Monthly Archives: September 2019

Staff in library

Improving our internal communication

We have been making improvements to our internal communications channels.

The changes, as highlighted in the Vice-Chancellor’s August Update blog, are based on feedback you have given during, for example, focus groups for the Simplifying Kent Internal Communications Project. Your wish list included a clear source of University information, improvements across our key communication channels and a more visible senior management team.

Our internal communication channels now include:

Monthly Vice-Chancellor Update
A new all-staff email on the second Tuesday of every month, covering the strategic direction of the University, key upcoming decisions/changes, highlights from Karen’s diary etc. The first update, on 10 September, is available on the OVC webpages – watch out for the next update on Tuesday 8 October.

Kent Staff Weekly
From Wednesday 2 October, we will be mailing a weekly, rather than fortnightly, all-staff e-newsletter with a round-up of latest University news and events likely to be of interest to colleagues. If you’d like your news featured, email the editor, Wendy Raeside in Corporate Communications.

Staff Guide
Launched in January 2019 and following extensive consultation with colleagues, this new guide covers everything you need to know about working at Kent, from getting started to facilities on campus. If you wish to add new information/update existing information, email

Staff News
The home of latest staff news and events based on stories sent in by colleagues to share with others across the University. Tell us your latest news via this Send Us Your Story link.

Leadership Blog
This is a new channel for senior leaders across the University to update us on key strategic projects. Corporate Communications is working with senior leaders to develop a schedule for these blogs – if you have an idea for a topic that should be included, please let Tim Davies or Wendy Raeside know (email links below).

Kent-staff emails
All-staff emails are for business critical or urgent messages only. If your message meets our essential criteria, you can email your request to the Corporate Communications team.

Social media
We are currently exploring options to provide a social media channel for staff to enable colleagues, wherever they’re based, to share their news and interests. In the meantime, you can find useful updates from teams across the University via @unikentstaff on Twitter.

We’ll keep you posted as and when other changes in our staff communications are happening. Meanwhile, we welcome ideas about how we can continue to improve how we communicate – just get in touch.

Wendy Raeside and Tim Davies
Corporate Communications


Common room opening

Hub for computing students officially opened

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Karen Cox, officially opened the new undergraduate common room in the School of Computing. The common room is the latest update to the Cornwallis building where facilities for computing students have been brought together, providing a central hub.

The hub area comprises the School’s:

– reception and student office

– placements office

– employability and marketing office

– Kent IT Consultancy offices

– The Shed (the School’s maker space)

– and the undergraduate student common room

Head of School, Professor Richard Jones, said: ‘Our aim is to bring all our student facing activities together in an area that is well decorated and which provides a pleasant working environment with a real buzz to it. In designing the common room, we have listened to the views of the Student Union and provided a pleasant space for collaborative working and socialising, adjacent to our other student services.’

Other recent moves have seen the student admin office moved downstairs to provide a better reception for the School, as well as a much improved working environment for the professional services staff. The KITC area provides communal working space for student consultants and the KITC staff, as well as private rooms for meeting with clients.

students walking on campus

Getting around- travel tips to save money and time

Travelling into university doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are some ways to make your travel to university cheaper and easier.

Catching the bus?

Purchase the Stagecoach Student Unirider bus ticket in Canterbury or the Arriva student annual bus ticket Bus to receive highly discounted bus travel.

Remember to purchase the Unirider ticket by 30 September to get the best discount. You can purchase the Unirider ticket from the bus positioned on campus by the Registry until 27 September (excluding 22 September), or online.

Stagecoach and Arriva both have helpful mobile bus apps so you can plan your journey and check live bus times.

Travelling by train?

Don’t forget you can purchase a 16-25 railcard for a third off most train travel. If you’re over 25 but a full-time student you can still apply for the railcard.

You might also want to purchase a plusbus ticket which covers the train and bus. Plusbus tickets can also be discounted by a 16-25 railcard which is a bonus!

Cycling to campus? Or fancy hiring a bike?

You can hire a bike on a termly basis at Canterbury. ByCycle will be on campus in the Cycle Hub by the Pavilion 23-27 September 11.00-16.00 for you to hire a bike.

Dr Bike is also on campus every Wednesday during term-time at Canterbury, and on a monthly basis at Medway to check and adjust your bike for free.

