From education to employment

Kingston University London rolls out remote Mental Fitness course for summer students

the Fika Bounce Back course

@KingstonUni has partnered with mental fitness experts @TheFikaApp to offer a four-week mental-fitness-boosting course to students on its transitional summer programme, Head Start 

Designed to help students bounce back from the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Fika Bounce Back course will empower and reinvigorate students through four individual courses, teaching them how to:

  • Beat stress and increase their positivity
  • Strengthen their connections
  • Feel engaged and increase their focus
  • Boost their confidence

Students will be invited to an introduction to mental fitness with Fika Head of Psychology Dr Fran Longstaff before kicking off with the course, which includes four sessions with a Fika mental fitness personal trainer.

Students can then undertake each course in their own time via app-based exercises delivered remotely through the Fika app, and featuring content from Olympic athletes, British sports stars and more.

The group’s aggregate mental fitness improvements will be tested via pre- and post-course mental fitness assessments, led by Fika’s Head of Research Dr Zoe Dimov.

Students on the programme will also receive an overall group mental fitness profile at the end of the four-week course, outlining their greatest areas of strength and areas for improvement. 

These strengths and areas for improvement will be based on Fika’s 7 Skills of Mental Fitness: stress management; focus; positivity; connection; confidence; motivation; and meaning. 

Fika’s research has linked these skills with important metrics including student retention, attainment and employability, as well as staff happiness, productivity and collaboration.

Jenni Woods, Head of Access, Participation and Inclusion at Kingston University said:

“Fika’s Bounce Back programme will be a wonderful addition to our Head Start programme this summer. It will help create a sense of community, connectedness and support for new students, which is particularly important in the wake of COVID-19. 

“We’re delighted to be working with Fika to add an additional layer of remote mental-fitness boosting value to this year’s Head Start programme, and hope our students will really feel the benefits as they start their higher education with us.”

Gareth Fryer, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at Fika, said:

“We’re excited to be working with a like-minded organisation in Kingston – one that understands that remotely delivered education can be stimulating and fun, as long as students feel supported and connected.

“Our four-week Bounce Back course, complete with mental fitness personal trainer, is designed to add just that sense of community and support – as well as arming students with skills they will benefit from for years to come as their academic and professional journeys unfold.”

Fika works with 40 UK universities and 10 further education colleges, and has been developing a primary evidence-base within the higher education sector for more than two years. 

The app has been shown in randomised control trials to support students with the challenging transition into university, delivering statistically significant uplifts in student self-efficacy, positive emotion and life satisfaction, and reductions in negative emotion.


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