Monthly Archives: July 2020

A laptop, with a notebook, glasses and cup of tea.

Care first webinars w/c 3 August 2020

As our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services, including helpline support and face-to-face counselling. During the pandemic, Care first has also provided weekly webinars to offer further support and advice.

Webinars taking place this week (Monday 3 – Friday 7 August) are as follows:

Monday 3 August 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you and an update on our services’
Time: 14.00-15.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 4 August 2020 – ‘Activities you can still do this Summer’
Time: 15.00-15.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 5 August 2020 – ‘A users guide to wearing a face mask’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 6 August 2020 – ‘What are the benefits of Cycling?’
Time: 11.00-11.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 7 August 2020 – ‘Ways gratitude can boost happiness’
Time: 11.00-11.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

7 Frequently Asked Questions about dining on campus

Whether you are moving out of your family home for the first time or are a mature student starting at Kent, our campus at Canterbury has a great range of options to suit your needs. We cover 7 Frequently Asked Questions about dining on campus.

What type of food do you serve on campus?

There are many different catering outlets on campus offering a variety of delicious, high quality food and drink options. Whether you want comfort food, vegetarian dishes, healthy options, or an indulgent treat, you’ll discover something fit for your appetite. You could be eating Korean chicken wings in Dolche Vita one day and sharing a bowl of garlic butter fries in Origins the next. Full menus can be found on the catering webpage.

Do you serve vegan and vegetarian options?

Meat-free living is one of the fastest growing lifestyles in the UK. Self-identified vegans and vegetarians account for approximately 3% of the population, but they are amongst a broader base of people showing an interest in reducing meat and dairy intake. If you’re ever in doubt about a dish, full ingredient listings are available in all outlets, just ask a member of staff for more details. We’d recommend telling the restaurant team when you order that you’re a vegetarian or vegan, just to ensure they’re extra careful.

I have a food allergy; how can I find out which dishes are safe to eat?

At Kent we take allergens extremely seriously and do everything we can to accommodate students who have allergies. In every bar, café and restaurant there is a Food and Menu Specification Folder, which tells you all the ingredients in a specific dish. If you do have an allergy, please let catering staff know when you order so they can make double sure your meal is prepared with the utmost care to minimise cross-contamination.

I don’t have set mealtimes and tend to snack throughout the day. Are there places open to eat during the day and late at night?

Most cafes, bars and restaurants on campus are open throughout the day and into the evening. Both Hut 8 (Turing College) and the Library Café serve food and drink until 22:00, so you can enjoy a fresh slice of pizza or hot drink before heading out or heading home.

Due to the coronavirus, is it safe to dine on campus?

Your safety is top priority. To ensure you don’t have to worry, Kent Hospitality has been working hard to develop new measures in line with government advice so you can safely enjoy food and drink on campus. Cafes, bars, and restaurants will be offering a takeaway service, with some larger outlets offering socially distanced seating areas.

Outlets will have signage and operate on a cashless purchasing system throughout. Kent Hospitality will continue to follow guidelines for the duration of the pandemic and will adapt their policies in line with government recommendations and advice as and when needed, or until such a time that the pandemic is considered low to no risk to customers, staff and suppliers.

I’m not very confident in the kitchen, do you offer a meal plan for students?

For those with little kitchen experience, learning to cook can be both an exciting and daunting experience. To help students with this life transition, and ensure they have access to a variety of healthy and convenient options during this busy time in their lives, Kent offers The Flex Catering Package. The Flex Catering Package is open to all students that live on or off campus. It offers an enormous amount of flexibility as well as a huge discount by paying in advance.

Costing £1100 for the academic year, you will get a food and drink allowance of £10 each day, but you would have only paid £5 a day, meaning you could benefit from savings of 50% on your food bill over the course of the year. The Flex Catering Package allows you to focus on University life and get the best possible degree rather than worrying about shopping or cooking. For more information, please visit The Flex Catering Package webpage.

What’s the KentOne card and how do I use it to buy food?

