Monthly Archives: May 2021

Challenging racism artwork

George Floyd’s murder: one year on

Today, May 25 2021, marks the anniversary of George Floyd’s tragic murder. One year ago, its painful news travelled from Minneapolis sparking pain, outrage, and unified calls for justice against racism around the world. Just weeks ago, the world also witnessed as Derek Chauvin, former Minneapolis police officer, was lawfully convicted of Mr Floyd’s murder, bending the needle a little more towards justice.

Last summer, our own community members at the University of Kent joined in global solidarity and called for the acute end of racism within our own institution. Student voices organised by the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network, West African Society, University of Kent Ethiopian & Eritrean Society, University of Kent ACS, UKC Nigerian Society, Kent Caribbean Union, Kent Southern African Society, and the Kent East African Society organised a call to action and highlighted just 10 of the many areas where may begin the work to tackle racism.

Their submission joined a legacy of leading student voices, such as those who came together to submit the BME Student Voices Project and Decolonize the Curriculum Manifesto, who rallied for the same cause. In requested response, this year we launched the Challenging Racism webpage, focused on directly engaging our student and wider community on our actions to address these recently raised concerns.

Throughout the year, one also marked by compounded hardships, the University of Kent continued the work of realising a university community that holds ‘zero tolerance’ for racial antagonism with new vigour. University leadership organised to install a new EDI Governance structure that will take reported concerns through address to completed action. Alongside this, we launched the new EDI website as a central hub for staff and students to keep connected with University endeavours fixed on equality; specifically the Challenging Racism pages, where we communicate updates on the progress made towards meeting the demands articulated, including developing an Antiracism strategy, Executive Group training and a revised Campus Security Charter. We have also begun the process of preparing an application for the Race Equality Charter.

The horrid injustice that ended George Floyd’s life is one that can never truly be redressed—but our actions towards ending repeated occurrences are essential. We at the University of Kent continue to come together to tackle the structural issues of institutionalised racism. We acknowledge that work has yet to be complete and there is still much to do. We invite everyone’s continued engagement, commitment to self-reflection, continual learning and work to dismantle discriminatory structures at Kent.

Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura
Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance

Dr Auzimuth Jackson
Student EDI Officer

Covid-19 home testing kits now available

Free Covid-19 home testing kits are now available for staff and students to collect from the Sibson Building, on the Canterbury campus.

These tests are designed to cover a three-and-a-half-week period, with people submitting their results online following each one. You will need to bring your staff or student ID when coming to collect them.

Testing will be a key part of keeping each other safe over the coming weeks and months, so staff on campus are encouraged to use the services that are available.

Testing on campus

In conjunction with NHS Test and Trace, the University also has an asymptomatic testing site on the Canterbury campus for students and staff who are not currently displaying symptoms of Covid-19. This is based in the Sibson building, with walk-in appointments throughout the week – testing is also available in the Senate building on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can find out more about this on our Canterbury testing webpage.

The University has also worked with the local Health Protection Team to arrange testing for asymptomatic students and staff as part of the Medway community testing programme. You can find out more about this on our Medway testing webpage.

All information on testing available on campus can be found on our Coronavirus testing webpage.

man using laptop sitting down

Staying calm on the day of an exam

Before the exam

  1. Accept that you’ve done the best that you can

You can only do your best, so try not to put pressure on yourself to do more than that. You’ve spent time revising and know more than you think.

  1. Eat a healthy meal

It’s easy to forget to eat when feeling nervous. Eating a healthy meal before your exam will help you stay alert and focused during your exam.

  1. If you have time, refresh your memory with your revision notes

It’s too late to try and cover new topics, but going over revision notes will help focus your mind on your exam topic.

  1. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness encourages relaxation and positive thinking. Visualise yourself calmly sitting the exam, answering questions and feeling in control.

The Mindfulness Society hold online Zoom mindfulness sessions that are open to all students. Sign up to an online session.

During the exam

  1. Read the exam paper carefully

Take time at the beginning of the exam to make sure you understand what needs to be done. Throughout the exam, ensure you read the questions correctly.

  1. Stay positive

Try to avoid negative thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to fail” try and think “I’ll do my best and that’s all I can do.” Don’t think about what you should have done, pay attention to what you can do now.

  1. Relax yourself

If you feel yourself starting to panic, take a moment to relax. Concentrate on your breathing for a minute, and then return to your exam paper.

  1. Stay focused

Keep focused on yourself and your own exam. Don’t worry about how other people might be doing, or any other thoughts that might creep into your mind.


More exam support:

Person holding a pen writing on a notebook in front of a laptop and a cup of coffee

What’s on this week: 24-30 May 2021 

We hope your exams are going well!

This week take a break from revision and go along to an outdoor cinema screening, try out our food festival on campus or relax in our Oasis Garden.

Get your free home testing kit now

You can now pick up free COVID-19 home testing kits from the Sibson Building. You just need your student ID card to collect.

Be kind, be quiet

Lockdown is easing but please be kind and considerate when meeting with friends. Many students have exams this term and need a quiet space to study and sit online exams.

Find out how to support one another this exam season

Events for you to try this week: 

Browse all events

Have you read this? 

Browse all student support

Keep an eye on: 

Let us know what you think of these updates by emailing

Global Campus Read Virtual Exchange Opportunity

Are you a keen reader? Do you like talking about the books you have read? This may be the opportunity for you.

Kent students are invited to join a common reading experience this Autumn with our partner, West Virginia University (WVU), USA.

Each year, WVU engages its campus and community with a Global Campus Read to foster dialogue, critical thinking, and participation.  This year’s chosen read is ‘The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border‘ by Francisco Cantu.

This online course will encourage conversation and collaboration between students from West Virginia University and other universities around the world on the themes found in the book.  Students will have access to virtual Campus Read events, and on completion of the course, students will receive a transcript from WVU.

