Monthly Archives: August 2021

Staff Day at bOing! Festival – Friday 27 August

Gulbenkian Arts Centre are offering Kent staff and their families an opportunity to see Jasmin Vardimon Company’s new virtual reality performance ‘Alice’ for free at the University of Kent staff day at bOing! Festival.

The experience is sold out over the weekend, but we have a limited number of timeslots on Friday 27 August for University of Kent staff and their families to experience Alice (VR).  Step out of the ordinary and into the unexpected, fantastical and fearless world of Jasmin Vardimon’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ VR experience. Tickets must be booked in advance for Alice.

University of Kent Staff Day at bOing! Festival is an extra special day before the festival weekend kicks off just for University of Kent Staff and their families on Friday 27 August!

Organised as a big thank you from the University to all Kent Staff in recognition for the tremendous effort put in by all throughout the year, the Staff Family Day at bOing! is FREE for Kent Staff and their families to attend.

Whether you’ve been working on site or remotely, this is an opportunity to reunite with family and colleagues in person for an amazing summer day on campus filled with FREE live performance, music and fun for all!

Everybody’s invited, so say a proper farewell and invite colleagues who have left while we have all been working remotely.

Free refreshments will also be on offer with a £5 credit loaded to Kent Staff KentOne cards that can be redeemed at any University of Kent catering outlet on campus.

All events are free to attend, but please register your attendance by following the booking link.
Tickets for Alice (VR) must be booked separately.

Friday’s Schedule

12 – 5pm (timeslots throughout the afternoon) – UoK Staff timeslots for Alice (VR) – BOOK TICKETS

12.30 – 12.50pm – The Puppet Van: The Lost Colour

Outdoor chaos 2m in the air featuring clowning and puppetry from Kent Alumni company Half A String.

1pm – 1.30pm – Gandini Juggling’s Smashed2
Funny and inventive juggling performance featuring a lot of fruit.

2 – 2.20pm – UPSWING’s Catch Me
A playful mix of dance, circus and chairs.

3.30 – 4pm – Gandini Juggling’s Smashed2
Funny and inventive juggling performance featuring a lot of fruit.

4 – 4.20pm – The Puppet Van: The Lost Colour

Outdoor chaos 2m in the air featuring clowning and puppetry from Kent Alumni company Half A String.

4.30 – 4.50pm – UPSWING’s Catch Me
A playful mix of dance, circus and chairs.

5 – 7pm – Global Sounds Music Stage
Programmed by Music for Change, enjoy some summer sounds under the sun.

Find out more about bOing! Kent’s Family Arts Festival

bOing! Kent’s Family Arts Festival is open to the general public on Saturday 28 and 29 August 2021 with a range of free and ticketed events. Funded by Arts Council England and the University of Kent, bOing! welcomes the most innovative and exciting performers from across Europe to the Gulbenkian Arts Centre and our beautiful Canterbury campus. All events at bOing!2021 will be performed in line with Government guidance on Covid-19. 

Watch the bOing! Festival trailer

Become a bOing! Volunteer

Follow in the paw prints of our amazing volunteers of previous years, don a pair of ears and become a bOing! Volunteer. Find out more about volunteering at bOing!

Join our Football Reunion 2021

Our annual football reunion, run by former Director of Sport and Kent football coach, Mike Wilkins MBE, is back again on Saturday 11 September.

The reunion is open to any Kent alumni who played football for fun or for the University football teams, as well as family members. It’s great fun, very informal and a wonderful chance to come back to Kent and enjoy a reunion with your teammates.


15.00 – Meet at the Pavilion ready for a 15.00-15.30 kick-off

18.00 – Drinks in Keynes College bar

19.00 – Mike to give football related presentation

20.00 – Dinner (Dolche Vita)

The football will be a competitive kick-about and suitable for all ages and abilities. We will then retire to Keynes Bar. There is ample seating in-door and outside. Mike will then present his football PowerPoint for the aficionados among you, followed by dinner in the delightful surroundings of adjacent Dolche Vita. You can choose from the menu and pay for your food on the day.

Booking your place

The event is free and you can register online via our Alumni webpages. To find out more, contact the Alumni team by emailing

We look forward to seeing you there!

Templeman Library Café reopens

We’re happy to announce that the Library Café in the Templeman Library is now open weekdays from 09:00 till 15:00.

Visit the Library Café for tasty and healthy snacks so you can stay refreshed and keep going throughout the day. Pop by for a selection of hot food, pastries, cakes and snacks, or choose from our delicious coffees, teas and cold drinks.

Both the main Café servery in B Block and the Grab and Go service in A Block will be open, so if you just want to grab a quick drink or snack you can use either the Terrace or Grimond entrances.

