King’s College London Widening Participation works with underrepresented learners and their supporters, empowering them to access, thrive and succeed in higher education. We have the power, expertise and drive to help bring about a fairer society, where people from all walks of life can access a great education. Opportunities, aspirations and chances to succeed are not distributed fairly across society. We are a team of professionals who can help to change that on behalf of King’s. We’re a civic minded university that seeks to educate a diverse community of learners all with individual voices and experiences so that they can achieve to their greatest potential. Widening participation to higher education in turn makes King’s and the wider world a better place.
On these pages you can find details of our projects and partnerships. This information will be particularly helpful for prospective students, teachers, social workers and parents/carers.
Widening participation is one of the eight strategic priorities for King's College London. Each year we develop an access and participation plan with the Office for Students (OFS) that sets us clear benchmarks for our progress in supporting key groups.
At King’s we believe a diverse study body enriches the education that we offer.
Black Students: Amos Bursary & Aspire
We are dedicated to improving access for black students. Our Access and Participation Plan outlines our objective to increase the proportion of black students entering King’s from 9.5% to 11.5% by 2024/25.
The Amos Bursary ensures talented young men of Afro-Caribbean descent have the opportunity to excel in education and beyond. We work closely work Amos Bursary to host 120 of their bursary recipients and associates, as well as providing two bursaries at King’s.
Aspire is our new post-16 scheme for black students. Co-created with the King’s African and Caribbean society, Aspire boosts the confidence and HE knowledge of Year 12/13 black students through a range of mentoring, academic and careers-based activities. King’s Aspire students also visit other ACS societies at Russell Group universities such as Warwick and Birmingham.
KCLSU Buddy Scheme
The first year of university is a daunting experience for every student. If a student comes from a background where none of their parents/carers or anyone in their area have been to university, it can be especially difficult to adjust.
The buddy scheme is run by KCLSU and uses volunteers (experienced students) who are paired up with first-year students from our outreach schemes. The scheme eases the transition to university life for incoming students. Buddies give information, advice, and signpost services offered by King’s and our Union. Buddies are also a friendly face that can help the students settle and feel like they are a part of the King's community.
Citizenship Payment Plan
In 2017, the Widening Participation Department launched a listening campaign with parents in Lambeth and Southwark. One of the issues raised was that their children did not possess British citizenship. Despite the fact that many of these children were born in the UK or had lived here most of their lives, they were required to pay a child citizenship fee of £1,012 to the Home Office, of which £640 is profit. Many families in our local communities cannot afford to pay this fee.
In 2019 we created the Citizenship Payment Plan in collaboration with Citizens UK and EdAid. This provides parents with the finance to apply for citizenship for their children without having to fall into expensive and risky debt. The payment plan splits the cost into 12 equal, interest-free instalments over 12months. Repayments are recycled, meaning more families will be able to benefit from the scheme.
King’s may use contextual data to holistically assess an applicant’s future potential to succeed. Contextual data includes: the ACORN index (an index which assigns specific geodemographic profiles to individual UK postcodes), Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), Participation of Local Areas (Polar), school performance data and if the applicant is defined as a ‘care-experienced’, 'estranged' or a 'forced migrant'.
Certain programmes may use contextual data to highlight if the application requires further consideration by an Admissions Manager or to assess if the applicant should receive a variable or alternate offer.
Contextual data may also be used in order to differentiate between similar highly qualified candidates in order to assess which has the greatest academic potential for the course.
Students participating in the Widening Participation scheme K+, and other key partner programmes, may receive additional consideration as part of the admissions process.
Further information about contextualised admissions at King's is available here.
Empoderando Padres (Empowering Parents) is an emerging project that seeks to support, promote and train parents in the Latinx community. We want to create a space for Latinx parents to speak, fight and win on issues that matter to them; education and security for their families, status, housing, public benefits, representation and more.
Following the example of the ‘Parent Power’ project, Empoderando Padres seeks to strengthen and grow the capacity of the Latinx community and ensure better opportunities for their families. Meetings take place once a month to plan campaigns on issues related to educational inequality, such as the inability to access summer schools, private tutoring or the inaccessibility of open university days.
