Group of students at Holi festival looking very colourful

WorldFest returns! 9-13 March

Worldfest returns for 2020 in Canterbury and Medway!  Running from the 9-13 March, the popular celebration of cultural diversity features the delectable International Food Fair, the International Showcase (the ultimate cultural talent contest) and Holi, the Hindu colour-throwing festival and celebration of spring.

New to Worldfest this year are the workshops by Music for Change in the Sports Centre and the Voices of (Un)Belonging creative event by the Decolonise UoK group, featuring LowKey. At Medway there are quizzes, workshops, performances and lots of creative fun to get involved in.

The full programme is available online at www.kent.ac.uk/worldfest

Cute golden retriever puppy standing by bowl

Free wellbeing activities at Canterbury

To help you prepare for the exam period, we have brought lots of ideas for you together in one place so you can be thinking about incorporating some activities that make you feel good during stressful times.

Are you ready to #TrySomethingNewForFree? We will have a huge variety of inspiration at #EnhanceYourWellbeing2020 – come and discover some fun and practical ways to improve your wellbeing and get some balance in your life.

Drop in activities in Keynes Atrium

Come along to Keynes Atrium on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February 12.00-14.00 for information stalls, craft activities, games, dog therapy, free massages, free haircuts and a lot more! Free healthy snacks will be available so come and grab some fuel as you go through Keynes #LoveYourMindLoveYourBody.

Many societies like Mindsoc, UKC Krishna Consciousness Society, BEAT and Coppafeel will be talking about what they do and how you can get involved. You can talk to Kent Sport about the initiatives they run to help people try new activities, or you can get stuck in and start rowing, and then have a taster massage to relax.

There will be a variety of craft and artistic activity that you can sit down and have a go at for as long or as little as you like, as well as games and information on accessing support whenever you need it during your studies.

Find out about various types of staff and student led groups, from neurodiversity, to the Wellbeing Café, which is every Monday from 15.30-16.45 in Turing Hut 8 – a place to have a free hot drink and chat, and get involved in activities linked to nature and wellbeing.

Free workshops by our University chefs

There are some free workshops by our own University chefs taking place throughout February and March. These workshops include breadmaking, mince beef/quorn mince three ways and making decadent deserts.

If you fancy learning some new skills in the kitchen, make sure you book one of the limited places online for cooking workshops.

City centre wellbeing activities

Do you also know that there are lots of opportunities to enhance your wellbeing for free in the city centre?

Take a study break and go down to the Beaney Institute of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury’s city library which is free for all to access and includes both a large selection in the lending library, and 3 floors of art galleries. On Monday 2 March there will be an exclusive mindfulness tour of the Beaney for University of Kent students from 16.00-17.00, limited spaces can be booked online for the Beaney tour.

Waterstones in Rose Lane, Canterbury, is also hosting two wonderful wellbeing events, An evening of storytelling and dance on Thursday 27 February from 18.30-20.30 and Universities’ Mental Health & Wellbeing Evening on Thursday 5 March 18.00-21.00 where students can get 20% off any books. The café will be open, there will be free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, with live music and taster sessions of guided meditation practice on the top floor.

See the full programme of events. For the latest information and booking links, or to tell us your thoughts and ideas on Wellbeing activity, please follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Students looking at a screen

Postgraduate Open Day, 22 Feb

Did you know that Kent undergrads moving on to postgrad study are eligible for special scholarships and discounts?

Book now for the Postgraduate Open Event to find out more about Kent’s career-focused Master’s and PhD programmes, £12m scholarship fund and to meet the Dean of the Graduate School for tea and cake.

The Postgraduate Open Day is Saturday 22 February, 10.00-14.00 in Darwin College.

Book your place now

easterzone-2020

EasterZone sports camp for kids

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, you may be worrying about how to keep your children active and entertained. With our EasterZone sports camp for children aged 5 to 14, you won’t need to worry. Led by qualified and DBS checked coaches and supported by sports supervisors, our sports camp will allow your children to make friends in a fun environment while introducing them to new sports including football, kwik cricket, tag rugby, hockey, and multi-sports.

Online bookings are now being taken. Spaces can either be booked for individual days or the full four days. The closing date for applications is Friday 20 March 2020.

Prices:

EasterZone 2020 runs from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 April, from 9.00 to 15.00 daily.

University staff / student discount: One day £30, one week (four days) £100

Non University staff / student: One day £35, one week (four days) £120

Late pick-up (per child, per day): £10

Late pick-ups are available from 15.00 to 17.00 nd include staff-led fun games and creative activities. If you have any questions please email sportsenquiries@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 816391.

Millie Knight skiing

Millie Knight wins World Cup gold

Millie Knight is a woman full of ambition. Becoming visually impaired at a young age, she knows no boundaries when it comes to excelling on the slopes.

Just before Christmas, Millie and her ski guide Brett Wild took home seven out of eight Gold medals at a World Cup in Mammoth, California. Feeling on top her game, she went into 2020 ready to ski. Unfortunately, on her way to Gatwick, she was involved in a rear-end collision and suffered severe whiplash. Being who Millie is, she powered through and was still able to make her flight to Switzerland – ready for the World Cup.

Despite her injuries, Millie skied for six days straight even though she was experiencing throbbing headaches and pain in her neck. Due to illness, Millie’s guide wasn’t able to attend her first race so her reserve guide, Katie, came out. They had one day of skiing then raced the next day.

