Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 4 February 2021

As many of us continue to feel the strain of living and working with the impact of Covid-19, the Executive Group is actively considering ways we can ease the pressure on staff.

You will know from the email sent to all staff by Alison Ross-Green, Director of HR and Organisational Development, that we now have agreed that RPD paperwork and the requirement for formal probationary paperwork, apart from academic probation plans, should be suspended for this academic year.

We are now looking at what further short-term adjustments can be made and we will keep you updated on this work. In addition, our longer-term project ‘How We Work’ will consider our key processes with the aim of minimising the administrative burden on staff. Please let us know your ideas on the changes we could make in order to achieve this.

This week the staff webchat focused on online learning teaching, practice and advice and covered a wide range of areas including our revised no-detriment policy, the approach to exams and technical support available. If you were unable to attend this meeting, a recording of the meeting has now been included on the webpage.

While much of our focus is inevitably on how we manage the impact of Covid-19, a great deal of work continues across the University in support of our engagement with the wider world.

Last week, we held a ‘Kent in Europe’ special event designed to support our continued commitment to our European partnerships and our links with the world at large. Over 40 of our partner institutions took part including representation from the SGroup Universities in Europe, of which we are a member, and the 3i Network, a new initiative we have formed together with Universiteit Gent, KU Leuven and the Université de Lille.

The event provided us with the opportunity to present our new Signature Research Themes and to explore future collaborative opportunities under Horizon Europe and the new Turing scheme which replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus+.  My thanks go to all those involved in organising such an exciting event.

Best wishes to you and your families,


Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President