Monthly Archives: August 2018

Have you had your MMR and MenACWY vaccines?


Make sure you’re up-to-date with your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and MenACWY vaccines. And if you’re not, book in with your GP Surgery to get the vaccines before you come/return to campus.

University campuses are the perfect environment for measles and meningococcal diseases to spread.

Make sure you register with the local GP surgery and look out for symptoms of measles and meningitis.

Facts about measles:

  • Measles is circulating in England and in Europe, particularly among 15 -25 year olds.
  • Measles is very infectious, it can cause serious complications and, in rare cases, can be fatal.
  • Measles can be more severe in young people and adults, often leading to hospital admissions.
  • Measles starts with cold-like symptoms and sore red eyes followed by a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash. If you experience these symptoms, call NHS 111.
  • The best way to protect yourself against measles is have two doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to get the vaccine. There are no risks to your health if you get an extra dose.
  • Young people are strongly advised to check if they had the MMR vaccine. Check if you have had two doses of the vaccine with your GP and arrange a catch up NOW if necessary.
  • If you suspect you have measles stay away from others for at least four days after the rash has appeared.
  • Call NHS 111 if you think you might have measles or have been in contact with someone who has had it.

Facts about meningococcal disease:

  • Meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly and can kill or leave people with life changing disabilities and health problems.
  • There has been a rapid increase in MenW, a type of meningococcal disease in recent years in the UK.
  • This recent MenW strain has been particularly serious and can be difficult to diagnose because it has been associated with symptoms less frequently seen with meningococcal disease, such as severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia include: a blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it, fever, aching muscles and joints and a stiff neck.
  • The MenACWY vaccine is available free to students who are going to uni for the first time up until their 25th birthday. 
  • Any student born after 1 September 1996 who missed the MenACWY vaccine at secondary school can have the vaccine before their 25th birthday.
  • Higher Education students, particularly freshers, are known to be at increased risk of meningitis and septicaemia. Being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls, hostels when travelling, or attending festivals, increase the chances of infection if unprotected.
  • Students should be aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and tell someone if they or their friends feel unwell.
  • It is vital for students to register with a GP and take up the vaccination as soon as possible. You can book an appointment to get the MenACWY vaccine via your GP.

Read 5 avoidable health threats every student should know about for more information.

bOing! preview for staff

Gulbenkian is inviting University of Kent staff to join them on Friday 24 August for a special preview event before bOing! International Family Festival on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August.

From 17.00-18.00 on Friday 24 August, Gulbenkian will be running FREE entry for University of Kent staff to Katena Luminarium, located on the field between Eliot and Rutherford, on a first-come Katena first-served basis, subject to availability.

From the Guggenheim in Spain to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the monumental and interactive walk-in sculptures – Luminariums – of Architects of Air and designer Alan Parkinson have astounded audiences across the globe. Enter a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes where Islamic architecture and Gothic cathedrals meld into an inspiring monument to the beauty of light and colour and where visitors of all ages can happily lose themselves.

For more information about bOing! International Family Festival please visit


In memoriam: John Hill

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John Hill, Head of French within the Board of Applied Languages and Linguistics (BALL) at the University of Kent until 1993.

With a background in secondary school teaching, John joined the University Language Centre in the 1960s, working together with his wife Jacqueline to produce a range of new and innovative language courses for the fledgling university. He became Head of French in the Institute of Languages and Linguistics (ILL) – where he and Jacqueline were known affectionately as the ‘Hills of ILL’ – which was later to become BALL. Here, his role was to prepare students of other disciplines in a short time, and to an exceptionally high standard, for their year abroad. Many such students have come to Kent with little language background, and expressed gratitude to John for enabling them fully to benefit from a year’s study in a francophone country.

In a very real sense, he and Jacqueline were pioneers of ‘the European university’ concept that has long made the University of Kent distinctive. He outlived his wife Jacqueline, who died in April, by only three months. The couple are survived by their two sons.

Top tips for Fresher’s week

Fresher’s week can be quite a daunting time for some students but it guarantees to be the best week to the start of your academic life!

