To find out more about our local social, cultural and economic impact, please see our In the community section.
As the largest University in South West London, Kingston University works closely with the South London Partnership (SLP). The partnership is formed by a sub-regional collaboration of five London boroughs (Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton) which works together and with partners in and beyond our area to champion and seek to build on the many strengths of South London.
With a population of 1.2 million and a GVA of £28 billion, building on many years of collaborative working, SLP focuses on issues where working together adds value to what individual boroughs could achieve on their own.
Current priorities are:
Representatives from across the University sit on various committees led by Royal Borough of Kingston.
Born out of a shared commitment to the future success of Kingston's town centre and contributor to place-making, in 2019 the University partnered with RBK, Kingston First and the Greater London Authority to successfully deliver Re-imagining Kingston Town Centre's Spaces & Places. This comprehensive public realm strategy included an in-depth social value audit and programme of community engagement.
The University is working closely with RBK on various work streams within the Economic and Recovery Taskforce for COVID-19 recovery.
In 2016, we partnered on a joint European Regional Development Fund bid to develop 'The Exchange' – which aims to provide affordable workspace and a networking and support hub for local businesses.
Grocemania was started by Kingston University graduates working out of our incubation space. Our partnership has led to a number of projects including: helping graduates develop entrepreneurial skills; graduate training schemes; competing in the Bright Ideas competition; student consultancy projects; and guest lecturing. Grocemania has also been involved in the Santander Universities project and will continue to support our students in the form of work placements.
For the eighth year running, Kingston University has been rated amongst the top two most successful UK higher education institutions for graduate start-up companies (Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction Survey).
Salutem delivers learning and physical disability services, children's services, education services and mental health services. Since 2018 it has been involved in various entrepreneurial activities at Kingston University, and has judged students' ideas at our flagship Bright Ideas competitions.
Salutem has also run a hackathon where students from multiple disciplines came up with creative ways to use technology to monitor, predict and manage complex behaviour in Salutem's service users. The hackathon has led to Kingston University and Salutem working on a government-subsidised project to bring artificial intelligence to areas of care that will allow more time for human one-to-one care, whilst reducing menial tasks that are performed better and safer if automated.
Salutem has also provided scholarships for academically excellent students who might not otherwise have been able to go to university. This academic year Salutem are supporting two students on the Learning Disability Nursing course, and will look to widen the support to more Kingston students in other areas of care over the next three years.
The strong relationship between Kingston University and Salutem is based on the personal connections the two founders have with Kingston University. Ian Morley, the Chairman of Salutem is an Industrial Fellow of Kingston and taught on the MSc Strategic Finance Course. The daughter of John Godden, the CEO of Salutem, studied at Kingston. These personal relationships have led to a more structured business collaboration in recent years.
"The hackathon was a hugely positive experience for all involved. The students were energised and engaged creating innovative solutions and ideas that were really impressive. The University team communicated well and created a great sense of focus and expectation to make the most of the time we had together and meet the challenging brief we set." – Zoe Anderson, Group Head of Positive Behaviour Support for Salutem Healthcare.
We are a member of the Kingston Strategic Partnership (KSP) which aims to set the overall vision and direction for partnership working in Kingston by bringing key partners together from the statutory, voluntary and business sectors. KSP is chaired by the leader of the council.
Kingston Chamber of Commerce (KCC) represents the interest of business communities across the borough and works closely alongside the council. The Chamber provides networking, training, advice and business opportunities and a host of events.
A representative from Kingston University sits on the Board of the Chamber and has collaborated on several projects including their Kingston Business Expo which has been held at Kingston Business School for the last four years.
Established in 2005, Kingston First is an independent not-for-profit company which drives initiatives that support the commercial success of Kingston's business community. Kingston First was the UK's first Business Improvement District (BID).
A representative from the University sits on the Board of Kingston First. Joint projects have included working with students to design tourist information bikes, explore new concepts and designs for Kingston riverside and to create and run 'pop-up' shops in the town centre.
The community interest company Community Brain works with communities to develop their sense of identity, cohesion and strength through activity. We have worked together on government-funded and student research projects under the supervision of Kingston University academics.
The Integrated Business Support group (IBuS) consists of Royal Borough of Kingston, Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Kingston First, Kingston College, Kingston Voluntary Action and Kingston University. The aim of the group is to work together to ensure that local businesses, whether commercial or non-profit making, have access to the comprehensive and integrated business support services across the borough.
The University is a founding partner of Kingston Young Entrepreneurs Club (KYEC), a membership organisation which gives local young entrepreneurs a forum to network and grow. Other partners include RBK, Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Kingston College and Metro Bank.