At Kingston University, we believe that universities should aspire to change lives through the opportunities that they provide and the knowledge they produce. We are committed to providing access to everyone with the ability to benefit from a higher education, regardless of their background or means. Your origin should not determine your destination.
We recognise that some students – for example those from lower socio-economic or non-traditional backgrounds, mature students, and those leaving local authority care – can face additional barriers in accessing and achieving at university, and we don't think that's fair. In order to support all our students, we provided £2.4million to students in the 2015/16 academic year.
For us to support and build upon this work, we have been connecting current students with our alumni since 2007 as part of our annual telephone campaign. Kingston University alumni have given more than £1,000,000 in this time and have shared their invaluable knowledge and expertise with our current students. We are very grateful to, and proud of, our alumni.
During eight weeks in early 2016, 30 current students called Kingston University alumni all over the world and had some fascinating conversations about the ways in which Kingston shaped the future of our alumni. One lucky caller was even invited to observe open-heart surgery! Our callers updated our alumni on all the ways in which Kingston has changed – and stayed the same – and shared with them our powerful work supporting students.
Our alumni showed their ongoing support and passion for Kingston by giving a record-breaking £96,000, beating the Autumn 2015 total of an already-impressive £91,000. We are deeply grateful to our alumni for supporting later generations of students, and there are many people studying here at Kingston today who would not be were it not for this generosity.
This autumn, we are raising support for bursaries for young people leaving care, scholarships for the best and brightest postgraduate students, hardship grants for students in significant financial difficulty and research grants to support life-changing research and opportunities for student innovation. We hope you will join us in expanding this essential work.
For the first time, we will also be raising funds for bursaries for students with caring responsibilities, often for a parent or a sibling. Caring responsibilities can place an additional emotional and physical strain on students and limit their opportunities to support themselves through part-time work. We want to support them to achieve at Kingston while still having the energy and resources to care for their loved one.
A donation of just £10 a month will make such a huge difference to Kingston and its students. You will join a community of more than 3,000 alumni who have already given to support current students, and our callers look forward to speaking to many of you this autumn.
Samantha Holmes, a call-room supervisor who is in the third year of her International Relations with Spanish BA(Hons) programme shares her experiences:
Every cause we raise money for is so worthwhile, but a particular favourite of mine is the Care Leaver Bursary. I think it has had a stronger impact on me because we have people on the team who have personally benefitted from this fund, so I know just how important it is.
Another one I feel passionate about is the Student Hardship Fund. All sorts of life events occur to people before and during university and its devastating to have to give up your dreams because of this. The Student Hardship Fund makes sure that no matter what happens, the University will do its absolute best to keep you in education and help you as best as it can through this difficult time.
I love my job speaking to Kingston University alumni and chatting to people who loved the University as much as I did. It's astonishing how quickly they can become like an old friend! Conversation is so easy because you have a shared love of the University and its great hearing about what their degree has helped them achieve.
We're able to speak to people who did the same course as we did, too, so we can gain so much advice about how the alumni got into their current careers or what work experience they did etc. It's actually talking to Kingston alumni that has given me the most insight into employability after university, and I've already started using what I've learnt to help find work experience and internships.
The best moments for me at Kingston have been meeting new friends for life and learning so much more about myself. University has provided me with so many opportunities to improve who I am both in a working aspect as well as who I am as a person. I feel I have become more independent, ambitious and motivated than I would have ever become if I did not attend Kingston.