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22 February 2022

King's contributes to Student Futures Commission report

The UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission, launched this week, has highlighted examples of best practice from the higher education sector in responding to challenges created by the pandemic.


The new report, which featured the proposed King's First Year pathway as a case study and includes Professor Juliet Foster, King’s Dean of Education for the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) as one of its commissioners, has called for greater collaboration between students and universities to help address some of the impacts of COVID-19 in areas such as student mental health, the transition from school to university and digital inequalities that affect teaching and learning.

Professor Juliet Foster provided valuable contributions on the topic of effective support for student mental wellbeing. In relation to this topic, the commissioners focused on where they felt universities could make meaningful improvements into mental health support.

Professor Foster, Dean of Education at King's IoPPN said, "Working as one of the commissioners on the UPPF's Student Futures Commission has been a privilege. We have heard so much of importance from staff and students across the sector, as well as other specialists, in our evidence sessions, and I hope the report will be a valuable resource for universities as we plan our continued teaching and support for students in the wake of the pandemic.

I am particularly glad that there is such a prominent focus on the issue of student mental health and wellbeing: we need a renewed emphasis on developing and evaluating the ‘whole university’ approach to mental health and wellbeing, and proper resourcing for this will be of utmost importance. The report shares many examples of good practice around this, and across a range of other areas."

Professor Juliet Foster, Dean of Education at King's IoPPN

The King’s First Year, a best practice case study referenced in the report, is a proposed 15-credit Service-learning module designed to support student transition into and through the first year of university study, developing skillsets and mindsets as part of the university’s commitment to Service at King's, through a shared experience around which a community of lifelong learners can form. The university’s intent is to test the module through a series of smaller scale pilots before potentially rolling it out for all first-year undergraduates in 2025-26.

The overarching goal is to create a generation of students with the capacity and confidence to become ‘empowered changemakers’.

For King’s First Year, the student experience is inherently linked with the students’ engagement with local communities and global issues. As a year-long programme, King’s First Year will also allow students to form relationships with others outside of their courses of study, and develop a deeper sense of belonging to the King’s community.


A copy of the full report can be found here.

King's IoPPN has several options open to staff and students looking to volunteer their time to help others. For more information, visit King's Volunteering.

For more information about the report, please contact Patrick O'Brien (Senior Media Officer).

In this story

Juliet Foster New

Dean of Education