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Spring Term Teaching Update

These continue to be difficult and challenging times for us all. Since the decision was made to move all PSAC teaching online, government restrictions have remained in place with regard to the delivery of face-to-face university teaching. Our priority is the safety of staff and students and our support of the government measures to overcome the pandemic. We will continue to review the situation as it evolves.

FRENCH GOVERNMENT UPDATES

On November 28, the French government announced that France would begin the process of “déconfinement”, or gradually stripping back lockdown measures. At this stage, plans are still vague, but the French government has announced that universities are likely to re-open their doors in late January 2021, with in person teaching beginning approximately two weeks after this date. Looking ahead to the Spring Term, which starts on Monday 18 January 2021, we hope to return to face-to-face teaching as soon as we are able to do so, in line with government guidance. 

If government measures allow, we hope to be able to welcome all incoming students to Reid Hall from 20 January, and return to face-to-face teaching (for applicable modules) shortly thereafter. We expect the first week or two of the Spring Term to be delivered 100% online, in accordance with French government guidelines. Some modules will be delivered 100% online over the course of the entire term, whereas others will be delivered in a face-to-face format.  

More information on restrictions currently in place in France can be found here.

WELCOME WEEK: 18-22 January 2021 

Welcome week will begin for all incoming students (students beginning their programmes in January 2021, but also students coming to Paris after spending the Autumn Term at our Canterbury campus) on Monday, 18 January. We highly recommend that all students join us in Paris by this time if possible; however, please note that it is vital to have good internet access to participate in all welcome week sessions.  The vast majority of our sessions will be held virtually, with a few in-person meetings where possible. We will be releasing the welcome week programme shortly.

SPRING TERM DATES

23 December 2020-3 January 2021 (inclusive): Christmas closure. All university offices will remain closed over this period, and re-open virtually on Monday, 4 January 2021. Please note that University staff will answer all messages received during this time after 4 January 2021.  

18 January 2021: Spring Term begins/welcome week for all incoming students. We strongly advise all students to return to Paris before 18 January if they are able. Please check any travel restrictions in place before travelling to France. 

20 January 2021: French Government announces updated Covid guidelines. 

25 January 2021: Spring Term classes begin (Week 14) for all Paris programmes/modules. All classes will begin online. 

5 February 2021: Expected return to face-to-face teaching (with social distancing measures in place) in applicable modules.  

We will continue to monitor government announcements and hope that we will be able to deliver face-to-face teaching as early as possible in line with our Covid-19 Code of Conduct. We will keep all staff and students informed of our plans as soon as the situation becomes clearer in the new year. 

Photo credit: (c) Guillaume Bontemps / Ville de Paris (December 2020)

Kent wins Guardian University Award 2020 for Digital Innovation

We are delighted to announce that the University has won the Digital Innovation category of the Guardian University Awards 2020.

This win is for our innovative and highly acclaimed One Hour Degree.

Launched in 2019, One Hour Degree is an online simulation game designed to provide the complete university experience for those contemplating taking the three-year academic route. Created by the University’s Student Success Team, it enables prospective students to take an immersive series of “quests” designed to give authentic insight into the university experience, all within one hour. Players are able to choose to participate via either Kent’s Canterbury or Medway campuses.

The One Hour Degree was developed in collaboration with a number of specialists across the University. The game was written and developed by Alison Webb, Systems Development Manager in the Student Success Team. To date it has been played over 7,000 times by players in 124 countries.

Professor Richard Reece, Kent’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience said: ‘This is fantastic news and many congratulations to all those involved with this truly innovative project. The global reach of the game has been phenomenal and its impact truly beneficial to both current and prospective students at Kent.’

Alison Webb said: ‘Not only was this a fantastic collaborative effort between many colleagues and departments, but it also highlighted the importance of speaking to students and gaining their insights on specific university experiences. We also had the benefit of a work-study student to really bring this to life. The analytics prove the game has been played far and wide and student feedback has been incredibly positive.’

The Guardian described the game as one that ‘introduces key concepts, terminology, locations and processes to new students before they arrive, while images of the campus helps those who have been unable to attend an open day.

‘An easy-to-read narrative takes players through five “quests” covering welcome week, the first assignment, first-year exams, year two and year three, offering choices between hundreds of different scenarios.

‘Badges are awarded for each completed quest, while knowledge and happiness points reward choices that take full advantage of the education and networking opportunities available. Together these dictate the classification of the degree players receive at the end.’

Kent was also runner up in the Widening Access and Outreach category of the Guardian Awards. This was for the first degree-level apprenticeship in economics. This project was led by Digital and Lifelong Learning and School of Economics, alongside the Government Economic Service (GES).

View the original blog post here.

Fee discount for EU students

EU students starting their programmes at Kent in 2021 and 2022 will be offered a 25% discount on the international fees and this discount will be honoured for the duration of their programmes. This applies only to programmes delivered entirely by the University of Kent (including the University’s Paris School of Arts and Culture) and excludes Programmes belonging to Medway School of Pharmacy and Kent and Medway Medical School.

