Search our site
Search our site

The Big Read

This is our third year of the Kingston University Big Read – a scheme that offers all new students coming to Kingston University, and all the staff already here, the chance to read the same book.

My Name is Leon book coverMy Name is Leon by Kit de Waal is this year's selected book. It explores big themes such as humanity, love and family that we can all relate to in some way whilst remaining light-hearted and beautiful.

How the Big Read works

We encourage you to read the book before coming to Kingston University. The idea behind this is that all our new students arrive with something in common, as well as with current students and staff alike. It can be a great ice-breaker in those early days.

We will be running various events during Welcome Week about the book and what people thought of it. There will be chances to meet the author in October.

How can you get your copy?

Hard copy

If you are starting at Kingston University in September 2017, you will be sent a copy of My Name is Leon to your home address.

Those who have already accepted their place should get one very shortly, some will get theirs once they have fulfilled their UCAS offer, and others who accept a place slightly later will be sent one once we know they are coming here. If for any reason you don't receive a copy in the post, never fear, there will be plenty of copies available from various locations such as the reception desks and LRCs once you arrive.

Be part of the Big Read

Once you have it, do read it. There's a letter from our Vice-Chancellor in the front of the book, and you might like to think about some of the questions about the book that feature right at the end. These were written by your fellow students, and we hope you will find them interesting.

We are proud of the fact that we have our very own edition from this bestselling author. Our librarians have told us that because it is a limited edition, it will have a rarity value in the future! You might want to bring yours along to the author event in October to ask the author, Kit de Waal, to sign it.

It can be really interesting to compare notes with others and talk about characters and themes in the book they relate to and why. Reading a book is such a personal experience - finding out how others have imagined the same characters, and often seen completely differently, can be fascinating.

How did we choose this year's title?

With such a large number of people getting involved, it was important to choose a book that would potentially appeal to everyone. It's not meant to be directly related to anyone's course or discipline, just a book that anybody can read for pleasure. But trying to find a title that would appeal to everyone, right across the University - students and staff, whatever their role - was quite a challenge.

Last year over 140 titles were suggested by students and staff. Again, we have continued using our specially created algorithm to narrow these down to a shortlist of six. Based on feedback from last year's participants, adjustments were made to each of the determining criteria. Each of the six titles could have made a great Big Read title but our Selection Committee, consisting of twenty new staff and students from all across the University, undertook months of reading and discussions to select the very best Big Read for this year's new students.

Contact us

Queries about KU Welcome week (including course induction, enrolment or welcome activities)? Call us on:

  • Tel: 0800 048 2484*

*Freephone from both mobiles and landlines

Please note, the hotline will be open from Tuesday 22 August – Friday 22 September, 9.00am 5.00pm.

Contact us

Queries about KU Welcome week (including course induction, enrolment or welcome activities)? Call us on:

  • Tel: 0800 048 2484*

*Freephone from both mobiles and landlines

Please note, the hotline will be open from Tuesday 22 August – Friday 22 September, 9.00am 5.00pm.

Useful links

Build your Essential Welcome activity schedule here.

Welcome Connectors

Welcome Connectors

Whether you're in need of directions, looking for top tips on uni life or just fancy a chat, our Welcome Connectors are here to help.

They are Kingston University students who are keen to share their knowledge and experience with you, and should be easy to spot in bright green T-shirts with "Here to help" printed on the back.

Contact us

Queries about KU Welcome week (including course induction, enrolment or welcome activities)? Call us on:

  • Tel: 0800 048 2484*

*Freephone from both mobiles and landlines

Please note, the hotline will be open from Tuesday 22 August – Friday 22 September, 9.00am 5.00pm.

Welcome Week