Group of friends listening to music

E-Learning webinar: How can we best engage our students in 2021/22

The E-Learning Team are pleased to announce that the next event in our series of ‘Digitally Enhanced Education webinars’ will take place on Wednesday 1 September, from 11.00-13:30 (BST), with the theme ‘How can we best engage our students in 2021/22’.

Please find the agenda for the event below:

11:00 – 11:05 – Phil Anthony (University of Kent): Introduction.

11:05 – 11:20 – Phil Anthony (University of Kent): Looking Back to Move Forward: Student Reflections on 2020/21

11:20 – 11:35 – Krishna Upadhayaya (Kathmandu University, Nepal): Online Project Based Teaching Learning in ELT

11:35 – 11:50 – Nina Joustra, Dani Bocmaru & Meiki Zeidler (students at Maastricht University School of Business): Online and Offline Learning – How to get the best out of both?

11:50 – 12:05 – Oliver Bills (University of Southampton): Taking the university community virtual with Discord: A Success Story

12:05 – 12:15 – BREAK

12:15 – 12:30 – Miranda Melcher (King’s College London): Teaching inclusively to improve student engagement and accessibility

12:30 – 12:45 – Dustin Hosseini (University of Glasgow): Podcasts as a medium for teaching and learning

12:45 – 13:00 – Jay Fulgencio (Roosevelt University, US): Engaging Students in the Netflix Era

13:00 – 13:15 – Eliana Elkhoury (Assistant Professor, Athabasca University, Canada): Maybe we need to think differently about academic integrity

13:15 – 13:30 – Dustin Blakkie (California State University): Fostering Student Engagement in Your Courses

If you would like to join the webinar series, please express your interest here if you haven’t already. We will add you the Microsoft Team linked to the series. Colleagues from outside the University of Kent are very welcome to join and so feel free to circulate.

If you would like to present at a future event, please complete this form and Phil Anthony will be in touch.

work organisational set up

Care first webinars w/c 16 August 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 16 August –  Friday 20 August) webinars are as follows:

Monday 16 August 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 17 August 2021 – ‘How the pandemic has affected our behaviour’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 18 August 2021 -‘Travelling safely’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 19 August 2021 – Switching off and resting effectively on leave’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 20 August 2021 -‘‘The impact of positivity and celebrations on our mental health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Students achieve GOLD

The Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme has celebrated another successful year.

The programme, led by Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation Dr Anthony Manning, International Partnerships and International Programmes is a co-curricular venture which provides a framework of activities for globally minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.

Although the programme went online this year, participants took part in various workshops including Event Management, Talking Cultures, explored the concept of curriculum internationalisation and their own cultural intelligence (CQ).  They created a series of Web Hangouts that took place throughout the year, engaged in various virtual exchange opportunities with our university partners around the world including Hong Kong, Canada, the US and Europe, and represented Kent as student panel members at various internal and external conferences.

Leah Bird, Global Officer 2020-21, said, “The GOLD Programme has been a wonderful experience and his given me many opportunities that I had never considered before such as organising WebHangouts or participating in a global challenge with a Canadian university. The organisers make it an unforgettable experience and it has provided me with transferable skills and knowledge that I will apply in my post-university life.”

“This amazing group of #kentglobalofficers have led our internationalisation at home and have created and participated in so many cross-disciplinary and transnational activities; it is truly humbling and inspiring, especially given the challenges of the pandemic!” Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation

Would you like to become Kent’s next Global Officer, 2021-22?  Applications are now open (deadline 10 October 2021). For further information and to apply, please see:

Challenging Racism session for Executive Group

Our executive group members undertook 3 x 2 hours sessions over a 6 week period starting in January 2021.

The sessions was strategic and high level, giving a broad picture of the current national context in relation to race and ethnicity and included tools for EG to use at their level. The programme was contextualised and took into account recent activity from staff and student’s networks i.e. call for action/demands after the death of George Floyd that EG needed to respond to.

The sessions covered the following areas:

1.       Where have we been?  

·       Scene setting and expectations of the group.

·       Context setting: what’s the conversation going on nationally? In the HE sector?

·       Sharing concerns and challenges of talking about race and having these conversations

·       Exploring privilege and white privilege

~ Mid-session tasks~ The group will be set a video/TED talk to watch and an article to read

2.       Where are we now?

·       Reflection on session 1 and mid-session tasks

·       Micro-aggressions and language. How do we spot it? How do we challenge and change? Practical tips for constructive challenge and how to role model this as a leader.

