Monthly Archives: June 2016

University response to referendum result

Following the UK vote to leave the European Union, the University has reinforced its commitment to remain a European university and to continue to provide one of the best student experiences in the UK.

In a statement to staff and students, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow said:

‘The University of Kent is proud to be outward facing and international. We are especially proud of our diverse student body and our European and international staff. We recognise that we benefit greatly from this diversity.

‘I am naturally disappointed at the result of the EU referendum. It reflects neither my personal views nor those of the University. I recognise, nonetheless, the democratic process that has led to this outcome.’

The University will work with Universities UK  and other agencies, seeking advice and guidance throughout the period of transition particularly on the issues directly affecting our non-UK European Union students and staff.

Staff and students have been emailed and we will be arranging information events, faqs and other assistance over the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, any non-UK European staff members with particular concerns should contact Human Resources Department ( Non-UK European students should contact the Dean for Internationalisation in the first instance (

Antonio Lazaro-Reboll at Comics Crossroads

Dr Antonio Lazaro-Reboll, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages, has co-organised a conference entitled ‘Comics Crossroads’ to be held at the University of Kent this Sunday 26 June 2016.

The aim of the conference is to bring together a diverse group of postgraduates, early career researchers, and leading scholars working on comics, cartoons, caricature and drawn visual arts from different perspectives and different fields in the humanities. The burgeoning field of Comics Studies risks fragmentation as scholars entrenched in one tradition are unaware of the important contributions being made in others. The conference seeks to counter such divisive trends by introducing cutting-edge research to a new generation of emerging scholars, and providing a space for both receptive and productive engagement with current trends and new avenues of scholarly interaction.

Antonio will act as a respondent to a number of papers to be delivered at the event.

For the full details of the event, please see the page here:

Graduate commended by British Council

Christina Kanouta, a recent graduate of the MA in Applied Linguistics for TESOL has received a commendation from the British Council for the potential impact of her dissertation on the field of English Language Teaching.

Christina entered the British Council Dissertation Award Competition after receiving a Distinction for her dissertation on the teaching of pragmatics to English language learners in state schools in Greece. The competition is open to students who obtain a Distinction in their dissertation, although only one entry is allowed from each institution.

There were entries from 24 institutions in this year’s competition, many from acknowledged leading providers in the field. The dissertations, which are anonymised for the judging process, are scrutinised by Panels from both the British Council and the participating universities. To obtain a commendation competitors have to reach the final stage of the competition. Christina’s dissertation will soon be published in full on the British Council website where it will remain permanently.

Dr Michael Hughes, Christina’s supervisor, said:

‘Christina took a relatively neglected area in English language teaching and carried out a very thorough investigation into its status in the Greek state school system. She produced a high quality report of her findings which has implications for English language teaching worldwide.’

Christina was in the first cohort of the new MA in Applied Linguistics for TESOL offered by the Department of English Language and Linguistics.

For more details about the competition, please see the British Council webpage.

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Aurora logo

2016/17 Aurora application process

The University of Kent is proud to announce its continuing participation in the Aurora programme, a Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) sector-wide development programme for women in higher education.

The programme is sponsored at Kent by our Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, and Professor Yvonne Sherwood (Professor of Religious Studies) has now formally taken over the role of Aurora Champion from Professor Ruth Blakeley (Professor of International Relations) who has provided excellent support and guidance for the programme in the role for the last three years.

After the last three year’s successful involvement with the programme, we will again be supporting a further Kent cohort in 2016/17. Female staff in academic (up to Senior Lecturer level), postgraduate research and professional services (grades 7-9) roles are now invited to apply by completing the relevant academic & research or professional services application form available on the Learning & Development website.

Graduates selected for Platform Graduate Award

The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted to announce that Sariya Suwannakarn and Daniel Owusu, two of our Fine Art graduating students have been selected to have their work shown at the Turner Contemporary, Margate on Thursday 4 August as part of the Platform Graduate Award project.

These prestigious awards showcase the talent of emerging artists from Kent, aiming to support graduate professional development and nurture new talent.

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Student organises successful public event

Third year Event and Experience Design student Virginia Brennan organised an ambitious promotional event called ‘Wonderland’ for the release of the Alice Through the Looking Glass film at Costa in the Odeon Chatham Maritime.

Virginia’s event included activities for young people and families, face painting and crafts. She also had a new range of drinks designed for the event and the Costa staff dressed up in costumes.

The event brought together the two businesses – Costa and the Odeon – and it was so successful, the cinema’s General Manager, Natalie Fisher, asked her to repeat the event over the bank holiday weekend.

Virginia comments:

‘We had to adapt to the high volume of cinema attendees – bank holiday Monday saw over 1,200 guests walk through the doors! The winners of the drawing competition at the original event collected their prizes of free cinema tickets and goodies and the fundraising activities for MIND continued throughout the week.’

