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Lift entrapment training – Thursday 17 January

The annual training for the safe release of trapped passengers is scheduled for 17 January.

This means that lifts in the following buildings will be out of service for short periods of time:

  • Becket court
  • Cornwallis Octagon
  • Cornwallis East
  • Tyler Court A
  • Sibson (Maths reception)
  • Sibson Platform lift
  • Woolf College
  • Jarman
  • Sports Pavilion (new)
  • Turing Hut 8
  • Kent Union Parkwood Student Hub

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will endeavour to keep any disruption to a minimum. If you have any queries, please contact Estates Customer Services on ext 16666.

Phil Whittall
Head of Maintenance, Estates Department


Teaching Enhancement Awards (TESSAs) and Technology Showcase – 26 February

Colleagues are invited to attend this collaborative Teaching and Technology event taking place on Tuesday 26 February 2019 from 10.00-14.00.

The morning session, in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2, will include presentations from academics from all three Faculties on their successful TESSAs projects involving technology.  During the afternoon, colleagues will demonstrate technology and discuss support available at the University in the format of workshops and hands-on sessions.  Students will also be involved in a panel discussion on how they are using technology to support their learning.

Please see here for the programme for the day and to book a place.

Xercise Factor 2019

Do you have the Xercise Factor?

The start of a new year brings a raft of new resolutions. Getting fit, losing weight, and being mindful of food are all common resolutions in the post-seasonal break. If this sounds like you, then we have an exciting competition which starts soon.

The Kent Sport Xercise Factor programme offers free one-to-one training over six weeks with the goal of improving members’ health and fitness lifestyles. The application process is now open to all Kent Sport Gold and Silver members, all you have to do is fill out an application form and post it in the ‘X’ box in the gym or email it to by Friday 25 January.

The successful applicants will be guided by one of the qualified fitness instructors at Kent Sport and given specific advice and personal training to help them achieve their goals. At the end of the competition, the participant deemed to have embraced the programme the most will be crowned Xercise Factor 2019 champion.

Applications are now open and we are looking for students, staff and members of the public who think they have the Xercise Factor and want to commit to getting fit and changing their lifestyle for the better. It is a complete overhaul of exercise and lifestyle habits and the promotion requires full commitment from the contestants to complete the challenge. Pick up your application form from the fitness suite reception at the Sports Centre or download it online.

Not yet a member of Kent Sport? See for details and to sign up.

You can follow the progress of the Xercise Factor participants through our Instagram page UniKentSports or by searching #XerciseFactor.

New spaces in Block D of Templeman Library

Welcome back everyone! We’ve been busy making improvements: check out the newly opened study areas in D Block on floors 2 and 3. We think you’ll love them!

The former PC room in D Block Floor 2 is now open with more study spaces for individual quiet study. Most desks have a PC, and 24 PCs of these are now bookable.

There are 44 new study spaces in a new silent zone on Floor 3 in D Block. 14 of the spaces have PCs. The space offers spectacular views across Canterbury.

Need a height adjustable workspace? There are six additional height adjustable desks in D Block Floor 2. Four have PCs on, and two of these are bookable. There are more height adjustable desks in D Block Floor 3 in the silent study zone.

The toilets in D Block have also had a complete makeover: there are now 5 gender neutral toilets and 1 accessible toilet on each Floor 1, 2 and 3.

The lift in D Block is available again so you can use it to get to these new spaces

From start of term, the Library is now back to 24/7 opening until June so you’ll have plenty of time to check out the new areas.

‘Book a PC’ trial service

To guarantee use of a PC at a certain time there are now 24 bookable PCs in the Library. You can now book up to four weeks in advance using our new <strong>Book a PC</strong> trial service, which will run until the end of the summer term. The PCs are for quiet individual study and are located in new study space on Floor 2, D Block (the former PC room).

Try it: book a PC for up to 3 hours between 09:00 – 18:00.

Feedback: tell us how you find the service

Student Success inspirational speaker: Professor Itesh Sachdev

Event date and time: Wednesday 16 January, 16.00-17.30

Event title: Multi-lingual Communication, Minorities and Identity

Event location: Grimond Lecture Theatre 2

Inspirational speaker Professor Itesh Sachdev examines the complex relationship between language, communication and group identity in multi-lingual communication, using data from indigenous and migrant minorities and majorities around the world.

