UCL students achieve highest number of Millennium Fellows in Europe

UN headquarters, Switzerland
UN headquarters, Switzerland
Forty UCL undergraduate students have been chosen as Millennium Fellows 2023-24, joining a global initiative designed to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), This is the most Fellows of any UK university for the fourth year running and the highest across Europe.

Run by the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) and United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), the Millennium Fellowship Scheme is an international leadership development programme through which undergraduate students help to further the SDGs in their communities.

More than 44,000 students from around over 3,000 campuses worldwide applied to join the Class of 2022, with 4,000 fellows chosen to take part.

Professor Geraint Rees, UCL Vice Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement) said: "I am delighted that so many of our students have been successful in being offered this great opportunity. UCL has a distinguished track record of social impact, and being awarded the largest number of Fellowships awarded to any UK university is an astonishing achievement. The continued success of our students is a testament to the individual and collective commitment of our undergraduate students to make a positive impact, both locally and globally."

Simon Knowles, UCL’s Head of Coordination (SDGs) said: "The repeated success of our students is testament to the importance the student community place on the SDGs and their enthusiasm for addressing them."

The selective Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that convenes, challenges, and celebrates student leadership to help achieve UN goals. As part of the application process, students propose a project they will undertake during the scheme, which runs annually from August to December.

Successful applicants form a cohort on their campus, meeting throughout their tenure to share best practice on their individual projects or work together on larger initiatives. The high number of Fellows at UCL mean that there are two cohorts for 2023-24. Two Fellows are chosen to coordinate each cohort. these efforts this year are:

Leila Lai and Gaelic Jara Reinhold are coordinating Cohort A. During her Fellowship, Leila’s project will be addressing the fragmented identities and feelings of insecurity faced by young people who have experienced globalization and social mobilisation, leading them to live, study, and develop in various countries and cultures. This will support Goals including SDG10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG16 (Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions)

Gaelic is developing a wearable AI-powered smart badge to revolutionise personal safety for individuals, in support of SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities).

Mariya Kachwala and Anson Law are coordinating Cohort. Mariya’s project, Climate Connected is seeking to address climate literacy among children, enabling them to find innovative solutions to the local and persistent problems that surround them in their neighbourhoods, cities and villages.

Anson is aiming to provide underprivileged secondary school students with a chance to know more about applying to well-known universities across the world in support of SDG4 (Quality Education).

Simon added: "I congratulate the Fellows on their success and wish them luck with their projects over the coming year. I look forward to seeing how they contribute to achieving the SDGs."

The 2023-24 UCL Millennium Fellows are:

Cohort A

Henry Killworth 

E: h.killworth [at] ucl.ac.uk

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