A pioneering group of individuals and organisations established our University in Canterbury in the 1960s. It took a community to bring the early vision to reality – from the architects and construction team turning a muddy field into the landscape we know today, to the first University Council defining our academic programmes and structures, and setting the tone for our character. Everyone involved was equal to the task, including Government, local businesses and individuals who gave both their time and money in support. Our first students – the ‘First 500’ – too were pioneers, choosing a new University where they could shape the student experience. Every year, on our Foundation Day, we celebrate what they created for those of us who have followed.
The University is empowered by the people who work and study here, and the communities who support us – our alumni, donors and friends. Since our foundation, students have benefited from a transformative experience in a diverse and supportive environment and our academics and researchers have made a difference to people’s lives. We have grown to an institution of over 20,000 passionate students and staff, proud of our international outlook and distinct European identity showcased by our centres in Athens, Brussels, Paris and Rome, and partnerships worldwide. After graduation, our students take their experience of Kent with them and define their place in the world.
Today, we have the same spirit, determination and ambition shown by our Founders. We live in a time when truth and knowledge are themselves being challenged and it is for Universities to lead – countering with facts and expertise and opportunity; valuing excellence, supporting potential, celebrating equality and inclusivity.
We are here to make a difference. We are proud of what we do: especially proud that we do it together with our wonderful supporters. At this year’s annual celebrations of our Foundation, I am setting out how we want to do more, together with you. I am proud to share how we want to work with you to transform lives through the education opportunities we offer, the research discoveries we make and the role and contribution we have within our communities and wider world.
To current supporters, I say a heartfelt thank you. The stories on this site are just the beginning of what you have enabled here and we look forward to sharing many more. And to you, if you think you can add your support, we ask that you get in touch so together we can change someone’s world today.
Please visit giving.kent.ac.uk for more information.