Monthly Archives: May 2015

50th Anniversary History Projects: Exhibition and Witness Seminar

As part of the School of History’s 50th Anniversary History Projects, we are holding a Witness Seminar on the evening of Monday 8 June 2015 from 6:30-7:45pm in Grimond Lecture Theatre 1.
The seminar will take the form of a roundtable, with past and present staff and students of the University exploring some of their experiences at Kent over the years.
This event, which will launch an exhibition of our students’ work on the University’s history to date in the Aphra Foyer (Grimond Building), will be followed by a drinks reception and buffet.

For more information, please contact Dr Mark Hurst,

Changes to childcare vouchers: act now to make sure you’re in the right scheme

This autumn, the Government is launching a new tax-free childcare scheme that will provide parents with a new way to save on their childcare costs.

Staff at the University of Kent are currently able to save on their childcare costs through the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers, and the Oaks’ Workplace Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme. For staff participating in Busy Bees vouchers and/or the Oaks’ scheme, the new Government initiative will provide another option which they might like to consider. If staff decide to stay in their existing scheme, they can do so.

However the Government has stated that, from autumn 2015, no one will be able to join any childcare voucher scheme other than their new tax-free childcare scheme. This means that staff won’t be able to join the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers scheme after autumn 2015. It also means that those already receiving these vouchers won’t be able to opt out, and then opt back in after the new scheme is launched.

The Oaks’ Workplace Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme will not be affected: it will continue, and qualifying staff will still be able to join the scheme.

No couple will be able to be part of both Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers and the new government scheme. Your partner can’t be in a childcare voucher scheme if you are in the government scheme, and you cannot have one child in a childcare voucher scheme and another in the government scheme.

The University wants parents to have the time and opportunity to opt into the scheme that benefits them, and so has put together information which will allow staff to compare the different schemes, and the savings they could make. Which scheme is right for you will depend on your circumstances and what childcare you might need over the coming years. The “Changes to tax-free childcare/ Information for parents” guide, can be found here.

The launch date of the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme is not yet known, but it is recommended that parents act now, if they would like to join the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers Scheme. Kent staff can join the Busy Bees Childcare Voucher scheme via the Staff Finance website.

Ingram Building – Essential fire alarm testing

From Wednesday 27 May to Friday 29 May 2015, essential fire alarm testing will be carried out in all rooms of the Ingram building.
Each test will last no longer than two minutes per room and will be silent testing under controlled conditions. All rooms will need to be accessed as this testing is a legal requirement. The testing will be carried out by Static Systems, the company used to carry out such work.

Due to the importance of this work, your assistance in this will be very much appreciated.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, if you have any queries please contact the Estates Helpdesk on ext 3209.

Philip Allen
Electrical Manager

EDge 2015, Thu 28 May 19.30 – Special offer £8 tickets available

Special offer £8 tickets available for EDge at Gulbenkian on Thu 28 May contact Gulbenkian Tickets and Information on 01227 769075 and quote ‘DanceNetwork’

EDge is a versatile, feisty dance company who will be performing four dramatically different dance works by internationally renowned and up-and-coming choreographers.

This mixed bill features Bank by Siobhan Davies and three new special commissions by Robert Clark, Eleesha Drennan and Itamar Serussi; brought to life by this explosive company of fresh, energetic dancers. EDge is one of the UK’s most exciting young dance companies. The postgraduate performance company of London Contemporary Dance School, EDge introduces some of the hottest new talents to the international stage.

Healthwatch Kent Big Red Bus Tour

The independent voice for patients and social care users, Healthwatch Kent is bringing its high profile tour of the county to the University of Kent the on 8th June, parking its double decker Big Red Bus on the Piazza outside the Jarman Building for the morning. They are inviting everyone to jump on board and share their experiences of local health and social care services, good and bad.

The mobile campaign – which pit-stops in every Kent district between 8th – 14th June – aims to gather as many experiences of services as possible from all over the county.  Healthwatch Kent will use those experiences to help improve health and social care services for the future.

