This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'release of UCL Culture Strategy 2020-2025'.

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UCL Culture 
Strategy 2020—2025

Introduction from 
Professor Anthony Smith, 
Vice Provost, Education 
and Student Affairs

   am very pleased to write a few words of introduction to this 
I ew strategy. As stewards of some of UCL’s most prestigious 
col ections and gal eries, museums and performance spaces, the 
team in UCL Culture has developed an exciting new strategy to 
ensure that these are enjoyed by the university’s staff and students 
and also offer a way in for the public not only to see what we 
do, but to engage with the university community and enrich our 
thinking with their insights and experiences.
We have some new and transformed spaces. The iconic 
Bloomsbury Theatre has re-opened with a transformation of 
the foyer and main auditorium that is both spectacular and 
sympathetic. In addition to its successful commercial programme, 
there will be more opportunities for staff and students to explore 
the contribution of performance to education and research in the 
Main Theatre and also in the Studio.
We will also have a new Object-Based Learning Laboratory in 
the historic Wilkins Building, adjacent to the Octagon Gal ery. 
This unique facility will offer new ways for researchers, students 
and members of the public to study and appreciate some of the 
extraordinary objects in our collection.
I hope everyone who reads this will enjoy working with the UCL 
Culture team.
Professor Anthony Smith
UCL Vice Provost

UCL Culture is a multidisciplinary 
team committed to connecting 
the world with UCL through 
innovative programming and 
engagement activities.
We use our assets in the form of col ections, museums, 
theatres and public art but most importantly our people 
and know-how to engage, inspire and mobilise the UCL 
Community. We inspire them to connect with people 
through their teaching and research. We animate and 
amplify their work through the production and delivery 
of innovative cultural and educational experiences, 
public and community engagement activities, public art, 
performance, exhibitions, museum displays and schools 
We col aborate, light sparks, disrupt and provoke. 
We use objects, insights and expertise to reframe 
questions and surface new ideas. We believe in equality 
of opportunity and value diversity in all of the work that 
we do. We believe in the power of open because open 
minds see further.
We believe that UCL is one of a group of international 
sector leaders in public and cultural engagement and 
that we have the potential to shape development and 
practice to make UCL a vibrant, rich and engaging place 
to visit, study and work.
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Culture is made up 
of unique and distinctive 
resources and expertise
Knowledge and Expertise:
We hold and develop a range of knowledge and expertise that 
supports and enables UCL to deliver its mission. This includes, 
public, community and schools engagement, evaluation, curatorial 
practice, col ections management, conservation, public programming, 
performance and events, public art, exhibition design, visitor services, 
theatre technical services, commercial income generation, venue 
management and audience insight.
We care for and manage a range of significant col ection assets 
including UCL’s important col ections of Egyptian and Sudanese 
Archaeology, Art, Zoology, Public Art and Science materials. We 
make these assets accessible for teaching and research and for 
the enjoyment of wider publics. We also lead on and support the 
development and delivery of public art commissions.
We connect external audiences with the UCL Community through 
our venues. These include the UCL Art Museum, the Bloomsbury 
Theatre and Studio, the Grant Museum of Zoology, the Object Based 
Learning Laboratory, the Octagon Gal ery, the Pathology Museum 
and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology. We 
ensure that we deliver best practice in these venues in line with sector 
standards for the benefit of the UCL Community and wider publics.

