Monthly Archives: July 2020

August resits: Mindfulness workshops, 4 and 11 August

Are you taking August exams? Could you do with reducing your stress levels? Then booking onto an online Mindfulness workshop might be a good idea…

We are pleased to announce two online Mindfulness based stress reduction workshop for students sitting August exams – one on 4 August and one on 11 August, both from 12.00 – 13.00.

Places are limited, so please book your free place online using your Kent student login to access the booking site:

Book for Tuesday 4 August

Book for Tuesday 11 August

What is it?
In this free experiential workshop we aim to introduce you to the basics of mindfulness; a way of focusing on body and breath as an alternative to the usual panicked states we can find ourselves in both when revising, and when sitting an exam. The workshop facilitators, qualified counsellor Patmarie Coleman, and Wellbeing Adviser Richard Stack, will guide you to carry out the exercises individually and opportunities to share experiences with the other participants should you choose.

How do I join in?
The link to the hour-long Zoom meeting will be sent to you on the day of the workshop. You will have the option of using the video and audio functions to connect with the group or turn them off as you wish. You will also be able to rename yourself for the meeting using the Zoom function. The meeting hosts are staff members from Student Support and Wellbeing and will be facilitating the meeting from a private and confidential space.

If you have any queries, please email and we’ll be happy to help.

Laptop, Coffee, Notebook, Pen & Glasses

Care First webinars w/c 27 July

The Covid-19 webinars from Care First continue the week commencing Monday 27 July. Please see below for the schedule and where you need to register.

Monday 27 July 2020 –  ‘The Emotional Impact of feeling hopeless during the COVID-19 pandemic’

Time: 14.00 – 15.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 28 July 2020 – ‘COVID Fatigue’

Time: 12.00 – 12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 29 July 2020 – ‘Financial Wellbeing this Summer’

Time: 12.00 – 12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 30 July 2020 – ‘COVID-19: How the pandemic has changed our relationships’

Time: 14.00 – 14.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 31 July 2020 – ‘Lockdown Belly: how to lose weight and shrink your waistline’

Time: 12.00 – 12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

overhead view of laptop with person typing and plant on desk

Making virtual meetings work for you

Most of us are becoming more familiar with virtual meetings on platforms such as M365 Teams. While it’s great to be able to continue to connect with colleagues in this way, lengthy remote meetings can be intense and some people find them more tiring than in-person discussions.

Our COPE Framework is designed to help you work remotely and includes some useful hints and tips on virtual meetings, including:

  • Apply the same good practices as for face-to-face meetings – eg good agenda management and ensuring everyone can contribute.
  • Try to minimise the number of meetings where participants ‘round the table’ simply report and update on what they’ve done since the group last met.
  • To support staff wellbeing, it is strongly recommended to take a short break in any meeting lasting 60 minutes or more. We also recommend that no virtual meetings take place between 12.30 and 13.30 to ensure we all have time to eat!
  • Agree whether you have cameras on or off as part of the ‘ground rules’ for the meeting. It’s preferable to switch your camera on when you’re speaking or asking a question.
  • Recording a meeting could be helpful for those who could not attend, but only do this with the agreement of all participants.
  • When chairing a remote meeting, allow for longer pauses and silence after asking a question or inviting contributions. This gives people time to think as well as switch their microphone/camera back on.
  • Bear in mind two key principles for all meetings – remote or otherwise: BE RESPECTFUL of others’ time and contribution and BE PRESENT, focusing on the meeting rather than eg checking emails and completing other work.

You can find out more about adapting to our new ways of working in the updated COPE Framework.


Returning to Kent in Autumn 2020

For the attention of all students returning as undergraduates in September 2020.

I hope you are enjoying the summer – even if the summer is not quite what you might have expected – and are getting some well-deserved rest. 

Here at the University, we are working hard to prepare our campuses for your return in September. 

Looking after all members of our community is our top priority so we are putting measures in place to help you stay safe, study and socialise on campus. 

To give you a better idea of what to expect, we have developed a set of FAQs with the students’ unions. Read the FAQs online now. These are being frequently updated in line with Government guidance, so please check the FAQs before you come to campus. 

Please note, Medway campus arrangements are being discussed with our campus partners (Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church) and more information will be available in due course. 

There is an accommodation Webchat on Friday 24 July at 10.00. Laura, from our Accommodation Team, will talk you through everything you need to know about on-campus accommodation. Lesley, from GK Unions, will also be sharing advice for students renting off-campus. Sign-up now. 

I also want to take this opportunity to remind you of the student support on offer over the summer. Our student support teams are on hand to help with any wellbeing, study or finance questions you have as are the Kent Union and GK Unions advice centres.

If you have any questions about returning in September 2020, please email Alternatively, if your enquiry is about this summer’s exams and assessments, please email   

I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in September! 


Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience 

Kent Student Awards logo

Winners of the Kent Student Awards

The University of Kent and Kent Union have announced the winners of the annual Kent Student Awards, via a video live-stream broadcast to all students via the University’s YouTube channel.

The event took place on Monday and the ceremony was hosted by Karen Cox, Vice Chancellor and President of the UniversitySasha Langeveldt, President of Kent Union; and Gavin Esler, Chancellor of the University.

The winners of the Kent Student Awards 2020 were:

Outstanding Contribution to Media and the Arts

Nathan Keates, for running improvisation classes and bringing people of different backgrounds and age groups together in the community. In doing this, he has shown the merit and uniqueness among student projects.

The T24 Drama Society, which had six shows each term in 2019, donating £300 to charities such as East Bridge Hospital in Canterbury and the Roald Dahl foundation, with upcoming donations to Mind and a local LGBTQ+, in addition to providing stage experience to those with none.

Outstanding Contribution to the Community

British Red Cross On Campus: UKC, for developing the welfare hubs project on the Canterbury campus, delivering peer to peer welfare hubs at University events. Since the Summer Ball, the project has trained 30 Kent Safe Mate volunteers in basic physical and mental health First Aid.

Elena Ilia and Libby Kane, for further developing the university-based charity UKC STAR (Student Action for Refugees), whose aim is to help refugees by spreading awareness of the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers, and coordinating volunteers to help on projects.

Outstanding Contribution to Sports Development

Charles Dabbs, for his role as President of the Ice Hockey club this year and contributing to the development of the club and sport in general at Kent. He has helped to reorganise the structure of the Ice Hockey Club, in a way that has provided new opportunities for student athletes.

Molly Walsh, for leading the lifting group Kent Barbell to have Kent’s first ever Olympic Weightlifting team, with Molly herself spending her own time and considerable effort to qualify as a British Weightlifting coach to help the club.

Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability

Yasmin Ali, who has made significant contributions to sustainability action at the University. Yasmin has been committed to leading student engagement on social justice and sustainability issues, spearheading awareness-raising on the links between colonialism and the climate emergency as well as facilitating climate activism through creating “DeCO2”. Yasmin is also a co-founder of the Swish Society, encouraging grassroots action against fast fashion in Canterbury.

Carolyn Postlethwaite, as the first elected Sustainability Network Chair where she has organised events and supported initiatives in sustainability, including; Sustainability Network Nights, a Network coffee morning and a week of events related to climate action. Carolyn’s efforts contributed significantly to Kent’s sustainability, and she is expanding plans to care for Kent’s campus wildlife.

Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

Christine Bishop, as Class and School Rep, has listened to the student voice and liaised with Kent Business School to ensure concerns and ideas are always addressed. She has supported Academic Peer Mentoring for others throughout the University experience and has campaigned for the school to employ a student support officer for BAME students.

Lama Jaghjougha, for recognising the vulnerability of immigrant and refugee women, even more so for those wearing the hijab, leading to her establishing the initiative (RWAN – Raise Women’s Awareness Network); supporting and encouraging immigrant and refugee women in their goals of further study, training and employment.

Outstanding Contribution to Student Voice

Kester Campbell, who has played a huge part in representing the student voice as the Biomedical Student Rep for his 1st and 2nd year and now in his final year is the Biosciences School Rep. His continual commitment in being a liaison with academic staff has helped many students through their academic journey.

