Monthly Archives: March 2018

Staff drama to raise money for local stroke charity

The University of Kent Players are raising money for a local stroke charity by performing Arnold Ridley’s ‘The Ghost Train’ at the Gulbenkian on 12, 13 and 14 April.

The Ghost Train plot revolves around a party of assorted railway travellers who find themselves stranded in the waiting room of an isolated country station in the evening. Despite the stationmaster’s weird stories of a ghost train, they decide to stay the night in the waiting room. Soon they regret this decision as ghostly and not so ghostly apparitions materialise, before a young man reveals the true reason behind the night’s events.

Book your tickets online now via the Gulbenkian website.

Profits from ticket and programme sales will go to Canterbury and Coastal Stroke Association.

Kent Logo

USS dispute update – Acas proposals

The next step for the current USS dispute has now been announced at national level. The conciliation service Acas has made proposals which UCU and UUK will now take to consultation with respective parties. As part of the Acas proposal, UCU will consult its branches and members on ending industrial action.

The proposals are as follows:

  1. A formally agreed Joint Expert Panel, comprised of actuarial and academic experts nominated in equal numbers from both sides will be commissioned, to deliver a report. Its task will be to agree key principles to underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the USS fund.
  2. It will require maintenance of the status quo in respect of both contributions into USS and current pension benefits, until at least April 2019.
  3. There will be a jointly agreed chair whose first step will be to oversee the agreement of the terms of reference, the order of work and timescales with the parties. Any recommendations by the group must be based on a majority view of the panel without the use of a casting vote. A secretariat, jointly agreed by the parties, will be appointed.
  4. The panel will focus in particular on reviewing the basis of the scheme valuation, assumptions and associated tests. It will take into account the unique nature of the HE sector, inter-generational fairness and equality considerations, the need to strike a fair balance between ensuring stability and risk. Recognising that staff highly value Defined Benefit provision, the work of the group will reflect the clear wish of staff to have a guaranteed pension comparable with current provision whilst meeting the affordability challenges for all parties, within the current regulatory framework.
  5. The panel will make an assessment of the valuation. If in the light of that contributions or benefits need to be adjusted in either direction, both parties are committed to agree to recommend to the JNC and the trustee, measures aimed at stabilising the fund to provide a guaranteed pension broadly comparable with current arrangements.
  6. Alongside the work of the panel both sides agree to continue discussion on the following areas: comparability between TPS and USS; alternative scheme design options; the role of government in relation to USS; and the reform of negotiating processes to allow for more constructive dialogue as early as possible in the valuation process.
  7. Support for this process will need to be sought from the USS trustees and the pensions regulator, recognising their statutory responsibilities. Both UCU and UUK will make the necessary approaches to seek this support.
Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback in higher education: A research symposium

Colleagues are invited to attend a research symposium on Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education.

The event takes place on Wednesday 16 May from 12.30-17.00 in Sibson Lecture Theatre 1 and Atrium at the Canterbury Campus.  A drinks reception will follow the event from 17.00-17.30 in Sibson Atrium.

The way in which students engage with and learn from the multiple sources of feedback available to them is a key issue in the enhancement of student learning in higher education.  Well-designed assessment tasks and associated feedback can yield large learning gains compared to a variety of other educational interventions, yet the National Survey of Students consistently reveals the lowest student satisfaction for assessment and feedback.

Although students struggle to understand what is expected of them on academic tasks, formal statements of assessment criteria are typically insufficient to build the task understanding and evaluative expertise that students need to monitor their own learning. Increasing opportunities for dialogic feedback (i.e. interactions between lecturers and students, students and students, and students own self assessments as students are doing the assessment task) may result in better learning outcomes.

This research symposium brings together five assessment and feedback researchers who will discuss their own research findings in relation to these key concepts and consider implications with delegates.  Sponsored by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent, the event is free to participants both within and external to Kent, though places are limited.

View the programme and book a place via the Eventbrite page.

Online module registration (OMR) extended

Online Module Registration (OMR) EXTENDED to 12pm, Monday 26 March 2018

Don’t miss your opportunity to pick the modules you want to study next year

Extended to 12pm, Monday 26 March, if you’re a stage one or two student, you must choose the modules you want to study in 2018/19.

You will need to log into your SDS to submit your choices.

Guidance available here

OMR is not first come first served, but you must ensure that you have submitted your selections by Monday 26 March in order to give you the best opportunity to register for your preferred choice of module.

