Monthly Archives: July 2021

Clearing 2021 campaign - student photo

Clearing 2021 – how we’re using social media to showcase Kent

Social media is a huge influencer and driver of traffic for Clearing 2021. To work alongside our paid advertising campaigns, we have generated new digital content involving Kent staff, students and alumni. Working in partnership with KMTV, we have created a suite of material for use across social channels and external advertising, within websites and embedded in emails to showcase why Kent is a great place to study.

Content includes

  • A series of student video testimonials from Kent students who applied via Clearing, their story, tips and advice.
  • A series of alumni video testimonials who applied via Clearing sharing their Clearing story, advice and what they’ve gone on to do since graduating.
  • Clearing Application advice videos recorded by MORA recruitment officers targeted to parents, teachers and prospective students.
  • A brand new ‘Guide to Clearing’ animation produced by a Kent Digital Arts student.
  • New video content across accommodation, wellbeing, scholarships and Kent Sport featuring Kent staff and students from these areas.
  • Student testimonials from students talking about their courses, why they chose to study them and why they like studying them at Kent.
  • A series of good luck, congratulations and Clearing reminder videos all recorded by Kent students.
  • Promotion clips for our Clearing open event on 29 July.
  • Content for platforms including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to drive awareness and engagement.


This content shows off the best of the University community and is a key part of our Clearing strategy for 2021. You’ll be able to see these posts across our social media channels and can take a look on YouTube –

Staff in Registry

Staff Conference September 2021 – tell us what you’d like included!

As we start to look forward to 2021/22 – and following a challenging 18 months for us all – we’re planning a week-long series of events for colleagues to join together to mark the start of the new academic year.

Our proposed Staff Conference will take place virtually and on our campuses from Monday 13 – 17 September between 11.00 and 13.00 each day (till 15.00 on Friday). The idea is that you can dip into the sessions that most interest you over lunch or in work time, or catch up with recordings later on.

Over the week, we’re planning a number of activities, both informative and informal, that you can choose to join in or to run yourself. These may include:

  • Talks and discussions about projects, initiatives, and activities of the University
  • Sessions focusing on wellbeing support available to staff
  • Informal events to take part in individually or as a team
  • Staff awards to celebrate the achievements of all our staff over the last 18 months.

The Staff Conference is all about you so we’re keen to hear from staff across Kent, whether in Divisions or Professional Services, what you would like to do during this week – what would be helpful in your role at Kent or something you’d like to share with colleagues!

If you would like to present a session – either a short, interactive session or a longer discussion – forward your suggestions to our Staff Conference organising team via by Friday 13 August at 17.00. Please outline your proposed session using no more than 300 words, indicating in particular how you propose to engage and interact with your audience.

We hope that this will become an annual event to mark the start of the academic year. But for now, we look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions soon!

Students taking part in Professional Practice MSc

Master’s Course in Professional Practice

Article from the Digital and Lifelong Learning team:

We would love to tell you about our Master’s course in Professional Practice, run within the Department of Digital and Lifelong Learning. Over the past decade we have had a fair number of colleagues who have decided to study with us. We currently have individuals investigating succession planning/change management and the management of exams within the University and it is a great way of recording and reflecting the momentous changes that we as a learning community are currently navigating.

The course is a standard 180 Credit Master’s degree but spread over three years (two 30 credit modules a year, with a 60 credit dissertation module in the final year). This allows participants to balance home, work and study. The course is unique in that you make your work your study and your study your work as the focus of all the modules is your professional role within the University.  Modules are taught over two extended weekends (Friday-Sunday). There are no exams as all the modules have final assessment which involves a short presentation followed by a written work-based assignment. As a member of staff doing a part time University of Kent course, you are entitled to 50% fee remission – this means you get a Masters qualification for half the price. In addition, if you currently hold level 7 credits and/or experience this can be APECL-able.


After a couple of induction days, you will start the Evidence Based Practice module on 24-26 September, with the second weekend being held on the 5-7 November. This module explores the nature of information used to answer work-based/practice-led questions and develops critical thinking,

In January, you will move on to study the Learning and Development module. Here, you will explore the way we learn as professionals,  which as you know is totally different from learning at school or college. The module runs on 21-23 January and 11-13 March 2022.

Successfully passing the first year, you have a PgCert in Professional Practice. You then start on the 2nd year, which begins with an optional module and continues with a module to develop skills and prepare your research proposal in readiness for the final year.

Modules and Assessment

You can find out more about the programme content on our Professional Practice webpages. If you would like to arrange an informal chat, please email and we will arrange a time to meet with you on a one-to-one basis.

You can also learn more about the course at a drop-in session run by Dr Anne-Maria Brennan  on Wednesday 28 July between 12.00 and 14.00. Please click here to join the session.

