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KentVision unavailable the morning of 11 March

KentVision will be unavailable on Monday 11 March, from 08:00-12:00, due to planned maintenance.

If you need to view your timetable during these times, you can integrate your timetable with a personal calendar (e.g Outlook or Google calendar) on a mobile or computer through iCal. Please go to the my study webpage and click the cog in the top right-hand corner to see the subscribe to calendar options.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused while this essential work is carried out.

Should you have any concerns or queries please contact helpdesk@kent.ac.uk

Find your housemates with Umii

Find your housemates with Umii

Struggling to find housemates? The perfect people might be waiting…

Find housemates on Umii app

The Umii app connects you with other students at the University of Kent based on your interests, course and societies, helping you to find new friends and housemates all in one go!

“I downloaded Umii as I wanted to make new friends, find out about student life and meet people with similar interests. Umii also helped me secure accommodation with a connection I had made.”

– Mohammad
Postgraduate Student

New housemate signifier

You can now add housemate signifier to your profile to show that you are looking for someone to live with. How to set up your profile:

  • Download the app
  • Select “University of Kent”
  • Add your course, interests and societies
  • Build your profile including choosing the housemate signifier
  • Verify your email
  • Get new matches every day!
Worldfest performance

WorldFest 4-15 March

Join this year’s WorldFest celebrations taking place from 4 – 15 March 2024.

WorldFest aims to showcase the cultural diversity, talents and knowledge of our students and staff and builds on from Cultural Celebration Week in the Autumn term.

There are a range of events, activities and classes across the university for you to get involved with, including:

  • Go along to Rutherford Dining Hall to try a different WorldFest dish each day, chosen by our student Global Officers.
  • Sign up for a cooking class to make pizzas or katsu curry. Places are limited.
  • Join a cultural food talk from our World Language Tutors to find out more about the traditions, history and relationship of Katsu, Noodles and Falafels to Japanese, Chinese and Arabic cultures.
  • Come along to our free language taster sessions in Japanese, ArabicGerman, Spanish, Italian and French. At the sessions you can also learn about adding a Year in Languages to your degree next year and other options available to you to develop your language skills.
  • Step into Ukrainian culture at our English Speaking Club with our Ukrainian twin, Kherson State University. These run online every Tuesday throughout term time.
  • Get your passport and travel around the world exploring various cultures at our Global Hangout on Monday 11 March, 14:00-17:00. Join in with various games and activities to earn ‘stamps’ in your passport for prizes.
  • Get a team together and join in with our World Quiz night which aims to be a fun evening to test your worldly knowledge.
  • ResLife are putting on some creative craft events including Origami and Chinese Scroll Painting.
  • If you are looking to find out how you could spend your summer break abroad, either through summer schools, internships or volunteering opportunities, come along to our Go Abroad Bitesize talk on Thursday 14 March to find out how you can apply for funding to support you.

If all the above has inspired you to put on your own event to share your culture or celebrate a multi-cultural event, then you can apply to our WorldFest Bitesize Fund.

As part of our WorldFest celebrations, we also asked Kent staff and students to share with us their recommended reads, either from their favourite international author, or a book which teaches us something about other cultures.

Share your photos from WorldFest and follow us #WorldFest24

Student Jack Scott standing at his farm

Kent Stars: Horticulture Hero

This month’s Kent Star is Jack, Environmental Social Sciences student, who was named the 2023 BBC Countryfile Young Countryside Champion! Jack won the award for the horticultural work and public engagement initiatives he is involved in. Alongside running his own horticulture business, Jack works closely with his supply chains and customers. Hear from Jack:

Video transcription below.

“I’m Jack Scott. I study Environmental Social Science at the University of Kent in my last year, four more months to go. I also grow vegetables at Nonnington Farms, as well as being a farm advisor for Farming Wildlife Advisory Group South East.

An interesting fact about me is I won the BBC Countryfile Champion Award for 2023. BBC Countryfile came to the farm in August. We picked vegetables and delivered them up to one of our Michelin starred restaurants, Angela’s in Margate, so the TV crew could experience the whole farm to fork process. The awards ceremony was in late October and November in Newport in Wales.”

How did you feel about winning the 2023 BBC Countryfile Young Countryside Champion award?

“It felt weird being on national TV. It felt good too. Getting recognition for something that you’re attempting to achieve, the food to fork scheme, better knowledge, bringing education into it with children coming on to the farm through school visits.

