Featured post
Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor

VC’s blog: renewed national discussions needed on USS pensions

In her latest blog, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox gives an assurance that she will continue to press for a consideration of alternative options by UUK, UCU and the USS. Tomorrow (Friday 23 February) she will be meeting with Universities UK and vice-chancellors from across the sector and will ensure that Kent’s voice is among those calling for a resumption of national discussions on the future of the USS pension.

Read VC’s blog: renewed national discussions needed on USS pensions

You can find all the latest information for staff about the proposed pension changes and the industrial action on the HR website including the latest update from UUK.

Featured post
Professor Karen Cox

USS pension situation – staff message from Karen Cox

I am writing to acknowledge the difficult situation we all find ourselves in with regard to the national situation on USS pensions. I absolutely respect colleagues’ right to take action in the way they are, in response to a situation that we all thought had been resolved a few years ago now. I and many of us across the University have urged for, and will continue to urge for, ongoing discussions at national level to resolve this issue and have consistently raised questions over the decision to de-risk the USS investment strategy with UUK and USS. However, we recognise that there are pressures from the Pensions Regulator and from other member universities to ensure that the scheme has a lower risk profile and that the Joint Negotiating Committee has had to balance the competing views. We all wish to see a sustainable pension scheme that does not require revision every few years, with the uncertainty and disruption that would be brought by this.

In the meantime we are seeking to mitigate, as far as is possible, any impact of the proposed industrial action on our students by implementing approaches adopted in the past at Kent. We will keep our colleagues and our students up to date as the situation relating to any strike action unfolds. Please visit the following web pages for more information and our position statement on this issue: www.kent.ac.uk/human-resources/pensions/uss-industrial-action2018/

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback in higher education: A research symposium

Colleagues are invited to attend a research symposium on Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education.

The event takes place on Wednesday 16 May from 12.30-17.00 in Sibson Lecture Theatre 1 and Atrium at the Canterbury Campus.  A drinks reception will follow the event from 17.00-17.30 in Sibson Atrium.

The way in which students engage with and learn from the multiple sources of feedback available to them is a key issue in the enhancement of student learning in higher education.  Well-designed assessment tasks and associated feedback can yield large learning gains compared to a variety of other educational interventions, yet the National Survey of Students consistently reveals the lowest student satisfaction for assessment and feedback.

Although students struggle to understand what is expected of them on academic tasks, formal statements of assessment criteria are typically insufficient to build the task understanding and evaluative expertise that students need to monitor their own learning. Increasing opportunities for dialogic feedback (i.e. interactions between lecturers and students, students and students, and students own self assessments as students are doing the assessment task) may result in better learning outcomes.

This research symposium brings together five assessment and feedback researchers who will discuss their own research findings in relation to these key concepts and consider implications with delegates.  Sponsored by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent, the event is free to participants both within and external to Kent, though places are limited.

View the programme and book a place via the Eventbrite page.

Online module registration (OMR) extended

Online Module Registration (OMR) EXTENDED to 12pm, Monday 26 March 2018

Don’t miss your opportunity to pick the modules you want to study next year

Extended to 12pm, Monday 26 March, if you’re a stage one or two student, you must choose the modules you want to study in 2018/19.

You will need to log into your SDS to submit your choices.

Guidance available here

OMR is not first come first served, but you must ensure that you have submitted your selections by Monday 26 March in order to give you the best opportunity to register for your preferred choice of module.

If you have any questions please contact us csao@kent.ac.uk

Follow us: @UniKent_CSAO

Richard Whitman

Professor Richard Whitman appointed to Research Excellence Framework sub-panel

Congratulations to Professor Richard Whitman, Head of the School of Politics and International Relations, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Global Europe Centre, on his appointment to Research Excellence Framework (REF) Sub-panel 19, Politics and International Studies, which has been announced by HEFCE today.

The full list of members of the sub-panel are available at the REF website.

This is excellent news for the School and in addition to the recognition of Professor Whitman as a leading scholar in the discipline, it represents an acknowledgement that Kent deserves a place within the REF evaluation process. This goal has been at the centre of the School’s REF Strategy since 2014 and is a testament to its enhanced external profile and the quality of research being conducted within the School.



Through the Lens Festival of Photography

School of Music and Fine Art MA student Steve Kilmartin has organized an exhibition called Through The Lens –  Festival of Photography, running from 31st August to 8th September.

Held at St Mary In The Castle, Hastings, East Sussex,  this magical festival is for any photographer, photo-enthusiast, keen amateur or anyone who wants to see the world through a different lens. Offering a mix of world-class guest speakers, with new emerging photographic talent exhibiting alongside well-established photographers,  viewers can see contemporary photography and reportage all under one roof.

There is also an opportunity to submit photographic work – closing date for submissions is 1st July. Visit the festival website for more information.

Student accommodation

Summer housekeeping staff vacancies

We are recruiting team members for Kent Hospitality summer housekeeping for Canterbury campus accommodation, who are available to work between 4 June and 16 September 2018. We will offer a minimum of 80 hours per month during this period. Successful candidates will need to be flexible regarding working days and hours, additional hours may be available.