Winners of the University Teaching Prizes 2021 announced

This year’s University Teaching Prizes received a record 34 applications from across the University. The Panel, chaired by Professor Richard Reece, was impressed by the range and quality of applications, and the overall commitment to education and the student experience.

The award winners demonstrated both strong evidence of engagement and impact across all 3 criteria:  1. Excellence in Teaching or Supporting Learning; 2. Dissemination and Influence and 3. Above and Beyond Expectations of their roles. A showcase and award event is being planned for the Autumn term.

Division of Arts and Humanities

Winner – Frances Kamm – School of Arts

For her decolonising the curriculum work that championed, embedded and influenced the arts-based curriculum here at the University.

Highly Commended – Christopher Burden-Strevens – School of History

For his above and beyond, influence and excellence in initiatives surrounding student mental health and assessment innovation.

Division of Natural Sciences

Winner – Jill Shepherd, Sashi Kommu, Tim Fenton and Michelle Garrett – School of Biosciences

For their collaborative work on the Patient Centred Engagement of Students clinical day (PaCES), which increased students’ clinical exposure, within the BSc Biomedical Science programme.

Highly Commended – Stefano Biagini, School of Physical Sciences 

For his sustained commitment to championing and influencing equality, diversity, and inclusivity considerations.

Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS)

Winners – James Bentham, Jack Cunliffe, Rachel McCrea and the wider Year in Data Analytics team – School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and Careers and Employability Service

For their cross-divisional collaborative Year in Data Analytics initiative.

Division of Human and Social Sciences (HSS)

Winner – Amir-Homayoun Javadi – School of Psychology

For his innovative, captivating, and influential classroom-based teaching.

Highly Commended – Raluca Popp – School of Politics and International Relations

For her collaborative inclusive and student career focused work with the Q-step programme

Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice (LSSJ)

Winner – David Acheson – Centre for Journalism

For his innovative, imaginative, and inspiring online content which had a huge impact on both staff and students.

Highly Commended – Darren Weir – Kent Law School

For his extensive work in building communities of practice within Law

Highly Commended – Tracee Green and Sarah Brown – Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

For their innovative and collaborative development of practitioner-based learning.

University Prize Learning Support

Winner – E-learning Team – Education Directorate

For their sustained excellence, innovation, influence, and impact internally and externally.

Breathing advice from puppets

A collaboration involving Professor John Dickinson from the School of Sports and Exercise Sciences and a social enterprise called Breath Champs CIC helps children, families and communities to learn about breathing in fun ways. Their video gives asthma and exercise advise delivered by puppets!

The project started when Professor Dickinson met Ms Heather Henry at the Medway Asthma Self Help Charity AGM, where he is a trustee and she was a guest speaker. Heather is a Nurse Entrepreneur and founder of the BreathChamps CIC. Heather discovered that John’s research fitted into a lot of the support she was looking to offer the children she engages with through BreathChamps.

Heather’s goal is to make her town of Sale the UKs first child asthma friendly town. This means sharing asthma knowledge with local people and organisations so they look out for children and know some simple things that will help them – the same model as dementia friendly communities.

The idea for creating this video and using puppets came from Heather. Her social enterprise produces several videos like this providing information about breathing issues that are relevant to children experiencing them.

John provided five tips to encourage children to take exercise. The script for the video was produced and a local puppeteer from Hale Barnes called Jamie Marks was contacted and asked to perform it. Jamie makes all his own puppets and performs as well.

Heather said: ‘Is it easy? It’s a skill!’

When asking about the puppets used in this video John said: ‘Unfortunately I did not actually get to meet the puppets. I provided the information to Heather who then put it into a script for the puppeteers to use.

‘I would love to incorporate the puppets into lectures but I’m not sure my puppeteering is up to scratch!’

Prior to supporting the making of the video, John delivered a sport and asthma masterclass for Breath Champs. This was attended by coaches and physiotherapists with an interest in supporting athletes in overcoming breathing issues.

Children (and many adults) learn best through play, which is why BreathChamps uses puppets, games, craft, singing and stories. You can see more of this on the BreathChamps YouTube channel.

Parking permit charges from 1 August 2021

An annual increase in parking permit charges will apply from 1 August 2021. Charges will vary from 65p for a staff daily voucher to £4.24 upwards for a 12-month permit.

The staff parking permit allows you to park in a marked bay on campus from Monday to Friday from 08.00-17.00. You can register up to 5 vehicles so long as the vehicle parked on campus is ticked as the “active vehicle” on your permit the day it is parked.

Types of permits available


1. Full monthly permits

You have the option of a 12-month, 3-month or 1-month permit, which will cost from £4.24 to £10.57 per month, depending on your gross monthly salary. Payment will be taken directly via salary deduction each month.