We don’t just grow vegetables, we have the soil we look after. We’ve also got hedgerows we look after and we’ve got the nature element we try to incorporate. So sunflowers bring in the pollinators and supply bird feed for the winter months. So that just element there, you’re not just producing food that goes to someone who eats it, you’re also providing a habitat, you’re providing food for nature. So the two in harmony it makes me more joyful.”

Jack Scott receiving award

Do you have advice for other students?

“So I think just give it a go. The university runs quite a few initiatives for students to get involved in, such as the gleaning project. If you look at the university campus, on the north side, you’re surrounded by farms; go and ask them for a job. There’s loads of farmers out there wanting fruit pickers and general farm hands. Just get involved -you never know where it could lead.”

What are your plans for next year?

“We are a small agricultural business. We just finished our trial year where we experimented on what we can grow, if the market wants it and whether it’s profitable or suitable for the ground. So we’ve done that on one acre this year and it’s going really well.

For the future it is scaling up, so if we can increase our scale, we can start doing some of our larger orders and, we can start pick up a bit more the market in turn that should allow us to bring in employees or apprenticeships and business further financial sustainability.”

Student Jack holding basket of vegetables he has grown

What does the Right to Food mean to you?

“For me, the Right to Food is the right to food. So it’s having access to food, having the access to seeing how food is produced or reared. I think it’s just the enabling of better communications and generally just being involved, seeing it and buying more local. So buying it within five miles of the campus, it for me is vital to food and awareness.”

Find out more about the Right to Food project.

Do you know an inspirational student or student group? Let us know.

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

Supporting staff and students tackle the cost of living on campus

Becoming a Right To Food University means working to ensure that we protect our students from food insecurity and that access to nutritional, affordable and sustainable food is paramount across our food services. 

Ahead of our one year anniversary (26th February) and as part of National Student Money Week, we celebrate what we have achieved against this mission and look forward to some exciting projects that will do even more.  

Cost of living meals 

A number of initiatives are underway already – most notably the £3 meal deal on campus. Starting as a hot meal, served in our Rutherford Dining Hall with a choice of salad or vegetables, but moving on to include a grab-and-go deal in outlets across campus has proven to be extremely popular. We have now sold over 60,000 meals since November 2022.   

With such a diverse range of affordable food options, students at the University of Kent can easily access nutritious and delicious meals without breaking the bank. The £3 Cost of Living Meal scheme has been widely praised by students, who appreciate the university’s efforts to support them during challenging times. Recent graduate Kieran Webb said: “Now that I’ve graduated, one of the biggest things I’ve missed was a £3 cooked meal. I felt too proud to ask for help when it came to eating and my budget, so this helped make sure I was well fed at times when I was really struggling. Glad to see it’s still going and is clearly getting used plenty by current students.” 

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced. 

Giving Week generosity 

Alongside the £3 meal deal and reduced prices across our catering outlets, we kicked off our anniversary week with a special free breakfast for students on Monday 26th February. This event was funded by the generosity of staff, students and alumni at last year’s Giving Week, which raised £18,000 to provide meals for students facing hardship. Check out the event on our Instagram page.

Zaid Mahmood, Students’ Union President at Kent says: ‘Kent Giving Week 2023 raised money that would directly help in tackling food insecurity on campus. Being a Right to Food University, this is a critical mission for us as an institution because no student should go hungry and be disadvantaged in their university career. These giving week meals will ensure that the most disadvantaged and impacted students are supported during their time at The University of Kent and are set up to thrive in their academics. We want to thank every single person that donated to support this cause, the impact of this initiative will change the lives of so many students!’

As well as supporting over 350 students with a free hot breakfast, the money will help provide meals and other financial support for students who need it the most thanks to a collaborative approach between the university’s student support and wellbeing services and Kent Union.

Gleaning 

Our student led gleaning project, ran in partnership with Produced in Kent, has also given students the chance to access free fresh produce. Our student volunteers go to local farms to pick surplus food and veg that would otherwise go to waste. As well as redistributing it to those in the wider local community who need it, the volunteers also get to take home some of the produce for themself.  

Find out more about the project and sign up to become a volunteer now.  

Five ways Kent research is improving our food system

As a Right to Food university, Kent is committed to supporting food systems that advance human health and environmental sustainability in society. This starts with Kent research. Our research community is collaborating with local growers, producers, policymakers and wider industry to achieve real change with global impact, and has partnered with Growing Kent and Medway to support horticultural and plant-based food and drink businesses through our Biotechnology HubTogether, we’re making our food systems more: 

Sustainable 

It’s widely accepted that we need to reduce waste to limit our impact on the environment – but doing so often isn’t financially or practically viable. To tackle this, Kent researchers are working with local producers to find commercially viable ways to shift towards a more circular economy. For instance, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Forensic Science, Dr Rob Barker and Reader in Molecular and Evolutionary Parasitology, Dr Anastasios Tsaousis, are bringing the ancient technology, biochar, to the 21st Century, in collaboration with Re-Generation Earth, with the ambitions to turn farm waste into a carbon-locking soil fertiliser. 