Find out more about Empoderando Padres
The Hastings Project is a parental engagement inititiative run in collobaration with Eggtooth, a Hastings-based organisation. It aims to create a community of parents who are confident talking about higher education and share newfound knowledge among their networks. We work with a small group of parents who have not attended university to improve their knowledge and understanding of higher education and develop their confidence and self-efficacy. The project comprises nine months of weekly sessions focusing on personal development, six-weekly sessions on higher education, and four community experiences in Hastings. The project begins with an overnight stay in Hastings and concludes with an overnight stay at King’s.
Hospital Heroes is an after-school club for year 7 to 9 pupils from non-selective schools in Lambeth and Southwark. The programme is designed to have sustained and meaningful interactions with the same students over 3 years. Hospital Heroes aims to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of the range of healthcare careers available to them as well as the qualifications and skills needed to pursue a role in the sector. Featuring five in-school sessions and one visit to King’s, the pupils follow a patient on their journey to recovery meeting doctors, radiologists, surgeons and physiotherapists. They also complete projects such as designing their own healthcare centre and planning departments, staff, equipment and budgets.
If you are a teacher/careers advisor in a non-selective state school in Southwark or Lambeth, please register your interest with Kate Morgan via email at email@example.com.
K+ is our flagship post-16 programme. A well-established, targeted programme giving year 12 and 13 learners from non-selective schools in Greater London a chance to experience various aspects of university study and increase their chances of getting to a top university over 2 years. The programme involves a range of events including academic taster days, careers insight days and our non-residential summer school, ‘Spotlight’. K+ graduates who complete an academic assignment and attend all of our events receive a variable offer from King’s.
Alongside our core K+ programme, we have identified that students struggle to achieve top A Level grades in certain subjects. As a result we have developed a series of intensive revision sessions for K+ students so that they can meet the terms of their offer, known as our ‘K+ Raising Attainment’ project. This provides enhanced support to students who might not otherwise be able to access expensive personal tutoring, specifically targeting Biology and Chemistry A-levels.
You can find out more here, by visiting our dedicated K+ website and watching a series of videos from participants and staff explaining the programme.
King's Advocate Award
The King’s Advocate Award is an annual widening participation training programme that enables teachers and social workers to support some of the most under-represented pupils in London to access and thrive at university. Participants achieve the award by attending training, carrying out engagement activities in the context of their roles, reflecting on their learning and sharing good practice. We also provide funding for teachers and social workers to bid for to develop activity to improve their work supporting students.
You can find out more about the King's Advocate Award here.
Our King's Scholars scheme works with students in Years 7-9 in the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster. Over 3 years King’s Scholars learn about; university life, explore the diverse range of subjects taught at KCL, and discover the different career paths available after university.
King’s Scholars also learn how to supercharge their learning. Metacognition – learning how to learn effectively – is embedded throughout the programme.
Why not visit our online learning platform: gameplan.ac.uk
We believe that Latinx students should be recognised as a distinct group within our university populations. Engagement and support should be tailored in the same way that the Higher Education sector is already doing for other BME groups.
In October 2019 King’s College London commissioned a report on the representation, engagement and participation of Latinx students in higher education. The report identified six ‘best bets’ for HEIs who want to work with Latinx families as part of their widening participation activities. Following the recommendations of the Latinx report means having a basis on which to build effective access programmes which meet the needs of Latinx students. It means having the knowledge to ensure that once at university, Latinx students develop a sense of belonging and are equipped to gain successful outcomes.
The absence of official statistics relating to the Latinx population in the UK is mirrored within higher education, where there is no centralised data on the number of Latinx students at UK-based HEIs. Since including Latinx as an ethnic category in our applications and admissions process in 2019 we have now been able to access data which indicates the number of students who identify as ‘Latin American’ at King’s. This is the first time that we have ever been able to access this data which confirms that ‘Home’ Latinx students are an underrepresented group at King’s. This means we will ensure that they are one of the priority groups for our existing (and potentially new) widening participation programmes.
We welcome applications from mature students and we understand that the needs of these learners may differ from those entering higher education at 18. These webpages provide information for mature students about applying to and studying at university.
Medicine Activity Day
As part of our Medical Activity Day programme students in Year 10 and 11 visit a King’s College London campus for two days of interactive workshops, a campus tour and clinical skills.