Students who have done this course this year have found the experience rewarding, discovering new perspectives and making new friends.  A truly global book club.

For more details and to guarantee a place on this course, please contact with the subject line: ‘GLOBAL CAMPUS READ’ before 1 June 2021.

A man cycling on a road

National Bike Week – 30 May – 5 June 2021

Article from Kent Sport

The end of May brings National Bike Week (30 May – 5 June 2021) and the celebration of all things biking. The awareness week is delivered by Cycling UK. There are loads of ways to get out and get active on campus, here’s a few:

Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge Sunday 22 August 2021

If you love to challenge yourself while raising money for a fantastic charity, then this will be right up your street! Take in the sights of the beautiful Kent countryside as you tackle one of 5 cycling routes; from a gentle 30 mile route, through to The Epic, a 125 mile route that will really test your strength and endurance. Riders will sign-in and set-off from The Pavilion on the Canterbury campus. Sign up on the Pilgrims Hospice website.

Cycling on campus

The Canterbury campus and surrounding areas are steeped in beautiful buildings and scenery. Our Sports Development team have been out on their bikes mapping routes across campus for cycling and walking. Check out the routes on the Kent Sport webpage.

Bonus: track your cycle on our Travel to Tokyo challenge and help us to (virtually) get to the Tokyo Olympic stadium before the 2022 Olympic Games!

Staycation family activity breaks 19 to 27 August

Wondering how you keep everyone entertained during the long summer holidays? We’ve recently released details of our family activity breaks, which includes Kent Sport gym access, spinning classes and much more. More information and booking can be found on the Conference and Events webpage.

Indoor cycling

If indoor cycling is more your thing, Kent Sport offers a range of options for all activity and ability levels. Join our qualified spin instructors in our studio for 45-minutes of spinning fun, or if you prefer to go solo, jump on one of many exercise bikes in our gym. Why not try our Watt Bikes for that extra difficulty and cycling analysis.

Cycling as a form of rehabilitation

The Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic provides some information on how cycling can help with injury rehabilitation. If you have any questions, speak to our experienced clinic staff by emailing Read our article on Cycling as a form of rehabilitation.

Paris Postgraduate Festival poster

Paris Postgraduate Festival 2021

Students at the University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture are excited to present this year’s edition of our postgraduate festival, taking place virtually from 1-5 June 2021.

This year the theme is Escapism and you can find a taster of what is planned below. You can also see the full programme on the festival website. Please note that all times are Paris local time (CEST) and are free to attend, although advance registration is required.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with the festival team at

Division of Natural Sciences – a new approach to blended learning

As we head towards a new term, the Division of Natural Sciences at the University of Kent is taking an exciting and innovative approach to blended learning and student engagement. At a recent showcase, staff shared their experience and advice for adapting teaching to the online world during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how this might benefit students in the next academic year and beyond.

Students studying a range of subjects including Chemistry and Forensic Science, Physics and Astrophysics, Biosciences and Sport and Exercise Sciences will benefit from a collaborative approach from teaching staff across these fields to ensure blended learning will be an exciting and engaging experience.

Dr Victoria Mason, who organised the event says: This event was a celebration of everything staff had achieved in terms of delivering exciting and engaging online learning, as well as a chance for us all to reflect and continue to innovate our approach to give students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The feedback from our students about their online learning experience, along with some fantastic innovative ideas and approaches, will help to continue to galvanise all staff and ensure our students enjoy a fantastic learning experience as we head towards a post-pandemic world.’

Staff shared experience of using videos as well as a “bite-size” approach to learning, supplemented by pre-reading and exercises. Highlights from the showcase include the introduction of new tools such as Benchling, the industry’s leading life sciences Research & Development cloud, which was used to successfully create an online ‘virtual escape room’ and learning environment focusing on molecular cloning.

Another tool –  Bokeh Widgets, which are interactive widgets that can show distribution in the form of graphs, was popular with the bioscientists and engaged them will challenging mathematical and statistical concepts used to interpret experimental data.

Director of Education for the Division, Professor Dan Lloyd says: ‘While a lot of our students continued to benefit from face-to-face activities in a covid-secure environment, delivering engaging and exciting online learning was a key focus for all of us.

It’s vital that we learn from this experience and ensure that we keep innovating how we teach. Following this event, and our continue collaborative approach to pedagogy and listening to our students, I am excited about the future of blended teaching and learning at Kent.

Engaging students outside of lectures is just as important. Robert Green, Reader in Forensic Science, has previously shared his tips for building an engaged community and ensuring students still enjoy a wider university experience in these challenging times.

This Nats event was extremely popular with over 50 members of staff attending and engaging with presentations on best practices, innovations and pedagogy.

If you have any questions about the Nats Teaching Showcase please contact Dan Lloyd or Victoria Mason for more information.

Home Office computer desk display

Care first webinars w/c 24 May 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 24 May – Friday 28 May) webinars are as follows:

Monday 24 May 2021 – ‘How Care first Can Support You’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 25 May 2021 – ‘Supporting loved ones overseas during the pandemic’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 26 May 2021 – How feelings of loneliness and isolation can make it difficult to
re-interact after lockdown’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 27 May 2021 – ‘How can you tell if someone is struggling with their Mental Health?’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 28 May 2021 – ‘Alcohol Awareness: Drinking safely as lockdown eases’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Computer screen saying "be kind"

Be kind, be quiet

Lockdown is easing but please be kind and considerate when meeting with friends. Many students have exams this term and need a quiet space to study and sit online exams.

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Share exam timetables with housemates so you know when each other are sitting exams or feeling the pressure
  • Be quiet in study areas or when you know people are revising/sitting exams
  • Avoid socialising near/in study or residential areas