Another issue Dr Barker is helping to address is the economically and environmentally unsustainable import of two million tonnes of soymeal for animal feed into the UK each year. How? By optimising the use of black solider fly larvae as an alternative animal feed. By feeding excess and spoilt fruit and veg to the larvae, producers can cut their waste and upcycle it into a more valuable source of protein that can be used as low carbon feed for animals and create a ‘waste’ product which acts as a bio stimulant for crops. 

Meanwhile, in another lab in Kent’s School of Biosciences, Industry Research Fellow in Agri-Biotechnology, Dr Lori Fisher has been working with Sharpak Aylesham to reduce packaging waste. She conducted tests which informed the development of a recyclable punnet that maintains and extends the quality of raspberries, without the need for the plastic pad that traditionally keeps fruit fresh. This has the potential to reduce plastic waste by 3.6 meters squared a year! 

Equitable 

In the UK, the costs of ill-health, disease and obesity associated with UK dietary habits are enormous, yet a large portion of society don’t follow the UK dietary guidelines for healthy eating. To tackle this, Head of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Professor Iain Wilkinson, is working with researchers at the University of Reading to develop a blueprint for a set of policy interventions to support more people to transition to healthy and sustainable diets in the UK. Professor Wilkinson will contribute to the project by designing, delivering and analysing the outcomes of an experiment which examines what people put in their supermarket food baskets from a dietary health and sustainability perspective. 

Nutrition is also a major concern amongst older adults in home care, where diet is often not a matter of choice but what is made available. Malnutrition and dehydration are leading causes of preventable illness and deterioration of quality of life for older adults, and major drivers of health inequalities. Dr Stacey Rand, Senior Research Fellow in the Personal Social Services Research Unit, has been examining this relationship to inform how social care services meet the needs of older adults living at home. 

Nutritious 

Responding to growing consumer demand for healthy food, local producers are working with Kent researchers to better understand the nutritional content of their products and identify new market opportunities. Dr Lori Fisher, for instance, has worked with J L Baxter & Son to explore the bioactive and nutrient compounds in the Asian pear (Nashi pear) to understand its health benefits and market potential.  

Another project funded by Growing Kent and Medway saw Rent a Cherry Tree partner with Senior Lecturer in the Biology of Ageing, Dr Marina Escurra, and Reader in Biogerontology, Dr Jennifer Tullet, from the School of Biosciences to determine the health benefits of their cherry products -including those formerly considered ‘waste’- and identify new ways to market them. The research team are now working with wine-makers, Defined Wine, to explore whether the waste from the wine-making industry can also be used to create new foods that improve health. 

Enjoyable 

Dairy production is one of the biggest methane emitters in the world. As a result, many people have switched to plant-based alternatives, leading to a huge growth in demand for plant-based milk, but less so for animal-free alternatives to cheese. One reason for this is that alternative protein companies are not able to offer affordable and scalable solutions to casein -the main cheese protein- production, limiting their ability to mimic dairy taste and textures. Professor of Systems Biology, Tobias Von Der Haar, and Professor in Fungal Epigenetics, Alessia Buscaino, are working to solve this by taking unconventional microbial species which are naturally more suitable for food production and genetically modifying them with the aim of producing casein in high quantities. This could give rise to better tasting, more affordable plant-based cheese. 

Resilient 

Climate change, disease and invasive species are all putting UK crops under stress. Combine this with more stringent environmental regulations and the introduction of sustainable farming incentives, and it becomes clear why food-related businesses are increasingly looking to collaborate with researchers to develop new technologies. One such researcher is Professor of Agri-Environmental Economics in the School of EconomicsIain Fraser, who is joining a world-class consortium of partners, led by agronomist Rob Saunders from H.L. Hutchinsons, to develop a commercially viable system which can precisely target orchard inputs to specific trees, or parts of a tree. Specifically, Iain will evaluate the difference between existing technology and new technology, which includes robots, drones and innovative chemical spraying systems.  

Researchers in Kent Business School are taking a wider view of the food supply chain to identify opportunities to improve resilience. In 2022, Professor Maria Paola Scaparra worked with Professor Kathy KotiadisProfessor Jesse O’Hanley and partner universities to increase the use of operational research in food supply security planning in South East Asia. Meanwhile, Lecturer in Marketing, Dr Rachel Duffy, has been examining the behavioural dimensions of supply chain relationships in the food industry, in particular, their implications for performance.