On the Medway campus there is a hop on/ hop off cycle hire scheme to help you get around.

There are lockable cycle shelters on both campuses.

Travelling between Canterbury and Medway campuses?

The free Campus Shuttle service allows travel between Canterbury and Medway campuses 7 days per week during term-time. The shuttle has free Wi-Fi and USB charging points so you can keep connected on your journey.

Driving to campus? Require a parking permit?

If you live outside of the exclusion zone you can apply for a permit to park on campus. You cannot apply for a parking permit until you are fully registered.

Check out the interactive parking map to see where each of the parking areas are located. If you’re driving to campus, give yourself plenty of time to find a parking space.

Check out the Student Guide travel webpages for more information.

Employability Points opportunities

If you are currently engaging with co-curricular activities, you can claim ‘Employability Points’ for each activity completed. At the end of the second term, if you have earned sufficient points, you can cash these in for the chance to apply for ‘rewards’.

Rewards include paid internships, work experience opportunities, training and vouchers offered by local and national employers.

You can get started by logging your activities on MyFolio.

Here are some current opportunities where you can gain Employability Points, learn new skills and improve your CV:


Attending key events

Check out the Employability Points blogs for more opportunities to gain Emp Points.

Professor Tracy Kivell

SAC declares Climate and Environmental Emergency

On Wednesday 25 September, the School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) held a Climate and Environmental Emergency event, to begin to examine and discuss the way forward to reduce the School’s emissions and broader environmental impact relating to operations, research and teaching.

Humanity and the environment that supports it face a historically unparalleled existential threat from human-induced climate change and environmental degradation following a global reliance on fossil fuels and the entrenchment of unsustainable forms and levels of production and consumption of consumer goods.

The climate and environmental crisis presents both a stark warning and a threat to life and civilisation. Global emissions must decline by 45% by 2030 (from 2010 levels) and reach net-zero by around 2050 to limit the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. To achieve this, there must be rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land-use, buildings and infrastructure.

Academic schools have a unique mandate and responsibility to generate the necessary knowledge and human capacities to transition to an ecologically, socially and economically regenerative economy at emergency speed.

The event featured a presentation by Dr Charlie Gardner, Lecturer in Conservation Biology, on the relationship between science, academia and activism, which he has recently discussed in op-eds written for The Guardian and The Globe Post, and Tom Bell, PhD student in Social Anthropology, who is conducting fieldwork in the US on climate change activism. Undergraduate students spoke about the work that climate change activist groups Extinction Rebellion and Youth Strike 4 Climate are doing locally and nationally, Kent Union described the ongoing work they are doing to address the environmental emergency, and there was a talk from the University’s own sustainability team and their Futureproof programme.

The event pivoted on Professor Tracy Kivell declaring a climate emergency on behalf of the School. This declaration publicly and fully acknowledges the findings and recommendations of the international scientific community, pledging, among other things, to:

  • Reduce emissions by at least 45% by 2025, reaching net zero by 2040 or, at the very latest, 2050.
  • Establish and mandate a staff-student working group to advise on and develop actions required to meet the above commitments.
  • Work across the University to declare a University-wide climate emergency and embed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as set out by the signing of the SDG accord by the University of Kent in 2018.

The initiative to declare a School climate emergency has been led and facilitated by a diverse group of volunteer staff and students in the School. The group itself emerged in part out of the University of Kent’s commitment to incorporate the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals into its operations and the teaching curriculum it delivers.

The process of calculating and reducing direct and indirect emissions provides a case study to demonstrate the principle and develop an approach that can be scaled up across the University.

The event was closed by Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox: “I have been truly moved by what I’ve heard this evening. We know what the goal is, but we need to be brave and bold to get there. And we need collective ideas to move this forward.

“The University of Kent can be a thought leader and action leader in this agenda. The School of Anthropology and Conservation has my absolute commitment to do what it needs to do. I am offering an open door.”

The full text of the School’s Declaration of Climate Emergency can be viewed here.


TEF and Student Engagement Conference: 8 November

You are cordially invited to attend The TEF and Student Engagement Conference scheduled for Friday 8 November 2019 in Woolf Lecture Theatre on Canterbury campus.