Top tips:

  • Introduce yourself to your flatmates, they will become your first friends who you will spend Fresher’s Week with and – after all you will be living with them for a year so why not get to know them early?
  • Keep a diary there are many events on campus in different buildings and venues, some may also clash so organise your social calendar for the week ahead.
  • Check your timetable and attend welcome talks from your school, this will be the first introduction to the course and a chance for you to meet course mates.
  • Check out events on Facebook prior to arriving. Venue hold a few fancy dress events, typically a school disco so grab your school ties and check out the Fresher’s event page.
  • Add Campus Security’s number to your phone and familiarise yourself with our top tips to stay safe. As most parents say ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’.
  • Download the SafeZone app.
  • Watch the Student Guide videos on:
    Support, health and wellbeing services at Kent
    Studying at Kent
    How to use the local transport
    – Dealing with money at University (finance)
  • Attend the Fresher’s Fair it is a chance to see what Kent has to offer, join societies, browse volunteering opportunities and there always tends to be a Domino’s hut so if anything go for the free pizza and you never know you may be tempted to approach the stalls.
  • Grab a map of campus or check out the Medway and Canterbury maps online to ensure you don’t get lost. Medway have their own student map too.
  • Join the Official University of Kent Fresher’s 2018 group to keep in contact with your cohort and up-to-date on events.
  • Visit town and get to know your surroundings there’s a lot on offer in both Canterbury and Medway for students.
  • Register at the doctors. Fresher’s flu is no myth so make sure you’re able to get doctors appointments when it kicks in. Register here for Canterbury and Medway and check with your GP that you’ve had your MMR vaccine before going to university this September. #StopTheSpread
  • Download local taxi numbers when returning from late nights out.

By recent Kent graduate Sophia Cheraitia.

Nostalgia podcast with ‘Anthony Manning’

Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, has just released a new episode of his podcast series on ‘Nostalgia’.

In the latest instalment, Chris interviews Dr Anthony Manning, Dean of Internationalisation at the University of Kent. In the interview, Anthony talks about his experience of growing up in a large family, but in a small town on the Isle of Man where his relatives ran a joke shop. We discuss the sense of community, based on old-fashioned values, which the shop elicited, and how its recent closure has resulted in a flood of nostalgia that he is considering channelling in new ways.

Anthony also talks about the culture shock of leaving the island in order to go to university in England, prompting a reflection on the nature of home and belonging, and we learn whether Anthony feels an attachment to any particular place. The concept of ‘neo-native Manx speakers’ is introduced, and Anthony discusses the benefits, based on personal experience, of understanding other people’s languages and cultures. Anthony grew up on an island with 80,000 people that had just one cinema.

We find out why he was into The Cure and The Smiths when he was at university, and also we hear about some of the challenges involved in ‘fitting in’. We discuss the grunge dimension of university in the early 1990s, and what led Anthony to protest marches during his undergraduate studies.

Finally, Anthony discusses why he doesn’t look back on the past with regrets, but has an urge to capture everything photographically, and we consider how and why photos are able to bring back more memories than we would otherwise be able to retain.

The podcast is available here.

Law School ranked amongst top 100 law schools worldwide in Shanghai Ranking

It’s the second consecutive year the Kent Law School has been featured in the prestigious global league table (published this week).  A total of 200 law schools are selected for the table based on the strength of their research publication output over a four-year period. Kent is one of only 12 UK law schools to be listed in the top 100.

Kent Law School has an excellent global reputation for law – it is ranked 50th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 and are among the top 150 law schools in the QS World University Rankings 2017.

The Law School also has an international reputation for producing world-leading research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent Law School was ranked eighth in the UK for research intensity. Almost all (99%) of the School’s research was judged to be of international quality with 79% judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Kent is also a leading UK law school, ranked 13th in The Guardian University Guide 2019 for law, 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 18th in The Complete University Guide 2019.



Paul March-Russell on Trump’s Space Force

Dr Paul March-Russell, Specialist Associate Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature and editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, has contributed an article to The Conversation on US President Donald Trump’s plans for a ‘Space Force’ from a science-fiction perspective, published today 16 August 2018.

