To do list, pen and glasses

Careers advice: Quick Advice and Careers Advisor appointments available

The Careers Team are still here to help you with career support and advice over the Easter break.

As well as career-focussed events for you to attend online, you can also book in for Quick Advice sessions which are 15 minutes and can cover CV, applications, cover letters, your LinkedIn profile or job-hunting advice.

If you need longer, you can book an appointment with a Careers Advisor to get more in-depth advice about your career.

Book a careers appointment now.

Person using laptop

Learning opportunities available

The Talent and Organisational Development Team are happy to share a number of upcoming learning opportunities, that are bookable via your personal Staff Connect Dashboard.

In partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, and facilitated by Planned Future, we will be offering two webinars as follow:

Pre-Retirement Financial planning: Wednesday 5 May 2021, 10.00 – 13.00.

A half day webinar aiming to give participants knowledgeable advice in regards to all aspects of planning for retirement, looking at areas such as finance, health and lifestyle.

Mid-Career Financial planning: Wednesday 5 May 2021, 14.00 – 16.00.

This short webinar covers a range of issues relevant to planning your financial affairs, both now and for the future.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we will be running the following session:

Mental Health training for Line Managers: Monday 10 May, 10.00 – 13.00.

The aim of the workshop is to enable and encourage managers to develop a management style that strikes the right balance between the needs of the individual/team and the needs of the business.

You can book all these webinars via Staff Connect and you will receive a Zoom invite a day or so before the webinar takes place.

If you would like any further information, please get in touch with the team: ldev@kent.ac.uk

Access to Microsoft 365 services from off-campus

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up for staff

All staff have now been enrolled onto multi-factor authentication (MFA) for access to email and other Microsoft 365 services.

If you haven’t set up MFA yet, the next time you try to sign into email, OneDrive, Teams or any other Microsoft 365 app from off campus you’ll be asked to set up a second authentication method.

MFA set up instructions

Full details about what you will need to do has already been emailed to all staff. If you cannot find this email we have reproduced the set up instructions here.

MFA helpline

If you have any issues you can call our dedicated MFA helpline – we’ll be here to help you over this weekend as well:

  • 01227 82 7300
  • 08:30 – 16:00 Monday - Friday
  • 09:00 – 13:00 Saturday – Sunday

Helpline opening hours may vary during the week 19 – 23 April.

What this means

When MFA has been added to your M365 account there will be an extra authentication step for you to complete before gaining access to M365 services from off-campus.

Once set up, MFA is easy to use and provides added protection against cyber-attacks which is especially important now as many staff are working from home. MFA provides a 99.9% reduction in compromised accounts and will also help to protect your own personal information.

For a more in-depth explanation of how MFA works take a look at this film.

Scottish HE/FE Information Security group

What’s next

When the rollout of MFA to staff accounts is complete we will start enrolling our students onto MFA. This will be scheduled after student exams have been completed.

Any questions

If you have any questions, please get in touch with IT Service Desk.

KentVision: Progress Update

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

As many of you will be aware, the KentVision project team are currently working hard behind the scenes to get our new student data system up and running for next week. Launch preparations are going well, and a number of key stages in this process have already been completed. However, while we remain on track to have the system live next week, we now expect this to be slightly later in the week due to the need to confirm that everything is working as it should be before the system becomes fully operational again.

Where we are up to so far  

The initial data migration went well, and the team are currently going through the process of carefully validating key systems records to ensure that the new system is operating smoothly. This process is almost complete for areas including finance, assessments and PGR admin, with core student record admin also well on the way to being finalised.

What we still need to do  

All Student Support and UKVI data is being migrated at the moment, with the team working through the weekend to continue these final steps and carry out all necessary checks. Validating this will take some time, so we expect all critical work to be complete by Monday afternoon – the team will then need a couple of days to bring all of the systems back up before they are available to use. The only exception will be Student Notes and Academic Advisors, which we will now migrate shortly after the system is back live to avoid any further delay.

