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Professor Steven Spier named new Kingston University Vice-Chancellor

Posted Wednesday 24 May 2017

Professor Steven Spier named new Kingston University Vice-Chancellor

Professor Steven Spier has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University.

Board Chair David Edmonds said Professor Spier, who had been Acting Vice-Chancellor since October last year, was a highly accomplished academic, with an extensive knowledge of the University and the challenges of securing its future in an increasingly competitive higher education environment....


Kingston University performing arts students wow audiences at Rose Theatre with annual end of year festival

Posted Tuesday 23 May 2017

Kingston University performing arts students studying dance, drama, film and music have taken over the Rose Theatre Kingston to showcase their talents at the annual end of year festival.

From cabaret and comedy to street dancing and acoustic sets, Kingston Onstage features an eclectic range of work created and performed by students studying both undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses.

Dr Helen Julia Minors, Head of the Department of Music and Creative Music Technologies, praised the free festival – now expanded to spread over three evenings – for being a unique opportunity for students to share their creativity with a wider audience.  "Kingston Onstage is a great chance to provide the local community and industry scouts with an insight into the hard work students have been carrying out throughout the academic year," she said.

This year's acts included a heartfelt play devised by a group of final-year drama students, based on their first-hand experience of having loved ones affected by dementia. The performance focused on how the degenerative mental disease affects carers, which is something that is not often the focus in the media.

Olivia Cramsie, who is in her third year of studying BA(Hons) Drama with Psychology, co-created the piece – which combines movement and poetry – to help give the audience a better understanding of the different types of the disease, with special attention to vascular dementia.

Also performing in the piece was Connor Smith, who was also tasked with directing the drama section of the performing arts festival. Currently in the final stages of his BA(Hons) Drama degree, the actor and director said he has no regrets choosing to study drama at a University as opposed to a performing arts school.  "Many people think it's going to be all theory, but Kingston University has the perfect balance of theory and practical work," he said.

"Whether you are interested in acting or script writing, directing or teaching, the staff take into account the goals of every student and adapt the classes to suit what each individual wants to pursue," he added.

Involved in some aspect of every performance across the three days, third-year BA(Hons) Drama and Music student Geert Rigters viewed the stage from different perspectives – first as a musician and also as a technician – and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience. "Being able to perform in an actual theatre in addition to our universities performance spaces gives students a chance to look at the differences between the two and evaluate the challenges that it can present."

Dance performances included first year BA(Hons) Dance student Saffron Shomaly whose self-choreographed duet incorporated two very difference dance styles – street dance and contemporary – to portray the struggle she and her dance partner experienced trying to mould themselves into the image of the 'ideal' dancer.

With music performances spanning a variety of different genres and styles, part-time MMus Music Performance student Tai Li Ling showed off her talents through her personal style, which combines blues vocals with folk-inspired songs played on a ukulele.

The singer-songwriter feels that she and her contemporaries are fortunate to be part of a tradition of performing to the local community at such a respected venue.  "It is a great honour to play my own songs at a grand setting like the Rose Theatre – being able to share my music with others is the reason I wanted to study music."

Drama student Jade Flack will also put her vocal talents to the test as part of the cabaret section with an adaptation of Funny Honey – a comical number from the multi-award winning musical Chicago – which she also directed.

The second-year student is one of the many performing arts students taking advantage of the close links between Kingston University and the Rose Theatre, which is the largest producing theatre in South West London. "Performing at the Rose is an absolutely incredible experience – not everyone gets to perform at a theatre during their time at university, so it's an added bonus."

  • Find out more about studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Kingston University's Faculty of Arts and Social Science.

Breaking ground – key local figures celebrate the start of construction on Kingston University's landmark Town House building

Posted Monday 22 May 2017

Breaking ground – key local figures celebrate the start of construction on Kingston University's landmark Town House building

A ceremony has been held at Kingston University to mark the beginning of construction work for the University's new flagship building, Town House.