“By the second run, my neck had totally seized up and I was experiencing terrible shooting pains down my arm, but still placed fourth. My neck was extremely sore, so I asked to see a physio the moment I finished racing. As soon as the physio took one look at me, I was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken neck.”

Luckily, Millie was okay and was off to Slovenia, ready for her next challenge – ‘GS’ aka Giant Slalom – the second slowest slope with top speeds of 70km/h. By this point, her guide Brett was well enough to ski with her. Millie received Bronze, Gold and Silver respectively for her races.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Millie’s next move is to take part in the British National Championships in France and after that, she’s off to Norway for the next World Cup and Sweden for the World Cup Finals. We have no doubt Millie will do incredible things and all  this competition is helping Millie achieve the ultimate goal of partaking in the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Kent Sport congratulates Millie for her successes and is proud to have her part of the team. Find out more about the Kent Sport scholarship programme and for more information about Millie, see her profile.

If you’d like to get active at Kent, come and chat with our friendly team or pick up a copy of Active Kent from the Sport Centre.

Kent Student Awards

Nominate a Student for a Kent Student Award

You have spent your time at Kent working with fantastic volunteers so why not nominate them for a Kent Student Award. Tell us who has made the most outstanding contribution to the student experience so they can be rewarded accordingly.

You can nominate a Kent student or group of students for one of the 9 awards. Winners will receive a brick in the ‘Footsteps Path’ and recognition of the achievement on their Higher Education Achievement Report.

Finalists will be invited to a garden party on the Canterbury campus on Friday 29 May, when the winners will be announced.

Nominations are open until Sunday 22 March. You can nominate someone by clicking on the link here.

Alexa Semaphore Lego Mindsorms Challenge winner

Student wins prize in LEGO MINDSTORMS Voice Challenge

James Pearson, a final year Computer Science with a Year in Industry student, won US $150 in Amazon vouchers as part of a global creative coding challenge. James was one of the first 100 entries in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Voice Challenge: Powered by Alexa competition, sponsored by Amazon.

James identified that approximately 15% of people have some trouble hearing (according to a 2012 study of US adults) and Alexa’s audible alarms and timers may not work well for them. He decided to make a device that could help people who are hard of hearing or who temporarily cannot hear alarms because they are gaming using a headset or cooking near a loud extractor fan.

James said: ‘People are generally very good at detecting movement, even out the corner of their eyes so I realised that having some flags indicating when Alexa was doing things could be really helpful if you can’t hear it.’

James built a Mindstorms device with two flags on it, the smaller blue flag indicates when Alexa has heard an instruction, and the red flag indicates when alarms, reminders or timers are ringing on the device. James continued: ‘The flag raises at different angles to show different things. You can test it is working by saying “Alexa”, which moves the small blue flag around. The red flag moves to indicate timers, reminders and alarms’. 

To find out more was this YouTube video. 

Code First for girls

CodeFirst Girls: free weekly coding workshop

Are you a girl interested in learning how to code? Are you a girl ready to join the technological revolution and make a change in the world?

Code First Girls coding workshop returns this term. Students from the School of Computing are running a free weekly coding course exclusively for girls! They will be teaching you how to write in languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery – the basics of making your own website.

At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which will be a great valuable addition to any CV.

Email Adriana Samareanu on ams79@kent.ac.uk to find out more.

Industrial action

Industrial action update

Following the October 2019 ballot of its members on pay and conditions, the University and College Union (UCU) has announced another period of national strike action. At Kent, this is due to begin on 24 February 2020 and will last 14 days, concluding on 17 March 2020. The planned strike days are:

  • Week 1: Monday 24 February to Wednesday 26 February (3 days)
  • Week 2: Monday 2 March to Thursday 5 March (4 days)
  • Week 3: Monday 9 March to Friday 13 March (5 days)
  • Week 4: Monday 16 March to Tuesday 17 March (2 days)

We have updated our student website containing information about the industrial action that is taking place this academic year, a list of FAQs and the support available to you. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions and we will be regularly adding more information over the next few weeks.

Please be assured that your education is our utmost priority at this time. We are continuing to do all we can to minimise disruption and the impact of the industrial action on those of you that are affected.

We will continue to keep you informed of further developments via the Student Guide, @unikent on Twitter and email when necessary. You can also speak with the staff in your academic school who will be able to provide information specific to your course.

Please continue to attend all your scheduled teaching during this time.

 

Industrial action

Updated industrial action webpages and resources

 Updated web pages have been published for staff with information and resources relating to industrial action. The staff web pages have been updated ahead of strike action scheduled to

take place by members of the University and College Union (UCU) between 24 February and 17 March.

The 14 days of planned action are:
24 February – 26 February
2 March – 5 March
9 March – 13 March
16 March – 17 March

The web pages include links to the industrial action pay policy, FAQs, information about the background to the action and what Kent is doing. They also include instructions for staff to report their participation in the action.

Dedicated web pages for students about industrial action have also been updated, providing up-to-date information about the planned strike action and answers to frequently asked questions.

The new strike dates in February follow a previous period of strike action which began on 25 November 2019 and lasted eight continual days, ending on 4 December 2019.  At Kent, the industrial action relates to the continued dispute regarding the national pay award. Some other institutions are also taking action over changes to the USS pension scheme.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and UCU have been in negotiations in an attempt to find a resolution to these national disputes. As part of those discussions, UCEA have made a series of proposals that seek to resolve the pay and conditions dispute following consultation with members including Kent. More information about the proposal can be found in the recent UCEA leaflet.