‘Students should explore Kingston’

KU lecturer and author Dr Rupa Huq is encouraging students to explore ‘harmonious’ Kingston.

Konstantinos Lianos

A KU lecturer has encouraged students to explore Kingston and its surroundings after her new book about the beauty of suburban life was published.  

On The Edge, written by Dr Rupa Huq, argues that the borough is an intriguing place due to a diversity of shops, vibrant nightlife, and easy connections to central London

Students make it interesting

“Being a student makes Kingston less boring. Partly, it’s because of the students that make it an interesting place and I think in that sense, it is like many other suburbs. Suburbs are the true England,” said Dr Huq, who is a senior lecturer in sociology.

The lecturer also described it as a harmonious place to live and gave the example of it not hosting any riots in the summer of 2011. She also believes that the international flavour would make segregation impossible as there is no one dominant group. 

“The story of the suburbs is not often told,” Dr Huq said. “In some ways they are taken for granted. Suburbia is not seen as a problem. It is seen as somewhere safe, peaceful and quiet.”

The “full Kingston experience”

Nevertheless, the lecturer had to accept that expensive accommodation and a good transport system leads to more commuting from home for students. She considered this a sad reality, saying students would miss the “full Kingston experience”.  

With experience as the former Deputy Mayoress of Ealing, the lecturer argued that politicians did not notice the suburbs’ decline, through which Kingston had been quite resilient. 

“Politicians need to encourage local businesses,” said Dr Huq.

She also encouraged graduates to return to Kingston especially when they have a family as it offers stability and a better quality of life.

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