2. Staff daily voucher

Currently only a free 12-month is option available, from 1 August 2021 there will be a charge for issuing the daily voucher permit, but you will now have the option to purchase a 3-month or 1-month permit as opposed to just a 12-month permit.

  • 12-months = £2.50
  • 3-months = £2.00
  • 1-month = £1.00

Please remember with a daily voucher permit on the days you wish to park on campus you will need to purchase a virtual daily parking voucher by logging on to your permit account. From 1 August 2021, the cost of these daily vouchers will increase to 65p per day. These daily vouchers allow you to park in a marked bay in pink or blue zone car parks, the same as a full permit.

Which option is best for you?

If you are regularly on campus Monday to Friday and need a parking space, a full permit may be the best option.

Daily voucher permits are designed for those colleagues who either don’t park on campus every day or work a shift pattern that means they are not always parked at the times a permit is required, with the new 3-month and 1-month options giving you more flexibility than a 12-month permit.

As we start returning to campus this summer, and some of us move to hybrid working on and off campus, it is advisable to look at all the options available and work out which will be the most cost-effective for you.

If you no longer require your permit, don’t forget to complete the ‘Cancel your parking permit’ form at the bottom of this webpage.

Find out more

For more information on types of permits available and costs, see the Transport webpages.

British Heart Foundation celebrates 60 years!

From the Estates team:

This year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is celebrating 60 years of life saving research!

Since 2012 University of Kent students and staff have generated 15,636 bags of donations through the donation points on campus. That’s £218,904* raised to help support help life-saving research, driving breakthroughs for heart patients all across the UK.

These donations have allowed the BHF to be a part of breakthroughs like heart transplants and pacemakers, stents and clot busting drugs and their goals for the decades ahead are more ambitious than ever. Cures for inherited heart diseases, radically improved treatment for stroke, ways to stop vascular dementia in its tracks, and of course recovering from the brutal blow that is the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you and keep donating!

We would like to say a huge thank you to our staff and student who have donated books, bags, shoes, clothes, homeware and much more through our BHF donation points. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to make such an impact.

Please continue to donate items that you don’t need any more through our donations points, which you can find on our map of locations.

For any waste, recycling or reuse guidance please look at our Estates website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can always email us on

*based on average value of £14/bag

Congratulations to Vicky Annis

Congratulations to Vicky Annis, Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic Manager, for completing her Channel swim!

Here’s what Vicky had to say about her big achievement:

Sunday 18 July 2021 will be a day I will cherish forever. The day a childhood dream came true of swimming the English Channel.

I stood upon Samphire Hoe beach at 4am, completely clear of the water, to officially begin this challenge. You could hear the water rippling against the beach and a large horn blasted from the boat, Masterpiece, that was around 50m off shore. I was told to leave all my doubts on the shore and then began making my way to the side of the boat, far enough away not to touch the boat and also not to inhale too many of the fumes. It was not completely dark even at that point and within an hour of setting off, a beautiful sun rise was emerging.

The reason for the 4am start, was to make good use of any slack water, before the flood tide started which pushes you east. I set off at a strong and comfortable pace and began making my journey south easterly. The first section to cross is the English inshore water. As my left hand entered the water, I brushed past something very slimy and warm. It was a little daunting as there was not enough light to know what I touched, but I knew I needed to just keep moving.

Once past the English inshore, I made my way into the south west shipping lane, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. I cannot deny I was somewhat entertained by these extremely large ships! The pilots know the exact positions of these ships so I could comfortably take in the views of them passing when breathing bilaterally. These ships were all moving from my left to right and the less I saw, the more I was thinking have I made it to the next zone called the separation zone. The hot sun on my back and the marginal wind made me feel as though I was in a swimming pool at times. One of the main differences is that in a swimming pool I do not have jelly fish for company. I could see a lot of jelly fish and as I looked up to the boat as I breathed, all 5 of my support crew were looking down into the water. My mind was thinking it best just be jelly fish and nothing bigger. I seemed to be so focused that day, that even when the jelly fish caught me on my face, right arm and left leg, I decided that the equivalent of a nettle sting was not going to beat me today.

I began approaching the separation zone and was wondering if I would be able to distinguish my location. The crew kept me updated during feeds, but there are all sorts of discussions about the separation zone that are not all that pleasant. It is known as the central reservation of the Channel, were only the small fishing boats and ferries cross. With such a reduced flow of traffic, there can often be a build up of various substances. During my swim, the main obstacle I encountered was sea weed, which although I needed to pull off my head and neck, it could have been a lot worse.

Half-way there!