Tuition fees for our programmes can be found if you:

Literature, Life and Lockdown: How the Humanities can help the Species Survive

Lockdown means different things to different people, but one thing it has meant to all of us is more time with ourselves. How can the Humanities help us reflect on our grave new world? What lessons can we learn from the past as we look to a future beyond lockdown? What can culture teach us about quarantine?

Drawing on examples from the history of literature, philosophy, and cinema, scholars from the University of Kent’s Division of Arts and Humanities will discuss the value of thought in the age of confinement. If the UK’s government’s advice is to ‘stay alert’, perhaps the Arts can help teach us what this means.

Date: Monday 1 June 2020

Time: 15:00 (Paris time)

Title: Literature, Life and Lockdown: How the Humanities can help the Species Survive

The discussion will be hosted by Professor Jeremy Carrette, Dean for Europe and Professor of Philosophy, Religion and Culture.

Panellists:

Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature and Academic Director, Paris School of Arts and Culture, University of Kent

Dr Frances Guerin, Senior Lecturer in Film and History of Art and Deputy Director of Graduate Studies (Paris programmes), University of Kent

Dr Lauren Ware, Lecturer in Philosophy, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent

If you missed the event, you can now listen to the recording here.

You may also want to check out some of our past events:

Whatever Happened to Brexit? Europe after COVID-19 (past event recording, 7 May 2020)

Pandemic and Politics: COVID-19, Global Crisis and the Challenge to Humanity (past event recording, 14 May 2020)

Pandemic and Politics: COVID-19, Global Crisis and the Challenge to Humanity

What has COVID-19 revealed about our political world? Has it changed politics and the world order? Why does a pandemic isolate us and bring us together? And does the world really want change after a vaccine?

Date: Thursday 14th May

Time: 3pm (Brussels/Paris time)

Scholars from the University of Kent’s internationally renown Brussels School of International Studies will discuss the complex political world of COVID-19 responses, the effectiveness of politicians, the hidden politics behind the health management and the potential of new political environments.

Professor Adrian Pabst
Professor of Politics @University of Kent

Dr Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels
Reader in Migration @University of Kent

Dr Albena Azmanova
Reader in Political and Social Thought @University of Kent

Register your place by clicking on this link!

This is the latest in our webinar series on international issues in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous Talk: (Watch it back below)

Title: Whatever Happened to Brexit? Europe After COVID-19

Just a few months ago, Brexit was the dominant issue on the EU’s agenda – things have changed. Does the pandemic threaten the already tight negotiation schedule between the EU and the UK? How does it change the position of both parties? And how about the credibility of the EU, at times when solidarity seems to be questioned?

Next talk:

Literature, Life and Lockdown: How the Humanities can help the Species Survive‘, featuring Professor Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature and Academic Director of Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, Dr Frances Guerin, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Graduate Studies of Paris programmes at Kent’s School of Arts, and Dr Lauren Ware Lecturer in Philosophy at Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages (1 June 2020).

Statement of intent regarding Autumn 2020

The University of Kent is looking forward to welcoming new and returning students in the autumn of 2020. We will, as now, be open for business when the autumn term begins on 21 September 2020

However, we recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have an impact on how we all live and work. It is likely that we will have to adapt how we deliver our education, and the wider student experience of university life, in response to changes in government requirements.

We realise what an anxious time this is and want to assure you that planning is already underway to prepare the University for the next academic year. If necessary, we will adapt our teaching styles and delivery methods to ensure that the education and experience of students remains of the highest quality possible and occurs in a safe and effective manner – taking into consideration relevant advice and guidelines that are in place at the time. The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, visitors and surrounding communities will continue to be our highest priority.

We are committed to ensuring that the standards that led to the University being rated as gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework are upheld, whether that teaching is delivered face-to-face, online or in a blended form of the two with appropriate social distancing in place. Our community of teaching, research and professional services staff will ensure that all education continues to be both a stimulating and fulfilling experience for all our students whether they are at Canterbury, Medway, Brussels or Paris.

We know our campuses are an important part of student life and we look forward to welcoming you all on to campus as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, as we transition back to more usual ways of working, we promise you that, as a member of the University, you will be part of a diverse, dynamic and supportive community and receive an education of the highest possible standard.

This is a repurposed version of a blog post and may differ from the original. View the original blog post.

Kent awarded funding to research the social implications of COVID-19

Kent, in partnership with Belong: The Cohesion and Integration Network, has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation to carry out research into how societal cohesion has been affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

Professor Dominic Abrams and Dr Fanny Lalot of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes will lead the research, alongside Belong to use data that emerges in real time.

The project will build on existing data focussing on societal cohesion during Brexit. Data will be gathered through surveys of representative samples in Kent, Scotland and Wales, and five local authorities, and combined with qualitative data, including insights from community activists. The research will test how cohesion is made better or worse, how and why individuals become involved or disengaged with groups and communities. This evidence will provide insight into how significant medium term pressures are borne within regions, communities and by individuals.

The findings will provide a rich historical record of what is happening to societal cohesion as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, and will support policy to build resilience against future short, medium and long term challenges.

