Mature student lunch with the Vice-Chancellor


An image of Karen Cox, vice-chancellor of the University of Kent

A very special luncheon appointment occurred last week of around twenty or so people. It was an opportunity to meet the Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox in a one-hour session to discuss issues and ideas relating to mature students at university, and then afterwards to enjoy a buffet lunch with the other attendees.

During the first hour with the Vice-Chancellor, it was good to learn that many of us, including myself, are really enjoying the whole learning process and life experience. I guess for many people, the chance to attend university at the age of 18 or 20 is either not possible or maybe unwanted, but things change. Life changes. And it’s great that nowadays one can achieve a degree at any age. The atmosphere on campus was also commented on as being an aspect that positively contributes to the overall experience, as well as the diversity within its students and staff.

At the business end of the discussion, numerous topics were covered. These included the necessity for some form of communal or meeting area, easier access to club and society events (especially for those who have dependents or live outside of Canterbury), and also the idea of bursaries or scholarships that can aid those who want to study but have financial commitments that may prevent them from doing so. It was also good to see Kent Union reps at the lunch who are keen to embrace the needs of all students, regardless of age, especially when organising Freshers’ Week and other university events.

Overall, it was a great lunch to attend. The Vice-Chancellor really shows an interest in everyone’s thoughts and opinions, and you know that behind-the-scenes the ideas will be explored and looked at further. I will point out that things here at Kent are already good, really good in fact, but the intention of the event was to bring mature students closer together and explore how the university experience can be improved upon even more, which can only be a good thing.

This post is by Ben Dawkins