Kent Gives Back in London!

Join us at our next Kent Gives Back project in London! Kent Gives Back is a community outreach project which unites students and alumni by encouraging them to take part in a local community project such as volunteering at a homeless shelter or a food bank or helping tend to a garden (and much more). Last year we branched out to our US chapters to give them the opportunity to take part in the project and this May we are asking all our alumni groups around the world to get involved in various locations.

Walk the Walk is the UK’s largest grant-making breast cancer charity that is dedicated to not only raising money and awareness for vital breast cancer causes, but to also encourage women and men to become more aware of their own potential for fitness and wellbeing. They organise the famous MoonWalk overnight power walking challenges and are immensely proud to have raised over £122m, which has been granted to research into breast cancer and to improve the lives of people living with cancer now. We are looking for dedicated, amazing volunteers to join us at The MoonWalk London on the evening of 12 May at Clapham Common.

We are hoping to join the Saturday Evening Crew, a busy period when the Walkers & Volunteers arrive. Start times vary depending on the role, but no earlier than 17.00 and finishing at midnight. The 24 available roles include Baggage, Kitchen and Water Crew. Volunteers will be required to make their own travel arrangements for the evening.

If you are interested in volunteering as part of the Kent Crew on Saturday evening please use this registration link and this password: KENTUNI (case sensitive) to join the Kent crew on the night! Once you have signed up please email Naomi to confirm your spot.

Meet the Regional Manager of International Recruitment, Partnerships and Development for North America – Kimberly Tritton.

Profile: Kimberly Tritton

After working within the International Recruitment office at the University of Kent for several years, travelling to over 15 countries, managing our recruitment activities in over 10 countries including the US and Canada, meeting with numerous students, parents, school counsellors, partner colleges and universities and last but not least our alumni, I recognised, appreciated and wanted to bring all of these groups together to inform, direct and connect Kent students past, present and future.

Together with senior management in the International Recruitment, Partnership and Development offices and the Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellors office, we envisioned and development a new role which would bring all three arms of the university together along with our academic departments, enrolment services, with the support and funding from the executive group.

The New Role would see the University of Kent base a member of its Recruitment, Partnership and Development offices in the US, our first overseas member of staff. With this role we would be able to visit far more cities, states, provinces and regions in the US and Canada and engage further with students, schools, alumni and partner universities and employers in the US and Canada. The three departments would be able to share knowledge, funding and networks.

In February 2017, I moved over to the US and in the next year I spent 6 months travelling across the US and 8 weeks in Canada travelling back to the UK for the remainder of the year to update, inform and explore new areas and activities.

I was able to meet in person with far more of our prospective students than ever before, including hosting a range of application workshops, networking evenings, welcome dinners, and skype with those in cities we weren’t able to visit. Attended over 40 high school, college and university fairs. Hosted a range of alumni events, as well as taking part in events organised by our alumni chapters such as the Kent Gives Back events in Washington DC and Chicago and met one on one with our alumni across the US and Canada. I was also privileged to attend and present at a number of conference on Further and Higher education, student mobility and global education.

In the first year of the role we saw an increase of just over 26% in student registrations from the US and more than 30% in applications from both the US and Canada. Already this year we can see significant increases in the number of undergraduate application from the US and an increase in the number of offers and acceptances from Canada.

Over the spring and summer we will be attending 35 exhibitions, higher education conferences, and school and college fairs and networking events in the US and Canada compared to 24 the year before, including the East Coast, West Coast, Mid-West, Pacific North West, and the Southern states. So far this year we have been able to spend more time with schools across New England, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois and will be visiting New Orleans, Charleston, Kansas, Denver, Birmingham for the first time this year.

We would like to invite you all to follow our travels and if you are in any of the cities we are visiting to come along to the events and reconnect and assist us by sharing your memories of Kent. Click the link to see where we will be.

We will be exploring the transfer and short term study markets through discussions with two and four year colleges, high school summer programmes and through the expansion of our postgraduate and undergraduate summer school provisions at Kent.

