Insight into Fintech day for Kent students!

On Thursday 31 October, the Success Accelerator Programme brought 15 talented second-year students to London to experience the Fintech industry. Hosted by Investment 20/20; a careers site for aspiring investment management graduates, who offer a graduate trainee programme with 42 partner companies. The students received an introduction into Fintech, with speakers from Fintech start-ups and financial services, who spoke about the developments within this emerging industry.

Following this, the group had the chance to partake in a speed networking session, with city professionals, working in a range of Fintech companies.

During the afternoon, the group were joined by Success Accelerator mentors, who networked with the students over lunch. A couple of our alumni; Sheyi Lisk-Carew, Reema Raisinghani, Luke Bewley and Michael Thurlow also shared their career insights during a panel talk, discussing their career paths since leaving Kent and their current roles within procurement, data and market analysis and consultancy.

The Success Accelerator Programme, which is sponsored by the Kent Opportunity Fund, aims to inspire students at Kent to achieve a career in the City. The programme includes students from the School of Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science and Law. Currently, there are 16 alumni mentors, all professionals dedicated to improving outcomes for those students looking to achieve their own version of success by gaining employment in London.

This was a fantastic event, which gave students an awareness of what investment management involves and its importance, how Fintech plays a huge role in the success of the industry and the opportunity to meet a variety of people who work in the sector. We would like to thank Investment 20/20 for hosting us and we look forward to visiting them again in the future.


Join us for some glow-in-the-dark fun!

Ever wondered how you could make your favourite activities that little bit more fun? Well grab your mates, put on some neon clothes, don those glow sticks and join us for this term’s UV nights  at the Sports Centre!

On Monday 2 December we’ll be hosting UV sports including korfball, netball, dodgeball and many more. We’ll also be running two sessions of our very popular roller disco.

On Tuesday 3 December we’re putting on very special UV fitness classes to get your blood pumping. Afro House Hiit, BodyPump, Strong by Zumba and Spinning are all on the timetable for the evening.

Visit our UV sports night webpage for the full timetable, booking and payment details.

Patricia Novillo-Corvalan

Patricia Novillo-Corvalan talks ‘Institutions of World Literature’

Dr Patricia Novillo-Corvalan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature, was invited to speak at the ‘Institutions of World Literature’ workshop in London on Tuesday 29 October.

This workshop investigated the twin processes of institutionalisation and internationalisation of literary studies. What was the relationship between them in different nations and at different times? What is the influence of migration and international collaboration in the institutionalisation of letters in a national context? How are theories of world literature shaped by institutional histories? And how can sociological approaches, in particular Bourdieu’s field theory, help us navigate these questions? We aim to discuss these issues in a comparative and global context. This event is part of the TORCH Global South Fellowship scheme.

Patricia says: “The workshop created a productive dialogue between the global North and the global South, a dynamic exchange made possible through the interaction of truly transnational research networks. These transcontinental multilingual dialogues enabled the recovery of neglected literary histories, especially by situating global South spaces at the foreground of these debates, creating meaningful interactions that can overcome the homogenising and monolingual tendencies of world literature approaches”.

Patricia will also be holding another workshop on ‘Modernism and Translation: A Workshop’ at the University of York on Friday 22 November.


Give the gift of wellbeing this Christmas

This Christmas, treat someone to the unique gift of wellbeing with our vouchers for Kent Sport membership and the Physiotherapy Clinic. So if you know a student, staff member, alumni or member of the public in need of some wellbeing, then get in touch!

For all voucher enquiries*, please email

Check out the Benefits of membership and prices and the Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic.

*Excludes Pay to Play. Membership vouchers for University of Kent student or staff members can also be purchased at reception. This will be added to their Kent One card upon purchase. Vouchers for membership available to buy until 16 December 2019.

GCDC Doctoral Scholarships 2020

The Global Challenges Doctoral Centre (GCDC) has launched a call for PhD applications for ten doctoral scholarships starting in September 2020. GCDC scholarships are open to new, full-time PhD applicants in any discipline (based in either Canterbury or Medway) whose research meets Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funding criteria.

 GCDC scholars will receive the following:

• Annual stipend at UKRI rates for 3.5 years (TBC but this was £15,009 for 2019/20);

• Annual tuition fees at UKRI Home/EU rates for 3.5 years (£4,327 for 2019/20);

• A Research Training Support Grant of £1,500 per year for the first 3 years of study; and

• Specialised interdisciplinary GCDC cohort training activities.

Applications for GCDC scholarships can be both student-led and project-led.

More information about GCDC project-led scholarships is available via the links below:

• School of Biosciences/School of Economics: ‘Investigating the diarrhoeal pathogens in vulnerable populations in developing countries’ 

• School of Anthropology and Conservation: ‘Human-elephant co-existence in a post-ivory ban landscape’ 

• School of Politics and International Relations: ‘Engaging citizens in Post-Conflict Reconstruction’ 

• School of Biosciences: ‘Defining the molecular basis and health benefits of traditional Asian medicines’ 

• Kent Business School/School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research: ‘Work or family? The impact of an EO strategy on migrant workers’ wellbeing and organisational performance in China’ 

• Kent School of Architecture and Planning: ‘The Urban Agriculture Nexus: an investigation on urban food growing in the barrios of Bogatà’ 

More information 

Visit the GCDC Scholarships page for more information on how to apply.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Taster Event at Canterbury – Saturday 7 December 2019

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts warmly invites you to a Mechanical Engineering Taster Event taking place from 10.30 am to 16.00 pm on Saturday 7 December at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

Mechanical Engineering is at the forefront of the most innovative and progressive industries, from robotics and automation through to aerospace and automotive applications. As Mechanical engineers we are involved at almost every stage of a design process including design and manufacture through to test, research and commissioning.

