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2021 round up: Celebrating highlights from the Kingston community

Posted Wednesday 15 December 2021

2021 round up: Celebrating highlights from the Kingston community

This year we celebrate Kingston alumni successes in the arts, business and sports, and the different ways the Kingston community has come together to support Kingston students. Here are some of the highlights from 2021.

In January's New Year Honours, architecture alumnus David Chipperfield, founder of the award-winning David Chipperfield Architects, was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour for his services to architecture.

Kingston alumni, staff and students connected virtually for a Big Read author talk with BBC Broadcaster Emily Maitlis to discuss her book Airhead, and our Upgrade Masterclass on ‘How to boost your online profits' with Jeremy Kraft offered in-depth insights and advice for budding entrepreneurs.

We also marked the 15-year anniversary of our award-winning KU Cares programme which supports care leavers, estranged students, carers and sanctuary scholars to access higher education.

Lucy SaundersLucy Saunders won the MTV Music Meets Fashion Competition

In February, fashion alumna Lucy Saunders won the MTV Music Meets Fashion Competition with a sustainable, gender neutral and size inclusive range for River Island, unveiled at London Fashion Week.

The Bright Ideas Grand Final took place virtually for the first-time, with almost 700 Kingston students pitching ideas to expert panels of Kingston alumni and local entrepreneurs for a chance to win up to £1,000.

To mark Women's History Month in March, management alumna and former Bupa CEO, Val Gooding, and honorary graduate and founder of The Female Lead, Edwina Dunn, shared career insights and advice with current students. Kingston Business School also launched the Kingston University Women in Enterprise Network (KUWEN), offering members an opportunity to connect, support each other and access expert advice.

A team of Kingston students spoke to over a thousand alumni about our trailblazing, holistic approach to keep disadvantaged students in education. Kingston alumni generously donated over £70,000 to the Spring Inspire the Future Campaign – that's almost 50 care leaver bursaries or 150 hardship bursaries.

Christian FaceyChristian Facey was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.

In April, business management alumnus Christian Facey, co-founder of tech start-up AudioMob, an audio advertising company for mobile gaming, was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30's media & marketing category.

Kingston University experts teamed up with Salutem Care and Education for a £220,000 technology project to improve care for people with autism and learning difficulties, funded by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership from UK Research and Innovation and Salutem Care. Kingston student and graduate entrepreneurs received a £40,000 boost from our partnership with Santander Universities to launch and develop their start-ups through our FastTrack and Nest enterprise programmes.

Kingston alumni in Nigeria connected for a special virtual reunion hosted by Jamil Abubakar and Olutimi Ayeni.

To mark International Nurses Day in May, our virtual Upgrade Masterclass on ‘Compassion and Self-Care in Caring Professions' with Katherine Curtis, Hazel McLaughlin, Valentine Nweze and John Godden discussed the shared experiences of key workers and the continued impact of the pandemic.

Union of Kingston Students celebrated the grand opening of Not My Beautiful House, a multi-purpose venue and online store showcasing the creative talent of Kingston students and alumni.

Over the summer, Kingston University launched the Future Skills Campaign to highlight the importance of a creative education and entrepreneurial innovation. We were delighted to launch the Paul Bishop Design Scholarship, funded by interior design alumnus Paul Bishop to support talented young creatives access higher education.

Our virtual Big Read Book Club featured Kingston alumni guest speakers Jamil Abubakar, Rosanna Dickinson & Wykidd Song, exploring different themes in this year's Big Read book, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu.

Team GBOliver Lam-Watson and Asha Philip enjoyed sporting success.

Kingston alumni celebrated sporting success as drama alumna Asha Philip, claimed a medal in the Women's 4x100m Relay at the Toyko Olympics, and architecture alumnus Oliver Lam-Watson, scooped two medals in the Men's Wheelchair Fencing at the Toyko Paralympics.

We welcomed new and returning students back on campus in September with news that the Guardian University Guide had ranked Kingston University as one of the top 50 universities in the UK.

Kingston University also launched a Sustainability Innovation Challenge to inspire students to help develop a more sustainable world, including a series of 15-minute Lightning Talks with Kingston alumni business leaders.

In October, our Upgrade Masterclass on 'Public Speaking with Style' with Maryan Hassan, Alex McSweeney, Pauline Parker and James Pearce explored issues of imposter syndrome and presenting to hostile audiences to the benefits of voice training and meditation.

Kingston School of Nursing unveiled new murals by fine art alumnus Alban Low celebrating healthcare workers on the Covid-19 frontline as part of a renovation of the School's teaching facilities.

Kingston University's Town House was named the winner of the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize – confirming it as Britain's best new building.

In November, Beyond Barriers 2021/22 kicked off with over 190 Kingston alumni volunteering for our student mentoring programme, to help ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed regardless of their background.

The Bernie Hub, a brand-new learning social space named after aerospace engineering alumna Anita Bernie, Strategy and Execution lead at KISPE Space Systems, was officially opened at our Roehampton Vale Campus.

In December, a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and the Department for Education ranked Kingston University in the UK's top 10 universities for social mobility.

Our Autumn Inspire the Future Campaign, which this year included celebrating #GivingTuesday with Kingston alumni in the USA, raised over £44,000 – that’s over 80 hardship bursaries for Kingston students. Thank you.

Get in touch

We know we have only scratched the surface of the achievements of Kingston alumni in 2021. Share your stories by emailing us at with your news.


Category: Alumni

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