Students sat together chatting

Events roundup: 26 February – 3 March

Find out what’s on this week including therapy dogs, writing retreat and attempt the Ninja Warrior obstacles.

Monday 26 February: Medway Global Hangout and LGBTQ+ Social Mixer

The Global and Lifelong Learning Team and the Student Experience Team are teaming up to bring you a Global Hangout in Medway. There will be a selection of games, crafts and activities as well as lunch provided. You can come to all of the event or just drop in for part of it around your classes. All students are welcome.

This LGBT+ History Month, the LGBTQ+ Students Network are organising a social get-together for students and staff. The LGBTQ+ Social Mixer aims to bring together everyone on campus who identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as friends and allies.

Tuesday 27 February: CV drop-in and Bubble Football

Want to improve your CV? Come along to the CV drop-in session in Sibson. The Careers Team will have prompts ready for you to check your CV and be there to answer your questions. You can also join an online session about how to find a part-time job.

Have you tried Bubble Football before? Give bubble football a go and bounce your way to victory. No football experience is needed.

Wednesday 28 February: ResLife Rodeo, Pause for Paws and Ninja Warrior (Medway)

The ResLife Team are hosting the ResLife Rodeo, an afternoon of tasty treats, fun, activities and entertainment for students living on campus. Ride the rodeo bull and see how long you can stay on for. The student who lives in on-campus accommodation who stay on the longest will win a £50 amazon voucher! Enjoy complimentary burgers, curries and hot drinks as well as doughnuts, popcorn and candy floss for students in our accommodation (burgers will be available to purchase for students not in our accommodation).

Take a break with Coco the therapy dog at the Pause for Paws event in Nexus, Templeman Library. Spending some time with Coco is a great way to de-stress and recharge.

If you’re based at Medway and want an adventure, join the Hub trip to the Ninja Warrior centre for an action-packed afternoon. Test your skills on challenging obstacles and cheer on your friends.

Thursday 29 February: Yoga and Writing Retreat, talk by founder of LGBT History Month and Leap Year Birthday Party (Medway)

If you’re a postgrad researcher, consider joining this Yoga and Writing Retreat in Cornwallis East, Canterbury. It’s a mix of guided yoga sessions with opportunities for you to get on with your writing in a relaxed setting.

Come along to a talk by Sue Sanders, founder of LGBT History Month and Schools Out. Sue is an “out and proud” lesbian and a British LGBTQ+ rights activist who has specialised in challenging oppression in the public and voluntary sectors for over forty years. This is an in-person talk in Keynes Seminar Room 4. All welcome.

Thursday is also the 29th February, an extra day due to 2024 being a leap year! At The Hub, you can join this Leap Year Birthday Party, celebrating those who were born on February 29th and just an excuse to have some fun with some tasty treats and tunes.

Sunday 3 March: Bowling

If you live in on-campus accommodation, you can join the ResLife Ambassadors for an hour of ten pin bowling in Canterbury.

See more student events.

Opportunities

  • Enter the Kent CyberAnything competition for your chance to win cash prizes. Tell a story through a photo, short video, essay, poem (or other media form) about living, learning and connecting in the cyber or cyber-physical world in the past, at present, and/or in the future. Deadline to apply is Friday 1 March 2024.
  • The Hub offers a free community breakfast to Medway students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Choose from toast, pastries and cereal as well as tea/coffee.
  • Considering postgrad study? Check out upcoming events to help you decide if postgrad study is for you.

See more student opportunities.

Students doing food shop

Student Money Week: events and support

Next week is Student Money Week (4-8 March), and the theme is ‘Less Risk, More Reward: Maintaining your financial wellbeing at university.’ Find out what events are coming up and where you can go to for support around your finances.

Pop up Freecycle event, Thursday 29 February

As part of the Campus Pantry offering, Kent Union is running a freecycle event where you can collect items you might need for the coming year. Items include:

  • Bags
  • Bedding
  • Books
  • Crockery
  • Homeware
  • Pots and pans
  • Shoes

Kent Union’s Advice Team will be available to discuss budgeting tips and handing out freebies. You can chat to them about any financial questions.

Upcoming workshops to help you manage your finances, 18-19 March

Our Careers Team are running some StudyPlus workshops in March to help you develop your budgeting skills and get a better grasp on your finances.

These events are taking place online and are open to all Kent students.

Don’t become a money mule

Be cautious if someone asks you to transfer money for them. You might become a money mule.

