Monthly Archives: September 2020

Things to do on and off campus – Week starting 28th September

We have put together a selection of activities that you can get stuck in this week.

On Campus

We have a few in-person activities that you can attend.

Pleasure in Painting Exhibition – Keynes College

By a Kent Alumnus, ‘Pleasure in Painting’, is on display in Keynes College on two levels in the Atrium for the Autumn term.

College Life Photo Competition – Everywhere!

Submit a photo a day for the next 2 weeks themed around your College and University Life! Prizes to be won… did someone say a cash prize!?

Walking College Trail

Explore the campus, discover your college, and get some fresh air on our self-guided tour around the University!

Social RunMonday and Thursday 5 – 6pm

, meet your running partners, and set-off.

Joker: Free Outdoor Screening – Wednesday 8 – 10:30 pm

Another chance to see Joaquin Phoenix’s sensational performance as Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society and his journey that led to the Joker. To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 members of the same household/bubble.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Free Outdoor Screening – Saturday 8 – 10:30 pm

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in this foot-stomping celebration of Queen leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 people from the same household/bubble.

Gulbenkian Cafe

You can also pop into the Gulbenkian Café for lunch, they are open between Monday to Friday from 12:00 to-2.30.

Off Campus

While you have a bit of spare time on your hands why don’t you get to know your student town? Whether you are at Canterbury or Medway, you will find that both towns have a lot to offer.

Student Canterbury Shopping Week

Students – welcome (back) to Canterbury! We are delighted that you will be studying in our beautiful city and look forward to seeing you in Whitefriars soon. Enjoy some exclusive discounts that are available to you over the next two weeks within Whitefriars and the rest of the City!

Canterbury’s Pride – The Story of Pride Canterbury

With Pride Canterbury delayed until 2021, this exhibition allows you to experience a little bit of Canterbury’s Pride, through photography and film, giving you the background to Pride’s origins.

City Feast 2020

A new weekly Street Food Market will take place in central Canterbury on Guildhall street (just off the high street), creating a unique environment and vibe for enjoying some of the best street food Kent has to offer. The Market will run from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

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.

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.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.

The Beaney Collection

The Beaney has completed a ground-breaking 18-month long volunteer project, designed specifically for students affected by anxiety. It was funded by the Museums Association Esmée Fairbairn Collections.

Heritage Walk Treasure Hunt

Take a quirky, self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Canterbury an amazing place to explore! You’ll get detailed directions, a map, clues (with answers in the back!), pictures to march, and some interesting snippets about the history of Canterbury and the people that have shaped it.

At Home

Bond with your housemates by chilling out with a DVD boxset or binge-watching a great TV series or film. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV have some great options.


Kent Sport Centre building

Kent Sport team profile – work during lockdown and returning to campus

As more of us start returning to campus and facilities begin to reopen, Mel Clewlow, Director of Sport describes how Kent Sport team members have risen to the challenge, both during lockdown and preparing for the new academic year.

Work during lockdown

‘During lockdown and throughout the summer, our members have been very much at the forefront of our minds. We set up several initiatives to support fitness, mental health & wellbeing during some challenging times, including  ‘Stay well at home Wednesdays’ led by Oli Prior, Head of Physical Activities, and offering a free trial of Les Mills on demand to our members. We also had staff contribute content such as Jenni Mullane’s dance sessions, Karen Drake’s virtual run, Gavin Connor with disco beats and Laeticia Pelacchi on workout routines.’

Kent Sport was also faced with issuing partial refunds to its members while facilities were closed for the five-month period. Susan Hickmott, Head of Business Development, led work on liaising with the University’s Information Services department to develop an online form for processing the requests, liaising with Payments Office to ensure they had all the information to process them, and working with Kent Union to ensure all students submitted in their applications. On lockdown, the Kent Sport team notified payroll immediately to pause the staff monthly deduction and advised public members of their membership options.

Vicky Annis, Head of Physiotherapy Clinic, provided free initial online physiotherapy consultations, in which over 100 people accessed and many of whom were kind enough to help raise money for NHS charities. These free consultations have now become a new offer and Vicky herself swam the English Channel to raise donations for NHS Charities Together.

Working alongside Occupational Health, Kent Sport’s fitness team also delivered a series of activities designed to “give the brain a break” and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Reopening facilities

Christopher Monteiro-Sharratt, Head of Operations, led his team and worked relentlessly behind the scenes on getting Kent Sport facilities reopened according to Government and University’s guidelines. Liaising with the Safety, Health and Environment Unit and University’s Estates, the Kent Sport duty teams moved the cardio and fitness equipment spaces apart for social distancing, ensured our fresh air units were in great order, worked on a one-way system throughout Kent Sport facilities, and created a schedule to allow the cleaning team to do daily deep cleaning during the day.

The team also reprogrammed sessions to reduce capacities, which turned out to be a very labour-intensive task.

Advance re-introductions were organised for early August to ensure all staff were aware of the new processes and a walkthrough of the new layout of our facilities via the one-way system.