~ Mid-session tasks~ The group will be set a video/TED talk to watch and an article to read  

3.       Where do we go next?

·       Reflection on the journey so far

·       How to start conversations about race – including rehearsing starting the conversation

The sessions were well attended with the majority of EG members attending all 3 sessions. Evaluation feedback was requested at the end of each workshop and the next workshop was designed based on the comments and suggestions received following an iterative approach. The first 2 workshops were mostly about building basic knowledge and understanding around the challenges surrounding race equality whereas the last workshop was a lot more practical with the group discussing how they would respond to the call to action from staff and students. A number of “next steps” were agreed with the consultant and a follow-up workshop is planned for 2021-22.

person using laptop

Jobshop has moved to TargetConnect

The Careers and Employability Service is pleased to announce Jobshop, the vacancy portal run by Kent Union, has moved to TargetConnect. TargetConnect is the vacancy platform used by the Careers and Employability Service for advertising vacancies. Going forward, all part-time, temporary and seasonal roles will now also be advertised on TargetConnect, meaning students can access graduate schemes and jobs, internships, volunteering and now part-time vacancies in one place!

Students will still access the Jobshop website, however, they will now be directed to TargetConnect, to browse jobs and apply. Students will need to log in with their Kent credentials to access the jobs portal. Over the next few weeks, part-time roles will begin to be added to TargetConnect.

Employers can still advertise a part-time vacancy for free, by emailing Jobshop: or by visiting their website:

The Careers and Employability Service and Jobshop look forward to this new partnership!

Staff offers at Gulbenkian Arts Centre

Did you know Kent staff members get a discount on tickets at Gulbenkian Arts Centre?

Staff Members can save up to £2 off films* at Gulbenkian Arts Centre.

Throughout August, Gulbenkian Arts Centre’s cinema is open screening a range of summer blockbusters, independent flicks and also lots of family friendly films feature in our August programme!

Summer film season includes Off The Rails, Freaky, Nowhere Special, The World To Come, Deerskin, Limbo and more!

Tickets are available to book online through the Gulbenkian Arts Centre.

Proof of University of Kent Staff ID may be required when attending the event.

Also don’t forget to register to attend the University of Kent Staff Day at bOing! Kent’s Family Arts Festival on Fri 27 August 2021.

Organised as a big thank you from the University to all Kent staff in recognition for the tremendous effort put in by all throughout the year, the Staff Family Day at bOing! is FREE for Kent staff and their families to attend. Find out more and register.

*The offer applies to University of Kent staff member only and selected events. Does not include Family Film Screenings or one-off events. Not available for friends and family of staff member.

Changing how we work: End of year update 

From Jane Higham, Chief Financial Officer

As we head into the summer after an especially challenging year, I wanted to give everyone an update on the work to embed the new structures put in place over the last 12 months. It’s been a challenging year for everyone and we really do hear what many of you are saying about the impact the changes have had on many people’s workload and wellbeing. As Chair of the Project Strategic Group overseeing implementation, I fully appreciate there is a lot still to do to get this right. In particular, our processes and ways of working are making it hard to realise the benefits of the new structures, and both these and the initial challenges with KentVision are vital issues for us to address to help make things easier.  

Actions are much more important than words with this and we are prioritising a number of immediate changes to start alleviating workload pressure as we head into next year. This is on top of accompanying work to clarify academic governance structures and to identify opportunities for short-term support where its impact would be most felt.

How We Work: Process Improvement

Activity led by the Project Management Office to fast-track process improvement university-wide is pushing ahead, with initial scoping work having identified a number of both quicker wins to work on along with some longer-term change initiatives that need to be prioritised. A number of the more immediate opportunities for improvement are already being addressed, with the PMO supporting teams and process owners to get changes in place quickly – thank you to everyone you sent in suggestions for this via the How We Work pages.

Framework Agreements 

The relationship between Divisions and central Professional Services teams is key to the success of our new structure. Those relationships are defined within framework agreements which cover how the different teams work together, where accountability sits and who leads on which areas of activity. The majority of the frameworks are now in place and are forming the basis of ongoing collaboration between Divisions and central teams – the remainder will be agreed by October at the latest. 

Heads of Profession 

Supporting this will be Heads of Profession who will provide leadership, training and support for colleagues working in their professional areas across the University. It has taken time to develop this role and the expectations for interaction between different areas that come with it – again, these will be in place in line with the final framework agreements by October. 

Ongoing Engagement 

Bringing new communities together while working remotely has been a challenge, and we are currently developing plans for ongoing engagement in different areas to help with this. This is to ensure there are regular opportunities for different key groups to come together, supported by a broader programme of staff engagement activity throughout the year opening with the proposed Staff Conference in September.  

Whilst I can’t promise things will get better quickly, I hope this reassures you that the pressures staff are experiencing are recognised and that actions are being taken to address what we can as quickly as possible. In the meantime, while I know it remains a busy time for many – and particularly those involved in the huge Clearing efforts this week – I hope colleagues can take advantage of reduced email traffic and some time off over the summer and I look forward to continuing to improve how we work together in the year ahead. 

Jane Higham | Chief Financial Officer