 At the School of Engineering and Digital Arts you can learn these keys skills and be able to implement them in industry. During our Taster Event, you’ll meet  our staff and current students, you will be able to explore our facilities and gain hands-on practical learning by building your very own walking robot .

 The programme for the event is as follows:

 10.30 – 11.00  Arrival and refreshments

 11:00 – 12:30  Interactive laboratory taster session

 12:30 – 13:00  Lunch

 13:00 – 14.00  Campus tour

 14.00 –  15.00  Taster lecture/presentation

 15.00 – 15:30  Life at Kent Talk

15.30 – 16.00  Refreshments and Close

 This exciting day is designed for people with an interest in our BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree.

To apply for a place at the Mechanical Engineering taster event, please email

Mike Oliver portait

Disability History Month exhibition: Mike Oliver

UK Disability History Month celebrations at Kent

As part of UK Disability History Month 2019, we are hosting an exhibition in Keynes College about Mike Oliver, Kent alumni and former lecturer, who was a key figure in the movement to secure equal rights for disabled people. The exhibition launch event will take place on Tuesday 26 November at 18.00 and is free to attend – book online via Eventbrite. It will showcase extracts of his work and personal affects kindly lent by Oliver’s widow, Joy Oliver, as well as the ways in which the University and Kent Union are trying to improve accessibility now.

The theme for this year’s Disability History Month is Disability: Leadership, Resistance and Culture. We will be asking our Kent community to engage with the exhibition and reflect on what our current culture and barriers might be, and what we can do individually and collectively to address these.

Who was Professor Mike Oliver?

Oliver studied for an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from 1972 to 1975, at a time when the campus was widely inaccessible for a wheelchair-user. Mike Oliver completed his PhD in Sociology at Kent in 1979, and immediately moved to a position as Course Director at Kent for a new Masters programme aimed at Social Work professionals working with disabled people, which is believed to be the first postgraduate course in what later became known as Disability Studies.

Professor Oliver’s work examined the assumptions that disability was a medical problem, and shifted the focus away from illness and impairment and toward the allocation of resources. The medicalised model had created a label for disabled people as tragic victims, but Oliver’s assertion was that personal difficulties could be addressed as public issues, an insight that led him to develop the Social Model of Disability. The problem of gaining entry to a classroom is not because someone uses a wheelchair, but when that classroom is upstairs…a problem exists.  Remove the stairs, and you remove the problem; this is the essence of the Social Model.

The Social Model of Disability has been widely adopted as the best practice model for public institutions, and is the best known theory of disability practice. As a disability activist he campaigned for the outlawing of discrimination against disabled people (Disability Discrimination Act 1995).

In 2018, Kent approached Mike Oliver to create an autobiographical film of his life, and his association with the University of Kent, ‘Kicking Down the Doors: From Borstal Boy to University Professor’, which premiered at Darwin Conference Suite during UK Disability History Month in November 2018. The film continues to receive very positive feedback and has been viewed over 3,800 times.

New Kent Student Award

The Kent Student Awards, which seek to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution students make to the Kent student experience, will launch a new award for 2020: The Mike Oliver Award for Improving Accessibility. We hope that the next generation of staff and students at Kent can pick up the mantle so inspiringly worn by Mike Oliver.


Text saying: International Mens Day November 19

International Men’s Day event – 19 November

It is a common feature of gender equality events that most of the attendees are women so we often miss out on the male voice when discussing issues that affect us all such as work-life balance, wellbeing and workplace culture.

Last year the Athena SWAN team addressed this by surveying* our male colleagues on their experience of gender equality in the workplace.

This year we are using the occasion of International Men’s Day to hold a panel and audience discussion, on the key themes arising from the survey:

  • Does it feel that gender equality initiatives are targeted only at women?
  • Is there a macho culture that prevents an inclusive one?
  • What is it like being a Dad at the University?

The event is being held in Grimond Lecture Theatre 3, Tuesday 19 November. Teas, coffees and afternoon treats from 14.30 and discussion 15.00-16.00.

Everyone is welcome! Book your place and pass on the details to any colleagues you think may be interested.

*You can read more about the responses to our gender equality surveys on our Equality Matters blog.

student art pass

Relax. Recharge. See Art.

You’re not alone if you find you need some headspace this term. The charity Art Fund have created a ‘Calm and collected’ report which found that nearly half of us feel anxious regularly. They also found that while 63% of us find a visit to a museum or gallery helpful in de-stressing, only 6% of us go regularly.

With a Student Art Pass you can unplug in a sculpture park, time-travel to past civilisations, get lost in a painting or make a local museum café your main hangout space – all without having to worry about the cost.

Apply before 15 December to get 100s of museum discounts across the UK, 50% off major exhibitions and access to paid opportunities in the arts – all for just £5 a year.

Purchase a Student Art Pass

Management and leadership celebration

Management and leadership development celebration

Learning and Organisational Development held an event to celebrate management and leadership development across the University on Wednesday 13 November.

The celebration, in the Darwin Conference suites, was opened by our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Karen Cox, who congratulated everyone present.

Certificates were presented to members of staff who, during the past year, have taken part in various leadership and management programmes, including the Insights programme, Foundations of Management, Leadership for Areas of Significant Responsibility (LASR) and the Aurora programme.

Group photos took place after the celebration, followed by cakes and plenty of networking.

You can find out more about leadership and management development programmes available at the University on our HR webpages.

Picture shows: Graduates of our Insights and Aurora programmes (from left) – Silvia Maria Rasca, Rowena Paget, Yvonne Sherwood, Sarah Slowe, Justine Rush and Chloé Gallien.