We use our resources, 
skills, knowledge and 
expertise to serve three 
distinct yet interconnected 
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Academic 
and Teaching 
UCL Student 
Publics and 

UCL Academic 
and Teaching 
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Culture enables the academic 
research and teaching community by 
and Teaching 
and Impact 
Access and 

UCL Culture enables the academic 
research and teaching community 
by providing:
Primary Research and 

Teaching Resources:
We manage a range of significant historic collection 
assets that form an important primary research and 
teaching resource. We manage these resources to 
ensure that they are physical y and virtual y accessible 
not only to the UCL Community but also to those 
outside of UCL including local communities, publics and 
Audience Access & Insight:
Our venues and activities act as gateways
for a range of audiences outside of UCL and attract 
over 100,000 visitors per year onto campus. We 
combine our approach to public programming with 
our facilitation of public engagement opportunities 
for researchers through championing and embedding 
public engagement as a method to improve research 
quality and impact.
Research Impact and Evaluation:
We provide consultancy and training to embed good 
public engagement practice and maximise impact.  
We support the academic community by championing 
best practice and innovation in public engagement,  
co-production and the importance of evaluation. 
We advise researchers on pathways to impact and 
evaluation methodologies for grant applications and 
then support them throughout their research cycle.
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Academic Research 
and Teaching Community

Champion and embed best practice in 
Range of online, digital public 
public and community engagement in 
engagement and evaluation tools and 
UCL research and teaching
resources created
Champion the research and teaching 
Increase in research and teaching use 
use of UCL col ections
of col ections from current baseline
Enable access to public audiences 
Quantitative and qualitative audience 
and improve col ection and analysis of 
feedback generated through Audience 
audience data
Deliver col aborative and 
Develop and deliver Performance Lab
interdisciplinary programmes 
Percentage of Col ections managed by 
integrating public art, public 
UCLCulture accessible online
programmes and public engagement
Improve access to col ections for the 
Strategic Drivers
UCL research and teaching community
• UCL 2034 Principal Theme 2. 
Integration of research and education 
and Theme 4. Accessible and publicly 
Enable access to public engagement 
and evaluation knowledge, expertise 
• UCL Research Strategy (cross 
and tools
boundaries to increase engagement, 
Develop new, more accessible 
deliver impact for public benefit, 
collections spaces to increase research 
cross-disciplinarity, partnership 
and teaching use of collection assets
Implement new audience insight
• Research Excellence Framework 
dashboard and enhance use of 
assessment (increased emphasis on 
ticketing data mining functionality
‘Impact’, capacity building, audience 
Enable and support the development 
of research-based performance 
• Knowledge Exchange Framework (likely 
to be assessed in part against public 
Upgrade col ections databases/online
and community engagement)
resources to improve remote research 
• Research England (formerly HEFCE) 
museum funding requirements 
(supporting non-UCL researchers)
• Arts Council England Museum 
Accreditation requirements 
(understanding and serving audiences)
• Museums Designation

Bringing Research to Life:
Col aborations with Artists 
and Col ections
Workshop in the Pathology Museum in collaboration 
with Edinburgh Film Festival
In April 2019 UCL Culture hosted an Ideas Lab at the Pathology
Museum with Edinburgh Film Festival. Experienced screenwriters and UCL academics 
explored the connections between research, curating, storytel ing and science. “A 
superb opportunity to fill my creative well with ideas and material that I would never have 
had access to otherwise.”
Researchers and screenwriters at the UCL 
Pathology Museum, Royal Free Hospital 2019
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

We connect academics, artists and 
communities to explore the creative 
crossover between research and culture.
Performance Lab
Performance Lab is UCL Culture’s experimental programme that brings research to life 
through theatre, dance, music, comedy and everything in-between. We support aca-
demics and artists to experiment in new ways to develop and share their work with new 
audiences. Performance Lab productions have explored animal migration and refugees, 
the psychology of laughter and human movement.
Locus developed by Amanda Simo Rodriguez and Anthos Venizelos from the 
Bartlett School of Architecture, with dancer Saloni Saraf. Bloomsbury Theatre 2019 
© Belinda Lawley

UCL Student 
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Culture supports the student 
community through:
the Student 