The KentOne card is your University of Kent student ID card. This multi-functional card enables you to access specific areas of the University, borrow books from Templeman Library, become a member of Kent Sport, and purchase items on campus. The KentOne card is a quick, easy and safe way to buy food and drink on both the Canterbury and Medway campus in a number of catering outlets and shops. Every time you use it, you’ll receive a 10% discount at the till.

The KentOne card works much like a prepaid cash card. You add cash to it and top it up when the funds run out, just like you would with a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. You can only spend what you load onto the KentOne card, so it’s very safe from a budgeting perspective. If you’re prone to overspending, the KentOne card can be a good way to make sure you stay on budget. For more information on where you can use the KentOne card, how to top up your card, and how to benefit from the 10% discount, please visit the KentOne webpage.

Housekeeping-July-2020

Changes to our Canterbury campus cleaning team

Kent Hospitality and Estates Cleaning teams are merging under one management structure within Kent Hospitality from 1 August 2020.

This one larger team will be providing cleaning services across the entirety of the Canterbury campus moving forward.

Gary Sayles, Executive Manager: Housekeeping, Kent Hospitality is pleased to make the announcement, stating: ‘Leveraging Estates Cleaning extensive knowledge and experience with Hospitality’s award-winning Housekeeping team will ensure a consistent delivery of cleaning standards across the Canterbury campus.

‘Having a continuity in frequencies and style of service across all teaching and office spaces will provide a footprint for a consistent customer-centric service. Kent Hospitality’s aim is to provide an exceptional customer service experience to our students, staff and visitors with an underlying philosophy of delivering with Pride, Passion and Professionalism.’

Kevin Stuckey, Director of Commercial Services added: ‘By combining the cleaning resources of the two departments we expect to, over time, achieve economies of scale and flexibilities in staff deployment.’

Any queries or requirements relating to cleaning on the Canterbury campus can be directed to Hospitality Enquiries.

The cleaning arrangements at the Medway campus, which are carried out by an outside contractor, will continue to be managed by Estates.

Project to make historical Peruvian newspapers available online

Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, Professor of Latin American History in the Department of Modern Languages, has recently finished a project with the British Library that has made nearly 180 newspapers available online.

The aim of the project was to protect and archive valuable cultural materials which have important stories to tell about Peru and nearby provinces that would be lost if they not digitised and conserved. Despite the country’s long history of centralism, these newspapers hold the memory of regions outside the largest cities and showcase the thriving intellectual communities they fostered.

Natalia says: “This was a great, but very challenging project. It took an extremely long time to come to fruition and at every turn it seemed like the difficulties were insurmountable. But after much work and determination, we can now see the results online and the response has been overwhelming. To provide an online source at the time of the pandemic has been a compensation for all the delays faced.”

Below is a two page spread about the project that came out in the Peruvian press on Sunday 26 July:

Kent Sport Centre building

Kent Sport is reopening soon

At Kent Sport we are working hard to get the Sports Centre ready for reopening.

From Monday 17 August, the Sports Centre facilities including the gym, fitness classes, sports halls and Physiotherapy Clinic will reopen. While we’re excited to welcome you back, we have put in additional safety measures including pre-booking for all activities. We will be updating our website and social media channels over the next few days with more details on the reopening.

The Sports Centre facilities will reopen on Monday 17 August.

The Pavilion facilities will reopen on Monday 24 August.

For more information on opening hours, rules and FAQs please read the Kent Sport blog.

We’ve missed you and can’t wait to welcome you back!!

Dr Bike Medway

Support at Medway

Support with your studies

Studying for a degree is very different to studying at school. You have a lot more control over your learning and greater independence.

You will also be asked to do things you’ve never had to do before (eg referencing in a certain way, dissertations, vivas…) this is where the Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS for short) steps in.

SLAS can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly. You can learn in your own time using our online guides.

Don’t forget your school is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Have you checked in with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability you should contact Student Support. They can provide not only academic support but can help with applications for funding.

If you’re going through a difficult time or just don’t feel happy – staff in our Wellbeing Team are always available to listen.

