Posted Wednesday 21 October 2015
Sad but true, only 6% of young people leaving care go to university, compared with 40% of their peers. Proudly, Kingston University welcomes 10% of these young people every year.
This spring we asked you, our alumni, to help us to inspire even more young people from non-typical university backgrounds to consider higher education. Given our hugely diverse alumni body, we knew that you could use your success to inspire countless young people to imagine themselves reaching their potential.
The question we posed was "University changed my future because...". Hundreds of you generously shared your reflections on how your university education and experience had done just that. Your contributions mentioned meeting friends, life-partners and professional networks and getting the qualifications, introductions and placements that got you your dream job. You also talked about gaining confidence and independence; realising that you can achieve and are clever.
As we'd hoped, our prospective students have indeed been inspired by your stories; hundreds of new care leavers, young carers and young people who didn't always think of themselves as ‘university material' have enrolled this autumn.
During the summer holidays many of these new students attended our three-day Head Start summer school. This induction event is dedicated to welcoming and preparing students like care leavers; students who are the first in their family to go to University; and students who have defied societal expectations to get here.
In response to all the encouraging words from our alumni, our new students have shared their hopes and dreams; how they hope university will change their future. Over the last few weeks we have been sharing their comments and asking you to share tips, advice and good luck wishes to help them get started. Dozens of you have contributed already. You can go online to see all the alumni contributions and student responses.
Our dedicated team, KU Cares, will be supporting these students throughout their time at Kingston to ensure that they can make the most of their university experience and that their past does not dictate their future. We look forward to bringing you more as our newest intake of students continue on their journeys to fulfil their potential.