UCL Culture enhances the student 
experience by providing:
Formal Learning Experiences:
We enable and facilitate a range of formal learning 
opportunities; we facilitate the use of collections for 
object-based learning to enhance and enrich teaching; 
and work with UCL Arena to enable course leads to 
embed public engagement in the curriculum. We also 
deliver high quality public engagement and evaluation 
training to postgraduate students through our Train and 
Engage programme.
Work experience/volunteering:
We use UCL programmes, museums and theatre spaces 
to offer students opportunities to obtain valuable 
work experience through placements, internships and 
volunteering that helps to prepare them for life after 
UCL. Students who volunteer with us tell us these 
experiences enable them to develop a range of skil s 
and make them more employable.
Enriching the Student Experience:
We create cultural and public engagement opportunities 
that build students’ sense of community while 
developing their talents, skills and enabling friendships. 
From delivering performances in the Bloomsbury 
Theatre to participating in our programmes they explore 
their creativity, learn about teamwork and connect with 
local communities, creating memories and skills that wil  
live with them long after they leave UCL.
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Student 

Enhance the student experience 
Number of student volunteer hours and 
through the provision of volunteering, 
number of students work placements or 
work placements and internship 
internships with UCL Culture
Number and quality of student led and 
Inspire our students to col aborate and 
col aboratively produced events
lead on the development of inclusive 
Number, range and quality of student 
cultural experiences
performances and related activities
Create enhanced opportunities 
Number of student generated social 
for student performances in the 
media outputs, shares, likes, retweets etc.
Bloomsbury Theatre and Studio
Number of places created for students 
Increase student generated social 
on advisory groups and panels
media content
Engage students in decision making 
Strategic Drivers
about our programmes and the way 
that they are delivered
• UCL 2034 Principal Themes 2. Integration 
of research and education, 4. Accessible 
and publicly engaged, 5. London’s Global 
Priority Actions
Create more opportunities for 
• UCL National Student Survey Results
volunteering, work placements and 
• UCL Teaching Excel ence Framework
• UCL Widening Participation strategy
Enable and generate more student led 
• UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 
and col aborative events in and around 
our venues
Work with the Students’ Union and 
• UCL Education Strategy
student societies to ensure that 
• UCL Global Engagement strategy
opportunities in the Bloomsbury 
• Students’ Union Strategic Plan
Theatre and Studio are maximised
Establish student social media 
champions programme
Include students in governance of UCL 

Enhancing the 
Student Experience:
Volunteering and Performance 
with UCL Culture
UCL Museums: Dessa Hayes, Student and 
Museum Volunteer
“Volunteering for UCL Culture has al owed me to learn new things and develop new skil s 
through a variety of opportunities, including front of house shifts, guest lectures, and 
object handling sessions. This training has been especial y useful, because I hope to 
work in the museum/ cultural heritage sector after graduation.”
Volunteer with UCL Culture staff at the Petrie 
Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology 
at a UCL Culture Late 2019 © Matt Clayton
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

Enhancing the 
Student Experience:
Volunteering and Performance 
We provide opportunities for students to develop 
with UCL Culture
knowledge, transferable skil s and confidence through 
volunteering and performance.
The Bloomsbury Theatre: Suriyah Rashid, 
Student Performer and Producer
“For me, the Bloomsbury Theatre was the clinch for choosing UCL. The theatre is 
instrumental for students with a deep-rooted passion for the arts; we put on dance 
showcases, plays, opera, comedies, musicals, and much more. I’ve met people who 
are now friends for life, putting on incredible shows, having a laugh and creating 
unforgettable experiences.”
The cast of From Here to Eternity, presented by UCL Musical Theatre 
and UCL Stage Crew at the Bloomsbury Theatre 2018

Publics and 
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

UCL Culture serves publics and external 
communities by providing:
Public Exhibitions, 
Performances and 
Methods & 

UCL Culture serves publics and 
external communities by providing:
Public Exhibitions,

