Eight students from across the SWDTP attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, to mark the formal launch of the GW4 Alliance. The reception was hosted by Baroness Randerson, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales. Vice Chancellors and many other senior representatives from the four GW4 institutions – the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – were also present. Cross-institutional doctoral training programmes such as the SWDTP benefit greatly from the improved structures provided by the GW4 alliance. At an event attended by so many of the senior figures from each GW4 institution, student representation from the SWDTP was warmly welcomed. Baroness Randerson was very pleased to have the opportunity to speak directly with our students and highlighted their importance in her opening speech.
Representing the SWDTP were Ruth Carmichael, Robin Corey, Olivia Godber, Anna Tiley and Chris Wood from Bristol, Kleio Petratou from Bath, and Andrea Gori and Alex Johns from Exeter. All are from our first intake of SWDTP students and are now entering their third year of the programme. They were accompanied by Professor Leo Brady, Director of the SWDTP. The reception was held in the Terrace Pavilion of the Houses of Parliament on the banks of the Thames. We also had the opportunity to look around the Palace of Westminster including Westminster Hall, the central lobby, and managed to gain admission to the ‘Stranger’s Gallery’ to watch a debate on devolution in the House of Lords. Leo Brady commented ‘This was a great opportunity to show off the tremendous talent we have within the SWDTP. Our students are tangible proof of the tremendous benefits of regional cooperation.’ In addition to enjoying the beauty of the Palace of Westminster, the SWDTP team had the opportunity to meet and talk with many senior figures from GW4, the Research Councils, government departments and major UK companies.
Further information on the GW4 Alliance can be found at www.gw4.ac.uk.