From Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President
As 2021 draws to a close, I want to send my sincere thanks and good wishes to you all for everything that has been achieved over the past 12 months. It has been quite a time for everyone, staff, students, family and friends, as we have dealt with a range of issues across the year, not least the continued impact of the pandemic. You have all done an incredible job ensuring our students’ education and support continues to be of a high standard, that our research continues to have impact and make a difference to people’s lives and that we are continuing to play our part in our local communities. The Autumn term has also presented challenges with new organisation structures and ways of working, along with KentVision implementation affecting our workloads. However, I remain humbled by how people have responded to addressing these issues and clear that all of us want what is best for Kent, and that spirit of collaboration remains at the heart of our community day in, day out.
There are so many positives for us to look back on this year already. A second Nobel Prize in Literature winner for Kent with the fantastic success of Abdulrazak Gurnah; powerful international events like The Walk with Amal that connect up our research with innovation and creativity across our campuses; Papin-Prize winning colleagues supporting the NHS; our fantastic Staff Recognition Awards shining a light on the way we all pulled together to respond to the pandemic; and only last week a well-deserved Learning Technologist of the Year Award from our amazing E-Learning Team. We really do have so much to be proud of and build on in the future ahead.
As we look towards the Christmas break, I know many will be uncertain or concerned about the latest Covid-19 wave brought about by the Omicron variant. The safety of our staff and students will remain at the heart of all our response to this and we will be keeping a ‘watching brief’ over Christmas for any updates that further affect our community following the recent announcements. However, as we close from Wednesday 22 December until we return on Tuesday 4 January, the most important thing is for everyone to get as much of a break as they can and, where possible, spend time with friends and family – it is fully deserved for all of you. I send my very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President