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07 March 2024

Success for Digital Futures outreach programme receives funding to support Black students

King’s has received funding from the Buttinghill Foundation to pilot a new outreach programme which will support Black school pupils in Year 10 to engage with digital skills.

motion blur of students walking down hall

A collaboration between the Digital Futures Institute (Faculty of Arts & Humanities) and the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences (Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine), the two-year pilot programme will invite Year 10 school pupils from London to a series of interactive workshops at King’s. School pupils will learn about topics such as digital humanities, coding and bias in technology. They will have a chance to put into practice their coding skills, with the support of King’s PhD students.

The Success for Digital Futures programme aims to demystify digital skills and technology; empower school pupils to engage with digital technologies, and raise awareness of study and career options.

The Digital Futures Institute at King’s is in a great position to lead the way on tackling the growing digital skills divide and using positive action to address underrepresentation. It is important that school pupils get the chance to engage with key discussions around bias, ethics and diversity in AI through this programme. We are excited to collaborate with the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, building on the impactful Success for Black Engineers programme. We are immensely grateful to the Buttinghill Foundation for generously supporting this timely and necessary initiative.

Professor Marion Thain, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and Chair-Director, Digital Futures Institute

The Success for Digital Futures programme is based on Success for Black Engineers, which received funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity Impact Fund in April 2022. The Success for Black Engineers’ outreach programme has worked with over 200 school pupils so far with the aim of increasing the number of Black undergraduate engineering students at university. Success for Black Engineers also provides a STEM tutoring programme for year 11 school pupils, and mentoring support for undergraduate students.

It is great to see Success for Black Engineers attract further funding for programmes to support Black students. Our outreach programme has been very successful so far, and we have taken this tried-and-tested approach and applied it to the broader theme of digital skills. We will share the outcomes of this initiative and encourage other departments and universities to take this approach.

Professor Kawal Rhode, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Head of Education, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

We are not just supporting an initiative; we are investing in the future. The Buttinghill Foundation is proud to collaborate with King’s College on this transformative journey. By equipping Black school pupils with the essential tools and knowledge to navigate and excel in the digital realm, we're cultivating fluency in the digital language that will define our collective future. Our commitment extends beyond the present—we envision a broader, more inclusive initiative. We aim to inspire others to join us, ensuring that all underrepresented groups have not only a voice but also a significant stake in the digital future.

Wol and Kerry Kolade of The Buttinghill Foundation

In this story

Kawal Rhode

Professor in Biomedical Engineering and the Head of Education at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences


Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities