Monthly Archives: February 2022

Attend the Kent Global Showcase – 16 March 2022

You are invited to attend the (online) Kent Global Showcase – 16 March 2022 

Dr Anthony Manning, Director and Dean for Global and Lifelong Learning explains more here: 


Register to attend 

Professor Richard Reece will outline the next steps for consultation on the approach to Global Engagement at Kent
This year, the Kent Global Showcase event will be held from 14:30-16:00 (UK time) on the 16 March. Colleagues from across university will provide an overview of some of the current global engagement initiatives in focus and examples of good practice from our divisions. At the event Professor Richard Reece will outline the next steps for consultation on the approach to Global Engagement at Kent. 

During the event we will also hold the next session of our Solidarity with Ukraine group. This will provide an update on the available support organised by the University for both our staff and students. 

Spotlight Sessions
During the session there will be a spotlight session delivered by Kent’s Catherine Morris, Environmental Advisor, on the important intersection between sustainability and internationalisation. Emma Marku, Internationalisation Officer and Laura Charleton, Senior Lecturer in LSSJ, will also focus on virtual mobility, exchanges and Summer/Winter schools.  

Attending the Showcase will offer you an excellent opportunity to gain updates from Kent colleagues relating to Partnerships, Recruitment and Alumni engagement.  

As always, there will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and identify avenues for support during the event.  

Register to attend

Leadership Blog: Youth Summit will reconnect young people to their missed learning

From Philip Pothen | Director of Engagement

Among the groups most affected by the pandemic have been our schoolchildren. The impacts of home schooling and stop-start lockdowns, the effects of mask-wearing, social distancing, bubbles and other measures in the classroom and the lack of continuity and predictability in their learning have disrupted their lives and their educational development.

As we finally but tentatively emerge from Covid, our thoughts turn to how we can begin to make up for the missed learning, the lost fun, creativity and opportunities that schoolchildren and young people have missed out on over the last two years.

One of the most ambitious and exciting initiatives to address this challenge is Kent County Council’s Reconnect programme. It represents a significant commitment to our county’s schoolchildren and young people and, as a university with a similar commitment to the learning, progression and skills of everyone in our region, I believe this initiative fully deserves our support.

It was this commitment that drove our wish to apply to host and deliver an event which would help address some of these challenges. The recent news that we are being funded to deliver a Youth Summit is fantastic for the university but great for the programme and our young people too as I think we have a great deal to offer.

In summary, the Kent Youth Summit will be a vibrant multiplatform event co-designed with Kent County Council and with young people themselves for young people living in our county. Over five days at the end of June our Summit will address many of the negative impacts of the pandemic, reconnecting young people to a world of learning, engagement and creativity and providing a platform for them to express themselves on subjects of importance to them.

Typically, learning activities will be designed to take place in the weeks leading up to the event, with engagement building up to and culminating in a week-long, on-campus Youth Summit, involving keynote speakers, debates, competitions, exhibition spaces and much more. These activities – some delivered by our academics and some by students – will be linked to real-world themes underpinned by high-quality teaching and world-leading research expertise.

We’ll also amplify these activities across the county through the work of KMTV, through our own communications channels and through regional media so that as we emerge from the pandemic we can ensure we recognise, reward, and celebrate young people’s efforts and achievements, and ensure that their voices are heard.

It’s great to receive good news – but the hard work starts now! Watch out for regular updates on the Summit as we bring plans together and do get in touch if you think your work could be a part of it.

In Conversation with Abdulrazak Gurnah Review

Dr Bashir Abu-Manneh | Head of School of English

On 24 February, the School of English (in association with the iCCi and the British Council) hosted Abdulrazak Gurnah, our own Nobel Laureate in Literature, for an “In Conversation” dialogue with Amy Sackville and me. The Gulbenkian Theatre was packed and the event was livestreamed.

With characteristic charm, generosity, and straight talking, Gurnah elaborated on key aspects of his worldview and fiction. We discussed the problems of departure and arrival, his sense of what belonging means, how justice informs his work, his critical intervention in English literary studies, his teaching and its relation to his fiction writing, and telling stories that need to be told. Gurnah talked about why stories about neglected lives and forgotten people matter, about the human effort to survive in the face of adversity and hostility, and about the importance of travel, journeying, and understanding the cosmopolitan histories of pre-colonial East Africa. He also foregrounded the particular dimensions of forced displacement and the human responsibility to provide refuge for those escaping war, state violence, and terror.

“Writing made my life feel useful and fulfilling”, he affirmed. As his work captured loss, tragedy, and past injury, it facilitated a process of retrieval and restitution. His work, he said, thus lingers on necessity and tries to get at truth: “It always feels very important to me as a writer to say that I am speaking as truthfully as I can”. So he challenges the exclusions and ideologies of power and insists on universal human needs. If human cultures can be “ugly, monstrous things” and an unexamined sense of belonging risks self-delusions, remaining cautious and open to the experience of others can save us from narcissistic self-regard.