We will be looking at new and increasing hubs of alumni activity including seeking and appointing Alumni Ambassadors across the US both within and additionally to our existing alumni chapters and seeking new and distinctive way to engage with, build on and celebrate our alumni networks.

Given the success of the use of Skype appointments with applicants in the last year, we will also look to expand our engagement with Alumni through skype and also to connecting our current and prospective students with our Alumni Ambassadors through Skype.

We will also be employing the assistance of our current North American student body by matching a number of the new incoming students with existing and outgoing students.

We will continue working with high school and two year colleges across the US in the expansion and development of Kent’s recognition of the diverse education offering in the US. We will be looking to update our US schools database and would welcome any assistance from our Alumni.

In Canada we are working with CAST, the Chinese Artist Society of Toronto on a visit and performances by Kent Music as well as expanding our engagement with Alumni through our newest chapter.

We are also exploring and expanding our activity in the recruitment for professionally accredited programmes guiding and assisting Kent School of Architecture and Kent School of Pharmacy in seeking recognition, formal accreditation pathways and building industry networks and contacts.

We welcome any of your thoughts, ideas, networks or links in order to further spread the word about the University of Kent but also are happy to help you in any way we can, so feel free to contact us at:

Development Office
The Registry
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NZ
E: [1]
E: [2]
T: 01227 824346




Meet the KEW-NET star mentor!

Freddie Ryder graduated from the University of Kent with a Philosophy degree. We caught up with him recently to find out about what brought him to Kent, what he’s been up to since graduating, and why he volunteers to mentor current students.

Where were you raised?
I was born in the outskirts of London but grew up in the Kentish seaside town of Ramsgate. This is where I attended secondary school before coming to Kent.

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?
What initially attracted me to Kent was the Philosophy department by way of its excellent reputation and favourable balance between Anglo-American and Continental philosophical focuses. Once I visited on an open day I instantly fell in love with the campus itself; its verdant green spaces, stunning views overlooking Canterbury’s charming Cathedral, and, its unmistakably welcoming, tranquil and friendly feel. From that moment, I had decided I would go to Kent.

What are you doing now?
I have enjoyed what can best be described as a varied, unconventional or non-standard career. I have a fairly broad range of interests and try to incorporate all of them into my working life. Essentially, I wear many hats and have several different roles: I am a teacher, a Director of Studies, an examiner, a retail trader, an entrepreneur and a property developer. As a Director of Studies, I manage teams of teachers overseas on short-term intensive English courses as well as the in the UK. I have I have taught all over mainland Europe including in Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Holland and as far afield as Azerbaijan. I have also worked as an examiner marking GCSE and A-level papers. When I’m not teaching or examining I play the stock market, manage my small property portfolio and I have various entrepreneurial interests including promoting my late grandfather, Cyril Parfitt’s, artwork and marketing it as art (greetings) cards amongst other things,

How have you volunteered for Kent?
Since encountering the Kent Experiences of Work Network (KEW-NET) I have been a volunteer mentor providing guidance, support and just general correspondence with current undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university. This has been through both face to face communication including at KEW-NET networking events as well as online via the web based platform providing both practical as well as moral support.

What made you want to volunteer your time for Kent?
My reasons for volunteering were two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to help people as I have been helped and inspired in my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some inspirational teachers, lecturers and individuals in my life and so I know just how value that can be. Secondly, I had such a great time at Kent I wanted to share my experiences and give something back to an institution that has given me so much.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?
Graduation can seem like a daunting prospect, leaving behind the safety and familiarity of university for the unknown world of work, but it should be thought of as a time of opportunity. This is when graduates can see their hard working paying off, putting their studies into practice and starting to earn some money. That said there are many possible paths and graduates shouldn’t expect to find the right one first time. One size definitely does not fit all here. Graduates should be prepared to try your hand at lots of different things and make the most of any opportunities. If nothings seem to come your way then you need to be proactive and put yourself forward wherever possible.

They met in Marley Court…

It seems like only yesterday when I met my future amazing wife Philippa (nee Swaby K84)  in a Marley Court kitchen but the reality is that it was a long, long time ago way back in the autumn of 1987, the day after “the Great Storm”. Next week we will be celebrating 26 years of marriage.