The conference is open to all staff at the University. Further details and booking are available on our Teaching webpages.

The final programme and exact timings will be published as soon as possible. I do hope as many of you can attend as possible and encourage colleagues in your school/centres to sign up too. You would be able to dip in and out if you need to.

A special note of thanks to Louise Naylor and Debbie Hayward from UELT for supporting the arrangements too.

Melissa Mulhall
Assistant Director, Student Engagement and Experience

HEA Fellowship

The University of Kent can recognise claims for Fellowship at the HEA (Fellow Descriptor 2 and Senior Fellow Descriptor 3).

HEA Fellowship is international recognition of a commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education and demonstrates that your practice is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Higher Education Academy – (HEA).

Gaining HEA Fellowship status provides you with national recognition of your expertise and commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning and demonstrates that your practice is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for leading, teaching and supporting learning in higher education.

Click here for the Moodle page.

Staff applying for HEA recognition do so at no cost to themselves. Independent application incurs a cost of £400 or £600.

From 1 February 2018, eligibility for HEA Fellowship was widened to include three groups of HE practitioners that teach and/or support learning on the following types of programmes in the UK:

•       Foundation Year programmes;

•       Pre-sessional English courses for international degree students designed to develop academic skills;

•       Professional CPD programmes that are designed to develop and extend existing graduate/postgraduate level skills, knowledge and understanding, e.g. GP training, etc.

If you and/or others in your team would like to know more on about developing a claim for UKPSF recognition, contact:

Developing your voice workshop: 9 October

The Learning and Teaching Network are running a workshop titled ‘Developing your voice: confidence and projection’ on Wednesday 9 October 2019 in the UELT Seminar Room. Two sessions are available to choose from 11.00-12.30 and 13.30-15.00.

This workshop is led by Matt Hoss, a Kent Stand-up Comedian ((BBC Newcastle Comedy Writer, Co-Host of Miffs Podcast and Eric Barker Award Winner 2015), School of Arts.

The workshop brings the skills of the stage to the workplace.  We aim to allow you to overcome any nervousness of public speaking and become more engaging in the way that you may address a group of people. We will give you the means and confidence to be yourself when in front of any audience.  It will feature warm-ups, games and techniques which you can apply to any situation, including the lecture.

To book a place, please complete the online booking form.

Nominations for National Teaching Fellowship awards

Every UK University can nominate up to three individuals annually for a National Teaching Fellowship award, a process administered by Advance HE.

The aim of National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) awards is to recognise individual excellence in teaching and/or supporting higher education learning.  Additionally, in recognition of the increasing importance of programme teams in teaching and student learning support, Advance-HE created a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). While both NTFS and CATE are very competitive (55 NTF and 6 CATE awards are made nationally), University staff have enjoyed success, most recently in the 2017 and 2018 rounds.

A briefing session will take place on Thursday 24 October 2019 from 13.00-14.00 in the UELT Seminar Room. The session will be presented by Fran Beaton, UELT, Academic Practice Team and is an opportunity to find out about the criteria, the application process, timescale and available support.

Please note that this session is open both to staff who may be considering an application at a later date and staff who plan to apply this year.

Please confirm your attendance at the briefing session by emailing

Register of Interests – 2019/2020

Acting in accordance with the Higher Education Code of Governance and the Office for Students Audit requirements, the University Council has established a Register of Interests for members of Council and for all staff.  It is at the discretion of individual members of staff what, if any, interests they declare.  It should be noted, however, that declaration provides a protection for the University and individuals against any possible allegations of impropriety.

For the purposes of the Register, an interest is defined to be any financial or other personal interest an individual may have in any relationship or proposed relationship between the University and an external body.  This would include consultancy, employment, directorship or other activity within a commercial concern, shareholding or membership of statutory and public authorities.  Other education establishments and companies with which the University has an actual or potential business relationship should be included, as should any interest that a family member might have that could give the appearance of a conflict, even where no actual conflict exists.

All staff are invited to submit new or updated declarations for incorporation in the 2019/2020 Register.  Council Secretariat will be pleased to provide confidential advice to any member of staff on this matter.

Documents, including the Policy and a Declaration Form can be accessed on the Council Secretariat website.

The University’s Policy on Personal Benefit can be found here.