Monthly Archives: January 2021

Three students in University accommodation

Medway returning students – Pier Quays applications open

Not only are returning student Pier Quays accommodation applications now open, but we can also announce Pier Quay’s new competitive rate for 2021/22!

We’ve been working hard to be able to offer you an accommodation rate that is competitive in the Medway area, and we are pleased to announce that for the next academic year a 39-week contract for a classic en-suite room has been reduced from 2020/21’s rate to just £130 a week for 2021/22. This means you can enjoy all the same great facilities for less as a returning student next year!

So, take advantage and return to enjoy our modern en-suite rooms with fully-fitted kitchens and apply directly through the University of Kent.

Need more reasons to return to Pier Quays than our new competitive rate?

  • You can apply to live with friends (see our FAQs for more info).
  • All en-suite rooms with returning students first allocated to phase 2 rooms (subject to availability)
  • All utilities included (gas, water, electricity, heating and Wi-Fi)
  • A Premier Sports membership for Medway Park (only included when applying though the MyAccommodation portal)
  • Contract lengths that match your academic terms beginning for the start of term in September, meaning you won’t have to pay extra rent over the summer months. A Classic en-suite rooms available for just £5,070 on a 39-week contract

If you want to find out more about Pier Quays and returning student accommodation please visit the Accommodation website

So, remove the worry of finding a new place to live, take advantage of our new competitive rate and apply online now and relax knowing you can live with friends and have the great facilities to return to next year.

Many thanks,

The Kent Hospitality team

How We Work: Process Improvement

With our new Divisions and team structures now largely in place, our ongoing focus in the months ahead will be on how we work together across the University so that each team has the tools they need to thrive. 

Alongside major projects like KentVision and the continued rollout of Microsoft 365 online collaboration tools, we want to hear from you on what we could be doing differently to simplify and improve the way we work. With help from staff across the University, the Project Management Office is working to map our processes and see if there are new or simpler ways we could be doing things so we all have more time to focus on the best of what we do. 

Everybody at Kent can have a part to play in this work, and we want to gather your thoughts, big or small, on what changes we need to make our day-to-day jobs more straightforward. If you’ve got an idea, let us know via the form on the How We Work staff webpages. 

The Project Management Office will collate these suggestions before updating on what we will prioritise in the weeks and months ahead. We will shortly also be launching an online tool which will highlight all of the suggestions that have come in from staff, along with what is being done about them – whether it is a quick fix, part of a longer-term project or something we can tackle another way. 

We will also provide regular updates over the coming months and hold ongoing engagement events so that all teams across Kent have the chance to feed in their thoughts. 

Ray Short, Head of the Project Management Office, said: “Nobody knows better than all of you what the little headaches are that stop us all working as well as we can. With our new structures in place this is the perfect time to focus on what we could be doing better – whether they are improvements, changes, or even whole new processes that could benefit you, your colleagues, your students or the wider University as a whole. Let us know your thoughts and we look forward to working with you on the things we need to fix!’. 

Submit your suggestion for how we could do things differently 

Find out more about our focus on How We Work 

Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 29 January 2021

As you know, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the earliest date for the return of schools and universities in England is Monday 8 March, depending on public health advice. For us, any return to face-to-face teaching is likely to be staggered, with the prioritisation of groups such as finalists or those who need specialist facilities. However, this very much depends on the outcome of the Government’s review of the current restrictions, which is currently scheduled for the week of the 22 February 2021.

To ensure that we are best placed to respond to a possible return to campus from 8 March, if we are allowed to and it is safe to do so, Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience), working through Silver Command, is setting up a task and finish group, comprised of Division Directors of Education and Student Engagement and Experience leads.

This group will build on our previous work and set out plans to enable a safe return.  Part of this work will be engaging with staff to allow them to plan out their teaching and examining activities for the rest of the academic session. We will continue to keep staff and students informed of our progress in this area.

I appreciate that, while this latest news provides us with a direction of travel, it does not give us the certainty we would like to have at this time. There is no doubt that such ongoing uncertainty is affecting both staff and students, and we are committed to ensuring our plans are centered on the need to protect the health and wellbeing of our entire community.

The pandemic has affected all our mental health in one way or another, and I wanted to draw your attention to Time to Talk day which takes place next week. A national initiative, its aim is to show how small conversations about mental health can make a considerable difference and there are several ways you can get involved here at Kent.

A project team including staff from across the University is also putting in place the recommendations from the Stevenson / Farmer Thriving at Work review, which focuses on mental health in the workplace standards. Over the coming months, the team will be raising awareness of resources already in place to support staff, along with establishing networks, training and support. This measure will add to our already considerable range of resources and support for staff that can be found our staff webpages.

I thank you all for your hard work and dedication at this difficult time,

My best wishes go to you and your families,

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Coronavirus

Covid-19 update – 29 January 2021

Academic mitigation

A new Academic Mitigation Group has been established to plan for and coordinate issues relating to students’ academic performance and progression during this academic year. Led by Professor Richard Reece (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience), the group brings together divisional and professional service staff with working groups currently focussing on four areas:

The first outcome of the group was to confirm details of the current coursework extension available for students which is outlined in the Student Coronavirus webpages. Outcomes from the Group will continue to be shared with staff before being communicated to students and we hope to have the first overview of our no-detriment plans and processes early next week.