Rates are:

  • £8.46 p/hr 16 – 24 years old
  • £8.97 p/hr 25 years and over (Living Wage)

Some weekend working is required; you must be available to work on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June 2018.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • Complete an online contract and return this by 17 May 2018.
  • Attend a three hour Health and Safety induction in the week commencing 21 May 2018.

For the health, safety and welfare of staff and conference guests, all successful applicants will be required to attend a health and safety induction. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the required level of understanding in all areas covered in the training. Any staff not achieving the required standard will not be permitted to work.

  • Start working in the week commencing 4 June 2018 (minimum of two shifts for training).

If you think this summer vacancy is for you, please complete our online questionnaire:

Closing date for applications: 10 May 2018 (or earlier if we receive a large number of applications).

The Kent Hospitality HR department will then email you by Tuesday 15 May to let you know whether or not your application has been successful. Please do not contact the Kent Hospitality HR department to check the status of your application, as they will be unable to answer individual enquiries.

Student exam accommodation

Exam accommodation now available at Liberty Quays

Do you commute to Medway Campus? Then why not consider staying in a University of Kent room at Liberty Quays for the duration of your exams. Reduce stress and have more time to concentrate on studying with no need to worry about missing an exam as a result of traffic, train strikes or other travel delays outside your control.

All rooms are single en-suite rooms in flats with other students also taking exams. You will be supplied with a duvet; pillow; bed linen and towels. Kitchens will have basic items supplied for you to prepare simple meals, or you can take advantage of our catered package.

Choose from a room only package available from £110.00 for four nights or our catered package available from £150.00 for four nights.

Rooms can now be booked online up to six weeks in advance. For further information please visit the event’s registration page  or contact: conferences@kent.ac.uk.

Light bulb photo

Join KIE for Enterprise and Impact Training

The eighth annual Enterprise and Impact Training event will take place on Wednesday 25 April from 09.00 to 16.30, in the Darwin Boardroom, Canterbury campus.

This programme will give you the knowledge, confidence and practical tools necessary to engage successfully in enterprise activities such as consultancy and collaborative funding streams.

You will increase your potential to apply your expertise within industry, public sector and third sector organisations, and will learn about how enterprise and knowledge exchange activities can benefit your career.

The training, run by Kent Innovation & Enterprise (KIE) is recommended for academics and researchers, at any stage of their career, who would like to develop skills for enterprise activity and optimise their interactions with external organisations. It is also suitable for members of support staff that work at the interface between academia and external partners.

There are only 20 places available, so to reserve your place on training day please by following the booking link here. A light lunch is included.

EDA promotes careers in engineering at The Big Bang Fair

A team of students and staff from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts attended The Big Bang, the UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, from 14-17 March 2018, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

EDA’s interactive stand equipped young people with the skills to create a Radio Frequency Identification tag, enabling them to add an integrated circuit and test the design. The activity draws on future Smart Manufacturing techniques where ink is used to make electronic circuits, meaning that future technologies can be made on the spot.

At the event, Team EDA engaged with 816 young people and interacted with 2.5 times more girls than boys, which is great news for inclusion in the sector and for future recruitment into engineering which was illustrated as a rewarding, interesting and creative career. By the fourth day, EDA’s exhibition stand had dealt with well over 1,000 participants and feedback from visitors suggests a keen interest in studying Engineering at the University of Kent.

Well done to all involved, particularly our student ambassadors in this important Year of Engineering.

Music and science come together in Colyer-Fergusson on 23 March

Live music and science come together this Friday (23 March), as the continuing Cellular Dynamics project explores links between choral music and cutting-edge research from the School of Biosciences.

Find out more and book.

The centrepiece of the concert is Ola Gjeilo’s colourful and popular ‘Sunrise Mass,’ performed by the University Cecilian Choir and String Sinfonia, which will be accompanied by live image- and video-projections curated by Dr Dan Lloyd. The hour-long performance is prefaced by short choral works by Whitacre, Stanford and Sir John Tavener, creating a meditative atmosphere in which to experience a range of film and photography drawn from the School of Bioscience’s latest research.

The performance starts at 19.30 in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; find out more about the Cellular Dynamics project online.

Image credit: School of Biosciences

Ahoy there! SMFA music students lead creative project on HMS Gannet

On 14 March SMFA music students worked with The Dockyard Development Trust and Kings Hill School to lead a creative music project on HMS Gannet in the Captain’s Cabin. They also had a tour of the ship.

Music Education students from Level 2 designed an interactive performance and composition workshop inspired by the Gannet, life at sea, sea shanties and film music inspired by the sea.  The children learned some Pirate Metal, sea songs, took part in a musical “boat race”, and composed and performed their own pieces based on the sights and sounds of the day.

Says organiser, SMFA Lecturer in Music, Jackie Walduck , “The project is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in the kinds of arts events taking place all over the UK, in which musicians work alongside museums, galleries, arts venues, orchestras, record labels or festivals to create accessible projects for members of the community.”