After such rich ruminations on literature and writing, I left the event thinking that Gurnah’s singular literary achievement feels truly historic for Kent. His impact on our School of English and on our critical and creative practices felt deep and enduring. For me, Gurnah epitomises the best of Kent: a confident educational institution committed to neglected voices and democratising narratives and publicly engaged in the pursuit of global justice. What better civic mission for our University?

If you missed this event you can view our livestream here.

Aerial view of Canterbury

Covid-19 Update: What’s changing at Kent

Living with Covid

Following the recent Government announcements on ‘Living with Covid’, all legal Covid-19 restrictions in England have now ended. However, this doesn’t mean that Covid has gone away – we continue to encourage all staff to keep the health and safety of each other in mind, particularly those who are vulnerable or who have close friends or relatives who are shielding.

That means:

  • Staying at home if you have Covid-19 symptoms until you have had two negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart – you can work from home during this period if you feel able to
  • Wearing a face mask in crowded indoor spaces as we have been
  • Getting tested regularly if you can when you are coming onto campus

Where can I get test kits?

Test kits can be ordered online and can also be sourced from a number of community locations such as pharmacies and libraries. Unfortunately, as part of the recent Government updates we are no longer able to distribute test kits ourselves due to changes to the licences for universities.

“Responding to the impact of Covid-19 has taken an enormous effort across the University and everyone has really pulled together to help us through the worst of it. The recent Government changes move us into a different phase, with fewer restrictions in place across the country. However, lots of people will understandably have concerns around this, particularly vulnerable staff or students – it’s up to all of us to keep on thinking of others and doing the things we can to keep each other safe.” 
Martin Atkinson, Director of HR & Organisational Development

Medway campus from above

Covid-19 Update: Changes at Kent

Living with Covid
Following the recent Government announcements on ‘Living with Covid’, all legal Covid-19 restrictions in England have now ended.

However, this does not mean that Covid has gone away, and we all still need to keep the safety of others in mind while we are on campus – particularly for those who are vulnerable or who have close friends or relatives who may be.

What this means at Kent
We are asking all of our students and staff to:

  • Stay at home if you have Covid-19 symptoms until you have had two negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart
  • Wear a face covering in crowded indoor spaces as we have been
  • Get tested regularly if you can when you are coming onto campus

Where can I get test kits?

Test kits can be ordered online and from a number of community locations such as pharmacies and libraries. Unfortunately, as part of the recent Government updates we are no longer able to distribute test kits ourselves due to changes to the licences for universities.

“All of you have played a huge role in helping us respond to Covid and I am hugely grateful for the way everyone has pulled together throughout to minimise cases at Kent – this collective approach will need to continue as we enter this new phase in how we manage our response.”
Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education and Student Experience

Let’s make mental health a university-wide priority

Thursday is University Mental Health Day! Find out what we’re doing at Kent and how you can join in.

University Mental Health Day is a national annual occurrence, this year on 3 March 2022, and is run jointly by Student Minds, a UK student mental health charity, and the University Mental Health Advisors Network (UMHAN), who provide support to students experiencing mental health difficulties in Higher Education.

We’re celebrating University Mental Health Day with a range of information and initiatives to help all students, wherever they may be studying, learn more about the wealth of wellbeing opportunities we have available. Look out for #UniKentWellbeing on the socials for more information. Could you use professional help for your mental health? Check out our Mental Health webpages for details of free support available to you.

Free plants!

To follow the theme of ‘Wellbeing and green spaces’, we are giving away free pot plants to any student who wants to come onto one of our campuses and grab one! We’ll be outside Templeman Library in Canterbury from 12.00-14.30 on Thursday 3 March, and outside Drill Hall Library in Medway from 12.00-14.00 on Thursday 10 March. Take a plant to nurture, and a flyer on lots of ways you can nurture yourself and boost your mental health with a variety of outdoor and indoor activities to connect with yourself and others.

Opportunities to Connect, Stay Active, Enhance Your Wellbeing

As well as giving away plants, there will be student volunteers and staff from all different departments ready to chat about all the different things you can get involved with alongside your studies to boost your mental health and general wellbeing. For example, the Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG), is a welcoming green space on the Canterbury campus, where students, staff and community members work together to create a sustainability hub centred around growing food.

Are you looking to meet others who live nearby? The College and Community Life team run a real variety of events from monthly movie nights and cooking workshops, to mindfulness walks and day trips. Would you like to boost your physical health? You don’t need to be a sporting pro to try something new with Kent Sport – there are a range of social sessions including running, badminton, tennis and much more. Love to read? Put down the textbooks and pick up a novel with others! Choose from the Templeman Library’s ‘Love to Read’ or ‘Wellbeing and self-help’ collection to relax and escape or discuss books with others at the Book Club.