Kent Sport’s reopening also involved its marketing team, led by Susan Hickmott, communicating all the changes to the facilities, videos to showcase reopening policies and social distancing, and liaising with central communications on reopening.

In summary, Mel says: ‘The Kent Sport Team has worked hard on our reopening strategy, ensuring every consideration for a clean and safe operation has been taken into account. We opened our doors in mid-August and have implemented many new policies and procedures including a fully cashless operation and online booking system to manage our reduced capacity and shorter opening hours. Both new and returning members are being asked to visit our website to keep up to date with latest fitness and wellness timetables, our opening hours,  availability and guidelines.

‘It was truly a team effort across the board, and we were delighted to be able to reopen as soon as possible and offer activities to our staff and students within safe measures.’

The Work-Study Scheme have students ready to work for you!

The Work-Study Scheme (run by the Careers & Employability Service) have nearly 2000 keen and enthusiastic students ready to work for you! We can help you recruit to roles such as Social Media Assistant, Web Content Editor, Administrator, Research Assistant or Marketing Assistant, or shorter-term roles such as Welcome Helper or Promotional Assistant. The students appreciate the opportunity to build their employability skills further, and in turn can bring fresh ideas to your team.

We have a bank of job descriptions so if you have an opportunity that could be filled by a student, just let us know, and we can help you draft a role description. We advertise the role, can shortlist and support with interviews as needed, and undertake all employment checks and paperwork, with no cost to you – all whilst providing support to the students along the way, and ensuring they receive developmental feedback and support.

We recently hired 150+ Student Helpers to work at welcome events at Canterbury and Medway. They have been stationed across campus, welcoming new and returning students and their families, answering questions about student life, and ensuring that no one is left lonely on campus by being a friendly presence. They have also assisted with the Office Lockdown Escape Room, bushcraft and life skills activities, and delivering Campus Tours. These students are all ready to work, hold a contract and have undertaken all appropriate checks, had an induction and even  have a Student Helper t-shirt and face shield, so if you need any to support your welcome activities, or longer-term roles, please do let us know!

We have limited funding available, which can be used to match-fund your costs fifty-fifty, where appropriate (students earn £9.40 per hour if they are under 25, £9.99 per hour if over 25, with no cost to you). We undertake all the employment checks, contract paperwork and training – all we need to know is how many you need, where, when, and their duties, and we recharge costs back to you once the work is completed.

Contact Hannah Greer and Jen Davey on for more information, or to hire Student Helpers.

Notepad, mobile phone laptop on a table

Care first webinars w/c 28 September 2020

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 28 September – Friday 2 October) webinars are as follows:

Monday 28 September 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you & an update on our services’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 29 September 2020 – ‘Positive Minds’
Time: 12.30-13.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 30 September 2020 –  ‘Fake News’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday  1 October 2020 – ‘Returning to the Workplace
Time: 12.00-13.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 2 October 2020 – ‘Work Life Balance’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Kent logo

Covid-19 update – 23 September 2020

A thank you from Professor Richard Reece:

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the University, and particularly on behalf of our students, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks and appreciation for all of the work that you have done to ensure that the campus has been so ready to welcome students this week, and begin teaching for the majority of students next week.

We are living through extraordinary times and it is hard to imagine, even just thinking back to January, that the University experience over the course of the 2020/21 academic year could have changed so radically. For many students, the experience of starting (or restarting) their university life is a stressful and disorienting one. I wanted to take this moment, therefore, to thank all of you for your diligence and generosity as we work together to respond as circumstances require. I have been enormously impressed with the dedication, commitment and skill that all of you have brought to ensuring that we are as ready as we can be for the start of the new term.

I literally cannot say ‘thank you’ enough. The changeable times that we have all encountered since lock-down foster tremendous levels of anxiety and bring each and every one of us face-to-face with profound uncertainty, with worry for loved ones, and with dislocation in all aspects of our lives. By continuing to work together, in a collegiate, supportive and kind way, I have no doubt that that we will overcome undoubted obstacles that we will face as the term progresses.

With many best wishes,

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

(Watch Richard Reece’s thank you on this YouTube video)


Free upgraded access to FutureLearn short online courses

With your Kent email address, you can benefit from free upgrades to a wide range of FutureLearn courses.

As a Kent student or staff member, all you need to do is connect your University email address with your FutureLearn account using this FutureLearn Campus link and verify your email address. You don’t need to already have a FutureLearn account.

This is a great resource for staff and students wishing to supplement their studies, professional and personal development too. There are a wide range of courses available under this offer, including courses created by the University of Kent and other institutions. On completion, you will receive a free certificate of achievement and perpetual access.

At present, this offer is available until the end of December 2020.

A stack of newspapers

Find out Why The Media Matters

Do you communicate with the media in your role?

Colleagues who would like to learn about working with the media are invited to enrol on  Why The Media Matters, a series of short films, audio, text and scenarios covering topics from understanding the media landscape to how best to respond to journalist requests.