For the first part of each day, the students will focus on improving their knowledge of key stage 4 chemistry and biology, in relation to healthcare and medicine.
Later in the day, students take part in a clinical skills session where they rotate around a number of stations learning and testing out different clinical skills including CPR and taking blood.
Priority booking is given to our target schools, as determined by levels of deprivation, attainment and progression to Higher Education.
If you have any questions regarding Medical Activity Day's, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Medicine in Action
The lecture series is a 12-week programme held on Thursday evenings to give year 12 students a valuable insight into careers in medicine and dentistry, with lectures from a variety of guest speakers on different specialisms. Last year’s lectures were given by GSTT clinicians and included topics such as Psychiatry, Trauma, and Surgery.
The lecture series will run from January to April and will also include talks on the different elements of applying to medicine and dentistry, including: UCAT, personal statements, and interviews.
Applications for 2021 lecture series will open in Autumn 2020.
To be notified about when applications open, please click here to join our 6th form mailing list.
Med-View & Dent-View
MedView and DentView are two separate 4-day summer schools programmes which are run simultaneously In April each year. DentView is suitable for year 12 students interested in Dentistry and MedView is suitable for year 12 students interested in medicine.
Successful applicants of both programmes will participate in:
- Clinical work experience
- Lectures by leading medical & dental researchers
- Interactive workshops where students will learn practical clinical skills
- Gain advice on sitting the UCAT and preparing for interviews
- Hear ‘survival tips’ from current medical and dental students.
To be notified about when applications open, please click here to join our 6th form mailing list.
In collaboration South London Citizens we have provided community organising training to parents of year 7-9 learners on our King’s Scholars programme. Parents have used these tools and techniques to campaign on issues of educational equality. They have secured funded open day visits to Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Leicester and a number of subsidised places on private summer schools. This also provides parents with the knowledge and experience to help their children make informed choices and aspire to the best possible education that is right for them. This work has been covered by the BBC and features prominently in King’s College London’s strategy for London and our commitment to Service.
Find our more about Parent Power.
Because of who they are, LGBT students are more likely to face multiple issues when accessing university:
- Poor attainment from truanting as a result of bullying
- Poor mental health
- Estrangement and homelessness
KCLWP see LGBT students as a target group which has been missed for too many years. We are planning a scheme which can help empower LGBT students reach their potential and feel they belong in the space they’re in.
Realising Opportunities (RO) is a unique collaboration of leading, research intensive universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from groups underrepresented in higher education. King’s College London recruits approximately 75 students per cohort and supports them throughout this two-year program. Our RO students and parents attend a local launch event where they get to visit our campuses and meet university staff and current university students. They also participate in the National Student Conference, where they get to meet other RO students and university representatives from across the country and get access to information about careers from well-known employers. As part of RO, our students work on an online study skills module (skills4uni) and complete mini-challenges in the form of quizzes along the way to develop valuable skills to use now and later at university. They become part of the RO student Hub where they can reflect on their progress and share any concerns or ask their RO Ambassador for advice. They are also invited to our events for Raising Attainment and they have the opportunity to attend the King’s Taster Days. Our RO students work with Leading Academics on our on-campus skills Day and get hands-on experience on the life of a university student. Upon completion of the scheme, they are also considered for a reduced offer should they apply to a partner university. Click here to find out more about Realising Opportunities.
We are committed to only to empowering students from across the UK to access higher education. Therefore, over the coming 3 years, we will be developing our regional outreach activity beyond Greater London.
This page will be updated as we develop our approach to regional activity.
Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) is a collective term for a number of diverse groups. These groups are significantly under-represented in higher education, with estimates stating only 3-4% of the GRT population access univeristy.
View more about our widening participation work Gypsy, Roma & Traveller students here.
King’s is delighted to partner with the SEREN Network to give Wales’s best and brightest pupils an opportunity to reach their academic potential and study at a leading UK university. Our Widening Participation Department at King’s College London delivers a range of workshops and activities to A-Level pupils at South East Wales, upon the invitation of the SEREN Network to give them the confidence and skills to make informed choices and pursue higher education if they wish to. We attend Conferences and HE fairs in Wales throughout the year and we are also the first university in the SEREN network to have designed a selective SEREN summer school at King’s. To find out more about the Seren Network and how to apply click here.
