About KCL Aspire
KCL Aspire is a programme run by the ACS at King’s and is aimed at year 12 (entering year 13) students of African and Caribbean background. In 2017, of the students who achieved 3 As 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 talent 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. Aspiring students of African and Caribbean background may have limited to contact of life at King’s before the application process and the programme aims to address this. This will be in the form of the 1-day conference held over summer.
The programme aims to inform students of the opportunities available to them before they start university, 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 KCL.
The programme aims to guide students through peer mentoring. 25 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 summer 2019 to spring 2020, meaning the current year 12 cohort are eligible. They would start on the programme this August and it would see them all the way up to just before their year 13 exams.
What the Programme Consists of
The programme consists of a conference in August in which we invite students into King’s and they will be able to hear from current staff and students about life at King’s. This is a valuable opportunity for all students to network with current King’s students who may share the same experiences and backgrounds as them, in order to promote the idea that studying at a top university is accessible to all.
Attendees of the conference will also be able to sign up to a bespoke mentorship programme which will run from September to April of year 13. Aspire KCL will match 25 talented year 13 students with King’s students who are studying the very degree that they are applying to, so that students can receive tailored advice on personal statements, application processes and making informed choices. KCL Aspire mentors will travel to the schools of their mentees a couple of times a month to provide support and advice. (All mentors will be DBS-checked and trained by the Students’ Union on safeguarding and effective mentorship).
3). Application Surgeries
In the run-up to UCAS deadlines, there will be Application Surgeries in which students will be invited onto campus and Aspire KCL volunteers will help them to craft their personal statement and give application advice.
4). Offer Holders Day
The programme culminates in an exciting Offer Holders Day for students on the programme who were made an offer from King’s. This will be geared towards celebrating the completion of the programme.
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