. The summer school, hosted by Tsinghua University, combines lectures, group activities, problem-solving and field trips – covering the areas of economics, environment, architecture, international relations and history. 

Enriching the student experience

Team Mitt, Enterprise Lab

Start-up culture

There were 16 student start-ups founded in 2016-17 – up from 6 in 1012-13. As an example of this growing entrepreneurial activity, in 2018, student start-up CustoMem received a €1.4m grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument for its innovative water filtration system.

Tsinghua Environmental Summer School

New perspectives

Undergraduate Kenza Tazi (Physics) attended the Tsinghua Environmental Summer School on August 2017 in Beijing. “The program provided us with the opportunity to improve our teamwork and public speaking skills in a relaxed environment - with the right balance between work and culture. I now feel better equipped to adapt to completely new situations on my own.

Building strong relationships with our alumni and friends

We have a large, motivated and engaged community of alumni and friends attending events, volunteering and supporting the College.

In 2017, we conducted a comprehensive alumni survey – an opportunity for alumni to have their say and to help us shape our alumni programmes, events, services, communications, and opportunities for alumni to get involved in the ways that suit them best. Of respondents, 88% said they are proud to have studied at Imperial and 92% said that studying at Imperial was a positive experience. Alumni acknowledged the value of the Imperial brand, and valued their qualification which they felt benefited them in the long term. Many alumni were looking for more opportunities to get involved and 37% were interested in sharing expertise and career advice with students.

We are now actively building opportunities for alumni to contribute to the College’s success, supporting key areas of impact. We recognised 1,373 volunteers in 2017-2017 who contributed to positive outcomes for Imperial in admissions, student experience and supporting employability, alumni community development, enhancement of Imperial’s global visibility, advocacy and strategic leadership involvement (such as Court).

Looking to the future, we are exploring ways to further develop the lifelong connection between alumni and the College, including assessing and building the package of alumni services and benefits, working closely with the Careers Service to provide professional and career development support, and developing materials of our own (for example, we are building our bank of online resources and webinars), and by working closely with established associations and international groups. 

Building strong relationships with our alumni and friends

Imperial in Malaysia

Growing networks

The UK and global alumni community has helped, led and facilitated over 300 events over the past two years (2015-17). President Alice Gast has met thousands of alumni around the world at alumni at 30 global and UK Alumni and Friends Receptions.

New look Imperial magazine

Reaching out

There has been a substantial increase in alumni communications including targeted newsletters by department and faculties; the redesign of the new-look Magazine, following alumni feedback; the launch of Imperial Plexus, an online community platform, connecting alumni directly with Imperial and with each other; and coordinated social media activity under the #OurImperial banner.