She was a housemate of a friend of mine and I was living in Thornden Court with four other friends from my second year. Amazingly, two of these, Simon Field (R85) and Ian Dewing (R85) also went on to marry partners they met at Kent. Another friend of mine, Lawrence Gold (K85) also married a Kent graduate, Donna Glasscock (K85).

We have been living in Perth, Australia for the past 13 years and are now Australian citizens. In 2013 we made it back to Kent for a 25 year post graduation reunion with my housemates from Thornden Court. I’ve attached a few photos taken of my family at the time. Henry will be 13 next month and Bronagh 11. Bronagh’s name is partially an acknowledgement of my Irish ancestry but  the idea from the name came from a Bronagh I met during my third year at Kent. I was struck by what an amazingly lovely name she had which stuck in my mind over the years.

During our visit we also went out to the house Philippa rented over the 1985/86 academic year. As she walked up the road towards the house she recognised her original landlord and landlady who were preparing the house to rent to new students that coming academic year. You could not make that up!

Help students through the Work-Study scheme

Kent students need you!

As a former student, you might well remember how challenging it was to get those first steps on the career ladder.  In today’s competitive job market, we’re doing all that we can to give Kent students the skills they need to get ahead – and you might be able to help!

We’re looking for companies who can offer graduate-level internships to students, enhancing their skills and providing you with a hard-working and well supported student.  The scheme is matched funded, with the University contributing £1,000 to match pay from the employer for the placement.

All students taking part are provided with a series of training activities designed to make them work-ready, ensuring that they are able to meet the requirements of the companies employing them. They are mentored throughout the application and interview process, and whilst working.

Internships should comprise around 200 hours of activity and be undertaken at times to be agreed between the employer and student.  Examples of previous roles include research, marketing & social media, events organising, finance and administration positions.

Whether you have a start-up looking for some extra resource, or think this might be the perfect opportunity for your employer, you can find more information about the The Work-Study Scheme from Jen Davey or Hannah Greer in the Careers & Employability Service on 01227 816573 or email

Alumni Awards now open for nominations

The Study UK Alumni Awards recognise the outstanding achievements made by international alumni of UK higher education. Award recipients are leaders in their respective fields: entrepreneurs, professionals or social change makers. All of them will have used their UK education to bring positive change to their communities, industries and countries.

The Study UK Alumni Awards are open to alumni living outside the UK who, in the last 15 years, have either studied in the UK for at least one semester at degree level or above, or been
awarded a full UK degree qualification in their home country.

Applications close on 2 October 2017. Please visit the British Council website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Journeys – A love story….

Peter Marshall (Darwin 81) shares his story with us:

You had the window seat. I had travelled the Edinburgh to London journey so many times that it did not matter where I sat. The same fields, factories, housing estates, whizzing by. Anyway, the aisle seat provided more people-watching opportunities. No mobile phones or electronic gadgetry to distract us in the mid-1970’s.

I sat next to you. You would never know how much this act was one of supreme bravery. Six years in a boys’ school, four years in the merchant navy and now a soldier in an infantry battalion, gave me very few opportunities to hone the skills required to interact with members of the female gender.

You were lovely. You had a quiet assuredness and a completeness about you. You had recently graduated from the University of Kent. Me – sitting next to a university graduate! Well, why not someone or something from Mars or Pluto. It would have had the same effect. You were the first university graduate I had ever met in my life. Terrifying. In the battalion, though, with my single ‘O’ level, I had strangely attained almost professorial status in the eyes of my fellow soldiers in those days. You went to that university – really? Captain *****, from B Company went there too. Maybe you know him? No? Hm…. this university must be big place.

My lack of education represented a huge gap within me. One leg, one eye, same effect. Always something missing. A prisoner of my own ignorance, but I knew that somehow, someway, I must escape, one day.

Courage was plucked and yes you would go out for a drink with me when we both returned to Edinburgh. We went out a few times and later I invited you to the battalion dinner and dance. But something was not right. With me. My fault. My problem. Never yours. At the end of the dance we took a taxi. You to your home – me back to my barracks on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I just exited the taxi and did not say goodbye. Shameful behaviour. You did not deserve that. The yawning educational gap was too much for me. As I say, this was my problem.