If you’re in Medway head to the Drill Hall Library to Pick and Paint a Pot, attend a Wellbeing Drop-In or take the opportunity to have a relaxing massage and de-stress; check out the Drill Hall Library events webpage for all the details.

Kent investing in mental health

Check out this podcast with Lee Fellows, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, for more on what Kent is doing about student mental health.

Student Support and Wellbeing – professional support at university

Did you know that Kent has a professional support service of over 100 specialist staff? We’re here to support you with mental health, disabilities, and neurodiversity such as specific learning difficulties or autism, through 1:1 support as well as peer support groups and events. Here’s a video of top mental health tips from our mental health team.

Out of hours support

Feel like you really need to talk to someone but the Student Support offices are closed? Check out the Emergency Support page with details on online and telephone support available round the clock, such as our partners Spectrum Life, who you can call in the evenings and at weekends on 0800 0318227 pressing option 1; or Togetherall, the safe anonymous peer to peer online support forum free to Kent students.

Written by Natalia Crisanti, Student Services, on 23.02.22

Holding a small house plant

Events roundup: 28 February – 6 March

Here’s a quick round up of our top events this week:

All week: Inspiring Women week of events in lead up to International Women’s Day

Our Careers and Employability Service invite you to be inspired and motivated by women in all kinds of jobs, to help you succeed in your chosen field. There are events happening every day this week including inspiring women from tech, female founders and how to beat imposter syndrome. Check out the Inspiring Women week of events.

Monday: Last day for final year undergrads to get a FREE HOT DRINK for completing the NSS

The National Student Survey is the largest UK wide annual survey aimed at final year undergraduate students. This is your chance to share your experience at Kent – both what you like and how things could be improved.

Today (28 Feb), is the last day you can get a free hot drink for completing the NSS. Find out more on our NSS webpage.

Tuesday: Pancake day

Tuesday is pancake day! Find out where you can get some tasty pancakes on campus. Or head to Woody’s to see people compete in the Woody’s Pancake Challenge.

*update* Wednesday: Join the thousands of students getting vaccinated. We have a Covid-19 Vaccination pop-up vaccination clinic at our Canterbury campus on Wednesday 13.00-16.00 in the old Santander Bank. Find out more. 

Wednesday: Interested in learning a language?

On Wednesday you can take a free language taster session (in person or online) in the following languages; Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese or Spanish/Italian.

On Wednesday evening, you can recognise and develop your own multicultural skills at our ‘Tapping into your qualities as a global citizen’ online talk, with Intercultural Trainer Welrong Li.

Thursday: University Mental Health Day

Outside Templeman Library our Student Support and Wellbeing Team will be giving out free plants and opening up discussions around mental health. Come along between 12.00-15.00 to choose a free plant and ask any questions around mental health support.

Based in Medway? Get your free plants next Thursday from outside Drill Hall Library. You can also Pick and Paint a Pot, attend a Wellbeing Drop-In or take the opportunity to have a relaxing massage and de-stress; check out the Drill Hall Library events webpage for all the details.

More about University Mental Health Day support and events

More events

Want to browse all our student events? See all student events.

Sign up to the leadership development programme

Get involved with the leadership development programme

T&OD are pleased to share with you details of a new leadership development programme and invite you to identify proposed participant to take place in the first cohort, starting in April 2022.

The leadership development offer has been reviewed and a gap for operational and first-line managers developing into a leadership role was identified.

The programme ‘Stepping up’ is proposed to address this gap.

The Stepping Up programme has been designed for members of staff with general people management experience over and above basic procedural knowledge and skills. These individuals will either be new staff or have been identified as having the potential to progress to a more senior management/leadership role. 

The brochure outlines the programme, including session dates and programme content. This is aligned with current and future organisational requirements, contemporary leadership and management practice. 

The programme is open to academic and professional services colleagues.

There will be a maximum of 15 people on the first intake, with plans to run further cohorts starting in both September and January. 

Within the brochure you will find a nomination form which needs to be filled out by the applicant and a statement of support will be required by their manager (Word version here). 

Please complete and return the form to the T&OD team ( by 1st April 2022. They will confirm the cohort by the 8 April 2022. 

Stack of pancakes with berries on top

Pancake Day – where to eat on campus, 1 March

The most indulgent day of the year is almost here again. Nothing is more irresistible than a stack of pancakes, drizzled in maple syrup, slathered in Nutella, or spritzed and sprinkled with traditional lemon and sugar.