We will provide a further update for staff and students on Monday, when we expect to have further progress to report, along with confirmation of the expected launch date next week. All key internal stakeholders have already been informed so they can update plans for next week and we have arrangements in place so we can continue with key admissions activity in the meantime.

I am sure you all appreciate the careful and detailed work needed to complete a data migration project of this scale, and so thank you all for your patience as we carry out these vital final steps.

With best wishes,

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

Student at screen

Year In programme – deadline approaching for Finalists to apply!

Are you in your final year and thinking about your next steps? Have you considered completing a year learning a new subject? This is an initiative where students can broaden their degree experience by adding an additional year but in a different subject. You could obtain skills and experience in Computing, Data Analytics, a Language or Journalism.

Your additional year can be taken between stage 2 and 3, or after you have completed stage 3. The programme will be added to your degree title, letting employers know about your increased employability.

This is a real opportunity to learn about a completely different area and gain some industry skills, which employers value. The deadline for finalist students to apply for the Year In programme starting in September 2021, is Sunday 9 May, so get your application in soon!

For more information about Year In, please visit the website.

Black and white photo of hands tying on laptop

Don’t lose money to a scammer

Most of us are spending more time online than usual during the pandemic. Scammers are taking advantage of this.

The pandemic also provides scammers with opportunities to exploit our desire to protect ourselves and those around us, for example by selling counterfeit face masks or hand sanitisers.

Tips to avoid being scammed

1.Only purchase goods and services from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.

2.Learn how to spot a fake email. Some red flags are if an email is about an order you didn’t make or if it’s asking for money or vouchers, even if it is from someone you know. Their account may have been hijacked.

3.Do not assume everyone is genuine. It is OK to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. We have recently been made aware of scam phone calls to Kent students. The scammers pretend to be the Crown Prosecution Service, informing residents they have around £1000 in income tax debts. This is a scam and any official documents of owed money from HRMC or Government body would be sent in letter directly to you and would not be handled by phone.

4.Don’t fall for quick cash schemes. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is! These are often scams and can be examples of money laundering. If someone offers you money for transferring money between bank accounts, you could become a money mule which is a criminal offence.

5.Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with your family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.

Think you might have been scammed?

If you think you have been scammed, contact your bank. You can also contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133, or you can report a scam by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

 

Student sat by tree

Covid-19 update: Return to campus

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Earlier this week, the Government announced further details on when and how students will be permitted to return to face-to-face teaching at universities across England, and indicated that this would be no earlier than 17 May 2021. 

This is disappointing news for many and we share your frustration that we have not been able to welcome everyone back to our campuses sooner. As we move towards the exam term at Kent, we will continue to do everything we can to support you wherever you are based. We are firmly focused on helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your online exams from 10 May onwards, with more information on how we will support you in this on our Student Guide.   

The Government also confirmed that additional hardship funds will be made available to support students most in need given the continued restrictions – we are awaiting further details on what this means for us at Kent and will share more information as soon as possible. 

Come together for Kent Summer 

We are determined to give you all a chance to come together and end the year on a high when lockdown does finally ease. We will shortly share joint plans with our Students’ Unions for a fun-packed programme throughout the summer, with street food from around the world, outdoor screenings and live performances leading up to a two-week celebration at the end of June once exams are over. I hope as many of you as possible can take the chance to catch up with each other in person while making the most of everything our wonderful campuses have to offer.  

Enjoy the Easter break, and thank you all again for the fantastic way you have all continued to engage with your studies and wider university life this year. 

With best wishes, 

Richard 

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Coronavirus

Covid-19 update: Return to campus

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

On Tuesday the government confirmed that students in England will now only be able to return to universities for face-to-face teaching from 17 May at the earliest. This is disappointing news for all of us, and I have written to students today to update them and share our frustration at this further disruption to their studies. 

