Monthly Archives: February 2015

Gaining work experience and employment in the UK

There’s still time to book your place on this Kent Extra course on the Medway campus starting Weds 04 March:

KE011: Gaining work experience and employment in the UK

The module will cover all areas of job hunting including

  • how to approach an employer,
  • how to write appropriate applications
  • how to manage your brand
  • expectations of employers

We will look at how to exploit your existing networks and how to develop new ones.

This module will predominantly be taught through lectures; however additional 1-2-1 support is also available.

Class times: 17:30 – 19:30 starting Weds 04 March and finishing Weds 01 April.

You need to sign up for this course via “Workshops” in  the SDS. Find more details on this course and how to sign up on the Kent Extra website.


Ensuring Congregations are a day to remember

Staff from across the University help ensure that Congregations are an unforgettable experience – and Kent’s winter ceremonies were no exception.


Congregations are the culmination of a student’s time at university. It is the most important day of their life so far and a testament to all their hard work over a three- or four-year period. That’s why it is so important that the occasion is a success for everyone involved.

Congregations in November 2014 consisted of four ceremonies: One at Rochester Cathedral for 756 students from Medway campus, partner institutions and their guests, and three at Canterbury for 3,700 students from Canterbury, partner institutions and guests.


Volunteer helpers

Overseeing the smooth-running of all the Congregations – a job that starts many months in advance of the actual ceremonies – is Corporate Events Manager Lorna Parrett. She explains that the Corporate Events team in turn relies on a huge number of University staff volunteer helpers.

‘Without staff giving up their time and helping us the congregations would not happen,’ she said. ‘The students are always so overwhelmed to see staff that they have come to know over the years and they are so excited when they see them ushering their parents and family to their seats, or meeting them at the front door.’

“My team and I would like to say a very big thank you to all concerned” – Lorna Parrett

She added: ‘Congregations are a special time and without the regular support of staff helpers, we would not be able to deliver to the standard that our students have come to expect. My team and I would like to say a very big thank you to all concerned.’

A few of the staff involved in the Medway and Canterbury ceremonies in November were:

Welcoming students and their guests

Micky Dalzell

Micky Dalzell (Medway campus administration) helped out with ticket allocation and extra ticket sales at the Medway ceremony. She said: ‘It went a lot better than previous years because it was all done on online for the first time. It saved graduands a lot of time.’

Ben Tipple

“Everyone was very happy – there were lots of pleased and smiling faces” – Ben Tipple

Ben Tipple (Partnership Development Office) was on the south-west door of Canterbury Cathedral – welcoming and answering queries from guests and graduands. ‘We had the usual problems,’ he said, ‘such as people being frustrated by the wait outside. It’s a case of facilitating these and making sure people are treated in the right way and having a nice time. Everyone was very happy – there were lots of pleased and smiling faces and, in the end, that’s all that matters.’

Lisa Tallis

“I have done Congregrations every year since I have been here – it’s nice to see students come in and go out” – Lisa Tallis

Helping with student registration and the procession at Canterbury was Lisa Tallis (Student Records and Examinations). She said: ‘It involved making sure that students were seated correctly and went up at the right time. I have done Congregrations every year since I have been here – it’s nice to see students come in and go out. You also get to meet other members of staff who you usually only speak to on the phone. It’s a nice day to be part of.’ 

Tim Warren

“I love doing it and will volunteer again next year” – Tim Warren

Also helping out with registration was Tim Warren (Kent Hospitality Finance Department). He said: ‘I have done it for a number of years. I like the fact that you see students when they arrive and when they depart – you see the whole process through. I love doing it and will volunteer again next year. It’s nice to give something back, and it’s good to represent Kent Hospitality as well.’


In the Cathedral

Sara Witchell

“It’s a great day for them and their families” – Sara Witchell

Sara Witchell (Student Support, School of Politics and International Relations) was an usher in the Cathedral – and said that, considering it was such a busy ceremony, it went very well. ‘I have been helping with Congregations for about 16 years, since I’ve worked at the University. It’s changed a bit along the way, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the students and their reaction to seeing you. It’s a great day for them and their families and, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re here for.’

Ensuring that everything within the Cathedral proceeds in an orderly fashion – from fulfilling guests’ expectations to giving students the right certificate – is the role of the Ceremony Marshal. This essential role has been ably filled at Canterbury for many years by Dr Michael Hughes (Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics).

