Posted Friday 28 November 2014
Kingston University has been highly commended in the Times Higher Education Awards' Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year category.
The University has been recognised for the high level of support it provides to care leavers. In 2012-13, for example, there were 122 care leaver students at Kingston University; the highest number among the 62 universities reporting to Buttle UK, the charity for children and young people living in poverty. During that same period, 89 per cent of graduating care leavers achieved a 2:2 degree or above, compared to 90 per cent at the University overall - a significant achievement given the barriers they face.
Kingston University's support package provided by the Widening Participation team includes increased bursaries, priority for scholarships, support in applying for international study mobility funds and other enhanced support for care leavers.
Other universities shortlisted for the Award, won by the University of Sheffield, were the University of Edinburgh, Henley Business School at the University of Reading, Newcastle University and The Open University.
The University's Vice-Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, was at the ceremony and said: "This rare commendation means the judges really couldn't decide whether it should be us or Sheffield that should win so they ‘flipped a coin'. While I congratulate Sheffield wholeheartedly for their excellent initiatives, whichever way you look at it, we're the top university for supporting care leavers and we've been recognised for doing some cutting edge work in Widening Participation."
"The Enterprise team also did very well being shortlisted for the category of Entrepreneurial University of the Year in recognition of the high levels of extra-curricular and academic support we provide to our students in fostering enterprise. Our efforts mean, for the fifth year running, Kingston University graduates generated the most start-up companies of any UK higher education institution."
"Both teams make me extremely proud to be Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University."
Comedian, Jack Dee, was MC at the Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, on Thursday 27 November.
Find out more about the work of Kingston University's Outreach and widening participation team.
The full list of Award winners can be seen on the Times Higher Education website.