Monthly Archives: November 2019

christmas bauble

Christmas in Colyer-Fergusson – and beyond!

The festive season is nearly at hand, heralding the advent of plenty of music-making with the University Music department.

We usher in the Advent season with a meditative combination of carols and antiphons with the University Cecilian Choir this week, on Friday 29 November. The choir visits St Michael’s and All Angels, near Faversham, for an atmospheric sequence of music and silence by candlelight in a fifteenth-century church as part of the church’s Breathing Space series. Admission is free, and the hour-long event promises to be a wonderfully contemplative way to begin the festive period.

The last of this term’s Lunchtime Concerts welcomes the choristers of Canterbury Cathedral to Colyer-Fergusson Hall, for a wide-ranging concert including seasonal works, on Wednesday 4 December at 1.10pm; admission free, with a suggested donation of £3.

The combined forces of the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra trace the musical legacy of Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms in Passing the Baton on Saturday 7 December, ranging from Haydn’s boisterous Te Deum to Brahms’ profound Song of Destiny.

The season comes to a lively culmination on Wednesday 11 December with two events; the 1940’s dance orchestra, General Harding’s Tomfoolery, takes to the foyer-stage at 1.10pm for a mix of period classics and festive swing with guests vocalists Robbie Frederick and Elle Soo; and then the University Big Band’s annual Christmas Swingalong brings the term to its usual festive conclusion at 5.15pm with some of the cheesiest Christmas classics and star turns, followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

From medieval antiphons to Dean Martin, the Music department is getting ready for a seasonal finale to the term ranging across the centuries; come and join us to celebrate the festive season!

View all these events and more on the Music What’s On webpages.

medical humanities

Art, Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities Conference

Registration is now open for the British Society of Aesthetics Conference: Art, Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities, which will be hosted by the School of Arts at the University of Kent from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 February 2020.

Sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics and hosted by the Aesthetics Research Centre, the conference will bring together Analytic Aesthetics and the Medical and Health Humanities. The conference aims to stimulate conversations about the connections art and aesthetics have with medicine, medical education, healthcare and the advancement of health and wellbeing. The conference has been organised by Dr Dieter Declercq, Lecturer in Film and MediaDr Michael Newall, Senior Lecturer in History of Art, and Professor Nicola Shaughnessy, Professor of Performance in the Department of Drama and Theatre.

Keynote talks will be delivered by Professor Rita Charon (Columbia University), Professor Paul Crawford (University of Nottingham), Professor Sheila Lintott (Bucknell University), and Professor Jenefer Robinson (University of Cincinnati), alongside confirmed responses from Dr Julie Anderson (University of Kent), Dr Stella Bolaki (University of Kent), Dr Eileen John (University of Warwick) and Professor Matthew Kieran (University of Leeds).

Panel sessions will feature presentations by more than 50 scholars, artists and health professionals from across the world.

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Think before you accept a conference invitation

A number of staff across the University have been approached to attend – at seemingly small or no cost – various conferences and events. Sometimes these look too good to be true – and they frequently are.

Please check and be absolutely certain before you commit to attending anything that may seem suspicious to you. It’s a profitable, ruthless and large industry that’s exploiting our sector and there are now more for-profit providers than scholarly organisations offering these events.

The University has recently reported one particular supplier of these events to the Information Commissioners Office for breaching the legislation and our express instructions around how to handle our data, and we will continue to take an assertive approach to reducing our exposure to these events.

There are a number of characteristics to look out for, including:

  • Confusing or similarly named events for well-known industry leaders
  • Free or low cost attendance which you might expect to come at a cost if legitimate
  • Unusual attendee lists, a lack of familiar or expected speakers, or use of names and images stating attendance of people when this may not happen or seems very unlikely. You may even find your own name there!
  • Confusing small print which is difficult to find or non-existent
  • Pressurised sales techniques such as frequent calls or emails
  • Offers to register you on your behalf
  • Lack of appropriate peer review for papers you may submit (ie fast tracked review)
  • Invitations that appear to have no relevance to your specialism and expertise or mass, multidisciplinary unfocused agendas.

You can easily block the providers in Outlook using the ‘Junk’ option in any email you may be sent which can block the sender.

