Birkbeck alumni welcome new international students

Over 50 new international students met with Birkbeck alumni at the International Alumni Friendship Scheme reception on Friday 4 October.

International alumni event

Birkbeck offers a buddy scheme for new international students whereby they can meet with successful alumni who can offer invaluable advice to the new cohort. Starting university can be a daunting challenge for anyone. Starting a university in a foreign country, however, poses many other difficult challenges that can seem overwhelming at first. Many of the international students who attended the reception have been in the UK for less than a fortnight, making the pairing up of students with Birkbeck alumni vital in enabling the new international cohort to settle into their new life in London.

Tricia King, Pro-Vice-Master for Student Experience and Director of External Relations at Birkbeck, gave a warm welcome to the new students, highlighting the world-class teaching that the College provides. She also spoke of the opportunities that graduating from Birkbeck can lead to, stating: “We are an institution that continues to be in the top one percent of the world’s universities and our graduates have the highest graduate starting salaries of any university in the UK.”

Students asked a wide variety of questions to Birkbeck alumni – anything from general course enquiries and advice about future careers to what actually is an Oyster Card! The evening is only the start of these new friendships; alumni and students will continue to meet up over the coming months to help students settle into Birkbeck and London life.

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Mrs Birkbeck’s Album and Reception

This post was contributed by Lynette Spencer, an alumna of Birkbeck’s BA French Studies (2001) and MA Modern French Studies (2003).

It was a memorable evening at the Alumni event ‘Mrs Birkbeck’s Album’ held on 17th May in the beautifully restored Keynes Library at 43, Gordon Square.

The first part of the presentation by Patrizia di Bello consisted of a fascinating insight into the background, culture and history associated with the contents of the album. Inside are manuscripts, poems, songs, pictures and paintings by famous people of the period.  Having such entries was considered prestigious and also formed a part of the social interaction at that time.

The second part by Philip Payne, Director of the Library and Media Services, explained the process of digitization of the album (prior to the restoration) which can now be read on-line, with the facility to turn the pages as if reading a book.

Finally, we were given an in-depth account by Angela Craft (Conservator in Special Collections Team at Senate House) of the restoration of the album, the decisions that needed to be negotiated and made, the materials to be used, all of which involved a delicate balancing act.

One of the highlights of the evening was to personally experience the original album and other items, being able to view and read the contents on display at the event.

The presenters and the Alumni staff organised a most original as well as enlightening event where alumni members were also thanked for contributing towards the restoration through their library membership fees.  I must say, in may ways I prefer this more creative form of ‘blog’ to its present day counterpart!

 

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