Posted Wednesday 21 November 2018
Kingston University has been shortlisted for an award for its work supporting students who have become estranged from their families.
The University's Access, Participation and Inclusion team was nominated for top honours in the Outreach and Transition category at the inaugural Stand Alone Pledge Awards. The accolades recognised higher education institutions for their outstanding commitment and innovative approaches to supporting estranged students.
The University's KU Cares scheme offers support to students aged under 25 when they enrol, who have experienced an irrevocable breakdown in the relationship with their families. The project provides a comprehensive package of support including finances, access to year-round accommodation and to a range of other opportunities such as work placements. Participants also have the chance to become part of the student ambassador team.
The scheme also provides support to care leavers and young adult carers, as well as Sanctuary Scholarships to help prospective students who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the United Kingdom to access higher education.
Access and Inclusion Manager Emily Hughes said Kingston had been working with estranged learners for the past decade, making it one of the first universities in the United Kingdom to do so.
All told, 51 estranged students are now being supported at Kingston University, with that number expected to rise. The work has recently been boosted by funding received from the Mohn Westlake Foundation, which helps the development of disadvantaged young people, to support even more students in to education and during their time at the University.
The team was incredibly proud of the support and provision it offered to estranged learners, Mrs Hughes said. "I'm excited that the funding we have received from the Mohn Westlake Foundation will allow us to build on the work we are doing and provide additional support to those who need it," she added.
The latest recognition follows on from the Access, Participation and Inclusion team being highly commended at the Times Higher Awards in 2014, while also being shortlisted in the student diversity and widening participation category at the 2015 Guardian University Awards.