Loveness Williams, who has supported fellow students, advocating for their rights and concerns as their Student Rep. Her efforts in supporting one another fostered unity and togetherness amongst the whole group and she has fulfilled her role with a high level of professionalism and dedication, finding a way to encourage everyone.

Young Europeans, which signed up over 500 new members to their mailing list at the 2019/20 academic year, helping to create a community of pro-European students. Most recently the society organised a European solidarity march on 31 January to show the European staff and students at the University of Kent that they are welcome, helping to support those feeling isolated during the Brexit process.

Outstanding Contribution to Fundraising

Kent Islamic Society, which raised £14,524 to fund a variety of different international projects such as cancer treatment and care in Gaza, constructing schools and providing access to education in Niger, Afghanistan and the Middle East and providing emergency aid to Syria, Sudan and Southern Africa. This campaign pushed students out of their comfort zone to learn new skills.

Kent Uni Boob Team, who have put of a range of events stressing the importance of getting to know your body in order to detect early signs of breast cancer in a climate where young people are often ignored and deemed too young to have breast cancer. The team have been a vital part of spreading the message of breast cancer awareness, having collaborated with multiple sports teams and societies to give a fifteen minute talk at the beginning of events. The team has raised over £2000 this year.

Outstanding Contribution to Academic Communities

Economics Society, whose aim this year has been to engage students with economics outside lectures, running weekly meetings on various topics within economics and arranging social events. The society has organised an Economics Summit and a trip to Frankfurt (to visit the European Central Bank as well as the European financial district). The summit has sold nearly 150 tickets, with various economic experts scheduled to speak on some of the biggest issues facing our decade.

Mooting & Mock Trial Clerks, Nicole Bolick and Nathaly Andreou, who have arranged 10 full Crown Court Trials (involving 200 student jurors, professional judges and actor witnesses), external moot competitions as well as the internal mooting programme. They had to arrange and co-ordinate the student judges and mentored the teams, co-ordinating 80 students. These co-curricular activities are vital to the law school’s curriculum and for the experience of students.

The Mike Oliver Award for Improving Accessibility

Paul-Georg Ender, who has helped in preventing the need for retrospective adjustments. This includes both the physical and digital spaces at Kent, such as evaluating tactile bumpers that the library will install on their steps and providing user feedback on Moodle and Blackboard Ally software, which are key to the student experience. Paul has engaged with this so much that he has launched initiatives of his own such as suggesting the creation of a tactile 3D map of the campus. This has now led to the creation of a PhD project in the School of Architecture.

Krysia Waldock, who organised Kent’s first ever Autism Pride event on 1 September. The event raised awareness of autism in general; raising awareness of autism support services provided at the University of Kent; providing a forum for information and discussion for autistic people in the region.

Student of the Year

The University and Kent Union were delighted to announce Paul-Georg Ender as 2020 Student of the Year, for his outstanding efforts in improving accessibility on campus and for Kent digitally.

Group of the Year

For their excellent work in supporting international emergency relief efforts to Syria, Sudan and Southern Africa, the Kent Islamic Society has been announced as 2020 Group of the Year.

Academic Support Services guide has been updated

Student Learning Advisory Service have released the new version of the Academic Support Services guide. It is aimed at new and returning students and focuses on the services Student Learning Advisory Service offer.

In the guide you will find information about 1 to 1 appointments, the Royal Literary Fund Fellows and the various partnerships with schools.

You can download the guide here.


Covid-19 update – 21 July 2020

Planning for our return to working on campus

The Government recently announced changes to its “work at home if you can” guidance with effect from 1 August,  but for the majority of University staff this will mean no immediate change in where you are working.

Our Covid-19 Programme Board, led by Professor Christina Hughes, is continuing its detailed planning for our safe, phased return to campus.

Key principles of these plans are:

  • We will put the safety of our people first
  • We will only proceed once risk assessments have been agreed and necessary changes to workplaces have been made
  • We will be open and inclusive, ensuring everyone is given confidence that they will be returning to a supportive environment

Staff who are eligible to return will contacted directly. You should not return to working from campus until you have been advised to do so by your line manager. Our initial priority will be those who need to undertake critical or essential work and those unable to work at home due to exceptional circumstances.