Michael Hughes

Michael commented: ‘I am very much part of the ‘team’ which includes the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the Deans, the Director of Music, Security, and many helpers from various parts of the University administration. This year, the three ceremonies at Canterbury went very well considering that two of them had over 400 graduating. Although much of the work is done before the day, it is always necessary to keep alert for last-minute changes, updates and some late arrivals. This all has to be achieved seamlessly without anyone noticing. Everyone involved always feels exhausted after a day of ceremonies, but with that great satisfaction of a job well done!’


Other essential roles

Karen Bee

The role of Karen Bee (Academic Division) at Canterbury was also extremely varied – she worked alongside Lorna Parrett to ensure, for example, that academics processed in the right order and sat in the right place within the Cathedral. Karen said: ‘It was a hectic day – these were big ceremonies involving lots of students and, as it’s the end of the year, staff were all very tired. But I think that the day went as well as it does every year.’

Jo Pearsall

Another ‘jack of all trades’ at both Medway and Canterbury ceremonies was Jo Pearsall (Council Secretariat). Jo was helping Sue Wanless, Ceremony Director, in the first ceremony, looking after students in the Cathedral, setting up the dais and assisting Lorna Parrett with background planning.

“I think it’s important for staff across the University to be involved in the ceremonies.” – Jo Pearsall

She said: ‘I think it’s important for staff across the University to be involved in the ceremonies. There are many different aspects: from looking after all the guests coming in, to putting on a good show, getting all the students through in right order, with the right certificates, looking after academic staff and guests, and organising the music. It’s easy to think it just happens and nothing changes. It does change every year and it’s a mammoth undertaking. It’s always exhausting!’

The next University Congregations take place in July 2015. Watch out for an all-staff email in end of April/May telling how you can sign-up to get involved!

New MSc in Applied Health Research – Open Evening 17 March

The Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) is holding a postgraduate open event aimed at health care professionals, researchers in health research and social scientists who are interested in the Centre’s new MSc in Applied Health Research.

This two hour event will involve presentations from the academic staff providing a brief overview of the course, the chance to speak to the Centre’s Director Professor Stephen Peckham, and a discussion on the potential career opportunities associated with the Master’s programme.

The event will be hosted at the Gulbenkian on 17 March from 18.30 and light refreshments will be provided. The occasion will be an informal event and those attending will have the opportunity to discuss individual queries with the academic staff.

For further information please visit the CHSS website.

Centre for the History of the Sciences to host Victorian magic lantern show

Join us for a cold, dark evening treat, which takes the audience back to the time of the magic lanternist for an evening of visual spectacle and darkly chilling horrors. Featuring Jeremy Brooker and his Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Show, the event will include werewolf transformations, ghostly apparitions, the Dance of Death and the Man who eats Rats — plus a generous helping of less harrowing fare.

This special event is organised the University’s Centre for the History of the Sciences and is open to anyone with an interest in film and media history or just in Men who Eat Rats.

Tuesday 24th February, Eliot Drama Studio, 6pm.

In case of queries, please email Dr Charlotte Sleigh.

University hosts its third Internationalisation Forum

The University hosted its third Internationalisation forum on 22 January.

Jointly organised by International Development and the three faculties, the Forum provided an opportunity for each faculty to showcase an internationalisation activity from within one of their schools. This year, presentations came from the Schools of Arts, History and Architecture who showcased a very worthwhile joint venture undertaken in Oslo, which involved recruitment activities and supporting lectures and seminars.

Dr Dan Lloyd, Reader in the School of Biosciences, gave an interesting presentation on Summer Schools which are an excellent way for students to get a taste for their subject area and to get a feel of Kent. Going forward, Kent will be offering more and more opportunities to take part in these types of initiatives.

We were delighted to welcome representatives from Ghent University. Frederik de Decker, Head of the International Relations Office, presented the concept of international/intercultural learning outcomes/competences: how can these be defined, how to measure these, and what is the impact on internationalisation.

Senior Lecturer Lisa Dickson showcased how Kent Law School has taken internationalisation on board. Its processes are sometimes more complex due to accreditation issues, and so it was useful to see another way of breaking down some of these barriers in a very competitive and challenging market.