The Conversation is an independent website consisting of news and views sourced from the academic and research community, and delivered direct to the public.

‘The rhetoric of both Pence and Trump, referring respectively to “the boundless expanse of space” and the necessity for “American dominance”, is inherently science-fictional, but of a particularly American kind,’ explains Paul in the article, who places the language and ideas in the context of the traditions of American science fiction.

Comparing Trump’s Space Force plants to Reagan’s earlier Strategic Defence Initiative in the 1980s, which became known as ‘Star Wars’, Paul concludes ‘what we can deduce from the proposal is that we are firmly in the logic of the reboot, that much loved tactic of longrunning movie franchises.’

Read the full article here.


Call for conference session proposals on Roman archaeology

The Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies at Kent is delighted to be hosting the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC) next year, 11-14 April 2019.

TRAC is an unincorporated voluntary association that has developed from and around the annual series of conferences held since 1991. The first TRAC was held in 1991 to widen the range of perspectives offered, and voices heard, in Roman Archaeology.

The TRAC 2019 Local Organising Committee includes PhD student Philip Smither (Chair), PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant Karl Goodwin (Vice-Chair), PhD student Sophie Chavarria, as well as Dr Jo Stoner, Research Associate, and Dr David Walsh, Lecturer in Classical & Archaeological Studies.

The committee are inviting proposals for conference sessions, which will include between 4 and 6 papers, each around 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions.

The conference will run three regular parallel sessions alongside an ‘unconference’ of more informal discussion groups. More information on, and ideas for, ‘unconference’ sessions can be found here. If you would like to propose a topic for one of the unconference sessions, please specify this in your proposal. TRAC welcome ideas for sessions outside the traditional presentation format including workshops focused on particular themes and/or theories.

The deadline for the submission of session proposals is Sunday 2 September 2018. Submissions should be sent by email to:

For further details about call for sessions, please see the TRAC page here.


Nostalgia podcast with Silvia Rasca

The latest episode of podcast series on ‘Nostalgia’, hosted by Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, has just been released.

In this week’s interview, Chris interviews a member of professional services staff at the University of Kent, Silvia Rasca.

Silvia has recently joined Kent as Assistant Project Manager for the Integrating Student Frontline Services Project. In this fascinating interview, Silvia talks about her journey to Canterbury from Romania and the political turmoil in her native country in the late 1980s, when she was born, and the impact it had on her and her family in the years that followed. Silvia reflects on how she has applied the goals and values instilled in her by her family to her new home, where Silvia discusses the importance of challenging and pushing barriers.

Silvia talks about keeping a diary and she explains why she tries not to have any regrets in life. Her grandparents are a particular inspiration for her, and Silvia tells us the secret of why her grandparents’ chickens had to be spoken to in Hungarian. Her father was a professional volleyball player and Silvia talks about how she used to accompany him to matches. We learn about the type of music that her parents disapproved of her listening to, and she confesses to once having taped over her father’s beloved Pink Floyd cassette tape with Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’.

Silvia talks about the role that production and scriptwriting played in her degree and why she enjoyed standing in front of a class as it exposed herself to vulnerable situations which enabled her to ‘rise to the occasion’.

The interview concludes with some candid reflections on the role of activism in her native Romania and we learn whether Silvia is a looking back or a looking forward type of person.

The podcast is available here:

Participants needed!

Researchers in the Psychology department are running a large-scale project looking at Social Communication Across the Lifespan; we are currently looking for our last few participants, particularly aged 26-49 years (the study has recruited participants aged 10-90+, and we have had a great response from these age groups, so are looking specifically for these ‘working age group’ participants).

The study involves two testing sessions of 2- 2.5 hours, where you would be asked to complete a series of computer-based tasks. You would be paid £30 cash, and we can schedule testing around your availability (including evenings and weekends).

Due to the nature of the tasks, participants must be native English-speakers, have normal vision (or correct-to-normal, e.g., with glasses or contact lenses), no learning disabilities, no current mental health diagnosis, and no diagnosis of autism, epilepsy, dementia, or history of stroke.

If you are interested and would like to find out more, please email us at: and we will send you more information about taking part in this study!