Performances and Events:
We promote and enable dialogue between academics, 
students and publics through culture and creative 
practice. Our public programming team delivers an 
annual programme of collaboratively produced content 
that engages diverse audiences with the work of the 
UCL Community.
Physical Access Points:
UCL museums, theatre spaces and public art act as 
platforms for public engagement. The venues that we 
manage attract over 100,000 members of public onto 
campus annual y. We animate the campus through our 
public programming and public art and support wider 
public events such as the East Bank Partners ‘Great Get 
Together’ and the UCL ‘It’s All Academic’ festival.
Co-Production Methods & 
We aim to embed best practice and the latest thinking in 
collaborative and co-production methods in partnership 
with UCL researchers and local communities. 
We develop new approaches to co-production, 
interdisciplinary work and collaborations, sharing 
our learning across the institution, the cultural and 
academic sectors and our external communities. We 
connect with and engage schools in Camden, Islington 
and east London though our Widening Participation 
supported schools programme.
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

Publics and External 

Increase awareness of UCL Culture 
Increase visitors to UCL Culture 
programme and offer in venues and 
managed venues and events to 130,000 
public spaces
per year by 2024
Champion the use of co-production 
Tools, methodologies and embedded 
and col aborative methods in research 
practice developed and evidenced 
and teaching
around co-production and col aborative 
Develop public programmes and 
approaches to research and teaching
public engagement in east London in 
Achieve and exceed Section 106 
col aboration with UCL East academics, 
requirements relating to cultural and 
students and east London communities
public engagement, and public art at 
Develop and deliver an outstanding 
UCL East
schools engagement programme
Meet and exceed Widening 
Identify and prioritise the audiences 
Participation targets for outreach and 
that we want to engage
increase number of schools visits from 
local schools in areas of deprivation to 
our museums from current baseline
Priority Actions
Priority audiences identified and 
Increase media coverage of UCL 
forecasts for visits agreed, monitored 
Culture programme and activities
and met
Support and enable the development 
of co- production and col aborative 
Strategic Drivers
methodologies in research and 
• UCL 2034 Principal Themes 4. 
Accessible and publicly engaged, and 
Develop and deliver the public and 
5. London’s Global University
cultural elements of the UCL East 
• UCL Office of the Pro Vice Provost 
Engagement strand
Sustain and deepen engagement with 
• UCL Research strategy (connecting 
local schools through outreach and in-
research with local audiences and 
building sustainable
reach programmes
• relationships)
Develop audience segmentation and 
• Knowledge Exchange Framework (local
• regeneration and narrative around local 
• and community engagement)
• Museum Accreditation and Research 
• funding requirements (serving external 
• Mayor of London’s Culture and Cultural
• Infrastructure Strategies
• Arts Council England Priority Audiences

Sharing UCL expertise:
Our impact on local 
The Evaluation Exchange in east London
In 2017 we launched in partnership with Aston Mansfield (a Newham- based umbrel a 
organisation) the Evaluation Exchange – a programme designed to “connect the know-
how to the how-to”. We matched UCL cross-disciplinary researchers in teams with 
Newham-based voluntary sector organisations (VSOs). Together, they developed their 
evaluation skil s and tackled an evaluation chal enge facing the VSO.
Researchers and community groups working 
together at the Evaluation Exchange
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

We invite members of the public, school 
children and community groups to 
experience the work of UCL research.
Biomimicry: Animal Movement to Inspire 
and Build Robots
This ongoing experiential learning project for east London secondary schools takes 
place at the Grant Museum of Zoology and in schools.
It explores the links between robots, computer programming and animal movement and 
is a multi-disciplinary project with students and academics from four departments who 
develop, evaluate and deliver it.
Animal movement workshop at the Grant Museum of Zoology

