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The K+ effect

What will university life be like? What is the best course to apply for? Deciding whether to go to university can be a daunting decision, especially for students with no history of higher education in their family.

King’s flagship widening participation programme, K+, aims to support students aged 16 and over who attend non-selective state schools or colleges across London and Greater London. K+ is a structured two-year programme of events and activities designed to equip students with the knowledge, confidence and skills they need to succeed at university and beyond.

The K+ programme, one of a number of initiatives delivered by King’s Widening Participation team, uses London as a classroom, giving students learning experiences in places such as the Museum of London, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Royal Observatory, as well as in the lecture theatres and classrooms of King’s.

Students also learn and practice key study skills, complete an academic project, take part in taster lectures and academic masterclasses, and attend the K+ Spotlight Summer School. A current King’s student offers one to one support as an e-mentor, while additional support and guidance over the two years includes advice on applying to and preparing for university, careers advice and work experience opportunities.

To be eligible, students must have achieved at least eight A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent, including English Language and Maths. Their parents must not have attended university in the UK or abroad, and interest is encouraged from students who live or have lived in local authority care, are young carers themselves, or who are disabled.

K+ does not guarantee students a place at King’s, but students who successfully complete the programme may be eligible for the K+ variable offer for certain subjects at King’s, worth up to two A-level grades lower than the standard offer.

Over the years many K+ students have gone on to study successfully at King’s – but also at other London universities and across the UK. For many graduates, their first steps towards reaching their academic potential and realising their ambitions for a brighter future began with K+.

Paul Nguyen, a student on the Maths & Computer Science stream, commented on his experience on the K+ programme Spotlight Summer School: ‘This week, I’ve learned to rise to challenging work that I have no experience in. This was a big eye-opener for me as usually I am taught things that relate to what I know. This was great to learn as at uni and in the real working world I will face new challenges. If you could, make K+ longer!’

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