Indie Okoye, Student Ambassador, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Going to UNC Charlotte University was a really great experience and part of me wishes I could stay because the experiences and the opportunities they gave to their students were just amazing. Not just from an educational standpoint but also from a social standpoint. It felt like they were working to create well rounded human beings that could integrate into society well but also leave university with the prospect of a work placement or even a great well paid job to match their degree.
On a social standpoint they offer so many different ways of integrating into society, confidence building and other things like that. From the over 350 societies, clubs and other events like The International Festival and social gatherings, they invest so much money and time to ensure that each student reaches their full potential.
What I found really amazing was through all this support that was offered you still found students that would give their free time to give back to their community. HCAP (Hispanic College awareness programme) are an amazing society that works without pay to support and increase the number of Hispanic students in Higher Education. This is something that I feel Kingston could really learn from. We have a huge volunteer department but educating their students about it more could enhance the number of students who participate.
From an educational standpoint they offer a lot of support to students including both the SoS (Students obtaining Success) and BEST (Building Educational Strengths and Talents) Programmes.
The SoS programme supports students that are on academic probation, giving them the chance to lift their grades and recover their academic situation.
BEST Learning Community works with first generation students and minority students supporting them through University life. These two programmes were my favourite because I fell that really captured what students really need to know to be successful in their university experience but they offered so much more to really support the student.
What should Kingston University do to improve student experience?
I believe that Kingston needs a better and stronger mentor programme. They need to cater to a lot more students from many different backgrounds and life experiences. I think they need to look at enhancing the social aspect of the university for the students investing in their future, and I think that will relay on to the academic side. I think things like a greater student union and activities for the students. More money needs to be spent to help students gain a rounded experience ready to work in society. It feels like Kingston runs on the mentality that you go to school then go home with nothing in-between to really create a well-rounded human being.
With the increase in tuition fees more needs to be given back to the students because not a lot is given at the moment. I also believe that teachers need to be supportive. In UNC Charlotte I found that teachers went the extra mile to support the students. Teaching was a 24-hour job. They completely focused on supporting students. Kingston may not be able to completely deliver this line of support but I feel something along the lines of this teacher support should be offered.
My plans for the future haven’t changed, I still believe Kingston University is a great university and I would like to stay and finish my education and go on to do my Masters maybe at Kingston. I
wouldn’t go to America because I feel our education is a lot stronger and better. In all my experience was amazing, I met so many amazing and new people and I am so happy I got the chance to experience what American university is like.