Monthly Archives: January 2016

International Conference – “Purposeful Agency and Governance: A Bridgeable Gap”

Call for Papers and Panels.
International Interdisciplinary Conference on “Purposeful Agency and Governance: A Bridgeable Gap”. University of Kent, Canterbury, 15-17 June 2016.
The Conference is jointly organized by the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC), the non-profit multidisciplinary association International Urban Symposium (IUS) and the Commission on Urban Anthropology (CUA). Deadline for Paper Proposals: 1 March 2016; Deadline for Panel Proposals: 26 February 2016. Further details are available at:

Strength-based scholarship: pushing the boundaries of scholarship and self

Our first Centre for the Study of Higher Education research seminar will take place next week on Thursday 28 January.

Dr Dilly Fung, Director of UCL’s Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching will be joining us to discuss:

Strength-based scholarship: pushing the boundaries of scholarship and self

What do we mean by ‘good’ education in research-orientated universities? How does this relate to research? And where do educational leadership and education-focused scholarship fit in? In this session I will draw on recent research (Fung and Gordon 2016) to argue that we have set up unnecessary barriers between these endeavours, when they can all have the same roots and values. We’ll discuss ways of breaking down these barriers and creating broader, more connected spaces for for our roles and lives.

This takes place in the UELT Seminar Room, 16.30 – 17.45.

I hope you can join us for what promises to be an interesting discussion.

Award-winning journalist Amira Hass to speak at Kent

The Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies in the School of English (in collaboration with the Palestine Centre at SOAS, University of London) has invited Amira Hass, Israel’s leading reporter on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, to the UK to give two talks – one at Kent and the other at SOAS.

This is a unique opportunity to hear a first-hand, expert account of the situation in Israel-Palestine by someone who has been covering the Israeli occupation and its daily practices for the last three decades for Israel’s leading liberal newspaper Haaretz. Hass will describe the current situation on the ground in the Occupied Territories, including Israel’s ongoing settlement practices and the impact of the Israeli occupation and the Oslo peace accords on Palestinian daily life, and she will also explain the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Are there any prospects for justice and reconciliation in the near future?

Please join us for this important discussion of the current state in Israel-Palestine.

Amira Hass (Haaretz)
‘Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice’
Thursday 28 January, 18.00, Keynes Lecture Theatre 1

Amira Hass is reporter and columnist on the Occupied Palestinian Territories for Haaretz newspaper in Israel, and is author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza (1999) and Reporting from Ramallah (2003). She has also published her mother’s Diary of Bergen-Belsen, 1944-45 (2009). In 2009, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation and was described as ‘one of the greatest truth-seekers of them all’.

All welcome. A drinks reception in Keynes Foyer will follow.
(Image credit: New Zealand Tertiary Education Union)


Student Success (EDI) Project Bulletin 3 Winter 2015/16

The Back Story

There has been considerable work carried out in universities across the UK to gain a better understanding of differences in the student experience. These focus in particular on students’ learner characteristics and background, including age, ethnicity and socio-economic status. The University of Kent is clear that it has a responsibility to explore this issue in terms of its own activities and practice. Given our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI), it is crucial that we improve our understanding of the issues that affect student success and that we have effective measures in place to ensure that all Kent students are given every opportunity to fulfil their academic potential.

The Student Success (EDI) Project is a two year project, overseen by David Nightingale (Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor) and led by John Wightman (Dean of Social Sciences) involving 9 pilot schools and 6 one year pilot schools. The Project is investigating student success differentials, developing initiatives aimed at closing success rate gaps. These initiatives will be evaluated, with best practice shared across the University. We are also undertaking substantial research with students and academics; this will continue in tandem with the pilot school work.

Central Research

The research strand of the project is led by two members of staff in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research: Dr Lavinia Mitton and Dr Alex Hensby. A number of key research themes have emerged which act as a steer for the work in the pilot schools: relationships with Academic Advisers, signposting to student support services, student aspiration and expectation, academic skills and preparedness for university, and social adjustment. A number of case studies will take place in the Autumn and Spring terms to examine experiences for clearing and BTEC students, skills differentials for non-UK born students and assessment feedback differences. These will involve interviews with staff and students, focus groups and an analysis of feedback assessment forms.

