2020 has literally been the slowest of years for various industries, and sectors, due to the current pandemic affecting all our lives. Also, with the national lockdown imposed on us, we as Indians had to witness our education system undergo major setbacks, which resulted in students losing a lot of time, and the rise of uncertainty was at an all-time high. Moreover, due to the increased number of cases across the globe, Indian/International Students studying at foreign universities and colleges had to struggle the most. From sending students back to the safety of their homes, to asking students to vacate campuses, it has inevitably been a year of struggles and sacrifices for students, waiting for that glimpse of normalcy to arrive as early as possible.
However, treating all institutions across the globe under the same radar would be wrong on our part, as some institutions worked relentlessly to serve and help their students irrespective of the scenario or circumstance. One such institution which proudly boasts of setting an example to its fellow universities in terms of becoming a place, where every student gets an equal opportunity to strive, create, be capable, and in the end, become an employable resource to society, Liverpool Hope University, comes as a ray of hope even during these gloomy times of turmoil.
A hotspot of diversity & learning
Having a rich history of 175-years, a tradition of scholarship and research runs through every nook and corner of the campus. In the pursuit of giving back to the community of learners, graduates are prepared for the rigors of the industry and the world, in turn, promoting professionalism on a large scale.
Furthermore, with the management guiding every teacher and student, working together towards an inclusive environment of knowledge and growth, students at Hope are turned into confident and independent individuals, who can succeed in any endeavor they take up in their respective lives.
A hotspot of diversity and learning Ideally situated in the vibrant city of Liverpool, Hope has two beautifully designed main teaching campuses. Striving towards imbibing a culture of enquiry among the students, the scenic environments – particularly at picturesque Hope Park, with its famous Rectorate Lawn – aid this learning process.
Moreover, with most of the lecturers actively involving themselves in ground-breaking research projects in their respective niches, thorough research-informed teaching is imparted, irrespective of the teaching medium used. Also, having an impressive state-of-the-art infrastructure at their disposal, students benefit from the various amenities made available to them, and thus, try to excel in activities both inside and outside the classroom.
“Research is ingrained into the institutional culture here at Hope”, stated Professor Pillay, the VC and Rector of the university, talking to us in detail about the whole working ethos present on campus, and also, why Hope stands out when compared to other mushrooming universities and colleges across the UK and Europe. Adding to his earlier statement, Professor Pillay, stated – “The research being undertaken by our talented and committed team of academics informs the very teaching that our students receive, ensuring that our courses remain innovative, current and stimulating.”
Along with creating an inquisitive environment of learning and growth, Hope collaborates with a range of external research partners, as well as other universities across England and the rest of the world. This type of early exposure given to the students results in research papers being published from campus, in varied topics such as sharing behaviors in young children, injury prediction in modern football, advances in drone tech, and so on. Consequently, due to the equal importance imparted to both theoretical and practical learning aspects, some of the courses offered at Hope were rated 1st in the UK for graduate employability.
Guiding and motivating towards excellence
Following its unique philosophy of educating in the round, and progressing towards a quest for truth, beauty and goodness, Hope University gives back to society – by producing abled and well-rounded individuals, who are also active social beings. Giving an open chance for all the students on campus to become responsible citizens of the world, Hope has introduced – ‘Service and Leadership Award’, aka ‘SALA’. This award which runs alongside any degree hosted at Hope, pushes students to indulge in community-based projects and activities. Giving his brief on this initiative taken up by Hope, Professor Pillay stated – “Everyone at Hope is deeply committed to a culture of research and scholarship, but also to preparing graduates to serve the common good”.
Taking crisis scenarios such as the current pandemic in its stride, Hope has remained buoyant and helpful to all the staff and students, ensuring they receive top-notch education while student and staff safety remains paramount. Also, a hybrid mix of both online and face-to-face sessions have been implemented, introducing a concept called a ‘Learning Bubble’, which limits students from mixing with students outside their learning circle. Allocating residential students ‘Residential Bubbles’, limits students from socializing within their bubbles, and thus, helping to ensure their safety.
Lastly, due to the exceptional industry-academia relationship existing on campus, students get good returns on their investment – dedication, time, and money – by getting chances and opportunities in terms of internships and placements across top-corporates and companies. Having spent their valuable time at Hope, students fondly remember their time on campus, carrying the memories forward, working together towards an inclusive world filled with love and learning.
Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector
A Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the University, also, the chief in charge of the organization, direction, management and leadership of the staff, Professor Pillay has a widely published and distinguished academic record to his credit. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University and a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Durban. After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, Professor Pillay became Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Africa in 1988. Later on he joined Liverpool Hope University College as Rector in 2003.