Monthly Archives: October 2019

student networks images of each network chair

Kent Union student Networks- what are they?

Have you heard about Kent Union’s new Networks yet? Networks are spaces where students who share an interest or identity can discuss issues relating to their group and collectively work on events/campaigns.

There are 12 Networks in total, and each Network has an elected chair. The Network chairs have three key aims for the year, and will be leading and coordinating the activities and work of their Network. You can find out more about the Networks, the chairs, and their aims on the Networks portal.

Over the next couple of weeks the networks will be hosting Network Nights, which are a great opportunity to get involved and meet new people!

Visit the Kent Union Facebook events for more information:

Organising for Success: Update on Director of Division recruitment

Organising for Success brings together various strands of work to help ensure we are equipped to deliver our Kent 2025 strategy. We aim to be a community that empowers students from a wide range of backgrounds to find and shape their place in the world, and where academics are free to explore and deepen our understanding of it. We want staff to enhance each other’s work and feel part of a common identity.

To  support this, we are working towards creating seven new academic divisions. These will help us to deliver a first-class student experience and empower staff, while in turn helping us free up staff time to focus on work that will enable us to make a step change in our teaching and research performance. The project is now in its implementation phase, with five core strands of activity required to deliver it.

Update on Directors of Division recruitment
We are currently in the process of recruiting the seven new Directors of Division who will lead our new academic divisions. These are key appointments for the University, with the successful candidates joining our Executive Group and helping to shape our future – we therefore need make sure we do all we can to recruit the right candidates for the role.

For a number of reasons, we have not been able to secure applicants to interview for all of the divisions and will therefore be re-advertising for three of them. This will again be open to internal candidates only, so that we can make sure we have fully explored the potential for internal staff to take on the positions before we potentially widen our search externally.

The divisions we are re-advertising are:

-Computing, EDA and SMSAS

-Anthropology and Conservation, Politics & International Relations, Economics and Pyschology

-Kent Law School, SSPSSR and Journalism

The job adverts for these are now live, with a closing date of  23.59 on Sunday 10 November. Find out more on how to apply via the HR website.

Project Governance
Organising for Success is governed by an Oversight Group, supported by a Project Operational Group and subsequent strand project teams. We have recently published a full project governance document with full details on structure and membership, along with Terms of Reference for the Oversight Group and Project Operational Group

Find out more on the Governance section of the Organising for Success website.

Photo of Prof Lydia Hayes

Kent research supports All-Party Inquiry into care sector workforce

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care has acknowledged “a great debt of gratitude” to a team led by Kent Law School Professor Lydia Hayes for providing “expansive, thorough and vigorous” research in support of their All-Party Inquiry into the care sector workforce.

Professor Hayes explained: ‘We investigated how care workers could be better supported to develop as career professionals and why this was necessary. We analysed care standards regulation in each of the UK’s four nations and identified the complex skills that care workers need.’

With financial support from the GMB Union, Professor Hayes collaborated with Dr Eleanor Johnson and Alison Tarrant to produce the report ‘Professionalisation At Work in Adult Social Care’.  It provides a picture of professionalisation in adult social care across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is cited frequently in the APPG Inquiry Report entitled ‘Elevation, Registration & Standardisation: The Professionalisation of Social Care Workers’.  To support the Inquiry, the research team considered policy initiatives, current skill and knowledge requirements, workforce registration, induction, training and the legal regulation of workforce standards.

In an introduction to the Inquiry Report, Louise Haigh MP and Gillian Keegan MP said: ‘We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Hayes, Dr Johnson and Alison Tarrant for their expansive, thorough and vigorous report to us, which has proved to be a great help in increasing our understanding of how this sector presently functions, and the challenges that it faces.’

As a result of their research, Professor Hayes’s team found that training issues, workers’ occupational registration, regulatory concern for service-user safety, terms and conditions of work, and sector funding are intricately connected.

Professor Hayes is Principal Investigator for a Wellcome Trust project on The Legal and Social Life of Care Standards Regulation in England, Scotland and Wales.

People in a seminar room in discussion

Seminar on researching White students’ racial ignorance

Colleagues are invited to attend the CSHE Seminar on Thursday 17 October,16.00-17.00, in Kennedy Seminar Room 10. The seminar titled ‘Why and how we need to research White students’ racial ignorance’ will be presented virtually by Dr Nolan Cabrera, Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.

In this presentation, Dr Cabrera will outline his concept of White immunity, link it to structured White ignorance, and then explore what this means in terms of the educational experiences of Students of Colour.

To register to attend please complete the online booking form.


New website explains USS pensions changes

A new website for staff provides information about current negotiations over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The USS dispute is a national one with a large number of organisations involved. Earlier this year, the University and College Union (UCU) took the most recent employer proposals to a ballot of its members, calling for industrial action.

The University of Kent’s Executive Group (EG) has expressed regret over the current situation, but has been working at both national and local level to try and help reach a national agreement and assist employees who have to pay increased contributions.