Research findings are incorporated into pilot school work as they emerge and Project Officers also monitor activities and collate project delivery data, which creates a powerful exchange between the academic research and work on the ground.

Please contact Alex or Lavinia if you have any queries regarding the EDI research strand: or 

Central Events

Staff Seminar – the Student Success (EDI) Staff Seminar took place on 16 November 2015. Delegates heard presentations from John Wightman (Dean of Social Sciences), Dr. Alex Hensby (Project Research Associate), Prof. Sarah Spurgeon OBE (EDA Head of School) and Anita Jackson (Director of Planning and Student Information). Pilot schools presented posters outlining their work and progress. More information, including a copy of presentations,  can be found on the website at:

Summer Conference – The project will host a national conference on Monday 27 June 2016. Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice at University of Southampton
  • Professor Leon Tikly, Professor in Education at University of Bristol
  • Les Ebdon, Director of Office for Fair Access (OFFA)

Further details about the conference are on the Project website:

Future Planning

Throughout the current academic year, we are continuing our research into performance gaps and analysing the emerging evidence from pilot schools on what works – and what doesn’t work – in reducing these gaps. We will use the findings from this year to plan future roll out of initiatives to schools and departments across the University.

If you would like the Project Team to provide further information to your school/department staff, please contact Jan Moriarty (Project Manager) at: or on 01227 816194.

School of Architecture

·         Field trip subsidy to support target groups

·         Skills workshops (including student-led workshops)

·         Drop In Fridays & Monday Twilights


EDI Contacts: Rebecca Hobbs,

Sharmini Mahendrasingam,

 Kent Business School (Medway)

·         Review of social media for KBS Medway

·         Turning Point for attendance monitoring, attainment assessment and student engagement

·         Impact of commuting and part time working

EDI Contacts: Caroline Hawkett,

Ayokunle Ikusika,

 School of Engineering and Digital Arts

·         Progress Profiles – in-school testing phase

·         Virtual Academic Adviser – development and testing

·         Gaming nights for student engagement

EDI Contact: David Atkins,

 School of European Culture and Languages

·         Implementation of academic mentoring for early identification of students “at risk”

·         Case studies of underperforming students

·         Hoodies for school identification

EDI Contact: Vicky Ward,

Kent Law School

·         Skills workshops for struggling students

·         Review of stage 1 to address incoming skills deficit

·         Attendance and attainment data collection and dissemination

EDI Contacts: Daniel Berry,

Samantha Lester,

 School of Maths, Statistics and & Actuarial Science

·         Review and analysis of data, linking to student outcomes

·         Returners test with remedial support for struggling students

·         Development of teaching support materials

EDI contacts: Francis Samra,

James Smith

School of Music and Fine Arts

·         Involvement in local area community events to enhance student engagement

·         Student mentors sustainability programme

·         Master classes and drop in consultations

EDI Contact: Dave Thomas,

 Medway School of Pharmacy:

·         Social media communications, including student blog

·         Numeracy peer mentoring scheme

·         Alumni as role models

EDI Contacts: Sammi Hall,

Luke Taylor,

School of Psychology

·         Student Buddy/Mentoring Scheme

·         Academic supervision during industry placements

·         Alumni event

EDI Contact: Anamaria Buescu,

  • The six one year pilot schools are: School of Arts, School of Politics and International Relations, School of Physical Sciences, School of Anthropology and Conservation, School of Computing and School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. The School of Sports and Exercise Sciences is conducting additional research exploring student motivation and psychological needs.
  • During the 2015/16 academic year, 15 schools will be collecting attainment data and developing initiatives to promote student success. The schools work collaboratively to share good practice and to design joint interventions.
  • We continue to work with SLAS to implement established programmes such as Peer Mentoring, tailored to EDI target groups. We are also working with Kent Union and the staff and student EDI teams.