Further details: email Alison Webb –

Student Success Staff Seminar rescheduled

The Student Success Staff Seminar due to take place Wednesday 16 January 2019, Medway Campus, Pilkington Building Room 127, 1pm-2pm will be rescheduled. It has come to our attention that this seminar clashes with several other Medway events. We will be in contact shortly with a new date.

The Canterbury event Friday 18 January 2019, Canterbury Campus, Keynes Seminar Room 13, 1pm-2pm will still go ahead.


Learning and Teaching Conference 2019

The University of Kent’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference takes place on Monday 17 June.

This year’s conference will be focusing on interaction and inclusivity in learning and teaching, and we are inviting proposals for workshops, discussion papers, mini-presentations and posters from Kent staff involved in teaching or supporting students’ learning.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is 28 February. You can find more details of the theme and arrangements, and a straightforward and friendly booking form.

The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference is open to all who are interested in celebrating our excellent teaching at Kent, improving our support for students’ learning, sharing good practice, and trying out new ideas. It’s a welcoming space for us to think, talk and learn together; but we know the impact lasts much longer than the day itself. From previous conferences have come successful funding bids, published papers, collaborative research, and changes to practice – last year, for instance, our keynote presentation inspired several schools to try out new approaches to student induction.

To book a place on the conference please complete the online booking form.



Support in booking annual leave and recording sickness absences

Since 2 January 2019, staff have been able to request annual leave and record sickness absence through Staff Connect; the University’s integrated HR and Payroll system.

This is part of the continuing development of Staff Connect which aims to streamline our HR processes and extend employee and manager self-service, providing a one-stop-shop for as many HR activities as possible.

If you have any questions about Staff Connect and the launch of this new module, there is guidance and support available, including;

There are a couple of recurring questions that we thought it would be useful to highlight:

Bank holidays and customary days

  • Your annual leave includes your entitlement for bank holidays and customary days and any carry over hours that we were told about in December.
  • For full-time staff, bank holidays and customary days have been automatically deducted, however it is your responsibility to check the details entered are correct and amend if necessary (for instance, for staff who work a shift pattern across Bank Holidays)
  • For part-time staff, holiday bookings need to be made for all bank holidays and customary days that you would have worked. Although the bank holidays are greyed out in the calendar (to make them easier to spot) you are still required to book leave on these days.
  • When you request annual leave you will be asked to enter the hours you would normally be working on that day or days. That number of hours will then be deducted from your remaining annual leave entitlement.
  • A report has now been made available to managers to allow them to review Bank Holiday and Customary Day bookings made by their team.
  • Any 2019 leave which was already authorised via local systems or arrangements now needs to be requested through Staff Connect.

Annual leave entitlement for seconded staff
Staff Connect calculates annual leave based on your current role. Unfortunately this means that staff on secondment cannot book annual leave for their substantive role until they return to their post. We are currently looking into whether this can be amended.

Sick leave
All new sickness absences need to be entered in Staff Connect. Any absence which started before 2 January 2019 should be managed via Payroll.

Team calendar view 
We have temporarily removed the ‘view team calendar’ button as it is not showing the correct information. The issue has been raised with our suppliers as a matter of urgency.

‘My View Session Ended’ message
This message occurs for some users. This issue has also been raised with our suppliers. If you get this message and cannot enter absence you can ask your manager to do it on your behalf.

This is the latest update in the Staff Connect Phase 2 project. The new staff recruitment system, replacing i-Grasp, will go live in February.

Meet our Academic Peer Mentors

The SECL Student Success Project is offering students the chance to meet with an Academic Peer Mentor over a FREE drink and cake.

The Academic Peer Mentoring (APM) scheme is a chance for undergraduate students to be mentored in their studies by experienced students, and this is a great chance to learn more about the scheme. If you’ve never heard of Academic Peer Mentors before and you’re not sure how they can help, then this is your chance to see how they can benefit you.

All you need to do is email with ‘Meet Me in the Gulb’ in the subject, tell us what course you are on and we’ll do the rest!


SECL Student Support drop-in sessions

Beginning on Wednesday 30th January, the SECL Student Support team will begin running weekly drop-in sessions in the Staff Room (on the first floor of Cornwallis North West, opposite SECL Reception), 14.00-15.30. There is no need to register – just turn up.

Refreshments will be provided and all students are welcome to drop by just to relax, play board games, read, or have a chat. If you have some time between afternoon lectures or seminars, please come along and join us!

Email for more information