Shrove Tuesday falls a little later this year, which means we’ve all had plenty of time to practice our pancake flipping skills (in theory). But if you would rather leave the hard work (and washing up) to the experts, here’s where you can get your pancake fix…

Gulbenkian Café (Gulbenkian Arts Centre)

10.00 – 16.30 (whilst stock lasts)

American style pancake stack topped with:
– Bacon and maple flavour syrup £4.50
– Chocolate and banana (V) £4.50
– Apple, cinnamon, golden syrup, strawberry coulis, and soya yoghurt (Ve) £4.50

Mungo’s (Eliot College)

9.00 – 21.00 (whilst stocks last)


American style pancake stack topped with:
– Blueberry and maple flavour syrup (V) £2.25
– Bacon and maple flavour syrup £2.25
– Banana and honey (V) £2.25
– Nutella (V) £2.25
– Nutella and banana (V) £2.25

Vegan pancakes also available – just let a member of staff know.

V – Vegetarian | Ve – Vegan

Woody’s – Pancake Challenge

You can also head to Woody’s for their special pancake day menu. And join Woody’s later in the evening to see 12 people complete in the Woody’s Pancake Challenge and be in the chance of winning £100. 


Inspiring Women – events to open up career pathways for your future

In the run up to International Women’s Day,  our Careers and Employability Service invite you to be inspired and motivated by women in all kinds of jobs, to help you succeed in your chosen field.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March this year, and strives to bring people together to end bias, stereotypes and discrimination, working towards a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The theme for 2022 is to #BreakTheBias.

We want to be part of the international mission ‘to forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated’, and so our Careers and Employability Service have put together a fantastic programme of in person and online events called ‘Inspiring Women Week’, open to all students at all stages, from 28 February to 4 March – see below for details and to book your place.

What’s on at Kent? Inspiring Women Week events:

BOOK NOW: Women breaking into tech: In conversation with Sparta Global on Monday 28 February 13.00-14.00 (online).

Technology needs more diversity, women are still severely under-represented in the digital sector. Join Sparta Global, an award-wining tech company focussed on diversity, for an informal conversation on how to land your dream digital role and become the next female role model.

BOOK NOW: ASPIRE: Female Founders on Tuesday 1 March 13.00-14.00 (online).

Three inspirational women share their experiences of starting and running their own business, giving their tips for getting started, and keeping going.

BOOK NOW: #IamRemarkable on Tuesday 1 March 14.00-15.30 (online).

#IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond, thereby breaking modesty norms and glass ceilings. In this interactive session, you will participate in group discussions and exercises to develop the confidence and skills to promote yourself effectively.

BOOK NOW: #BreaktheBias: Leading Change on Wednesday 2 March 13.00-14.00 (online).

Swale Borough Council is celebrating Leading Change this International Women’s Day with your opportunity to find out more about roles in conservation, climate change and local government’s role in tackling this monumental challenge, with many inspiring women discussing their experiences in both the public and private sector.

BOOK NOW: In conversation with Professor Christina Hughes: Building your network on Wednesday 2 March 16.30-17.30

Join Lara Cavill (Employer Engagement & Events Officer) in conversation with Christina Hughes, Honorary Professor and former Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at the University of Kent and Founder and CEO of Women-Space, as they discuss overcoming the nervousness of networking to build a community of mutual support and opportunity; LinkedIn etiquette and how to “quietly network” in your organisation.

BOOK NOW: Overcoming shyness & imposter syndrome on Thursday 3 March 13.00-14.00.

Join Sam Fairbrother as she shares her career cringes, little wins, fails and triumphs. She will take you on her journey from studying, to interning, to finding a job, and now starting her own business.

BOOK NOW: The Female Entrepreneur: Victoria Rowley, Puddle Ducks on Friday 4 March 12.00-13.00 (online).

Victoria Rowley, owner of Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent & SE London will share her career journey from swimming instructor to owner of a successful franchise business. She will talk about what she has learnt as youngest franchisee across the Puddle Ducks network, top tips on running a business and how she kept her business afloat during the pandemic.

BOOK NOW: Shy Girl to Leading Woman – How Imperfection Can be Our Strongest Ally on Friday 4 March 14.00-15.00.

It is time to turn imposter syndrome on its head and discover how your own imperfections can be your strongest ally. Join Kent alum, Kinga, a 25-year-old international marketing agency founder, in a light-hearted discussion about her journey from being a timid shy girl, to doing all things possible at university to prove she’s good enough, to working for travel expenses alongside companies like Microsoft and NASA, to finding her business and working with billionaires and global entrepreneurs.

For the full programme and additional resources visit the Inspiring Women Week page.

More for International Women’s Day:

To see more online events taking place around the globe which you can join, take a look at the International Women’s Day Events online.

More to help your employability journey at Kent:

For more information on developing your employability skills, planning your career, improving your CV and practice interviews, check out the Careers and Employability Service website, where you can book 1:1 appointments with careers advisers and useful workshops. To stay up to date with the latest from the Careers Service, follow @UniKentEmploy.

Written by Natalia Crisanti, Student Services, 23.02.22