EG has also been lobbying hard for Universities UK (UUK) to enter into direct dialogue with the UK Pensions Regulator and to involve the UCU in this process.

As well as outlining the University’s position and what EG is doing to help, the new website includes a summary of the current situation and background to the USS pensions negotiations.

Find out more on the USS Pension Changes website.

Black History Month 2019

October 2019 sees an exciting array of events and activities taking place at the University of Kent, celebrating Black History Month under the theme of Black Excellence

Key events to look out for include the Black Excellence Exhibition, the launch of the BAME Staff Network, talks and workshops by Dr Onyeka Nubia, the Black Excellence Fashion Show, various events by the Platforma Festival, film screenings, an evening with Elijah Lawal, author of The Clapback and Lemn Sissey’s life story, as narrated by him in his new book My Name Is Why.

With the majority of events free of charge and open to staff and students, there is sure to be something for everyone.  Please note some events have a limited number of tickets available, so please be sure to book in advance.

See the full programme.

Film alumnus Marcus Brooker on BBC1’s Inside Out

Alumnus Marcus Brooker, who completed his BA (Hons) in Film this summer, has contributed to a news item about his father’s cancer diagnosis for the BBC programme Inside Out, broadcast on BBC1 last night, Monday 7 October 2019.

The item uses footage from a documentary that Marcus is currently producing. Marcus conceived of making the documentary while at university, when he spoke to his father about his cancer diagnosis. After the story was featured in a local paper, the BBC contacted Marcus to ask him to make a segment for Inside Out. Marcus has also received interest from Channel 4 regarding a new programme about terminal illness.

Marcus says: ‘I understand that having cancer is a tough time, and my dad has suffered with cancer since I was around 11/12 so I am aware of what it is like to live with someone who has cancer. The documentary I have set out to make focuses on my father as his terminal diagnosis gets worse, up to the point of his death. I wanted to show people how an ordinary person like my dad can live with cancer and still have a life. I told my brother about the documentary and we are now both making the documentary. Although the overall story of the documentary will follow my father, we both want to bring other people in to tell their stories and how they live with cancer, be that of a terminal diagnosis or people who have battled cancer and won. My father has had cancer three times and has some really interesting stories to tell’.

Although the segment on Inside Out will focus on Marcus’ father and his story, Marcus aims to feature other people and their stories in his full-length documentary. Marcus says: ‘We are looking for ordinary people with unique stories to tell, and the long term plan is to help people who may be scared or unsure about how to live with a terminal diagnosis, and overall just relate to my father’s story’.

If you are interested in getting involved with the project, please get in touch with Marcus here:

The segment on Inside Out can be found on BBC iPlayer, available at 10 minutes and 25 seconds here.

Latest issue of Debates in Aesthetics published

The latest issue of the journal Debates in Aesthetics, Volume 14, Issue 1, has just been published.

Debates in Aesthetics is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for articles, interviews and book reviews. Published by the British Society of Aesthetics, the journal’s principal aim is to provide the philosophical community with a dedicated venue for debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The issue is co-edited by Dr Shelby Moser, who completed a PhD in History and Philosophy of Art with the School of Arts at Kent.

The issue focuses on the work of Professor Jenefer Robinson, in particular her views on the paradox of fiction, pictorial expression, the nature of the emotions, and the centrality of the emotions for understanding certain works of art.

It also features a short article by Dr Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer in Art History, entitled ‘”Are You Talking to Me?” Conversations on Art and Aesthetics’, which explores the aims of his recent book on conversations with prominent philosophers of art.

The issue also features an interview with Professor Murray Smith, Professor in Film, by Dr Angelo Cioffi, entitled ‘Aesthetics Naturalised’. Angelo also completed his PhD in History and Philosophy of Art programme at Kent.

The issue is open-access and available for free here:

Kent Hospitality increases vegan options on menus

Kent Hospitality has released new menus across their Canterbury and Medway outlets, increasing their vegan options available. Their efforts have been recognised by PETA, who have included the University of Kent on their list of 20 Most Vegan-Friendly Universities.

Origins Bar & Grill in Darwin College (Canterbury) now serve eight vegan main meals, including meat-free ‘beef’ burgers, bean chilli and meat-free ‘chicken’ nachos.

The Street Kitchen on Jarman Plaza continues to serve a vegan option on its weekly menu, with dishes ranging from pakora burgers to Malaysian curries.

The Galvanising Shop Café and No1 (Medway) have plenty of vegan options for breakfast and lunch, including vegan sausage and cheese paninis, dairy-free breakfast pots and toasties packed with marinated vegetables.

PETA Director Elisa Allen: ‘Students in the UK are going vegan in huge numbers, and it’s great to see universities joining the revolution. PETA commends the University of Kent for offering “healthy and delicious vegan food options that everyone can enjoy.’

A list of all vegan options available at Kent Hospitality outlets is available on the UniKentFood blog.

Follow UniKentFood on Instagram to find out more about catering at Kent.