Frequently asked questions about Head Start

Information about Head Start

What are the benefits of attending Head Start?

Head Start aims to help prepare you for life as an undergraduate student at Kingston and answer any questions you may have. You will:

  • Begin your student life at Kingston with a whole group of friends that you will meet at Head Start.
  • Chat to staff and current students who will give you invaluable tips and advice on having a successful first year at university.
  • Get to know the University and the local area.
  • Find out some top tips on surviving your first semester and adjusting to university life.
  • Feel more confident about starting in September.
  • Improve your study skills and get an idea of what's expected of you academically.

Did you know...? Research findings show that those who feel at home in a university environment, both academically and socially, are statistically more likely to graduate.

When does Head Start take place?

Head Start will take place this summer, between July and September. There will be a mixture of three-day and one-day events that will be held in person at Kingston University, as well as an online event to choose from, which are all completely free to attend. If you register for one of our three-day events, then two nights' free accommodation in Seething Wells halls of residence is available. Places for these rooms are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. If rooms are oversubscribed they will be prioritised for attendees unable to commute to the event each day. If you are travelling from a long distance we have a small number of rooms available for the night before the event. Please note we can only offer accommodation to applicants who are aged 18 or over at the time of the Head Start event you would like to attend.

The dates for our Head Start events are as follows:

Head Start three-day events (with accommodation available):

  • 13-15 July 2022
  • 3-5 August 2022
  • 10-12 August 2022

Head Start Express one-day events (no accommodation available):

  • 25 August 2022
  • 31 August 2022
  • 1 September 2022 (Mature learners only - aged 21 or over before you start your course)

Head Start Online:

  • 6 and 7 September 2022

What can I expect from Head Start?

At each of our events there will be lots of sessions focusing on different topics that will help you gain an understanding about university life and prepare you for your course. You will also meet other new students, as well as having lots of opportunities to ask us questions. Some of the sessions we offer surround developing your academic skills, providing accommodation information, student money advice, health and wellbeing support, and much more! Alongside these informative sessions we have planned lots of fun activities too.

Do I have to attend?

No, attending Head Start is optional. However our previous Head Start students have found the event very valuable.

Will I be able to meet with current students?

Yes, there will be a number of student ambassadors taking part in the Head Start programme. Our ambassadors are all current students and will be from a variety of subject areas, ages and backgrounds so you will be sure to meet somebody who you can really relate to.

You can take a look at some of our current students' profiles, and they are available to chat to you if you have a specific question, or you would just like to say hello before you join us at one of our events.

How much does it cost?

It is completely free to take part in Head Start. All you need to do is complete our application form to register.

If you are attending our in-person events at Kingston University, breakfast and lunch will be provided. Dinner will also be available for those taking part in the evening activities.

Financial support will be available to help with travel costs to attend our Head Start events. Further information on how to apply for this will be provided nearer the time of each event after your booking has been confirmed. However, if you are concerned that travelling costs may prevent you from booking and attending Head Start, please email headstart@kingston.ac.uk for advice.

You may wish to bring some money with you to purchase additional food and drinks during the event if you require.

For those who will be staying in halls of residence, your accommodation will be paid for by the university, providing you stay for the full three days of the event. If you do not stay for the duration of the event you may be charged for your accommodation.

Is Head Start for mature students?

We recognise the importance of supporting mature students (aged 21 or over on 1 September before you start your course) through their transition to university, and welcome a significant number of mature learners at all Head Start events each year. There will be information and guidance specifically targeted towards mature students so please take part.

However, we will be hosting and exclusive Mature Learner Preparation Day on 1 September 2022, and bookings for this event will open on the 11 July 2022.

How do I book my place?

Bookings for Head Start 2022 are now open. However, we are currently only accepting applications for our three-day events. We will be opening applications to our one-day and online events on 11 July 2022.

To book a place for our in person events then you must be a Home applicant holding a firm offer for an undergraduate course at Kingston University. Places at Head Start are prioritised for applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are the first generation in your family to progress to higher education (i.e. your parents have not been to university; but if your brother or sister has, you are still eligible to attend)
  • You are a mature student (aged 21 or over on 1 September before you start your course) who does not currently hold a bachelor's degree
  • Your family household income is less than £25,000 per year
  • You identify as being disabled or have a specific learning difference
  • You are under the age of 25 and have spent time in care in the UK, been placed in a foyer or are estranged from your family
  • You are a young adult carer
  • You are in receipt of the Sanctuary Scholarship
  • You are coming to Kingston University via Clearing
  • You are entering Higher Education with a BTEC as your main qualification.

If you do not meet any of the eligibility criteria, but would like to be part of Head Start, then we recommend that you still complete the booking form. The Head Start Team will then review your application and inform you if a place becomes available at one of our in person events.

Important: If you book a place at Head Start and reserve accommodation you must contact us in writing five working days prior to the event if you decide you would no longer like to attend and/or stay in accommodation. Failure to do so may result in you being charged for your room, and there may be another person on our waiting list who would like to attend the event in your place.

I'm an international student, can I still take part in Head Start?

Our in-person events are only open to Home applicants, however if you are an international applicant with a Firm offer to study an undergraduate course at Kingston University then you will be able to join us for our Head Start Online programme.

Head Start Online will take place on 6 and 7 September. We will be opening our application form for this event on 11 July 2022.

How will I know if I have been accepted onto a Head Start event?

Firstly, you will need to complete our booking form to register for one of our Head Start events. Once you have submitted your application, the Head Start team will be in touch to confirm your place and provide you with further details about the event.

However, if you have any questions then please contact us.

Information about staying in accommodation during Head Start

Do I need to bring anything?

You will need to bring clothes, toiletries and a towel. However you do not need to bring bedding or kitchen utensils as these will be provided.

Where will I be staying?

You will be staying in our Seething Wells halls of residence.

How much will it cost?

The cost of your stay in the halls of residence is covered by the University, providing you stay for the full three days of the event. If you do not stay for the duration of the event you may be charged for your accommodation.

Your breakfast and lunch will be provided, and dinner will also be available for those taking part in the evening activities. However, you may wish to bring some money with you to purchase additional food and drinks during the event if you require.

Will I have my own room?

Yes, you will have your own room with en-suite facilities. However, the flat you will be staying in may be a mix of female and male students, who will also be attending the Head Start event.

What if I live locally, can I still stay in halls of residence?

We will do our very best to accommodate everyone who wants to stay in halls. However, if rooms are oversubscribed, then priority will be given to those who live more than 15 miles away.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about staying in halls of residence?

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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