Written by Heiloi (Louie) Yip, MSc Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology 2022-2023
Did you know that Imperial College has up to nine campuses scattered around London? You may have already heard of the bustling South Kensington campus, or the futuristic still-under-construction White City campus, but what about the campus that is located in Ascot, Berkshire? That campus would be Silwood Park. Host to Imperial College’s researchers specialising in ecology and related fields. Unless you were or are going to study a course in the ecology stream, chances are you’ll never get to know what this campus is like, which I feel is a shame given what Silwood Park can offer to students.
As a student ambassador, I can apply for a variety of work opportunities, but one of my personal favourites is working at Makerspace. If you’re not familiar with the place, you can check it out here, but think of it as a creative design space combined with a crafting workshop where you can do anything from woodworking to 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics.
Activities that I support at Makerspace
One of the regular events that take place at the Makerspace is the ‘Maker Challenge’ – a programme for Year 10 to Year 13 students during which they can learn a range of skills and work on a project idea of their choice.
A bit over a year ago, our campus has completely shut down. It’s been quite a stressful situation with lots of changes and uncertainty. Lots of countries around the world have started their lockdowns much earlier while we have kept coming to work for considerable time longer. I was working on a few ambitious experiments and finally started gathering some results for my PhD. And then, almost out of the blue, the university shut down within just a few days.
The university actually shut down slightly earlier than the national lockdown came. I received a special permission from the head of the department to finish my running experiments.
During this pandemic, we’ve very explicitly seen the impact of COVID-19 on our entire population – whether that’s through contracting the virus itself to having our freedom of movement and choice restricted by things involving lockdown and border control. I write this to say that through the past year, we’ve all been affected. In line with this logic, our actions also affect one another, to a great extent. There’s not been more of a plain example in my mind whereby we can help human kind through our own actions. Basic respect of social distancing, masks on and adhering to social gathering restrictions will create massive impact in collective efforts.
Universities can be classified into two major categories: campus universities and city universities. Campus universities are those where all students and facilities are located on-site, whilst city universities have their students, facilities and campuses spread out across the city. Imperial definitely falls into the latter category. When you study in a metropolis like London, it is a bit difficult, logistically, to build large all-encompassing campuses in the city centre. This post will give you some information on Imperial’s 8 major campuses and facilities, focusing on the main South Kensington campus.
Most undergraduate students will be located at the main campus in South Kensington.
As I’m writing this blog now, I am sitting in one of the tutorial rooms on the sixth floor of the City and Guilds building in Imperial. Normally, this is where I would be working on my tutorial sheets with my fellow course mates, and the whole room would be filled with ideas. But now because of the pandemic, I am here alone in this room with my own thoughts. Walking around campus now feels completely different, as I have seen more people here in normal weekends as compared to what I see now. Most of the shops are closed, but the library still remains open as long as everyone practices social distancing.