Advice Centre

From money worries to getting on with your housemates, GKSU Student Advice Centre are available to help. All advice is free – so make the most of it!

Medical advice

You are advised to register with a practice near to your accommodation. The two closest medical practices to campus and Pier Quays are the Sunlight Surgery and St Mary’s Island Surgery.

College life

When you arrived at Kent you automatically joined a college. Your Head of College is there to give advice and can be used as a first port of call for any questions you may have.

You can also get advice and support from your Student College Community Life Officers and Assistants who work in the colleges and the community. This could include offering assistance if you are concerned about a flatmate, being disturbed by noise or there are problems with untidiness in your shared accommodation.

Chaplaincy

University Chaplains run a wide range of religious and social events (including a very festive carol service in St George’s Centre on campus). They are also a good contact for advice and support.

Support at Canterbury

Support with your studies

Studying for a degree is very different to studying at school. You have a lot more control over your learning and greater independence.

You will also be asked to do things you’ve never had to do before (eg referencing in a certain way, dissertations, vivas…) this is where the Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS for short) steps in.

SLAS can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly. You can also learn in your own time using our online guides.

Don’t forget your school is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Have you checked in with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability you should contact Student Support. They can provide not only academic support but can help with funding applications.

If you’re going through a difficult time or just don’t feel happy – staff in our Wellbeing Team are always available to listen.

Advice Centre

From money worries to getting on with your housemates, Kent Union’s Advice Centre is available to help. All advice is free to Kent students – so make the most of it!

Medical advice

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus. There’s also an independent pharmacy next door, so you don’t have to go far when you’re feeling under the weather.

What to and what not to bring with you

You are starting your first year at University so how do you decide which products to bring or not to bring? We asked our current students for their expertise.

The best place to start is to double check what is included in your room already, depending whether you’re living on the Canterbury or Medway campus.

Once you’ve done that, here’s our list of key things to remember.

1. Electronic essentials
Laptop, phone, tablet…check, don’t forget your chargers and your headphones too. Memory sticks and fans are rated high on most previous student’s lists as well. If you’re coming from overseas buy a high-quality international adapter, these are available to purchase at your college reception if needed.

You will need your own desktop or laptop, which you’ll need to use frequently for your studies: make sure it meets this minimum specification. If you’ll struggle to buy or access the required tech, there may be some support available depending on your circumstances.

Before you start packing, check that your technology will work on campus: if your printer or smart device (TV, speaker, streaming device) relies on Wi-Fi, it won’t work (it needs to have an Ethernet port and wired internet capability, or to connect directly to your computer). Bring a network/Ethernet cable for the wired internet in your bedroom. Wired internet is fast and reliable as there’s no risk of interference.

2. Bedding
Don’t buy new bedding until you have accepted your accommodation offer and you know your exact room number.  Why? We have different size beds in different rooms on the Canterbury campus, so always check your bed size before you buy (Medway Pier Quays accommodation – you have it easier, as all beds are 4 foot).

3. Clothes
Pack for all four season as the weather is unpredictable. To help keep your room clutter free, make sure you pack enough hangers for your wardrobe

4. Cooking utensils
If you live in part-catered accommodation you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided and toasters aren’t allowed. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans to get you started. Holly Donkersloot, Psychology student, says, “bring coloured crockery so you don’t all get confused about whose everything is!”

5. Stationery
The usual suspects from your college pencil case, pins for your noticeboard and white tack for your posters is a good start. Your school should let you know if you need any subject specific items.

6. Decorations
As long as it doesn’t mark the furniture or walls (we suggest command strips) then you are welcome to decorate your room. So print pictures; bring your favourite books; posters; battery-powered fairy lights; pack of cards; and things that make it feel like home. Of course, there are some obvious (and less obvious) restricted items.

Don’t rush to buy

Don’t buy any subject books or resources until you’ve been told to do so by your school or lecturer. If the lecturer thinks you need your own copy of a book, they will tell you. Most other resources you will need should be available through the library. Modules are updated each year and essential texts may change so wait for your 2020-2021 reading list.