Seven + (KS4)
We are committed to creating a new programme which focuses on KS4 learners. As we develop the programme, this informatoin will be contiunally updated.
Support for Priority Groups: Care-experienced, Estranged and Forced Migrant students
Sutton Trust Summer Schools are free, residential, subject-specific courses which provide bright students from non-privileged homes with a taste of life at a leading university. The aim is to demystify elite universities and to equip students with the knowledge and insight to make high quality applications to prestigious universities.
Every year we give students across the UK the opportunity to live as a university student and get a hands-on experience of academia and social life. Over the week, students get involved in a packed timetable of academic workshops, lectures and tutorials, external visits, university guidance and social activities showing London as our home.
We Care Mentors
We are creating a new programme for year 7 children in care. Our King's students will act as tutors, giving guidance in key subjects such as English and Maths.
As the programme develops, more information will be added to this page.
Widening Participation Fund for student societies
The Widening Participation Fund helps students run their own outreach projects. It’s open to all King's students, individuals or groups, wanting to create and develop student-led outreach projects in the community. Students have developed some brilliant initiatives and have volunteered their time to get them running: the KCLevate project by the Bangladesh Society, the homework club by STAR, InsideMed from the EMDP society, to name a few.
The Widening Participation Department at King’s College London works in partnership with a number of organisations to meet our aims. These include:
Citizens UK is a charity that organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. Community Organising is based on the principle that when people work together, they have the power to change their neighbourhoods, cities, and ultimately the country for the better. This methodology helps create change through building relationships and developing leaders. Our whole-university partnership with Citizens UK, the UK’s largest community organising alliance, provides access to a network of professional organisers and relationships with local and national organisations that are also part of the alliance.
We are the first Widening Participation Department to utilise community organising techniques, ingraining them into our projects such as Parent Power and work with the Latinx community. When we engage with communities, we listen to what issues need addressing, place people over programme and focus on developing leaders from those communities.
Our partnership with Citizens has not only had an external impact. Using aspects of organising methodology such as relational one-to-one meetings has strengthened relationships within King’s and created a more honest and open working environment.
The Elephant Group is a head teacher-led collaboration working to bring together the wider education sector and improve communication between schools and HE. The aim is to ensure that the top third of non-selective state school pupils access the top third universities. KCLWP hosts the annual launch event at King’s and our representatives attend TEG Conferences and CPD meetings in London and York throughout the year. We deliver workshops on student finance, personal statements and the UCAS application process, Taster Days on a university specialty, Top tips and spotlights on our own university journeys. We also provide advice and information to teachers on the contextual admissions process and share any opportunities relevant to TEG students for Taster Days, Open Days and subject-specific events across the partnership. You can find out further information about The Elephant Group here.
IntoUniversity is a nation-wide educational charity that promotes aspiration to achieve amongst under-represented young people. The charity works with schools and colleges to deliver a programme of workshops designed to encourage ambition and enhance attainment. From its local centres, IntoUniversity provides learning and homework support, plus a mentoring scheme. KCLWP is a long-term supporter and since July 2018 has been a core funder of the IntoUniversity Kennington centre.
Read more about IntoUniversity on their website.
At King’s, both the university and the Students’ Union are serious about social mobility. Supported by a joint role between the SU and KCLWP, we support students in the local community to access and thrive in higher education. After you explore our webpages, you should also head to https://www.kclsu.org/change/wp/ to discover their student-led outreach programmes.
The Brilliant Club
The Brilliant Club is an access charity that works with schools and universities across the UK to increase the number of under-represented pupils progressing to highly selective universities. KCLWP have worked with the Brilliant club since 2012, including The Scholars Programme where researchers are placed in state schools to deliver university-style tutorials. KCLWP host Launch and Graduation trips, allowing thousands of pupils to visit the King’s campus each year. King’s also support Researchers in Schools with Honorary Research Associate status, recruiting and placing PhD graduates as trainee teachers committed to closing the attainment gap and promoting university access.
Read more about The Brilliant Club on their website.