Another tour of South West Belfast and later, discharge from the army. Study, work, marriage and fatherhood. A partner who encouraged me to go to university. Education, still a Sisyphean endeavour. Always a struggle. No glittering prizes, but nevertheless, the gradual filling of a void. Goodness knows I have forgotten your name, but not you.

Forty years on, I need to explain, to apologise to you for my stupid behaviour. Would you remember me? Would you forgive me? Should we be in contact, perhaps I would tell you that less than 10 years after we met, Lord Grimond would present me with my law degree from the same university as the one you attended, on a sunny July afternoon in Canterbury Cathedral. I had finally escaped and now I was free.

You gave me the key to that freedom.

Kent launches new alumni association in France

The University is delighted to announce the establishment of a new alumni association in France. The group was launched as part of the annual Paris reception in March and the committee was selected at its inaugural meeting in April.

Alumni groups bring together former students and staff of the University who are located in a specific region or have a shared special interest. They support Kent staff, students and activities in their area such as recruitment, partnership development and fundraising. Groups are run by a committee of alumni volunteers who direct activities and liaise with the University on behalf of their members. The University currently has alumni associations in France, Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nigeria and the United States.

The University of Kent France Alumni Association’s committee members are:

Juliette King (Politics, Rutherford 2005) – Chair
Jane Verwijs (Law, Eliot 1981) – Secretary
Sophie Bory (Politics, Keynes 2005) – Events Officer
Mathilde Guenegan (Journalism, Medway 2013) – Communications Officer
Théo Thieffry (Politics, Rutherford 2007) – External Outreach Officer
Valérie Gratzer (Politics, Rutherford 1981) – General Officer
Kim Randazzo (SECL, Eliot 1987) – General Officer
Sally Miller (History, Rutherford 1965) – General Officer

Find out more about our alumni groups on the alumni website.

Kent alumni and students volunteer to support homeless

A team of 10 Kent alumni and students volunteered at the Catching Lives Day Centre in Canterbury on Saturday 20 May as part of a new initiative in partnership with Kent Union. Kent Gives Back enables graduates and students to work together for a local community cause and help people and projects that matter to them. It’s also a fun and rewarding way for alumni and students to share stories about their experiences at and after Kent!

Volunteers ran social activities with clients and helped centre staff to clean and organise the facilities.

Alumna Jessica Farnham (Rutherford 2002) said of the experience: “It was great to work with students and fellow alumni and be able to make a very small difference to a fantastic cause by interacting with the service users. I can’t wait to get involved again for future projects”.

Got a project you think Kent Gives Back could help with? Contact Volunteer Management Officer Kasia Senyszyn at

Love at Mungo’s

Halloween in America is a big deal; which is why Sarah Whiting, a post-graduate business student from  San Diego California, made sure she and her friends attended Mungo’s Massive Halloween party. Dressed as a black cat, Sarah accidentally bumped into Jonathan, wearing a football kit and bad ghost makeup, while attempting to enquire about his mate’s Cruella Deville costume. they met briefly and didn’t see each other again for the rest of the night.

Roughly a week later, through random events and fate, Sarah was invited into an unfamiliar flat in her Woolf College block after a lecture and after a few minutes of chatting Jonathan walks in and they meet again this time properly both remembering the other from the brief encounter at Mungo’s. After a night of chatting, the next night is Bonfire night and Sarah has plans to watch the fireworks in London. Anticipating her very late arrival back to the Canterbury bus station on a cold night, Jonathan offers Sarah a ride home and that’s where the romance began. To this day they celebrate their anniversary by going and watching fireworks on the 5th of November.

After conquering the year of postgraduate study together, Jonathan travelled back to California with Sarah to meet her family and to her surprise, he proposed on the plane ride back to London in a spectacular gesture involving the first class lounge and whole flight crew! Now looking to the future together they will celebrate their engagement along with their graduation ceremony this July with friends and family from all over the world. They plan to be married in California next November and return to London to live happily ever after.