Working in Partnership with Kingston University

“Kingston University offered me the support I needed to succeed. It would not have come from anywhere else. No one in the system and no one in my family believed in me.”

The Mohn Westlake Foundation is working in partnership with Kingston University to support two valuable programmes to enable more disadvantaged learners to thrive in Higher Education.

The Head Start Summer School is an orientation programme designed to give disadvantaged students the best start at university by helping them build confidence and familiarity with all aspects of university life, and equipping them to manage finances, juggle studies, seek support and secure part-time work.  Our partnership with Kingston University will more than double the number of attendees over three years – from 240 to 600 per annum.

Kingston’s KU Cares programme offers critical support to standalone students (those estranged from their families, who have no parental or financial support or family home) by providing them with a bursary and an assigned caseworker who supports them with the challenges they face in managing their finances, mental health, accommodation, isolation and family issues.  A total of 240 standalone students will be supported over three years.

At a glance…

  • Students who attended Head Start in 2017 were more likely to stay at university (94.4%) compared with those eligible students who did not attend (88.3%).
  • Our support enabled Kingston University to increase Head Start attendance in 2018 to 320 students, 33% more than the target number for year one.
  • Our programme has enabled Kingston University to identify 202 potential standalone students in need of support (with 51 verified as of December 2018).
  • 100% of care-experienced and estranged students held current status throughout the 2017/18 academic year, compared with 83.5% of other undergraduate entrants.
“I won’t be relying on social services for much longer. The biggest thing I have learnt is that if you want to change the world, support education!”AQ, a KU Cares student

“Kingston and Head Start is definitely hands down the best decision I’ve made this summer. You’ve turned my apprehension into confidence. I’m no longer afraid of change and I’m looking forward to starting uni.”

Updated Dec 2018

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