The fol owing enablers underpin and drive 

the delivery of our work:
Managing and nurturing our talent:
We will attract, retain and develop our people to deliver a high-
performance culture. We will create an environment that nurtures 
and utilises our people’s skil s and talents to enable them to be as 
effective as they can be.
Developing sustainable partnerships
and relationships:
Our success relies on building and sustaining effective internal and 
external partnerships and relationships. We will build on the School 
and Faculty- facing networks and use the insight gained from our 
relationships with external cultural and community partners to drive 
and inform our work.
Income generation:
We generate income through appropriate activities to contribute 
to the delivery of our activities. This includes Research England 
Museums Funding, UKRI funding, commercial income through 
theatre hire, customer refreshment, corporate hospitality and 
events, grants, gifts and donations and the Petrie Col ection 
Endowment Fund.
Delivering value for money:
We recognise that much of our activity is funded through academic 
activity so we pay close attention to ensure that we extract the 
maximum value from the investment UCL makes in us, managing 
our budgets and systems efficiently and professional y.
Venue management:
We operate six public venues and we ensure that they are safe 
and secure for UCL staff and public alike and that we meet all the 
appropriate standards and legal requirements. We also strive to 
fol ow best practice in these areas.
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

Customer service:
We maintain high standards of customer service across all of our 
activities and define ‘customer’ in its broadest sense to encompass 
all users of our services.
Management and care of UCL cultural assets:
We manage, conserve and care for our col ections to ensure that 
they are available for current and future generations of researchers, 
students and publics.
Theatre Technical Services:
We provide high standards of technical support to the staff, 
students, commercial hirers and publics that use our theatres.
Marketing and communication:
We communicate our programme and related events to our 
audiences through the effective use of digital, print, social media, 
website and other channels.
Exhibition design and support:
We provide excel ent exhibition and design services to ensure high 
standards of interpretation and presentation of col ections and 
Business administration:
We strive to deliver the highest standards in administration through 
the development and maintenance of efficient and effective 
systems and processes.

Animal movement workshop at the Grant 
Museum of Zoology
UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025


UCL Culture Strategy 2020 – 2025

Our locations
Bloomsbury Theatre and Studio 
15 Gordon Street 
Nearest stations: 
London WC1H 0AH 
Euston Square and Euston 
+44 (0)20 3108 1000 
Grant Museum of Zoology 
21 University Street 
Nearest stations: 
London WC1E 6DE 
Euston Square and Euston 
+44 (0)20 3108 9000 
Octagon Gal ery 
Wilkins Building, UCL 
Nearest stations: 
Gower Street 
Euston Square and Euston 
London WC1E 6BT 
+44 (0)20 3108 9000
Petrie Museum of Egyptian and 
Sudanese Archaeology 
Nearest stations: 
Malet Place 
Euston Square and Euston 
London WC1E 6BT 
+44 (0)20 3108 9000
UCL Art Museum 
South Cloisters, UCL 
Nearest stations: 
Gower Street 
Euston Square and Euston 
London WC1E 6BT 
+44 (0)20 3108 9000
UCL Student Centre 
27-28 Gordon Street 
London WC1H 0AH 
UCL Pathology Col ections 
Royal Free Hospital 
Nearest stations: 
Pond Street 
Belsize Park and Hampstead Heath 
London NW3 2QG 
+44 (0)20 3108 9000
UCL East 
Montfichet Rd  
Nearest stations:  
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 
Stratford and Hackney Wick
London E15 2JE

About UCL Culture
From art to zoology, Egyptology to performance, 
science and beyond: UCL Culture cares for the 
university’s world-class spaces and collections.  
We are home to the Grant Museum of Zoology,  
Octagon Gallery, Pathology Museum, Petrie Museum 
of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology and UCL Art 
Museum, as well as the Bloomsbury Theatre and art  
in the public realm. 
Nearly all our venues and opportunities are free to 
enjoy and open to al . Come and play a part in our 
ground-breaking research and learning at UCL.
Mobilise. Inspire. Amplify 
UCL Culture 
Fourth Floor, Bidborough House
+44 (0)20 3108 1000 
38-50 Bidborough Street
London WC1H 9BT