Beware also of instances where you may be unwittingly agreeing to a number of ‘client meetings’. Your presence is effectively bait being sold as sales opportunities to companies. If you sign up for one of these, the companies may seek to charge us enormous cancellation fees of up to several thousand pounds.

Kent’s Procurement Team maintains a list of suppliers who we should be wary of using. If you are invited to attend any event that you think may seem suspicious or otherwise not quite legitimate, please do not make any commitments and contact if you require any guidance.


Trash Art Productions logo

James Newton interviews filmmakers Sam Mason Bell and Jackson Batchelor

Dr James Newton, Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies, has just released a new entry in his podcast series, Newton Talks.

In the series, James discusses topics (mostly) related to cinema, television, and culture. His guests will be from the world of academia, as well as filmmakers and other artists, and each podcast will take the form of an unscripted discussion.

In this episode James talk to filmmakers Sam Mason Bell and Jackson Batchelor, the creative directors of Trash Arts in Portsmouth. Trash Arts have collectively produced numerous features, shorts, and web series, including Lonely Hearts (2018), Conspiracy X (2018), Trash Arts Killers Vol. 1 (2018) and Vol. (2019), and the forthcoming Millennial Killer, along with many others. James and his guests discuss their filmmaking ethos, how to make feature films with no budget, and how to promote and distribute your movie in the marketplace.

To listen to this instalment, please see the page here.

Have you registered to vote yet? A general election is coming! Don’t miss the chance to register and have your say in the future of our country.

For Canterbury students, Canterbury city council have provided a letter to students about registering to vote, but no matter what campus you are on, the instructions below will provide some information about your opportunity to register to vote.

When do I need to register by?

Midnight Tuesday 26 November.

Am I eligible to vote?

You can register to vote in the General Election if you will be aged 18 or over on the day of the election, and you are a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.

How do I register to vote?

You can register online to vote. It only takes a few minutes.

As part of the registration process, you will be asked to provide your National Insurance number. If you do not have one, you can select ‘I can’t provide a National Insurance number’ and enter ‘student’ for the reason.

Can I register to vote at my term-time and home address?

You may be able to register to vote at both your term-time and home address, however you can only vote once. It is illegal to vote more than once in a general election.

When is the General Election?

Thursday 12 December 2019. Term ends the following day, Friday 13 December 2019.

What should I do if I will not be around on the day of the General Election?

If you will not be around to vote on Thursday 12 December, you can apply for a postal vote.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact your local Electoral Registration Office to find out if you’re already registered to vote, or for more information.

SafeZone app being made available on desktop PCs

The safety app that already offers many colleagues round-the-clock reassurance via their mobile phones is being installed on staff desktops too.

SafeZone is a simple-to-use app that’s free to download. It’s designed to help staff and students summon security or safety assistance via either their PC or mobile phone.

From 13 November, Information Services has been installing the SafeZone app software onto staff managed desktops across our campuses. Once installed, it will appear as a desktop icon and advice on using it will be available on our SafeZone webpages.

The app will be available via mobile phones and staff managed PCs only at this stage – if you have an unmanaged PC, you should refer to the SafeZone webpages for advice on how to install it.

The SafeZone app was first made available to Kent staff and students via their mobile phones two years ago and a significant number of staff and current students have already downloaded it.

The University’s Chief Operating Officer Denise Everitt said: ‘We strongly support this extension of the SafeZone app as it will enhance the safety and security of our staff.’

Head of Security Mark Arnold added: ‘We’re hoping that by making the app available on desktop computers as well as mobile phones will encourage many others to sign-up. It’s a quick and easy way of ensuring that whatever time you’re working in any University building, you can get help if you need it.’

The app works within designated zones covering the Canterbury and Medway campuses (including Historic Dockyard, Chatham and Liberty Quays student accommodation), as well as our centres in Tonbridge, Brussels and Paris.

If you are lone working or working late at night at any of these places, you can sign-in and contact the Campus Security team in the event of any safety concerns.

To find out more or sign-up for the mobile app, see our SafeZone webpages.

Employability Points in exchange for research participation

Are you an international student looking to top up your Employability Points and receive free academic language and writing support?

