Monthly Archives: September 2016

Kent Staff support colleagues in crisis

In this time of instability around the world, unprecedented numbers of people have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety and security – and among them are many promising students and academics. For some time, the University has been providing support to international students and for academics at risk of persecution. Now the University has established a new fund to enable staff to contribute to this important work, should they wish to do so.

The Kent Refuge Fund currently supports students and academics who join us through the Helena Kennedy Foundation’s ‘Article 26 Project’ and the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara).

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of staff keen to pledge their support to the fund, which is already making a difference to the lives of those who have found refuge at Kent.  In a recent article an academic welcomed into the Kent community explained how their life has been changed by it.

“Achieving academic excellence was always my ambition, but once the war started it also felt like an obligation. I wanted to learn the skills that I could later use to help rebuild my country.”

Kent academic, placed through Cara

Kent is committed to welcoming those students and academics who join us through these organisations, and supporting them while they are here.  Gifts to the fund will ensure that we can provide a safe haven for many more.

We are delighted to be hosting a Medway launch of the Fund on Wednesday 5th October, from 13.00-14.00 in Rochester Boardroom (R2-09).  All staff are welcome to attend.  Refreshments will be provided – in order for us to cater correctly we ask that you register your attendance online.

On behalf of everyone helped by your generosity, we would like to say an enormous thank you for your support.  If you would like to find out more, or make your own gift, please visit the Refuge Fund web page or contact Julia Baxter.

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: How did we get here? Where now?

President Trump or President Clinton? After arguably the most divisive, unpleasant, polarised and simply extraordinary presidential contest in a century, four experts on American politics meet to discuss who won and why, and where we go from here.

The Centre for American Studies invites you to join the debate on Thursday 10 November at 5.30pm in the Templeman Library Lecture Theatre. Dr Andrew Wroe, Lecturer in American Politics at the University of Kent will chair a discussion panel consisting of:

Professor Rob Singh, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London; Professor Iwan Morgan, Professor of U.S. Studies, University College London and Dr George Conyne, Lecturer in American History, University of Kent.
This is an open event and all students, University of Kent staff and members of the public are warmly welcome. Attendance is free, but we would ask you to register in advance at our Eventbrite page.

Have you got a problem with your bedroom?

If you live in accommodation on the Canterbury campus and you have an issue with your bedroom, you can report your accommodation defects online*.

How to report your accommodation defect:

  1. Visit the online defect reporting system
  2. Log in with your student username and password
  3. Following the online instructions, complete the short report form
  4. Click ‘save’ and you will receive an email confirmation with a report number
  5. Your fault will be dealt within the next five working days

For further information on level of response times, maintenance problems in your campus accommodation and other related issues, please visit the Accommodation Office website.

Please note that in the case of an emergency during working hours (08.00 – 16.30), please contact the Estates Helpdesk on ext 3209. For all other times, contact Campus Security on ext 3300. Emergencies include gas leak, flood and electrical shutdown of a building.

*Please note, this system doesn’t apply to Woolf College – where residents should inform Woolf College reception of any accommodation faults.

Returning your supermarket crates

A quick reminder about supermarket crates: it is your responsibility to return them to the supermarket delivery driver or to take the empty crates to the bin store for collection by the supermarkets drivers. Speak to your reception team today to find out your nearest collection point.

Purple4Polio: Donate for crocuses and help eradicate polio

It’s time to dust off your spade and dig out your gardening gloves, because as part of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Purple4Polio campaign, they have established an exciting partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). 

The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised. Eradicating polio worldwide remains the top priority of The Rotary Foundation as it celebrates its centenary year, and the plantings you will hopefully  undertake will act as a legacy of Rotary’s commitment to ridding the world of the disease.

Along with all other Rotary clubs the Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise has obtained a box of 5000 corms that it has broken down to 20 / bag which Dr Gary Robinson or Prof Martin Warren (School of Biosciences and Rotarians) will deliver to you on campus for a suggested donation of £2/bag (feel free to pay more!).  The plants should ideally be in by end of October and planting instructions are on the packs.

