Student Support Manager at KBS, Anna Cole, reflects on the support and guidance available to students.
What kind of support is available to KBS students?
The whole staff team is geared towards helping and supporting our students in any way we can, from academic to personal support, and even careers and employability help.
From time-to-time, we all need a little bit of extra support, so at each campus, the Business School has a dedicated Student Support team, available in term time and vacations to give you confidential guidance and help.
And if you need it, the University also employs a team of specialist practitioners who can offer counselling and mental health support. The University also has its own Healthcare Services, which provide free advice, care and support.
The campus even has its own medical centre where you can register with one of our GPs.
What can students expect in Welcome Week, to help settle in?
Welcome Week is perfectly planned to make sure that everyone can settle into uni. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other students, lecturers and staff, to discover the campus and find your bearings.
The students’ union, the University’s College and Community Life team, and the Business School’s dedicated student experience team all work together to coordinate a programme of events and activities to enable you to meet the right people and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. And it’s not just parties in the uni bars (although there are plenty of those!) – there are barbecues, book clubs, sports activities; every taste is catered for.
Which areas of support are on offer for those with disabilities?
At Kent we pride ourselves on being inclusive and accessible, both physically and digitally.
Our award-winning OPERA Project and the Kent Inclusive Practices all ensure that students with disabilities are able to enjoy your time at uni to the fullest.
Inclusive Learning Plans ensure that your learning needs are met and we will even ensure that your classes are only ever timetabled in buildings and rooms that you can access.
What academic support is available?
Every student is allocated an academic adviser, who will meet with you one-to-one to guide you through your studies, and with whom you can develop your intellectual curiosity.
Students who want to get ahead can also sign up for an Academic Peer Mentor; these are students in stages above you who will already have passed the modules you’re studying, and they can coach you through these every step of the way.
The University’s Student Learning Advisory Service – or SLAS – is a particularly useful service open to all of our students, and if you search for them on the University’s website you’ll be able to see the range of academic enhancement activities they offer, including academic writing and maths & stats skills.
What about help with finances?
We’re really conscious that the cost of living at the moment is a concern for many students, so we have a range of financial support packages and bursaries available to help.
We’ve also made changes to the way we work, scrapping library fines, freezing accommodation costs, and making sure that there are affordable catering options on our campuses (such as the £3 Meal Deal and self-catering stations).
If a new student is struggling in any area, what should be their first port of call?
You can pretty much speak to anyone who will be more than happy to help, but the key people to know are your Academic Adviser and the KBS Student Support team – what they don’t know about the support available to you isn’t worth knowing!
If you could summarise the University’s approach to support, what would you say?
One word – YOU.
Our approach is centred around our students, so we will always do whatever we can to help and support you so that you can succeed.