Monthly Archives: March 2020

Nostalgia podcast

Working at home guidance

In line with Government guidelines on Covid-19, we are limiting face-to-face contact and adopting recommended social distancing measures. Unless physical access is absolutely essential, all staff should be working from home. 

Setting up at home 

Our HR and IS teams have put together a handy guide to working at home. This includes useful information on: 

  • Redirecting your office phone  
  • Setting up your work station and Display Screen Equipment 
  • Accessing network files through the VPN (Virtual Private Network) 
  • Storing sensitive data 
  • Using Office 365 
  • Accessing Staff Connect 
  • Staying in touch with your team members (eg through Skype for Business) 
  • Links to key resources 

IS have also published a comprehensive guide to accessing and using our IT services from home or elsewhere off-campus. 

In addition, you can find helpful advice on setting up your home work station in new guidance from our Safety, Health and Environment Unit. 

If you can’t work at home 

If you are unable to work due to caring responsibilities, then you should contact your manager. Our focus is on maintaining core services and it may be (particularly if two parents are working from home) that it is possible to rotate caring responsibilities so that you can undertake at least some of your core tasks. If staff are unable to work, they will be expected to use any accrued TOIL by agreement with their manager but pay will be maintained as normal.  

For timesheet staff who are available for work and have already agreed working hourstheir manager will arrange for these hours to be paid in the usual way. Timesheet staff who have not agreed any working hours will not be paid. 

Hourly-paid lecturers (HPLs) who have moved their teaching online and continue to support their students should continue to submit timesheets to their school for payment as normal. HPLs who are not able to continue with their teaching duties should speak to their school regarding alternative activities.   

How it affects your pay 

Our new University Pay Policy related to COVID-19 sets out temporary changes from standard policies, recognising that staff may find it difficult to work from home or while caring for dependents and that staff are concerned about their pay. 

 

Kent logo

Monday’s VC staff update – 23 March 2020

I’m writing to provide an update of actions and decisions that we are putting in place post the Government announcements this evening at 8.30pm (Monday 23 March 2020) and I apologise for the lateness of the email.

As you are aware, we have been working to ensure we align our activities with government advice. The government has now made it clear that everyone in the UK should stop non-essential contact and stay at home, and comply with social distancing requirements.

As a result, we have accelerated the planned phased closure of buildings on the Canterbury and Medway campuses.

From 5pm on Tuesday 24 March 2020, buildings will be fully closed on the Canterbury and Medway campuses with staff working from home. While the majority of students have returned home and will remain at home until campus returns to normal operations, student residences remain open for those that need to stay with us.

This closure also applies to the Templeman Library building and the Drill Hall Library. However, the comprehensive digital library service will continue to be provided to all staff and students and additional collaboration technology has now been deployed to the whole university to ensure that meetings and student collaboration can continue for the remainder of the academic year. IT and Library support services continue to be available.

Please follow the updated advice and do not come onto campus. We are working with Estates and Commercial services colleagues to also put this action in place and managers in these areas will be in touch as appropriate to advise colleagues on actions they need to take. Estates Heads of Section will contact those essential staff this evening that are required to attend tomorrow.

Please contact your line manager for further information. Further updates will be given tomorrow.

In the meantime my good wishes to you and your families.

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Kent Logo

Monday’s VC student update – 23 March 2020

I hope you had a good weekend, and managed to find some time for rest and peace.

I wanted to confirm that, by now, all taught students will have been emailed with information relating to the Summer Term scheduled timed written exams and to let you know that further information has now been published on the student webpages.

We also have an update for all students in on-campus accommodation. You can find out more here and the Accommodation Office will be following up directly with all those this applies to.

We know this situation continues to be challenging and our promise to you remains that we will ensure you are not academically disadvantaged by the current circumstances. Please continue to engage with your studies and we will continue to keep you updated.

With my very best wishes to you and your families.

Yours sincerely,

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

A Music Hall with empty seating

University of Kent Virtual Music Project

Calling all student, staff and alumni musicians at the University of Kent!

In the current situation, we are all having to find new ways to keep collaborative arts projects, such as rehearsing and performing music, alive – hence the Virtual Music Project!

Our first project is to put together a virtual performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria – and we want YOU to be involved! From wherever you are, we want you to record your instrumental or vocal part and send it, and we will build a virtual recording of everyone taking part.

You can find the choral scores to the piece via this document 

And the instrumental parts – violins, viola, cello, double bass, oboe, trumpet – via this document.

The Deputy Director of (virtual) Music, Dan Harding, will be making a recording of the harpsichord part and sending it out for people to listen to and play or sing along as they make their own audio recording. You will then be asked to upload your recording to a private folder, from which the final version will then be layered together.

So, what are you waiting for ?! Download your part now, start learning and practicing, and when the keyboard recording is available, rehearse with it, make and upload your recording, and we’ll put the finished version together. And if you can send a selfie of your making the recording too, from your living-room, kitchen, student flat, study, garden, wherever you are in the world, even better.

And don’t worry if your instrument isn’t involved in this first project: there’ll be more to come, including jazz and chamber repertoire, to get everyone making music.

Hope you are all looking after yourselves and each other at the moment, and taking the opportunity to keep practicing – the University of Kent Virtual Music Project is an opportunity to keep making music with each other, and will be with you wherever you may be!

How To Self Isolate

Self isolating/social distancing means non-essential contact with other people. To achieve this, you need to study at home, avoid all unnecessary travel and avoid public gatherings.

Self-isolating and social distancing can feel lonely and lead to anxiety, depression and make you feel demotivated. So we have put together some tips for you on how to make the most of the situation.