Just email with your request (i.e. number of bags) and we’ll deliver and collect the donation.

Wain Medal Lecture 2016

The 2016 Wain Medal Lecture will be given by Professor Nicola Stanley-Wall, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee on Wednesday 28 September at 17.00 in Woolf Lecture Theatre, University of Kent. Free and open to all.

Bacteria are microscopic organisms that inhabit and thrive in a vast array of environments including the icy Antarctic and on your teeth! Despite their size, the impact they have on our bodies, and our surrounding environment, is extraordinary. Bacteria use many mechanisms to shape and control their habitat. One of which has been the focus of my research group and is the formation of stable, sessile communities called biofilms. In these microbial cities, bacteria envelop themselves in a sticky glue called the biofilm matrix. The biofilm matrix includes extracellular DNA and both large sugar and protein molecules which, in combination, help to protect the cells resident in the community. The protection exerted by the biofilm matrix can include resistance towards many commonly used antimicrobial agents, including bleach and antibiotics, or may come in the form of shielding the community from detection by our immune system. It is these features of biofilms that allow them to be so successful, and from the point of view of humans the success is accompanied by either problems or benefits. For example they are the cause of the majority of chronic infections but are also responsible for sewage processing.

This lecture will introduce you to the hidden and visible world of microbial biofilms; it will cover where biofilms are put to work and where they cause problems. It will discuss our multidisciplinary work directed at understanding how the biofilm matrix is assembled and will highlight why we are interested in this area of research.

Sent in by: Professor Martin Warren

Visiting Artist Talks

The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted to announce the first event in the Autumn term Visiting Artist Talk series, welcoming painter Simon Ling on Tuesday 11 October at 18.15 in the Royal Dockyard Church.

Born in 1968, British artist Simon Ling studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design and then at the Slade School of Art in London. His practice in involved in a deep engagement with painting and his subjects can often appear banal street scenes, still lifes, rocks, stones or patches of scrubland – but through a process of sustained and rigorous looking, his works transcend the ordinariness of their initial appearance, taking on a strange and at times unsettling quality.

In 2015, Ling had a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle, Bergen, and London art gallery, greengrassi, as well as taking part in numerous group exhibitions including Tate Britain, Camden Art Centre, and CAPC Bordeaux, France.

The talk is from 18.15-19.45 and FREE to attend. Future visiting artists include Martin Clark, Erica Scourti, Maria Fusco and Heather Phillipson.

Artist Hannah Lees joins School of Music and Fine Art

Widely exhibited artist, Hannah Lees, is now teaching on the Fine Art programme in the School of Music and Fine Art.

Turner Contemporary and the British Museum (National Programmes) commissioned Lees to create a new mural in response to the British Museum’s collection of Roman Samian Ware pottery found along the coast near Whitstable. Inspired by ritual and religion and influenced by her interest in history and heritage connected to her home-town of Canterbury, Hannah Lees explores cycles of decay and regeneration often using natural materials and is particularly interested in rituals surrounding consumption.

The Private View is Friday 7 October and the work will be on show from 8 October 2016 – 8 January 2017 at Turner Contemporary, Margate. More information can be found here:

The artist will also be in conversation with British Museum curators Richard Hobbs and Sam Moorhead and archaeologist Michael Walsh, discussing her work, on Saturday December 10 at 14.30pm. Booking via

She is exhibiting in Harvest, curated by Peter Foolen at Kunstraumlangenlois, Langenlois (Private View: 10.00 – 19.00, Sunday 2 October 2016). Info at

You can see her work Floated On Foam – Flew With Birds at Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Ghent, until 16 October 2016. More details here:

For her first Milan show, The Oldest Thing You Can Hold In Your Hand, Lees uses two of the city’s most important historical artworks as a starting point to explore ideas around display, feasting, ritual and participation, core topics in her practice. Curated by Pietro Di Lecce, with text by Attilia Fattori Franchini, the show runs until 23 October 2016. For more details go to and

For more about the artist go to