You won’t need to buy Microsoft 365 – you get FREE on to up five devices when you get your IT Account!

Restricted items

…on to the serious stuff. There are some items you should not bring to University, including:

  • Anything with a naked flame, such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, lighters, or smoking paraphernalia.
  • Electronics must all be in good, safe working order. However, some items are completely banned, such as heating appliances like heated airers, cooling appliances like mini refrigerators or air conditioning units and multi-way cube adaptors.
  • No pets
  • Finally, we know it sounds pretty obvious, but please do not bring any dangerous items such as flammable liquids, weapons (including replicas) or fireworks.

If you are in doubt about any item please get in touch with the Accommodation Team.

Follow us

Keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for more top tips and useful information before you arrive. We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon!

Kent’s outdoor walks and activities

Being a student cannot be all work and no play, you need to make time for some fun and relaxation. One of the perks of studying at Kent is access to lots of outdoor space; from beaches to scenic parks and historic buildings, Kent has it all.

Canterbury

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50 mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages and hamlets.

Marlowe’s Canterbury Walk

The aim of this walk is for you to explore the life of Christopher Marlowe, who is Britain’s best known playwright. The route takes you on a journey around the heart of Canterbury, visiting places he would have known, and offering an insight into his life.

Kent Food Trails

Kent Food Trails are designed to encourage visitors and locals alike to discover new places and taste new dishes. You will meet fantastic food and drinks producers and farmers from all over Kent.

Via Francigena

If you fancy a real adventure then consider Via Francigena which is an ancient route that starts at Canterbury Cathedral and passes through France, Switzerland, across the Alps and through Italy finally finishing in Rome. You will step into the shoes of Sigeric the Serious, a famous Archbishop of Canterbury, and follow his journey across the Via Francigena to meet Pope John XV in Rome back in 990 AD.

Medway

Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a free-to-visit historical site  with 20 acres of green space all linked to the Great Lines Heritage Park. You will be able to explore tunnels, nature trails, ditches, ammunition magazines, cannons, soldier’s quarters and fortifications.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Picture from Canterbury City Council.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Return to Campus series – Spotlight on Estates

In the second instalment of our ‘Return to Campus’ series, Richard Cottam, Head of Facilities Management tells us about the multitude of services and functions the Facilities Management (FM) team (within Estates) has been covering throughout the lockdown period, both on and off campus.

Richard explains: ‘The majority of FM staff are unable to do their job remotely, so most have been working a reduced number of days each week to a roster. They have been busy supporting essential services and, more recently, preparing the campus for occupancy in September.’

Examples include:

Postal Services – This team has maintained a minimal presence on campus throughout, ensuring all incoming mail is managed and sending out any business essential post. The team has also been supporting colleagues in Recruitment & Marketing with the creation and supply of several student offer packs.

Waste and Cleaning – With a small team initially supporting ongoing essential services such as Security, most cleaning staff are now back at work preparing buildings for re-occupancy and developing an effective Covid-19 cleaning programme.

Stores – A small team of two has been working remotely throughout lockdown and has been incredibly busy sourcing best value supply chains for the multitude of Covid-19 related products, needed to maintain a secure environment. The team has also purchased and is rolling out hand sanitiser dispensers across campus.

Administration – The whole team has been working remotely and has quickly adapted to the new technology supporting meetings using M365 Teams. Some admin staff have also been on campus and helped with the huge task of installing the social isolation and one-way signage across the campus.

Medway FM – The team supporting Medway has also been on campus, in limited numbers, preparing the campus for re-occupancy.

Landscape and Grounds Management – Have you ever not cut your grass for four months? No, we couldn’t wait that long either! So that we don’t return to a partial jungle in September, the team has been working to a roster with half of the workforce on campus, keeping on top of the spring and summer growth.

Find out more about the services the Estates department provide.

In our next Return to Campus feature, we’ll look at the work of the Planning and Space Management team.