Produced by Inside Edge, the University’s media training partner, Why The Media Matters is intended to be an introduction to the benefits and importance of media engagement.

The training is available for all staff but recommended for anyone who has to communicate with the media as part of their role and the resources can be found by clicking this Staff Training Moodle link and reviewing the Personal Effectiveness category.

For further information or to discuss any aspect of media training or engagement, please contact Gary Hughes, the University’s Head of Press relations.

Someone eating a burger and chips

Catering outlets reopen on campus

Kent Hospitality have reopened their catering outlets for the 2020/21 academic year.

Bag It, Create (takeaway only), Dolche Vita, Hut 8, K-Bar, Mungo’s, No.1, Origins, Rutherford Dining Hall, Sibson Café (takeaway only), The Galvanising Shop Café and The Street Kitchen are now open. For the most recent opening times for each outlet, please visit the catering website.

As of Monday 21 September the Gulbenkian Café will also be serving hot food to eat in and takeaway.

Please note that The Sports Café in the Sports Centre will be closed until further notice.

Although our outlets are running reduced menus, we are still offering a wide variety of dishes; including the Katsu Chicken from Dolche Vita, street food from The Street Kitchen and classic burgers from Origins.

If you have any questions, please email

Yong Yan, EDA

Professor Yong Yan becomes Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor Yong Yan from the University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts has received the highest accolade in the field of instrumentation and measurement with a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Yong Yan was one of 50 engineers admitted to the Royal Academy of Engineering at its annual meeting on 22 September. He was recognised for his “distinctive contribution to improving combustion efficiency and lowering emissions through innovation in electronic instrumentation and successful development of novel instruments, thereby making an important impact on the power industry nationally and internationally”.

Commenting on the Fellowship, Yong said: ‘I am very honoured and extremely privileged to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, one of the most prestigious engineering institutions in the world.’

He added: ‘The Fellowship is only awarded to an engineer who has made exceptional contributions in any field of engineering. It will enable me to perform at a higher level in my research and teaching with a range of support and services from the Academy. The recognition will also help me promote the importance of measurement science and engineering to the UK and the wider world.’

Yong is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institute of Physics (IOP). He was recently awarded the gold medal as the most published author of all time in the UK from the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, a leading journal in the field of electrical and electronic engineering. He has published more than 470 papers in international journals and conference proceedings.

Early career

Yong studied for BEng and MSc degrees at Tsinghua University, Beijing, before coming to the UK in 1989 to study for a PhD degree at Teesside. He joined the University of Kent in Canterbury in 2004 from the University of Greenwich (Medway Campus).

‘I joined Kent,’ he said, ‘because it has the best research facility and support in my area of research, including a well-equipped instrumentation laboratory and technical support for applied engineering research.’

Role at Kent

As Professor of Electronic Instrumentation in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, Professor Yan contributes to teaching, research and administration. He was the School Director of Research from 2008 to 2018. Since 2018, he has been the School Director of Innovation, playing a leading role in promotion of engineering innovation and collaborations with industry, as well as managing the Year in Industry modules. Professor Yan also heads the Instrumentation and Control Research Group, including coordination of our REF submission in this area.


Afterlives book cover

Abdulrazak Gurnah publishes new novel: ‘Afterlives’

Abdulrazak GurnahSchool of English Emeritus Professor, has just published a new novel, entitled Afterlives (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Afterlives tells the story of three characters whose lives interlink. Restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the Schutzruppe askari, the German colonial troops; after years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away.

Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the army, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. Hamza does not have words for how the war ended for him. Returning to the town of his childhood, all he wants is work, however humble, and security – and the beautiful Afiya.

The century is young. The Germans and the British and the French and the Belgians and whoever else have drawn their maps and signed their treaties and divided up Africa. As they seek complete dominion they are forced to extinguish revolt after revolt by the colonised. The conflict in Europe opens another arena in east Africa where a brutal war devastates the landscape.

As these interlinked friends and survivors come and go, live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away.

Further details about the book can be found on the publisher’s website. 

Abdulrazak Gurnah’s new novel ‘Afterlives’ reviewed in Evening Standard

Abdulrazak GurnahSchool of English Emeritus Professor, has had his new novel Afterlives (Bloomsbury, 2020) reviewed in the Evening Standard.

Afterlives tells the story of three characters: restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by German colonial troops; after years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away. Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the schutztruppe, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. As these interlinked friends and survivors come and go, live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away.

In the Evening Standard review, Jane Shilling writes: ‘in concert halls, museums, public institutions and city streets, a passionate debate is taking place about colonialism and the value of individual lives. It is a question that Abdulrazak Gurnah has repeatedly addressed in his long career as a novelist’.

‘A tender account of the extraordinariness of ordinary lives, Afterlives combines entrancing storytelling with writing whose exquisite emotional precision confirms Gurnah’s place among the outstanding stylists of modern English prose’.

The full review can be read on the Evening Standard’s website. 

And further details about the book can be found on the publisher’s website.