About KCL Aspire
KCL Aspire is a programme run by the ACS at King’s and is aimed at year 12 students of African and Caribbean background. In 2017, of the students who achieved 3 A grades or higher in A levels in the UK, only 5.4% were from an African and Caribbean background. Underlying this statistic are numerous variables, however, key finding shows that access and exposure to higher education prove paramount to achieving top grades and hence accessing top universities. KCL Aspire aims to support talented students of African and Caribbean background through three main aims.
The overall aim of the project is to raise the aspirations of these students – whose background means they are currently significantly underrepresented at top universities such as King’s. The three main aims are:
The programme aims to expose students to life at King’s and other Russell Group Universities. Aspiring students of African and Caribbean background may have limited contact to life at Russell Group Universities before the application process and the programme aims to address this.
The programme aims to inform students of the opportunities available to them before they start university and whilst they are at university in order to maximise their prospects post-university. Furthermore, this remit will give students on the programme a more comprehensive insight into studying at a Russell Group University and life beyond university.
The programme aims to guide students through peer mentoring. The students will have the chance to receive 1:1 peer guidance from current ACS mentors. This will be in the form of UCAS support, application guidance, exam preparation.
The programme will run from January 2021 to March 2022, meaning the current year 12 cohort are eligible. They would start on the programme in January 2021 and it would see them all the way up to just before their year 13 exams.
What the Programme Consists of
KCL Aspire will match 25 talented year 12 students with King’s students who are studying the degree that they are thinking of applying too. This will enable students to receive tailored advice on personal statements and application processes. KCL Aspire mentors will be required to contact they mentees at least two times a month so the mentee can receive all the support they need. All mentors will be DBS-checked and will have received safeguarding training that is provided by the widening participation team at King’s College.
Career Exploration Sessions
The students will gain insight into future careers that they aspire to by having mini open days at top firms in a wide range of industries. Students will be able to network with people in top positions and understand the journey to creating a successful career.
Soft Skills Sessions
The students will be able to practice and develop their soft skills through a number of online workshops. These skills include: networking skills, presentation skills, teamwork skills and many more.
Subject Specific Tutoring
In the run-up to exam season, the students will receive one to one tailored tutoring in any subjects that they may struggle with. These sessions are run by PHD and master’s students at King’s College.
In the run-up to UCAS deadlines, there will be Application Surgeries in which KCL Aspire mentors will help the students craft their personal statement and give specific application advice.
Once students receive their offers they will be given a detailed open day at the universities they have applied to. Aspire will partner with the ACS’s of different universities. The aim of the open day is to give the aspire students an insight into the black experience at university, highlight different opportunities specific to each university and give practical information about life and the intricacies of studying at a top Russel Group university so they can make an informed choice to which university that they choose.
The students will be asked to complete an application form. This would be to ensure that you’re eligible for the programme.
Successful candidates will be invited to do a video interview with a member of the committee to confirm their place on the programme. This interview will be to gauge your motivation, provide information to pair you with your academic mentor and to see if you will be a great fit for the programme.