You are warmly invited to take part in my research study which will explore student reactions to written academic assignment feedback in credit-bearing modules. My study aims to explore what students think about written assignment feedback from tutors and what you think about the quality of the marking.

Your participation in the study will involve you looking at and reading feedback for a written assignment and then answering a series of short questions via Survey Monkey (open, closed and multiple choice questions) about the tutor feedback you have read. Completing the tasks in the study will take you 45 minutes to an hour and you may be contacted after the study to discuss the tutor feedback in a little more detail (up to 30 minutes). Any of your data in the study will, of course, be anonymised. If you are interested in taking part, further details about participation will be sent to you before you commit.

If you would like to take part in the study, you will receive 5 Employability Points and if you would like academic writing support and some help with your coming written assignments, you are more than welcome to book in for a free 30 minute Individual Writing Tutorial at a convenient time with me after completing the study to talk one-to-one about your writing.

Please email Sophia Vänttinen-Newton if you would like to take part in the study and I will send you the short tasks or if you have any questions.

Thank you!

International Men's Day 2019

Men have their say on International Men’s Day

On Tuesday 19 November, the Athena SWAN team ran an event to mark International Men’s Day 2019. The event, open to all staff, comprised an informal networking reception with refreshments, followed by a discussion panel made up of four male University staff members:

-George Baker (Department Administration Supervisor, Estates Department)
-Jake Bicknell (Lecturer in Conservation Biology, School of Anthropology and Conservation)
-James Kloda (Technical Support Officer, School of Anthropology and Conservation)
-Martin Michaelis (Professor of Molecular Medicine, School of Biosciences)

The panel was chaired by Farzin Deravi, Head of the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, who led an insightful and thought-provoking discussion on three key themes arising from the results of the male staff survey hosted by the Athena SWAN team to mark International Men’s Day 2018:

-Does it feel that gender equality initiatives are targeted only at women?
-Is there a macho culture that prevents an inclusive one?
-What is it like being a Dad at the University?

Event attendees also contributed to the discussion and shared their personal experiences, highlighting challenges commonly faced by male staff at Kent and identifying opportunities for developing a more inclusive working environment.

Thank you to our panel members and chair, and to everyone who attended the event. Watch this space for how we plan to follow up on some of the ideas generated during the discussion.

innovation weekender picture

Student Innovation Events

The Hub for Innovation and Enterprise are offering two exciting events in second term, 2020. Both will enable students to gain vital innovation and creativity skills, as well as real world business experience and solutions. You will be working with successful businesses to solve real world problems.

i-Teams is an event run weekly for six weeks starting the 29th of January, at the University of Kent. Your bright minds and the university’s ground-breaking research will be combined to develop commercially viable strategies and build university-industry links. Teams, who are selected from across all academic disciplines, work with the support of their team mentor, the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce receiving mentorship and training.  Teams then present their final conclusions to their business sponsor, along with an audience of business and academic experts. Supported by EIRA.

If you’d rather take a weekend off from everything and take part in exciting problem solving activities and outdoor adventures then sign up to the innovation weekender. Combining innovation and an adventurous weekend away, the innovation weekender challenges you to think innovatively in teams to work towards the challenges faced by industry right now. The Hub is offering accommodation and transport to and from Bowles Rocks, and food from the 6th until the 8th March; three days of teamwork, creative thinking and innovation, working on business challenges set by our industry partners. This event is free to attend, but a £15 deposit is required which will be refunded at the event. Supported by EIRA and in collaboration with UEA, Essex, Suffolk, NUA, Writtle College and Harlow College.

If you’d like more information please contact:


T: 01227827376

CSHE Seminar 1710.19

Do you work with students from different cultural/linguistic backgrounds?

The Learning and Teaching Network are running a workshop on ‘Working with International Students’ on Thursday 5 December, 14.15-15.30 in the UELT Seminar Room.

Presented by Charlene Earl, International Pathways Manager, CEWL and Barbara Sheehy, Student Learning Adviser, SLAS

This interactive workshop is for academic and professional staff who would like to explore ways in which to further enhance their intercultural competence and communication skills. A key element that will be introduced will be the considerations applied when making cultural assumptions.

To confirm your attendance please complete the online booking form.