If you have any questions please contact us

Follow us: @UniKent_CSAO

Richard Whitman

Professor Richard Whitman appointed to Research Excellence Framework sub-panel

Congratulations to Professor Richard Whitman, Head of the School of Politics and International Relations, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Global Europe Centre, on his appointment to Research Excellence Framework (REF) Sub-panel 19, Politics and International Studies, which has been announced by HEFCE today.

The full list of members of the sub-panel are available at the REF website.

This is excellent news for the School and in addition to the recognition of Professor Whitman as a leading scholar in the discipline, it represents an acknowledgement that Kent deserves a place within the REF evaluation process. This goal has been at the centre of the School’s REF Strategy since 2014 and is a testament to its enhanced external profile and the quality of research being conducted within the School.



Through the Lens Festival of Photography

School of Music and Fine Art MA student Steve Kilmartin has organized an exhibition called Through The Lens –  Festival of Photography, running from 31st August to 8th September.

Held at St Mary In The Castle, Hastings, East Sussex,  this magical festival is for any photographer, photo-enthusiast, keen amateur or anyone who wants to see the world through a different lens. Offering a mix of world-class guest speakers, with new emerging photographic talent exhibiting alongside well-established photographers,  viewers can see contemporary photography and reportage all under one roof.

There is also an opportunity to submit photographic work – closing date for submissions is 1st July. Visit the festival website for more information.

Light bulb photo

Join KIE for Enterprise and Impact Training

The eighth annual Enterprise and Impact Training event will take place on Wednesday 25 April from 09.00 to 16.30, in the Darwin Boardroom, Canterbury campus.

This programme will give you the knowledge, confidence and practical tools necessary to engage successfully in enterprise activities such as consultancy and collaborative funding streams.

You will increase your potential to apply your expertise within industry, public sector and third sector organisations, and will learn about how enterprise and knowledge exchange activities can benefit your career.

The training, run by Kent Innovation & Enterprise (KIE) is recommended for academics and researchers, at any stage of their career, who would like to develop skills for enterprise activity and optimise their interactions with external organisations. It is also suitable for members of support staff that work at the interface between academia and external partners.

There are only 20 places available, so to reserve your place on training day please by following the booking link here. A light lunch is included.

EDA promotes careers in engineering at The Big Bang Fair

A team of students and staff from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts attended The Big Bang, the UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, from 14-17 March 2018, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

EDA’s interactive stand equipped young people with the skills to create a Radio Frequency Identification tag, enabling them to add an integrated circuit and test the design. The activity draws on future Smart Manufacturing techniques where ink is used to make electronic circuits, meaning that future technologies can be made on the spot.

At the event, Team EDA engaged with 816 young people and interacted with 2.5 times more girls than boys, which is great news for inclusion in the sector and for future recruitment into engineering which was illustrated as a rewarding, interesting and creative career. By the fourth day, EDA’s exhibition stand had dealt with well over 1,000 participants and feedback from visitors suggests a keen interest in studying Engineering at the University of Kent.

Well done to all involved, particularly our student ambassadors in this important Year of Engineering.

Music and science come together in Colyer-Fergusson on 23 March

Live music and science come together this Friday (23 March), as the continuing Cellular Dynamics project explores links between choral music and cutting-edge research from the School of Biosciences.

Find out more and book.

The centrepiece of the concert is Ola Gjeilo’s colourful and popular ‘Sunrise Mass,’ performed by the University Cecilian Choir and String Sinfonia, which will be accompanied by live image- and video-projections curated by Dr Dan Lloyd. The hour-long performance is prefaced by short choral works by Whitacre, Stanford and Sir John Tavener, creating a meditative atmosphere in which to experience a range of film and photography drawn from the School of Bioscience’s latest research.

The performance starts at 19.30 in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; find out more about the Cellular Dynamics project online.

Image credit: School of Biosciences

Ahoy there! SMFA music students lead creative project on HMS Gannet

On 14 March SMFA music students worked with The Dockyard Development Trust and Kings Hill School to lead a creative music project on HMS Gannet in the Captain’s Cabin. They also had a tour of the ship.

Music Education students from Level 2 designed an interactive performance and composition workshop inspired by the Gannet, life at sea, sea shanties and film music inspired by the sea.  The children learned some Pirate Metal, sea songs, took part in a musical “boat race”, and composed and performed their own pieces based on the sights and sounds of the day.

Says organiser, SMFA Lecturer in Music, Jackie Walduck , “The project is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in the kinds of arts events taking place all over the UK, in which musicians work alongside museums, galleries, arts venues, orchestras, record labels or festivals to create accessible projects for members of the community.”