Around 40 people – including University staff, a number of local councillors and representatives from construction company Willmott Dixon – congregated at the University's Penrhyn Road campus. They were there to catch a glimpse of the diggers, trenches and piles of earth that represented the start of work on the landmark building....


Kingston University student's research into fiction habits and personality types reveals reading may make us kinder

Posted Monday 22 May 2017

Kingston University student's research into fiction habits and personality types reveals reading may make us kinder

A Kingston University postgraduate research student has produced a study that examines the effects of reading and watching television on social behaviour - concluding that literature lovers have the edge over their remote control-loving counterparts when it comes to being nicer people.

Rose Turner's study featured 123 adults of various ages participating in an anonymous online survey. They were asked to select their preferences for books, television and plays, alongside being tested on their interpersonal skills, which included how much they considered others' feelings and their desire to help those around them. The results revealed that readers had greater awareness and empathy for other people's feelings, while those who preferred watching television came across as less friendly and less understanding of others' views....


Kingston University's heat acclimation lab helps top British runner race to success at 2017 Marathon des Sables

Posted Friday 19 May 2017

Kingston University's heat acclimation lab helps top British runner race to success at 2017 Marathon des Sables

Kingston University has helped British army officer and ultra runner Tom Evans to achieve medal success in the 32nd Marathon de Sables which took place recently. The annual 250km footrace sees those taking part run a total of six marathons over six days across the sands of the Sahara Desert, enduring temperatures of up to 50°C.

The University provided heat acclimation support for Tom and 19 other athletes training to compete in this year's race. Tom – until recently a relative unknown on the ultra-marathon circuit – came in third overall in a very strong field, making him the highest placed British runner in the race's history.Exercise physiology technician Chris Howe from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing gave expert guidance to athletes during March and April in the University's specialised environmental chamber at the Penrhyn Road campus. The heat acclimation lab is in high demand in the run up to the Marathon des Sables as it replicates the conditions in the Sahara. The facilities are also used for practical work and research by students on several of the Faculty's courses; including the sport science degree which recently retained its place as the highest ranked in London and 10th in the country in the Guardian newspaper's 2018 University rankings....


Kingston University researcher investigates how artificial intelligence can help composers create new music

Posted Thursday 18 May 2017

Kingston University researcher investigates how artificial intelligence can help composers create new music

Could artificial intelligence (AI) be part of the future of music creation? Kingston University experts are taking a leading role in new research exploring how machines and humans can work together to compose music.

Investigating how the latest technology could be used as a creative partner by musicians, researchers from Kingston University and Queen Mary University of London have been training a cutting-edge computer system to produce new compositions based on what it has learned about a particular type of music....


Kingston University picks up three 2017 NEON Awards recognising success in opening up higher education to all

Posted Tuesday 16 May 2017

Kingston University picks up three 2017 NEON Awards recognising success in opening up higher education to all

Kingston University has won the NEON University of the Year Award for the second year running and has also triumphed in two other award categories. The NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards recognise commitment to increasing access to higher education for everyone – but in particular for under-represented individuals and groups.

The University won the Widening Access Initiative Award (Retention and Success) for its student engagement programme and was highly commended for its inclusive curriculum work – for which it recently won The Guardian University Award for Teaching Excellence....


Guardian University Guide names Kingston University a top institution for fashion, journalism and publishing in latest rankings

Posted Tuesday 16 May 2017

Guardian University Guide names Kingston University a top institution for fashion, journalism and publishing in latest rankings

Kingston University has been rated among the best institutions in the United Kingdom for fashion, journalism and publishing in this year's Guardian University Guide. There were also top 10 placings for its art, design and sport science courses in the national newspaper's 2018 listings.

For the second year in a row, the University's internationally acclaimed fashion programme came second overall in the fashion and textiles category, making Kingston University the highest-ranked institution in the country specialising in fashion specifically....

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