The team have been awarded £234,559 to conduct the intensive research that will take place over the next nine months.

Dominic Abrams, Professor of Social Psychology said: ‘We are delighted to have this opportunity to understand what is happening to people’s sense of connection and belonging, their priorities and feelings during this extraordinary time. We hope that this research will break new scientific ground whilst also contributing valuable evidence for policy.’

Alex Beer, Welfare Programme Head at the Nuffield Foundation said: ‘During the massive social upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen many people and communities organise for the benefit of others, but some disadvantaged groups remain overlooked. This project will inform policy by investigating the impact of the crisis on social cohesion and the factors which shape people’s attitudes and behaviours.’

Jo Broadwood, Chief Executive of Belong: The Cohesion and Integration Network added: ‘We are really pleased to be working with Dominic, his team and the Nuffield Foundation and are excited about the potential for this project to impact on both practice and policy in the future. We think there is much that we can learn from the huge outbreak of kindness and connection in neighbourhoods across the UK and the findings will have relevance for strengthening social bondsresilience and cohesion as we emerge from the crisis.’

This is a repurposed version of a blog post and may differ from the original. View the original blog post.

Interdisciplinary interventions – new online lecture series to be launched

In continuation of our lecture series, Kent’s European Centres in Paris and Brussels will be holding some online discussions centered around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Date: Thursday 7th May

Time: 15:00 (Central European Time)

Title: Whatever Happened to Brexit? Europe After Covid-19

Just a few months ago, Brexit was the dominant issue on the EU’s agenda – things have changed. Does the pandemic threaten the already tight negotiation schedule between the EU and the UK? How does it change the position of both parties? And how about the credibility of the EU, at times when solidarity seems to be questioned?

Scholars from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies will discuss how Covid-19 impacts the Brexit agenda, how it affects policies in both the EU and the UK and the challenges that this poses for the future.

The discussions will be hosted by Professor Jeremy Carrette, Dean for Europe and Professor of Philosophy, Religion and Culture.

Panelists:

  • Professor Richard Whitman, Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent
  • Dr Tom Casier, Reader in International Relations, University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies

Register your place here 

Look out for other Interdisciplinary Intervention webinars

Literature, Life and Lockdown; How the Humanities can help the Species Survive.

Pandemic and Politics: Covid-19, Global Crisis and the Challenge to Humanity.

Applications to scholarship fund open today

Paris Scholarships to the value of £5,000 will be awarded to a limited number of outstanding applicants able to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, clear intellectual ambition and the potential to make a strong contribution to their chosen MA programme.

Criteria

To be eligible, candidates:

  • Must have received a conditional or unconditional offer of a place on one of the Kent, Paris programmes for the academic year starting in September 2020, whether split-site (Canterbury and Paris) or Paris only.
  • Must start their course in September 2020
  • Intend to study full-time only
  • Can be UK, EU and overseas fee paying students
  • Will be assessed on academic excellence, and will usually hold by July 2020 a first-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, or hold by July 2020 an equivalent non-UK qualification or a Master’s degree at merit or distinction in a relevant subject or equivalent

For students whose programmes are quoted in euros, your scholarship will automatically be converted into that currency.

How to apply

Candidates must send a letter of motivation, not exceeding 500 words, stating why they wish to join their chosen Kent, Paris MA programme and how this fits into their longer term plans.

The letter of motivation should be saved with the following file name: “FirstnameSURNAME_application number_letter of motivation”, for example: CatherineWOOD_123456789_letter of motivation.doc.

The letter should be addressed to the Academic Director of Paris programmes and sent by email to paris@kent.ac.uk with the subject line: “Scholarship application Firstname SURNAME application number”, for example: Scholarship application Catherine WOOD 123456789.

The opening date for accepting applications is Wednesday 1 April 2020.

Deadline

Friday 15 May 2020, 23:59 BST

The Guardian names Paris neighbourhood one of the “coolest” in Europe

The Guardian has named Paris’ Charonne district as one of the top 10 “coolest” in Europe.

In an article focussing on the less touristy neighbourhoods of Europe’s major cities, the British daily highlighted what makes the former working class district of Charonne so special.

Owing its name to the former village of the same name, Charonne was absorbed by neighbouring Paris in 1860 during the great urban renovation orchestrated by Emperor Napoléon III known today as the “Haussmannisation” of Paris. The Guardian wrote that “Circular Place de la Réunion, laid out in 1850, is the heart of this friendly, bohemian quartier populaire, a multicultural area of working families, artists and musicians. The square comes alive on Thursday and Sunday mornings, when it teems with people browsing market stalls set up by butchers, cheese- and fishmongers, and fruit and vegetable sellers.” Though home to a highly-mixed population, Charonne still looks and feels like a village, but, nestled in the heart of Paris’ dynamic 20th arrondissement, it remains a rather atypical one.

See the full article, with the newspaper’s other top destinations, here: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/feb/08/10-of-the-coolest-neighbourhoods-in-europe-paris-berlin-rome