Regular Covid-19 testing

Taking part in regular testing is an essential part of the Government’s strategy to combat the spread of Coronavirus. According to Government guidance, any staff working on campus should be tested twice a week. You can book to have your tests at our Canterbury Asymptomatic Testing Site or at the facility at the Deep End at Medway. Testing facilities are also available in the community and relevant sites are listed on the Kent County Council and Medway Council websites.

Further information about asymptomatic testing is available on our Staff Coronavirus webpages.

Laptop, Coffee, Notebook, Pen & Glasses

Care first webinars w/c 1 February 2021

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 1 February – Friday 5 February webinars are as follows:

Monday 1 February 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 2 February 2021 – ‘Resilience during the Pandemic‘
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 3 February 2021 – ‘Children’s Mental Health Awareness’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 4 February 2021 – ‘The Benefits of Counselling’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 5 February 2021 – ‘Living with someone with COVID-19: Tips for the Home’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Celebrity CVs

Creating a great CV for placements and internships

If you are applying for summer internships or placements, one of the first things you need to do is update your CV! Creating a stand-out CV is crucial when getting through the initial stage of the recruitment process. You want to make sure your CV is concise, accurate and targeted. Look at a few of our key points below, to guide you when updating your CV.

  • Accuracy. Ensure your CV is accurate and consistent, in content, grammar and spelling. If your CV is littered with errors, it could cost you an interview!
  • Concise. A UK CV should be no more than two A4 pages in length.
  • Tailored. Make sure you target your CV to the specific job you are applying to. Review the job specification and take note of any key skills or values they are looking for, evidencing these, where possible. Directly align specific achievements on your CV with the specific challenges of the role, to make it easy to see why you would be a good candidate.
  • Include your degree. Your degree should be at the top of your Education section, even if this has not been completed yet. If your degree is related to the role, you could detail relevant modules, key projects and practical skills gained. Remember to include your grades too!
  • Highlight any relevant experience. In your work experience section include your most relevant experience first. You could use an impact heading to distinguish relevant and non-relevant experience e.g., Finance Experience.
  • Include non-relevant work too! Employers want to know about your range of work experiences, and how you have developed your soft skills. Transferable skills such as teamwork and communication can be easily demonstrated through bar or retail work. However, if you have lots of experience, don’t feel you have to include everything, just the most recent.
  • Professional development section. If you have attended any insight days, completed additional courses, a virtual internship or took part in industry competitions, which are relevant to the role, you could highlight these here.
  • Positions of responsibility section. If you have held a key role outside of your studies, such as involvement within a society (e.g., President or Events Officer) or a volunteering role – include these! They are great examples of extra-curricular activities, which can show some valuable skills including, leadership and collaborative working.
  • Use positive language and action verbs. Try using words like organised, delivered, implemented, and exceeded to start your sentences, rather than pro-nouns.
  • Quantify your statements. Use facts, figures, and percentages, to give impact and build credibility to your statements. For example, ‘Reviewed 30 – 40 articles, per month’.

If you would like your CV reviewed, the Careers and Employability Service offer daily Quick Advice appointments, which are bookable online. Additionally, attend one of our ‘Creating a great CV’ workshops for more advice or visit our CV webpage for templates and further information.

CV graphic

Creating a great CV

If you are looking to gain some work experience this term (including virtually), the first thing you need to do is create your CV! Creating a stand-out CV is crucial when getting through the initial stage of the recruitment process. You want to make sure your CV is concise, accurate and targeted. Look at a few of our key points below, to guide you when writing your CV.

  • Accuracy. Ensure your CV is accurate and consistent, in content, grammar and spelling. If your CV is littered with errors, it could cost you an interview!
  • Easy to read. Use a clear and simple layout, avoid using tables and keep the font size to 10 – 12pt.
  • Concise. A UK CV should be no more than two A4 pages in length. For a part-time job, 1 page is sufficient.
  • Contact information. For a UK CV, you only need to include your name, contact telephone number and email address. Your photo, date of birth and nationality are not required.
  • Include your degree. Your degree should be at the top of your Education section, even if this hasn’t been completed yet. If your degree is related to the job, you could detail any relevant modules, key projects and practical skills gained. Remember to include your grades too!
  • Tailored. Make sure you target your CV to the specific job you are applying to. Review the job specification and take note of any key skills or values they are looking for, evidencing these, where possible. Directly align specific achievements on your CV with the specific challenges of the role, to make it easy to see why you would be a good candidate.
  • Highlight any relevant experience. In your work experience section, include your most relevant experience first, if applicable. If you have completed some work shadowing or an internship already, remember to update your CV with these experiences. You could use an impact heading to distinguish relevant and non-relevant experience e.g. Customer Service Experience.
  • Include non-relevant work too! Employers want to know about your range of work experiences, and how you have developed your soft skills. Transferable skills such as teamwork and communication can be easily demonstrated through bar or retail work.
  • Positions of responsibility section. If you have held a key role outside of your studies, such as involvement within a society (e.g., President or Events Officer) or a volunteering role – include these! They are great examples of extra-curricular activities, which can show some valuable skills including, leadership and collaborative working.
  • Talk about your interests. Showing interests can demonstrate your character and personal qualities, and it is a great opportunity to evidence softer skills. Just make sure the interests you include are specific and unique, rather than general ones e.g., socialising, reading etc.
  • Use positive language and action verbs. Try using words like organised, delivered, implemented, and exceeded, to start your sentences, rather than pro-nouns.

If you would like your CV reviewed, the Careers and Employability Service offer daily Quick Advice appointments, which are bookable online. Additionally, attend one of our ‘Creating a great CV’ workshops for more advice or visit our CV webpage for templates and further information.

Celebrity CVs

Creating a great graduate CV

If you are starting to apply for graduate jobs, one of the first things you need to do is update your CV! Creating a stand-out CV is crucial when getting through the initial stage of the recruitment process. You want to make sure your CV is concise, accurate and targeted. Look at a few of our key points below, to guide you when updating your CV.

  • Accuracy. Ensure your CV is accurate and consistent, in content, grammar and spelling. If your CV is littered with errors, it could cost you an interview!
  • Concise. A UK CV should be no more than two A4 pages in length. However, if you are applying for work outside of the UK, check the country’s own requirements, as CV formats differ from country to country.
  • Tailored. Make sure you target your CV to the specific job you are applying to. Review the job specification and take note of any key skills or values they are looking for, evidencing these, where possible. Directly align specific achievements on your CV with the specific challenges of the role, to make it easy to see why you would be a good candidate.
  • Include your degree. Your degree should be at the top of your Education section, which includes your predicted or awarded grade. If your degree is related to the job, you could detail relevant modules, key projects, your dissertation title, and practical skills gained.
  • Highlight any relevant experience. In your work experience section include your most relevant experience first. If you have undertaken a placement or internship whilst at university, remember to update your CV with these experiences. You could use an impact heading to distinguish relevant and non-relevant experience e.g., Marketing Experience.
  • Include non-relevant work too! Employers want to know about your range of work experiences, and how you have developed your soft skills. Transferable skills such as teamwork and communication can be easily demonstrated through bar or retail work. However, if you have lots of experience, don’t feel you have to include everything, just include the most recent.
  • Professional development section. If you have attended any insight days, completed additional courses, a virtual internship or took part in industry competitions, which are relevant to the role, you could highlight these here.
  • Positions of responsibility section. If you have held a key role outside of your studies, such as involvement within a society (e.g., President or Events Officer) or a volunteering role – include these! They are great examples of extra-curricular activities, which can show some valuable skills including, leadership and collaborative working.
  • Use positive language and action verbs. Try using words like organised, delivered, implemented, and exceeded, to start your sentences, rather than pro-nouns.
  • Quantify your statements. Use facts, figures, and percentages, to give impact and build credibility to your statements. For example, ‘Reviewed 30 – 40 articles, per month’.

If you would like your CV reviewed, the Careers and Employability Service offer daily Quick Advice appointments, which are bookable online. Additionally, attend one of our ‘Creating a great CV’ workshops for more advice or visit our CV webpage for templates and further information.

Rachel Nicholls - image credit Molly Hollman

Music Department launches new online In Conversation series

The Music department is pleased to announce the launch of their Zoom for Thought: Music Department In Conversation series, starting on Wednesday 3 February. This sequence of livestreamed interviews with luminaries from the music industry is one not to miss, with the first featuring soprano super-star Rachel Nicholls.

Rachel will be In Conversation with Head of Music Performance, Dan Harding, on Weds 3 February at 19.30, and everyone is welcome to watch what promises to be a fascinating insight into the working life of one of the country’s foremost sopranos. The entire series will be free to watch from the Music department’s YouTube Channel.

Livestreamed every fortnight, during this series viewers will be able to submit questions if they wish.

 

NSS Give your views logo

NSS launches 8 February

The National Student Survey launches on 8 February and it gives our students the chance to tell us (and everyone else!) what it is like being a student at Kent.

Although the last year has been challenging, we are encouraging our students to share their thoughts about their experiences.

All students eligible to take the survey, will receive an email invitation from Ipsos MORI week commencing 8th February.

In past years, Kent has scored highly in the NSS for student satisfaction, and the survey results help to improve our university for future students.

We have created all the resources you need to communicate the survey to your students. You can access all the marketing material and resources on Sharepoint.

You can help promote the NSS to your finalist students by:

  • Using the artwork. There is also a PowerPoint presentation template for you to use.
  • Promote any divisional incentives e.g. prize draws, in order to help boost response rates within your area.
  • Highlight to students and colleagues the importance of the NSS.

Please note that the NSS should not be communicated to students before 8 February