The new Internationalisation Award was announced, which recognises and rewards schools that are actively engaged in, and have a demonstrable track record in strategic innovation in internationalisation. Details of this new initiative will be circulated shortly.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Nightingale said that the Forum was a success, well attended, and most interesting. He noted that, while the University has some really excellent examples of embracing internationalisation, further work is needed to embed this into everything Kent does. The recruitment was welcomed of the new Dean for Internationalisation, Dr Anthony Manning, who will be leading on writing the Internationalisation Strategy 2015 for the next phase in Kent’s growth.

Copies of the presentations can be found on the Internationalisation SharePoint site.

Additional information about Ghent:
Ghent has been a strategic partner of Kent since 2008 and we continue to build on this relationship through various initiatives such as, staff and student exchanges, joint doctoral training workshops and the Kent-Ghent call. This has just been launched again for 2015. This call aims to support joint Kent-Ghent projects by funding mobility between colleagues at the two institutions (for example short-term staff/student exchange, seminars, workshops, preparatory meetings to establish longer-term collaboration such as double degrees, joint research projects). The deadline for the next call is 2 March 2015. Ghent is also a fellow member of the SGroup European Universities Network and we will continue to work with it on various activities associated with this.

University of Kent Youtube challenge

Love Kent? Like making videos? Want to win £1,000?

As Kent students, you’re the best people to shout about your university and that’s what we want you to do!

We want you to capture what you love about the University and why future students will also.

The basics:

  • £1,000 for first place, £500 for second place
  • You can use any medium: real-life, drama, comedy, documentary, animation, music…whatever you like
  • You may submit an entry as an individual or as part of a team
  • Maximum duration of 120 seconds
  • Closing date is midnight on Monday 18 May 2015
  • Winners of the competition will be expected to actively engage as representatives for the University, and feature in University publications, website and press releases.

For more details visit the competition website.

Danish author Merete Pryds Helle to visit Kent

Danish author Merete Pryds Helle, funded by the Danish Cultural Agency and the Centre for Modern European Literature, will give a public lecture on Thursday 19 February, from 5-6pm in Cornwallis Seminar Room 5, entitled ‘The Narrative in A Digital Age’.

Merete Pryds Helle is a well-known and prolific Danish author with a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her publications cover many different genres from childrens books, radio plays, poems and novels including Fishing in the River of Life (Rosinante, 2000), as well as brand new genres such as SMS novels and iPad novels.

Her talk will focus on the many challenges literary fictions, and their authors, encounter in the shift from a paper format onto digital and social media, and on how these new media structure the narrative format in various genres. She will include examples from her own designs of literary apps, and SMS novels.

For more details on the event, please visit the  School of European Culture and Languages’ research events website.

Donor Appreciation Day 2015

The University’s second annual Donor Appreciation Day was held on 12 February 2015, to which all local donors were invited. The event was attended by students who benefit from scholarships that are provided through philanthropic giving, including our 2014 Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholar Jamie Wickham-Eade, Music Scholar Ruth Webster and Christine & Ian Bolt Scholar Michael Mills. Photographs of the event can be seen on our flickr gallery.

Staff from the Centre for Philanthropy also attended the reception, as well as University Archivist Ann MacDonald, who provided archive materials relating to the University’s first fundraising campaign in June 1965.

The event was an informal opportunity for the University to warmly thank those who have supported Kent students in the last academic year. In 2013/2014, over £1.3million was donated by over 1,200 individuals to a range of projects across the University which directly benefit our students, including the Kent Law Campaign and the Kent Opportunity Fund. For more information, please email giving.


Ash Wednesday: the Beginning of Lent

Staff and students are welcome to attend Ash Wednesday worship services on the Canterbury campus. Church of England at 8.30am in Eliot College Chapel (preceded from 8.15am with juice and pastries); Catholic at 1.30pm Eliot College Chapel and also 6.40pm in the Franciscan Centre, Giles Lane.



CHSS welcomes artist in residence

In January, artist Leah Thorn began a ten month residency at the University supported by a Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Award. Leah will be working with CHSS Professor of Primary Care Patricia Wilson in collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Leah is a feminist and poet. The residency will support her in completing a film she is making about Dementia, a subject where she has a special interest. As a feminist she is also very interested in the journeys women make through the various transitions and stages of life.

It is hoped that Leah’s residency will stimulate debate and challenge assumptions. In particular Professor Wilson hopes that it will encourage researchers and practitioners to view challenges in a different way and enable them to come up with new solutions.