The university success rate dataset is currently being updated to include the latest cohort who finished their first degree (2012), please contact Sharon Smith if you wish to see a copy of this:

University of Kent was one of the case studies in this year’s HEFCE report ‘Causes of Differences in Student Outcomes’. A copy of the report can be found on the HEFCE website or on our own website:

The Project website also holds a range of information, as well as links to the school projects and the conference site.

Please contact Jan Moriarty (Project Manager) if you have any questions about the project, or you would like to discuss how we can support attainment in your school:

Call for stream proposals for UK Critical Legal Conference at Kent

A call for stream proposals has been issued for the UK’s annual Critical Legal Conference, a gathering of international legal scholars to be held at Kent.

The Critical Legal Conference (CLC) attracts critical and radical legal scholars from all over the world and was first launched at Kent in 1986. This year’s conference, Turning Points, is hosted by a team of scholars from Kent Law School and will take place from 1-3 September.

Law Lecturer Nick Piska, a member of the organising CLC committee, said: ‘This year we want to open a forum for reflection on the precarious political situation of the present for individuals, for markets, for nations and particularly for Europe in a global context – a theme particularly apposite for a conference at University of Kent, which both founded the CLC and is the UK’s European University.’

Confirmed Plenary Speakers include:

  • Donatella Alessandrini, Kent Law School
  • Kathleen Davis, University of Rhode Island
  • Isabell Lorey, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies
  • Davide Tarizzo, University of Salerno

Stream Proposals of no more than 500 words (plus short bios of the stream organisers) should be sent to by 7 March 2016. A Call for Papers and Panels will be opened later in March when streams are announced.

Participants are also invited to curate screenings, performances and other creative formats at the conference and can submit their suggestions to:

More information about the conference is available on the CLC website:

Kent Sport student membership 2016

With the start of a new term, is it time to think about a new you? Kent Sport are offering student memberships for the remaining academic year at a reduced price. Gold membership is now just £147 and Silver membership is just £127.

Available to purchase now, student membership offers a huge range of benefits including unlimited access to the fitness suite*, all fitness and dance classes and access to facilities for club training**. Plus, if you purchase membership before midnight on Sunday 31 January, you’ll automatically be entered in to a prize draw for a chance to win a full membership refund and a sports goody bag filled to the brim with sports gear.

Student membership is available to buy online now, for use until 31 August 2016.

For more information about membership benefits and to purchase online, visit

To stay up to date with the latest news, special offers and activities, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter UniKentSports.

*Unlimited access to the fitness suite for Gold members only. **Club joining fees apply.

Win an all-expenses paid trip to the USA

The Big Ideas Competition is back for 2016!
What is it?
The Big Ideas Competition, sponsored by Santander Universities, gives all current University of Kent students the opportunity to submit a business idea for a chance to win some fantastic prizes. The business idea can be for a new product or service and come from any sector. Students can submit an idea on their own or as part of a team, participants can also submit multiple entries to increase the chances of winning.

Students will receive 15 Employability Points per entry.

What can students win?
Students can win a trip to the USA to represent the University of Kent, and the UK in the ‘Global Business Concept Challenge’ all expenses paid for!
This is held in Virginia, USA in August, with the chance to win up to $25,000.
The winning students will also receive a space on the HIVE Start-Up Scheme, where all services/co working space is paid for one year, as well as a business mentor from Santander Bank.

How can student take part?
All students need to do is complete an application form and email their entry to
The competition opened on Monday 18th January and entries must be submitted by midnight on the 28th April 2016.

The HIVE Administrator and business advisors will be on hand throughout the process to deliver business advice to students. The experience team from HIVE, who have been advising and guiding individuals through the process of business start-up since 2004 will be available to offer valuable guidance and feedback throughout.

You can find out more about the competition here:
Please email any questions or queries to

Catch up with Kent Sport

To find out about Kent Sport visit our stand at the refresher fair on Wednesday and Thursday and have a chat with our friendly team.

You can check out all the fun activities we have lined up this term in our Sport at Kent brochure:

If you are not yet a member of Kent Sport, join by 31 January and you will be entered into a free prize draw for the chance to win back the cost of your membership and other great prizes. For further details visit