Recruiters may try to befriend you and ask you to transfer money between accounts for them, giving you a small cut for doing so. You may think you are doing someone a favour, but you could be transferring criminal money. If you get caught, you could get a criminal record and up to 14 years in prison.

Did you know 6 in 10 money mules are under 30 years old? Most are recruited between the ages of 17 and 24 – either online, in person, or even through friends and family. Find out more about money mules and how to protect yourself.

Financial support

We offer a range of emergency financial support for students who are in financial difficulty. The emergency funding webpage provides information on support available and how you can apply. Take a look at all our emergency funds below. At the bottom of this page you can find additional ways to access support if you are experiencing emergency financial hardship.

Where to go for support

Kent Union’s Advice Service at Canterbury and at Medway through the Hub offer free, confidential and impartial advice to all Kent students. They can help with financial topics such as student funding, bursaries, budgeting and hardship.

You can also see our finance contacts webpage for more ways to access support at the University and other useful finance contacts and resources.

Our Cost of Living Support website also summarises support on offer and initiatives by the University and Kent Union to help students with the rising cost of living.

Gleaning team

Right to Food: tackling the cost of living on campus

Becoming a Right To Food University means working to ensure that we protect our students from food insecurity and that access to nutritional, affordable and sustainable food is paramount across our food services.

To celebrate our one year anniversary (26th February), we celebrate what we have achieved against this mission and look forward to some exciting projects that will do even more.

Cost of living meals

A number of initiatives are underway already – most notably the £3 meal deal on campus. Starting as a hot meal, served in our Rutherford Dining Hall with a choice of salad or vegetables, but moving on to include a grab-and-go deal in outlets across campus has proven to be extremely popular. We have now sold over 60,000 meals since November 2022.

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced.

At the Medway campus, the Hub offers free community breakfasts for students, supported by the Universities at Medway.

Giving Week generosity

Alongside the £3 meal deal and reduced prices across our catering outlets, we kicked off our anniversary week with a special free breakfast for students on Monday 26th February. This event was funded by the generosity of staff, students and alumni at last year’s Giving Week, which raised £18,000 to provide meals for students facing hardship.

Zaid Mahmood, Students’ Union President at Kent says: ‘Kent Giving Week 2023 raised money that would directly help in tackling food insecurity on campus. Being a Right to Food University, this is a critical mission for us as an institution because no student should go hungry and be disadvantaged in their university career. These giving week meals will ensure that the most disadvantaged and impacted students are supported during their time at The University of Kent and are set up to thrive in their academics. We want to thank every single person that donated to support this cause, the impact of this initiative will change the lives of so many students!’

As well as supporting over 350 students with a free hot breakfast, the money will help provide meals and other financial support for students who need it the most thanks to a collaborative approach between the university’s student support and wellbeing services and Kent Union.

Gleaning

Our student led gleaning project, ran in partnership with Produced in Kent, has also given students the chance to access free fresh produce. Our student volunteers go to local farms to pick surplus food and veg that would otherwise go to waste. As well as redistributing it to those in the wider local community who need it, the volunteers also get to take home some of the produce for themselves.

Find out more about the gleaning project and sign up to become a volunteer now.

anniversary of the russian full scale invasion of Ukraine

2nd anniversary of Russian war on Ukraine

Canterbury for Ukraine (C4U) and Ukrainian Society of Kent (UsoK) are running events on Saturday 24 February to commemorate the second anniversary of the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

As the current conflict continues, the commemoration takes on special importance as Ukraine continues to defy Russian aggression and affirm its commitment to peace and freedom.

Events include:

  • Information stand on Canterbury Highstreet (near the Beaney Library) from 12:00-16:30
  • Walk through Canterbury with displaced Ukrainians and supporters to remember and honour those affected by the war. Meeting place is the Beaney Library at 16:15 and will finish at 17:00 by the Marlowe Theatre.
  • Public talk ‘War on Ukraine: Unbreakable People’ at The Friends Meeting House at 17:15. The talk will feature distinguished speakers, including:
    • Yevhen Hlibovytsky, a public figure and director of Frontier Institute, a strategic think tank for Ukraine
    • Baroness Alison Suttie, a Member of the House of Lords since October 2013, the Patron of Canterbury for Ukraine
    • Maryna Poltavska, an officer of Canterbury City Council and a beneficiary of the Home for Ukraine scheme.

      The discussion will be moderated by Sir Julian Brazier, a former Member of Parliament for Canterbury. The panel discussion will be followed by the Q&A and light refreshments.

For further information see the Canterbury for Ukraine website.