Elevate

Welcome to Elevate

Elevate is Kingston University's award-winning careers and employability accelerator programme for our students from Black British, African, Caribbean or Black mixed heritage.

About Elevate

Elevate smiling students

Elevate was launched in 2020 to address the degree awarding gap and disparities in graduate outcomes between Black and White students, which persists across higher education despite entry qualification, course of other demographic factors. At Kingston University, in 2021–22, there was a 25.4% gap between White and Black students getting a first or 2:1 degree.

Elevate is part of our whole institution approach to tackling racial inequity, which includes making our curricula and services more accessible and inclusive, embedding Future Skills at all levels, academic support activities, staff development and interventions-focused mental health and wellbeing.

Our approach and ambitious targets are outlined in our 2024–25 to 2027–28 Access and Participation Plan, and featured in our successful Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award submission.

Opportunities through Elevate

Elevate offers students opportunities to:

  • Discover employer opportunities such as insight days, mentoring, work experience, placements, paid internships and graduate jobs.
  • Join events with alumni and other professionals to learn from their insights.
  • Become part of a community of students, alumni, staff and employers.

We work with organisations that have a commitment to racial equity, and also build strategic relationships with influential individuals in the Black community. 2022–23 saw 96 students secure a paid opportunity, placement, or mentorship with Amazon, Coca Cola, Circl, Deloitte, KPMG, Marsh McLennan, Microsoft or Santander, some of our partner organisations.

Elevate celebrations

Elevate 3-year celebration in October 2023 was an amazing event to connect students, staff, alumni and professionals.

Read more about our celebration >

Save the date for our next celebration:

  • Tuesday 15 October 5–9pm
  • Penrhyn Road Town House KT1 2EE.

Please email Elevate if you would like to speak at the event.

Themes of our events

Our events focus on these themes:

  • Black leaders in industry enables alumni and other professionals to share their insights.
  • Industries uncovered increases awareness of sectors that present the biggest barriers for Black students to access.
  • Spotlight on employer highlights Elevate partner organisations and their opportunities.
  • Personal development workshops enhance transferable skills, personal development, wellbeing and confidence.
  • Networking events build a community and increase a sense of belonging.

Getting involved

If you are interested in getting involved or becoming an employer partner, please email elevate@kingston.ac.uk and connect with us on LinkedIn @kuelevate

Below are some ways in which professionals and employers can get involved:

How professionals can get involved

  • Share your insights on a Q&A panel event (online or on campus)
  • Host a workshop on transferable skills (online or on campus)
  • Provide insight days, mentorship, work shadowing or experience
  • Mentor a Black student as part of our Beyond Barriers student mentoring scheme
  • Offer placements – micro 2–6 weeks, or longer
  • Provide paid internships
  • Offer graduate roles
  • Become an ELEVATE Employer Partner

Benefits for professionals and employers

  • Share your knowledge and experience
  • Encourage the next generation to achieve their potential
  • Develop a diverse workforce
  • Give something back to society
  • Extend your professional network
  • Boost your organisation and your brand

Employers and organisations

The ELEVATE programme defines an employer partner as an organisation that demonstrates a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Organisations must meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Offer work experience, internships, or placements to students of Black heritage.
  • Provide access to mentoring schemes for students of Black heritage
  • Use inclusive recruitment practices such as contextual recruitment or blind screening.
  • Offer employee affinity groups or staff networks, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity in your employee workforce.
  • Have strategic goals to improve the representation of Black heritage employees.
  • Recognised at industry level for commitment to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Employer partners who have offered jobs, internships, placements and mentoring for our students include:

  • Hachette Book Group
  • Marsh McLennan
  • Scholastic
  • Teach First
  • Tesco
  • MarketAxess
  • GSK
  • Air Charter Service
  • The Elephant Room
  • Albourne
  • P&G
  • Sparta Global
  • BDO
  • Cola-Cola
  • Black Pharma
  • Circl
  • Xuntos
  • KPMG
  • EE Investors
  • PWC
  • Salesforce
  • Enterprise

Student reflections

I was excited when I received the email rom the Elevate Team about the opportunity to join a MarshMcLennan placement. The application process was straightforward. I am glad that I got selected as this will give me the opportunity to have practical experience."

Oluwatosin, Law Student

Oluwatosin, Law Student

The Elevate events I attended were informative and it was nice to see people who were successful in careers I am thinking of going into when I complete my degree."

Zahra, Biomedical Student

Zahra, Biomedical Student

Thank you Careeta (life coach for an Elevate personal development workshop). I enjoyed the session today and was able to capture key takeaways that I will use in the future. It was really helpful."

Thanks to a life coach

Thanks to a life coach

Employer reflections

Offered diverse opportunities across industry - Deliotte, Amazon and Microsoft. Access employee affinity groups demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity. 30+ students applied for opportunities through Elevate 2022–23.

Frances Thought, Founder of Everything D&I

Frances Thought, Founder of Everything D&I

Provided 16 students paid placements alongside 1:1 legal and compliance mentorship 2022–23. Legal and Compliance in office work experience. Industry workshops across Marsh McLennan and Oliver Wyman Group. CV creation and job application support.

Andrew Bainbridge, Deputy General Counsel Legal & Compliance, Oliver Wyman Group

Andrew Bainbridge, Deputy General Counsel Legal & Compliance, Oliver Wyman Group

I am grateful to the Elevate and Kingston University team for the opportunity to speak to the students from various courses and levels of study last week. Sharing my journey and insights with them was an honour and privilege. Receiving such positive feedback from the students means the world to me. It is great to hear that the advice I shared resonated with them and was timely for those currently navigating their entrepreneurial ventures or seeking personal and professional growth.

Nicholas 'Dex' Amfo-Gyamera, Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Founder of ODF Clothing

Nicholas 'Dex' Amfo-Gyamera, Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Founder of ODF Clothing

Awards

Global Careers Summit 2021

Global Careers Summit

Elevate won Best Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (EDI) programme at Global Careers Summit 2021.

National Undergraduate Employability Awards

National Undergraduate Employability Awards

Elevate won Best Widening Participation Initiative in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2022.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold

Elevate was recognised as a key factor in Kingston's award of Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold status in 2023.

Stay connected