In my mind, reaching the separation zone suggested I was around half way between England and France. That is true, but with the tides changing, it does not mean you have the same amount of time to then reach France. The ebb tide began and although I kept swimming strongly, I was being pushed west with some southerly progress. The north east shipping lane was a tough section and what I had not quite realised was the it was not as simple as going perpendicular. It was much more of a diagonal direction which seemed like a life time. You can see France by this point also, which is so difficult, because it is still a long way away.

Due to the strong progress I made in the first half of the swim, plus the ebb tide, I stayed east of the ZC2 buoy. In fact, I did not see it at all. This buoy is 3 miles from France. Having not seen it, I started to wonder where I was and if I was going to make it. On my next feed, which was thrown to me attached to a dog lead, I was told I was soon entering the French inshore water. I really wanted to kick my legs harder, but my hip flexors were so sore. I kept my arms moving and although I should not have done so, I kept having a little glimpse ahead to see whether I would hit beach or rocks. Knowing how sore my legs were, I was not sure rock climbing was going to work! A little while later, I saw the pilot getting the dinghy into the water and that was when I knew we were close. The dinghy escorts you the last part when it is too shallow for the boat. Even when you are within the last kilometre, every stroke counts to get you to the beach.

After 12 hours exactly, I reached France. A little unsteadily, I cleared the water and soon laid on my back taking in the warmth of the pebbles beneath me and looking up to the sky. In that moment, all I could think about was all of the support and encouragement I have received in the build up to this challenge and how fortunate I am.”

Support my charities

If you would like to still donate to Vicky’s chosen charities then please visit her JustGiving page!

Clearing 2021 – get involved

Help us to make Clearing 2021 a success! We need help and support from everyone; particularly around offer-making, staffing the hotline and making calls to prospective students.

The 2021 Clearing campaign was soft-launched in May, raising awareness and collecting leads from students who were thinking about using Clearing for back-up,  because they haven’t yet applied or want to change their subject or university.

Clearing ‘proper’ opened on 5 July and applications are already being processed for those who have their results. The extensive campaign is phased across awareness, consideration and decision and uses a wide range of media, targeted to specific audiences. Digital platforms TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Google are a major part of the advertising but also included are Spotify, mobile phone in-app, YouTube and Snapchat.  More traditionally, and important for both students and their influencers, there will be adverts on billboards and at bus stops, radio, SkyAdsmart, in the local press, and email campaigns through 3rd party specialists, all driven by data showing where Kent’s potential students are living and studying.

All the leads we generate, either as enquirers or applicants, will become part of our nurture and conversion email campaigns which are designed to build a relationship between the student (or supporter) and the University, focusing on the supportive and diverse student community, academic and personal support and highlighting the accommodation guarantee and free sports membership offers.

Get involved

If you’re able to help, particularly on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 August, and you’re not already on a Clearing rota, please get in touch with Laetitia Gullett via

Full training will be given and, for anyone who hasn’t done it before, it is a really rewarding experience. Clearing will be run remotely so we can guarantee we have the staff cover we need, with full support for everyone taking part and supervisors on hand to help at all times.

Thank you for all your help and support.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Covid-19 update – 20 July 2021

From Nikki Hyde, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

As you will be aware, Government Covid-19 guidance changed earlier this week (Monday 19 July) and most legal restrictions have now been lifted in England.

In keeping with the Government’s emphasis on a gradual return to workplaces for those who have been working from home, our roadmap for staff returning to campus remains unchanged:

  • Any staff who wish to start working back on campus are now free to do so, but they should talk to their line manager first to ensure that returns are managed and gradual.
  • From 20 September, all staff are expected to work on campus, albeit with increased flexibility offered by the new Hybrid Working Scheme where possible.

While the restrictions have ended, staff still working at home should only come back on campus as much as they are comfortable with from now until 19 September.

A range of guidance, activities and initiatives will be available soon to help support staff with a gradual return to campus from mid-August, and to support teams manage new hybrid ways of working.

The return to campus process of requesting approval from HR and the requirement for a logged Risk and Concern Conversation is no longer in place. However, the framework for holding conversations with staff and the option of logging any concerns remains in place if line managers feel this is appropriate.

Updated risk assessment

The University is currently revising its Covid-19 risk assessment following the receipt of new Working Safely guidance from the Government and has begun the process of consulting with Staff and Union reps. Once the risk assessment is finalised and published, we will update our staff FAQs and supporting guidance.

Although all social distancing requirements and therefore current building occupancy limits are being removed, the resulting changes to campus layouts and signage will take time to implement. During this period, until the risk assessment is finalised, staff should follow existing rules and signage, where still in place. In line with Government guidance, we recommend face coverings continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, and where possible natural ventilation should be increased by keeping doors and windows open.

Thank you for helping us manage the process of safely returning staff to campus. If you have any questions, please contact


Nikki Hyde | Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development