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.

This year, Kent Union also has an app you can use to order food for collection or table service in their outlets. Download the app for iPhones now.

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!!

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!

Student recommendation – Three Things To Bring To University

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.

 

Finance

Finance deadlines and support

Being a student can be financially demanding; when you pay your rent, bills, food and factor in having an active social life there probably won’t be much left over. The University has a variety of scholarships and financial support packages that you may be eligible for.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some scholarships are specific to your course, location and fee status (UK, European or overseas). Read the scholarship information carefully so you only apply for scholarships where you meet the eligibility criteria.

How to apply for scholarships

Kent Financial Support Package

The Kent Financial Support Package (KFSP) 2020 is a financial support package of £4,500 for eligible undergraduate students across three stages of full-time study. Eligible students studying a full time four year undergraduate programme with a sandwich year or an integrated Masters year will receive a further cash bursary of £1,500.

All new full-time students will be automatically assessed for the KFSP, however, you may need to make a separate application.  Students who do not receive a letter by mid-November confirming their eligibility for the KFSP should contact the Financial Aid Office.

New part-time students starting in the academic year 2020/21 may be eligible for a pro rata cash bursary in each year of study as part of the KFSP. Part-time students will need to make an application.

Further information on KFSP

Access to Learning Fund

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) provides financial assistance to UK students so they can access and remain in higher education, particularly those students who need financial help to meet extra costs that cannot be met from other sources of support.

The amount will depend on your circumstances and how many applications the fund receives.

Further information on ALF

European Financial Support

The European Financial Support (EFS) fund can provide up to £500 financial support per year to full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘EU’ rate experiencing emergency situations or those experiencing a financial deficit over the academic year. The EFS cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on EFS

International Hardship Fund

The International Hardship Fund (IHF) can provide emergency financial assistance to all full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘overseas’ rate. The IHF cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on IHF

Financial support for care leavers

Students eligible for the Kent Care Leavers Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

Further information on the Care Leavers Pack

Financial support for estranged students

Students eligible for the Kent Estranged Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who are irreconcilably estranged from their parents.

Further information on the Estranged Student Pack

Financial support for student carers

Students eligible for the Young Adult Carer Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

This financial support is for young carers who can provide evidence of caring responsibilities.

Further information on the Young Adult Carer Pack

Financial support for young independent students

Students eligible for the Kent Young Independent Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for young independent students who have been in receipt of income support while in full-time education prior to starting at Kent.

Further information on the Young Independent Student Pack

Financial support for ‘homeless’ students

Students eligible for the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who were living in a Foyer (hostels and other emergency housing options) or were ‘homeless’ before attending the University.

The Kent Foyer Bursary is specifically to help Foyer and ‘homeless’ students to meet their accommodation costs during the long vacation (up to £1,500).

Further information on the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package

Need more help?

For more advice on scholarships, email scholarships@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 768896.

If you need more help on your funding and financial support options, email financialaid@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 823851/824876/823488.

Studying from home

Studying from home can be challenging especially when you try to stay focussed in order to meet your deadlines. We have put together some tips on how to study at home effectively.

Familiarise yourself with Moodle

Moodle is the University’s virtual learning environment, it is where all of the necessary information for each of your modules are.

Check Moodle daily for announcements, updates or changes to the module, and to take part in structured discussions. Look ahead at the structure of each module, take note of all important dates and deadlines and then build them into a study plan.

Have a plan

Use a study planner to organise your study time:

Put module start and end dates, exam dates and assignment hand-in dates into your planner.

Identify how much time you should spend each week on each module in order to meet hand-in dates; divide your time between weeks, days and hours accordingly, add to your planner.

Break your work into small tasks and set yourself short deadlines to complete each task, this minimises the chances of you over-running hand-in dates. Use simple project management techniques such as a Gantt chart to plan the course of your whole degree/apprenticeship programme.

You can find recommended apps and software to help with study planning and time management at www.kent.ac.uk/tools as well as your software needed for study. Download Microsoft Office 365 for free on up to 5 devices when you get your IT Account!

Be organised

Create your own study space – somewhere quiet where you can concentrate on your studies – ideally with a suitable desk and chair, and a place for storing your course material (computer, physical files/folders, books etc). Make sure your personal computer is kept up to date with the latest software updates and security features. Discounted and free study-related software is available for Kent students at along with a range of free productivity tools to help you work more effectively. Leave enough time to ask for help If you get stuck in you studies go back to your course modules, notes and readings, or conduct some research; however, if you are still unable to move forward please contact your tutor, as well as talk things over with fellow students.

Use SLAS

Remember the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) is here to support your academic development. We offer individual appointments to distance learners (by phone or Skype) on all aspects of effective learning and study skills, including maths and stats. For more details go to www.kent.ac.uk/learning

Keep motivated

Remind yourself of your long-term goals, why you embarked on the course – are you wanting to further your career or learn more about the subject? This will maintain your focus even when things are difficult. Work actively to maintain your interest in the subject, the more you regularly engage with your studies the more likely your motivation will be maintained. Any subject can be interesting if you are curious to learn more about it.

Get started

The hardest part can be starting a task, so start with something small or easy; once you’ve got going, you’ll find it easier to keep going. Keep in contact with your course – contact your tutor to get advice or to make sure you’re on the right track. Set up social media forums, groups and networks with students on your course in order to share experiences and swap tips.

Study at the right time

Work out when you’re at your most focussed and alert. Decide whether you are a morning bird or night owl. Study requires a high level of concentration and focus.

Stay organised

Make sure you have all the resources you need to hand, and think carefully about what you want to achieve.

The Templeman Library has thousands of resources including e-books, e-journal articles and access to databases in our Digital Library.

Reward yourself

It is important to give yourself a perk when you have achieved your aims for the day or week.

Get ahead – what you can do before you arrive

Here are some things that you should do before you arrive at Kent.

Arrange your accommodation

At Kent we offer different types of accommodation to suit a variety of needs. These include a mixture of catered and self-catered, sociable and quiet and single and mixed-gender halls.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your preferences, as many halls places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch with your university’s accommodation office to discuss your options.

Sort out your finances

You’ll need to get your finances in order before fresher’s week. This may not seem like the most exciting task when preparing for university, but it’s one of the most important. We have put together a Money Timeline that covers all of this.

Decide what to take

Find out what’s provided at your accommodation to avoid making unnecessary purchases, and check how much storage you’ll have – there’s no point taking things you don’t have the space to keep. We have written a blog post about the items you will need.

Organise a railcard

Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you at least 1/3 on most rail fares. There are a variety of railcards available from the 16-25 Railcard, 26-30 Railcard and the Family railcard. You can find more information about them here.

Get reading

Many schools put their reading lists online weeks before their courses begin, or will send you the details via email. This will give you an idea of what to expect from your workload, and getting a head start on reading will build your confidence for lectures.

You don’t need to own every book on the list – identify the core texts and buy these. Any others you need will be available to borrow from your university library or to buy from former students for a fraction of their original retail price.

Get to know the area

You can read up on your campus town area by heading to Visit Kent, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Canterbury Council. Also try resources such as The Student Room who have threads about various student towns.

Learn to cook

Ask for help with making your favourite meals while you’re still at home – you’ll be glad you did once you’re fending for yourself. Student cookbooks, available in bookshops and online, focus on using simple ingredients and cooking on a budget.

Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – Co-op offers a 10% discount to NUS cardholders, and own-brand food from the supermarket is often of the same quality as the more expensive branded alternatives.