University of Roehampton signs new five-year partnership with Wimbledon BookFest

  • Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The University of Roehampton has signed an agreement to become the principal sponsor for five years for Wimbledon BookFest, the leading literature, culture and arts festival, and will partner a range of linked events for school and colleges and the general public in the local area.

Image - University of Roehampton signs new five-year partnership with Wimbledon BookFest

The agreement, which builds and expands upon a previous partnership, will provide students from the University of Roehampton with paid and voluntary placement opportunities, while staff and academics will feature as speakers and judges. The event will allow the University to engage with BookFest's wider education programme, which works with over 70 schools across London. 

For the first time this year, the University will launch two 'Open Minds' events as part of the festival, a series of short talks by lecturers from the University of Roehampton open to the general public on a variety of subjects ranging from sports science, literature and history. The University of Roehampton staff will also be running an event discussing higher education with 600 schoolchildren during the festival.  

Other events run by the University of Roehampton at the 2018 festival will include:

  • Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O'Prey and former Roehampton Students' Union President Jack de France will debate the future of higher education with former Minister for Universities and Science David Willlets on Saturday 6 October
  • Tim Atkins, from the Department of English and Creative Writing, will be poet-in-residence, appearing at numerous events during the festival
  • The University's Robert Graves Poetry Prize winner will be announced at an event on 11 October, following a discussion of a new biography of Graves, chaired by Professor Paul O'Prey
  • Dr Ian Kinane will chair the judging panel for the festival's Young Writers Competition  

Professor Anna Gough Yates, Provost of the University of Roehampton, said: "We are excited to announce our renewed partnership with Wimbledon BookFest. As a centre for excellence in literature and the arts, with a commitment to educating people from all backgrounds, we are looking forward to supporting one of the leading festivals in south London in the next five years, and to helping with the valuable work that BookFest undertakes with schools and colleges and directly with young people."

Fiona Razvi, Festival Director of Wimbledon BookFest, said: "We are delighted to be building so significantly on a relationship that has reaped so much for the Festival already in terms of speakers, partnership on education projects and student involvement. Education is at the heart of the festival's work and the University are a key driver on this. The confirmation of a 5 year partnership with University of Roehampton will significantly enhance Wimbledon BookFest both in our content and audience reach. This represents a very exciting time ahead for Wimbledon BookFest."

Wimbledon BookFest is also running a new student journalism competition in partnership with the University of Roehampton. Details on entry requirement and how to apply will be announced shortly on the Wimbledon Bookfest website here.

Wimbledon BookFest hosts almost 100 events to over 15,000 visitors during its annual festival, and hosts further activities with 7,000 school children from over 70 partner schools. 

This year's festival will run from 4-14 October 2018 on Wimbledon Common, London. The University Roehampton Open Minds events will take place on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October. 

For further information about the Wimbledon BookFest 2018 festival, please visit