Visitors to the bus can learn about Healthwatch Kent’s current projects, such as a report into the issues faced by mental health carers, improving access to services on behalf of the Eastern European population of East Kent, and their free helpline and signposting service.

Chief Executive, Healthwatch Kent, Steve Inett says, “As a relatively young consumer organisation, this initiative is all about letting people know who we are and what we can do for them. For our health and social care services to improve we need to shout about our experiences – this is the only way those that deliver, and ultimately pay for, those services in Kent will know what needs to be kept and what needs to change.”

The Big Red Bus will be on site from 09.00 – 13.00 and welcomes testimonials concerning the entire spectrum of health and social care, from antenatal and paediatrics to A&E, mental health, residential and nursing homes and dementia care.

Anyone unable to attend in person can call the free Information and Signposting Service on 0808 801 0102 or email Healthwatch Kent is also represented at Citizen Advice Bureaux countywide.

Free Journalism course through Kent Extra

Stop press!

There are still a few spaces on the Journalism course available.
Kent Extra is pleased to repeat the very popular Journalism course which ran last year.
This course offers you the chance to learn about print, radio, TV and online journalism.
The free five-day intensive course is run by the Centre for Journalism and takes place at the Medway Campus from 1-5 June. All Kent students are eligible to apply.
To find out more, go to or email

You can use the free shuttle bus to travel from Canterbury to Medway.

Tizard in Europe

Dr Rachel Forrester-Jones, Reader in Health, Community and Social Care and Dr David Oliver, Honorary Reader from the Tizard Centre presented a poster at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Copenhagen in May 2015. They presented the findings of a study undertaken at a residential home that specialises in the palliative care for people with learning disability and dementia. The evaluation had shown that the residents received good care and were able to be involved in day to day decisions in their lives. Rachel spoke of the meeting: ‘We were very pleased to be able to present our results at this prestigious meeting. There were over 2700 delegates from all over Europe and many other countries worldwide. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with others interested in palliative care and learning disability and we are both on the EAPC Taskforce looking at developing this’.

During the meeting there were elections for the Board of Directors of the EAPC and David was re-elected for a further four year term. ‘I was delighted to be able to remain on the Board and to continue to help in the development of palliative care across Europe. I have really enjoyed the past 4 years and the Association has been able to develop and plan ahead for the coming years’ said David. He presented three posters himself at the meeting, was involved in a further three poster presentations, chaired a session and led a ‘Meet the experts’.

Tamara Rathcke publishes on linguistic rhythm

Dr Tamara Rathcke from the Department of English Language & Linguistics has just published a research article in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, co-authored with Rachel H Smith from the University of Glasgow.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America is the leading source of theoretical and experimental research in the interdisciplinary study of sound. The journal was established when the Society formed in 1929, remaining in continuous publication.

The paper is titled ‘Speech Timing and Linguistic Rhythm: On the Acoustic Bases of Rhythm Typologies’.

The temporal properties of segments, syllables and rhythm were examined in two accents of British English, a ‘stress-timed’ variety from Leeds, and a ‘syllable-timed’ variety spoken by Panjabi-English bilingual speakers from Bradford. Rhythm metrics were calculated. A perception study confirmed that the speakers of the two varieties differed in their perceived rhythm. The results reveal that both typologies are informative in that, to a certain degree, they predict temporal patterns of the two varieties.

For further details of the article, and the full abstract, please see the page here:

Mars: The Planet – how much do you know?

Rutherford Grass Roots Lecture:

Mars: The Planet – how much do you know?

On Wednesday 27 May at 6pm in Rutherford Lecture Theatre One, Rutherford College will be hosting a lecture being given by Professor Mark Burchell.

Space missions over the last 20 years have completely changed our knowledge of Mars. High resolution images taken from Mars orbit or from the various landers and rovers, provide a fascinating insight into Mars from its origin to the present day.

Professor Burchell (who is Professor of Space Science at the University of Kent and who provides the detailed lectures about Mars to the University’s undergraduate students), will provide an overview of what we know today about the “Red Planet”.

The lecture (organised in conjunction with the English Speaking Union) is free and open to all.