Latest Government proposals 

Under the latest guidance announced yesterday, students who are still off campus can only return for face-to-face teaching no earlier than 17 May, in line with the next phase of ending lockdown. As we are now moving into the exam term after the Easter break, our focus will therefore be on continuing to support students wherever they are base and ensuring we are doing everything we can to help them achieve the best possible outcome in their online exams from 10 May onwards. There is more information on support available for students on our Student Guide.   

The government announced further details on both asymptomatic testing requirements when students do return, plans to provide home-testing kits for students and an additional £15m in hardship funding to support those most in need. We are awaiting further details on what this means for us at Kent and will share more information as soon as possible. 

Kent Summer Plans 

After what has been such a difficult year for everyone, we are determined to give our students a chance to come together to mark the end of the academic year. We are currently developing joint plans with our Students’ Unions to run a programme of activity throughout the summer term culminating in a two-week celebration at the end of June. We will provide further updates on this as soon as possible and I hope a number of you across the University will be able help with shaping plans as they come together. 

Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

Challenging Racism – Live Webinar 19 April and Inclusion Circle 22 April

Continuing with our ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign, staff are invited to join us at two key events – a Live Webinar on 19 April and an Inclusion Circle session on 22 April.

For our final Live Webinar on Monday 19 April at 13.00, we are delighted to welcome Dr Jason Arday on ‘Let’s talk about race’.  The 90-minute online webinar is facilitated by Inclusive Employers, with a guest speaker, panel discussion and Q&A session.

We will be looking at why talking about race is difficult and why silence is so damaging to all of us, including:

  • What we can all do to encourage and improve conversations around race
  • Language and saying the ‘wrong’ thing
  • Top tips for starting conversations about race

Dr Jason Arday is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Durham University and Deputy Executive Dean for People and Culture in the Faculty of Social Science and Health. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at The Ohio State University in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, an Adjunct Professor at Nelson Mandela University and a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Race Equality think tank. He is a presenter, with Heidi Mirza, of a podcast on Dismantling Race in Higher Education. 

Book your place today via Eventbrite. You can listen to our two previous live webinars on the Challenging Racism Together webpages (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Inclusion Circle

Our next Inclusion Circle ‘Taking action on race inequality and inclusion’ will take place on Thursday 22 April at 10.00, and is open to staff from all ethnic backgrounds.

The aim of the Inclusion Circles is to create a safe environment to listen to staff concerns, shared lived experiences, discuss a variety of topics, and show solidarity. The 90-minute session is facilitated by Inclusive Employers consultants Aminata Pungi and Addison Barnett, and will include:

  • An open discussion on how to tackle racial inequality.
  • A facilitated conversation focusing on the problems and ideas for solutions.

Spaces are limited so please email ChallengingRacism@Kent.ac.uk if you would like to join.

About Challenging Racism

The aim of the ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign is to promote unity, not division and to help understand and develop more inclusive behaviours. To do that, we all need to increase our awareness and understanding of racism and how it can be tackled within Kent, to ensure all staff and students feel safe and empowered.

Please share this and encourage your contacts and teams to sign-up so that we can all work together and take the first steps to address racism at Kent and beyond.  If you have any questions, email challengingracism@kent.ac.uk

#EDI #challengingracismtogether #choosetochallenge

Students sat on lawn

Postgraduate study at Kent – Instagram lives and scholarships

In your final year? If you’re considering postgraduate study at Kent, check out these Instagram lives (@UniKentLive) coming up:

  • Wednesday 14 April at 14.00 – PG students Shelley and Laura will answer your Qs around Postgrad life at Kent
  • Friday 16 April at 15.00 – LLM student Alex from @kentlawschool will answer your Qs specifically around studying Law
  • Friday 23 April at 15.00 – Recruitment Officers Russel and Jon will give you application tips and advice and a tour of the Postgrad specific spaces on campus.

Exclusive funding for Kent students

Kent has over 100 awards for students with a First or 2.1 degree undertaking postgraduate study at our locations in the UK and Europe including new scholarships exclusive to Kent Finalists:

Learn more about our postgrad offer at Kent by checking out our #StayOn #StandOut webpage.