The final independent third year projects celebrate student work which creatively explores a broad range of formats and subjects, questioning what constitutes an event, and is an annual showcase.

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KBS Medway meets the clergy

KBS Medway hosted a small day conference for the local Anglican clergy on Tuesday 21 June to present some of the findings from a recently published paper by Dr Krystin Zigan (KBS) and Dr Alan Le Grys (SLAS-SECL).

Krystin and Alan have embarked on an on-going research project looking at the way the Church of England organises and delivers social responsibility projects and some of the management issues raised.

The keynote speaker at the Conference was the Revd Dr Malcolm Torry, author of Managing God’s Business (Routledge 2005) and Managing Religion (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and papers in the morning session were also presented by Krystin and Alan.

After lunch (and a quick tour of KBS Medway), participants broke into groups for more detailed discussion as they reflected on the impact the research might have on practical aspects of parochial ministry.

Discussions at the conference were lively, thoughtful and engaging, and all the participants suggested in feedback that they had been given much food for thought. They, in turn, had opened out further lines of enquiry for Krystin and Alan as they move into the next stage of their research project.

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SECL graduate wins translation challenge

Jessica Cortes-Allsopp, a graduate of the BA (Hons) in Italian and French, has won a prestigious Translation Challenge and collected her prize money of £250 at the Hay Festival on 28 May.

The Translation Challenge was established by Translators’ House Wales in 2009 to promote and celebrate the crucial contribution translators make to enabling literature to travel across frontiers and to draw attention to literary translation as a creative art. It is organised by Wales PEN Cymru and Wales Literature Exchange and sponsored by Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities. This year’s competition was to translate a poem by Mexican Poet Pedro Serrano from Spanish into either English or Welsh. Jessica is this year’s English Language winner.

In his adjudication, Richard Gwyn, writer, academic and world-traveller, praised Jessica’s ‘tight and accurate translation, consistently reproducing the complexities of Serrano’s language better than other entrants, and maintaining a rhythm that measures up against that of the original.’

Jessica graduated in 2015 and is due to start an MA in Translation at UCL in September. She said: ‘It is an honour to have been named the winner of this challenge, it is hugely encouraging considering translation is what I enjoyed most about my undergraduate degree and has also given me great confidence in my decision to pursue it at postgraduate level. I would especially like to thank the French and Italian departments at the University of Kent for their continued support and for helping me to develop my passion for translation and language learning.’

For more details on the Translation Challenge, see the Wales Literature Exchange page.

Another successful year for Kent-Ghent cooperation

For the fourth successive year the University of Kent has, with one of its longstanding international partners, Ghent University, Belgium, supported a number of collaborative projects across a range of disciplines from funding offered by Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation, Dr Anthony Manning.

The following projects have been funded for 2016:

  • Advancing the Acquisition and Use of UAV Data on Architectural Heritage (Classical and Archaeological Studies, led by Benjamin Vis)
  • Political psychology research collaboration on ideology and intergroup relations (School of Psychology, led by Kristof Dhont)
  • Researching Nineteenth-Century Periodicals: European Networks of Print (School of English, led, by Catherine Waters)
  • Shaping Religious Cultures in the Medieval West: An Exploratory Workshop (School of History led by Barbara Bombi and Helen Gittos)
  • Kent-Ghent Film Partnership (Film Studies, led by Mattias Frey)
  • Structural Modelling and Estimation of Job Search Models (School of Economics, led by Andrey Launov)
  • High-throughput imaging and pattern recognition for label-free cell screening (School of Engineering and Digital Arts, led by Chao Wang).

Since 2009, the Universities of Kent and Ghent have enjoyed a strategic international partnership covering activities in student exchange, Erasmus Mundus, co-supervision of research, joint research and the exchange of knowledge and best practice between staff in professional services.

In order to stimulate further cooperation, funding has been offered since 2013 to support projects involving short-term staff/student exchange, seminars, workshops, preparatory meetings to establish longer-term collaboration (eg double degrees, joint research, joint Erasmus bids).

To date, 31 projects have been funded in: Anthropology and Conservation, Arts, Economics, Engineering and Digital Arts, English, European Culture and Languages, History, Kent Business School, Kent Law School, Medway School of Pharmacy, Physical Sciences, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Centre for Journalism, and Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image.

Invitation to staff BBQ

All University of Kent staff are invited to a lunchtime BBQ hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow.

The lunchtime BBQs will take place on the Registry Lawn in Canterbury on Wednesday 29 June (12.00 -14.00) and outside No. 1 Bistro in Medway on Thursday 30 June (12.00-14.00).

Please register for your chosen location via the link below and bring your ticket with you on the day.

For Canterbury, register here.

For Medway, register here.

The BBQs are free events for staff and we would hope to see you there.

David Powell,
Head of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor