Michael Salmon is Associate Director – Curriculum Renewal for Summer Programmes at King’s College London.
King’s Pre-University Summer School is one of the most popular international programmes of its kind, giving students from around the world in the last two years of high school the opportunity to experience King’s teaching in the subject area of their choice. But how about for those students still exploring their options, looking for a broader introduction to university study at an earlier point in their journey?
Mindful of this growing global need among young people for enhanced decision-making opportunities, in February 2021 King’s Summer Programmes launched the Pre-University Winter School. This innovative one-week study programme allowed students from 20 countries to sample a range of subject areas under the guidance of talented King’s academics, all from the comfort of their own homes.
In addition to highly engaging lectures and seminars, participants also connected with current King’s students and worked independently on a project. Feedback received so far has been excellent, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 and every student agreeing that they would recommend the course to others. Gongning from China, who studied on the Law, Politics & Social Science pathway, summed the experience up as follows:
“I was inspired by the tutors’ passion for teaching and respect for everybody’s perspective. I really felt listened to in every class discussion.”
Paula from Spain, who followed the Health & Science course, also praised the dynamic teaching and the quality of the course content, adding that the course has reinforced her enthusiasm for ‘delving deeper into university-level material’. This positive feedback was very heartening, as challenging and stimulating learning experiences in a respectful, supportive atmosphere are what we hope characterise our pre-university courses.
For the academic staff involved, connecting with talented pre-university students can be a hugely enriching experience:
“I was truly impressed with the knowledge, intellectual curiosity, and depth of understanding shown by the students. Their comments were so perceptive. I wish them every success in the future!” Dr Diana Popescu, Political Economy.
Summer Programmes will now be able to build on the achievements of the students and all professional services and academic colleagues involved, continuing to pioneer world-class pre-university learning opportunities to a wide market. Dr Alexander Heinz, Chair of the Summer Executive, commented that “students take decisions at different times of year and with Winter Schools we will be able to honour our role to help with this even more. There is no better feeling than being able to bring a glimpse of King’s education to school students from around the world.”