If you need to access the campus, for example to collect essential equipment, you can find out how to do this on the Estates website.

Working from home

Most staff will continue to work remotely for as long as it is practical, safe and realistic to do so. Our COPE Framework is designed to support you with this, including tips on identifying ways of working remotely that best suit you. You will find the COPE framework, together with guidance on how to set up a work station, help using Kent IT services remotely and support with mental health on our updated Covid-19 staff webpages.

Wherever you are based, the University has committed that no member of staff is subjected to detrimental treatment in relation to their employment as a result of the impact of Covid-19. You can find out more in our Covid policy statement for staff.

Staff webchats

Latest information on the Covid-19 Programme Board’s plans is being shared via a series of staff webchats. Two webchats took place last week – the first on Opening Our Campus outlined the different workstreams to ensure our campuses are safe and ready to welcome back staff and students, while the other on Student Experience gave an overview of plans for student experience this autumn, in line with Covid-19 guidance and regulations.

You can listen to recordings of both webchats here:

A webchat on Student Recruitment and Clearing takes place on Wednesday (22 July) from 10.00-11.30. To sign-up, click on this Microsoft Forms link.

Find out more

Further information on plans for our return to campus, as well as working from home, health and wellbeing, annual leave and pay, is available on our regularly updated Covid-19 staff webpages.

You can also find out latest information for students on our Covid-19 student webpages, which include detailed FAQs.



Athena SWAN Bronze Award

New family friendly policies

Additions to Kent’s ‘family friendly’ policies have been announced by the Athena SWAN team.

The policies, which have been approved by our Executive Group and Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC) now include:

  • additional leave and pay for parents of premature babies
  • special leave for fertility treatment now available from day one of employment
  • colleagues leaving the University within three months of their maternity leave ending will not be asked to pay back any contractual maternity pay.

The new policies are based on ideas and feedback gathered at focus groups, forums and Athena SWAN events. The full ‘wish list’ was quite long so our Athena SWAN team took a pragmatic approach and focused on enhancements that would deliver the most impact for those affected within a manageable cost to the University.

Further details are available in the Family Friendly Policies proposal reviewed by JSNCC. 

About Athena SWAN

The University has joined and is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN charter, which recognises and celebrates good practices in higher education and research institutions towards the advancement of gender equality.

The charter, which was launched in June 2005, was first implemented to advance representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM). The charter was expanded in 2015 to also include arts, humanities, social science, business and law (AHSSBL) disciplines as well as professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.

All our academic schools at Kent have engaged with the Athena SWAN Charter and between them hold nine Athena SWAN Bronze awards and one Silver award. The University also holds a Bronze award at institutional level.

To find out more, see our Athena SWAN webpages.

Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 21 July 2020

This week, schools and departments across the University are hosting a week of virtual celebrations for our graduates.

Our students have shown a tremendous strength and resilience in completing their examinations and studies during such a challenging time. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say we are all incredibly proud of their achievements, especially in these extraordinary circumstances.

I know that for many of you this will be a bitter-sweet moment, and that you will miss taking part in our usual ceremonies and celebrations. Seeing our graduates celebrate with their families and friends is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our University Calendar.

I would encourage you to have a look at some of the events taking place throughout the week. Tomorrow, I will confer our finalists’ degrees in absentia in Eliot College, the University’s founding college and location of the first graduation ceremony. And on Friday at 14.00, there will be a joint virtual ceremony with the University of Greenwich for our Medway School of Pharmacy graduates. Graduating students will be invited to join celebration ceremonies in Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals at a later date as and when we are able and safe to do so.

On Monday, we held the Kent Student Awards and, as always, the entrants were simply awe-inspiring. Congratulations to all of those who were shortlisted and, in particular, to Paul-Georg Ender who won the Student of the Year award, and to Kent Islamic Society, winners of the Group of the Year award.

I also want to thank you, our staff, for all your hard work in supporting our students. Thanks to you they have gone on to complete their studies, despite the challenges they have faced as a result of Covid-19. It is through your efforts that our finalists will graduate with a degree they can be proud of and enter into the next phase of their lives with a great university experience to build on.

With all good wishes,


Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President