Write a to-do list

You will find a to-do list keeps you on-track and motivated. Also it’s an amazing feeling when you tick off things on the list. The best thing to do is to write the list the day before or first thing in the morning.

Take regular breaks

Regardless of your workload, please remember to take regular breaks especially to have lunch or dinner. This is vital to keep you refreshed and your energy levels up.

Stay in touch

You might not be able to physically meet people but you can stay in touch thanks to the wonders of technology. Skype, Zoom and Facetime friends and family and chat via Whatsapp with fellow students. Remember that Student Services and your tutors are available for you to contact and Kent Union are very active on Social Media with lots of advice.

Eat healthily

This might be a bit of an ask considering what is going on in the shops but you can still eat healthily by using staple ingredients such a fruit, veg, milk, rice and potatoes. You can look up recipes online.

Exercise

While you are at home it is essential to keep fit and you can do this by following exercises on YouTube or use fitness DVD.

Binge on Netflix and box sets

What better way to end the day than by binging on a box set or watching a TV series or film on Netflix. The platform has launched a new facility called Netflix Party where you can chat with your mates while watching the same film or TV show at the same time. Genius!

Overall, stay safe and make the most of the time. Also remember that you are not alone.

Students sat chatting with laptops

Online Module Registration (OMR) 9-20 March

It’s time to choose your modules for next year.

From 9- 20 March 2020, you must choose the modules you want to study in 2020/21.

You will need to log into your SDS during this time to submit your choices.

Further information and instructions will be sent to you via email – please read this and be prepared!

Guidance on how to complete OMR

OMR is not first come first served, but you must ensure that you have submitted your selections by Friday 20 March in order to give you the best opportunity to register for your preferred choice of module.

Please note if you are going abroad or to a year in industry next year you do not need to select modules.

If you have any questions please contact us:

Canterbury csao@kent.ac.uk
Medway msao@kent.ac.uk
Follow us: @UniKent_CSAO

Colourful domed buldings sat in the heart of Russia

Study a language next year

Did you know that you can study a world language either as part of your degree or as an extra module?

When choosing your modules for next year, have a look at the World Language modules, you can study with the Centre for English and World Languages.

You can choose from Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin or Russian. There are at least two modules at different levels for each language, and all languages offer a complete beginners’ module.

If your degree programme does not allow for wild modules, you can pay the extra fee and take the language as an extra module. You may also choose to do the language as an extra module if you do not want it to count towards credits for your degree.

Contact cewl@kent.ac.uk if you would like to know more.

book launch

Kent Law School to host book launch and reception

Kent Law School is hosting a book launch and reception on Monday 23 March for two books: The Slave Trade, Abolition and the Long History of International Criminal Law and The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion.

The Slave Trade, Abolition and the Long History of International Criminal Law, by Kent international law specialist Dr Emily Haslam offers a close and critical examination of litigation that arose from British efforts to capture slave ships in the nineteenth century. Drawing upon archival-based research, it explores the legal construction of so-called ‘recaptives’ (slaves found on board captured slave ships). The book argues that, notwithstanding its promise of freedom, the law actually constructed recaptives restrictively. Speakers for this book will be: Professor Michael Lobban (LSE) and Dr Christine Schwobel-Patel (University of Warwick).

The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion, by Dr Serena Natile (Brunel University London), examines and critiques the narratives and institutions of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality, arguing for a politics of redistribution to guide future digital financial inclusion projects. Speakers for this book will be: Dr Luis Eslava (Kent Law School) and Professor Kate Maclean (Birkbeck).

The book launch will be held from 4pm – 6.30pm in Eliot Senior Common Room. It is jointly hosted with the Law School by the Centre for Sexuality, Race and Gender Justice (SeRGJ), the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) and the research group Social Critiques of Law (SoCRIL).

Nostalgia podcast

Nostalgia podcast with Heidi Colthup

Heidi Colthup, Deputy Head of English Language and Linguistics in the School of European Culture and Languages, was the first female opinion columnist for ‘Farmers Weekly’ magazine.

In this gripping interview, the latest in the Nostalgia podcast series, Heidi talks to Dr Chris Deacy about working as a freelance journalist; training as a primary school teacher; combining driving tractors with fine art; why through reading one gets to lead a thousand lives; trashy novels and Fifty Shades of Grey; her Scottish ancestry; the time when the only copy of her grandfather’s memoirs were cremated with him; why we write diaries and who we write them for; video games; being a huge Stephen King fan; teaching in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent; aspiring to be Prime Minister; wanting to make a difference; and why Heidi doesn’t believe in either looking back or looking forward.

GOLD Conference

Global Leadership Development

Students participating in the Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme attended their annual conference on Wednesday 4th March. The conference focused on the theme of ‘Leadership in a Global Context’, hosted by Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation and included external speakers, Dr Carl Wright, exploring ‘Why leadership is essential for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs)’ and Yinbo Yu, the former NUS International Students’ Officer, now working at UKCISA, on ‘Leading the student voice in International HE’.

During the day, the students were able to consider the impact of the SDGs on both the local and global scale. They reflected on their own actions and what contributions they could make. One of our Global Officers, Tinu Okotore, who is also a SDG Ambassador for the University of Kent, presented on the work she does in this role and what work we could do at the university level on meeting some of these Goals.

Finally, students were tasked with an exercise of considering what they would do if they were Vice Chancellor for the day on improving the international student experience.

The GOLD programme, launched in 2017, is a co-curricular venture that provides a framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, Global Citizenship and cultural awareness.

From September 2020, students have the opportunity to join the programme either as extra-curricular or as a wild module, GOLD500. Search and sign up via OMR.

For more information about the programme, please visit Kent Global’s website or contact International Partnerships.