Monthly Archives: August 2022

Three people looking at a computer screen

SharePoint 2013 closure dates

We have previously communicated that SharePoint 2013 will be set to ‘read only’ on 1 September 2022.

Whilst this has already been done for some sites, we have had to delay the read only date for all SharePoint 2013 sites to 1 October 2022.

Please ensure all content is moved away from SharePoint 2013 by 1 October 2022.

SharePoint 2013 will be permanently retired after 31 December 2022.

What does this include?

  • All SharePoint 2013 sites, which includes anything beginning with a URL
  • SharePoint 2013 ‘mysites’, which begin with the URL and can be accessed by clicking ‘OneDrive’ in the top right corner of SharePoint 2013.

For further help:

There is lots of useful advice on the KentNet Support site.

If you are not aware of the process to move content or where content should be moved to please send your enquiry to Izzy Linthwaite, Digital Collaborative Services Lead, Information Services.

Staff Conference 2022: At Medway

As part of this year’s Staff Conference 2022 we have a variety of exciting wellbeing activities taking place on our Medway Campus.

For Tuesday 13 September, there will be an all-day health monitoring session at Medway, where our Occupational Health Department are offering staff blood pressure checks in Room M04. If you would like an appointment, please email

On Wednesday 14 September, before you join colleagues at the staff barbecue (between 12.00-14.00) for a fun afternoon of live music, food and drink, there are a number of staff wellbeing activities for you to sign up to.

All these sessions will be taking place on our Medway campus, so take a look at the schedule and come along!

09.30 – 16.00 – Acupressure chair massage – with Rebecca Farrell

Rebecca is the owner of Centre Anahata in Chatham and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists. currently the only practitioner trained to offer Ayurvedic Yoga Massage in Kent, alongside her qualifications in seated chair massage, reflexology and yoga.

Please book for twenty-minute slots of seated chair massage will be offered throughout the day to relieve muscular pressure and leave staff feeling energised and refreshed.

10.30 – 11.30 – Nutrition talk – with Leni Wood

Leni Wood is a registered Nutritional Therapist specialising in gut and women’s health within her online clinic at OWN Nutrition. Leni is also the Head of Nutrition & Wellness Development for Nellsar Care Homes Ltd where she works closely with catering, care and nursing teams who support elderly and vulnerable adults living with long-term illness and dementia.

The hour will include:

  • The basics of healthy eating and energy balance.
  • How to nourish yourself throughout the day, with a focus on sustaining energy through diet, avoiding the 3pm biscuit(s) and subsequent sleepy slump.
  • Macronutrients and micronutrients and how they can affect energy production.
  •  The gut / brain connection.
  • Simple tips for improving diet and lifestyle.

14.00 – 15.00 – Sound healing – with Michelle Crozier

Led by Michelle Crozier, originally from an opera and musical theatre background Michelle became a kirtan drummer and backing vocalist, supporting other artists.  She then realised her dream of leading her own kirtans and sound healing events.

The hour will entail a sound healing journey in which attendees which just need to sit back and relax. The intention is to let go of the stresses of everyday life that can appear in the body on a physical, emotional and energetic level. The music will be a creative mix of singing bowls, tingsha and koshi bells, kalimba, shamanic sounds, drumming, mantra singing and rich angelic tones.

12.00 – 14.00 – Medway staff barbecue

Food, drinks, live music socialising and networking… We hope to see you there!

Check out the daily programmes for the Staff Conference 2022.

Don’t forget to check out The Medway Learning and Teaching Festival.

Working together on the Cost of Living

The cost of living is an increasing concern for many of us following recent announcements on both the energy price cap and rising inflation. We want to make sure we are doing what we can now to prepare for this and support staff and students wherever we can. 

Staff from HR, Commercial Services and Finance are meeting regularly to identify what we can put in place ahead of the winter months. Trade Union and Staff Representatives are also gathering suggestions ahead of the 21 September JSNCC where we aim to come up with an initial list of measures to introduce. This includes looking into external schemes that could help staff with managing their finances, circulating discounts available to staff, and seeing what other financial measures might be possible on top of the recent one-off payment from the Staff Resilience Fund. 

The potential impact on students is also a huge concern for all of us and we want to do everything we can to minimise the impact on their studies. A cross-University working group led by Kent Union is meeting regularly to quickly identify ways we can support new and returning students. This includes campaigns to raise awareness of the range of financial support available to students at Kent, plus any new initiatives we can put in place to limit the impact of rising costs. Discussions are also taking place with other universities and the local council about city-wide activity. 

This is a worrying time for so many here and across the country, both in terms of personal budgets and the wider impact on businesses and institutions. We are also keeping a close eye on the impact on our own bills as a University, both in terms of utilities across our estate and our wider suppliers. All of us will have a part to play in this, from putting forward suggestions for how we can support each other to doing what we can to minimise non-essential spend – we will also provide regular updates on our work on this as the working group continues to meet. 

Make a suggestion to your Trade Union or Staff Representative 

Get confidential support anytime via our Employee Assistance Programme 

Staff Conference 2022: EDI Pathway on 15 September

As part of our Staff Conference 2022 (15-16 September), our ‘EDI Pathway’ will take place on Thursday 15 September. This is a day-long, face-to-face strand of presentations and workshops addressing, among other things, the experience of our trans students, the role of our staff disability network, accessibility and adult education.

All sessions will be taking place in Room TS2 in Templeman, so take a look at the schedule and come along!

10.15 – 11.00 – The experiences of our trans students – with Lynne Regan

This session will present Lynne’s recent research which looks at how improvements to university processes and facilities can provide a more inclusive environment where trans students feel validated and supported. It considers how trans-inclusive curricula can help to address the power imbalance of learning within a privileged cisnormative environment. The session will include group discussions with scenarios about we can better support our trans students.

11.15 – 12.00 – StellarHE – promoting diversity in leadership – with Sarah Dustagheer

Authenticity, inclusive emotional intelligence, cultural competence and inclusive leadership are some of the attributes that Black, Asian and ethnically diverse leaders bring to Higher Education. And yet they continue to be under-represented in senior roles and their lived experiences continue to be impacted by micro-aggressions through to outright discrimination.

StellarHE supports the achievement of Race Equality Charter Mark goal to “inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to minority ethnic staff and students”. It is a tried and tested development experience for Diverse Leaders in HE.

In this session the first ever cohort of StellarHE colleagues from Kent share their experience of the course.

12.00 – 13.00 – What are they saying about faith in universities? – with Revd Dr Stephen Laird

Recent research has revealed that students at UK universities are now generally more attuned to religious faith than lecturers, supervisors and service providers. Our own student demographic has moved decisively towards greater ethnic and cultural diversity – something which is not reflected to the same extent across the staff body – and this observation certainly applies at Kent. This session will involve the sharing and discussion of data and our local insights followed by a discussion.

13.50 – 14.30 – Why do we bother with EDI initiatives? with Martin Michaelis

Is the purpose of EDI to make sure we adhere to legal requirements and remain in line with the law? Or do we want to go beyond the minimal requirements set by the law? And if so, why?

Drawing on his experience as EDI Lead in the Division of Natural Sciences, Martin will outline the importance of understanding why we undertake EDI initiatives and how the University and all staff and students can benefit from doing so. What is needed, he argues, is an inclusive, participatory leadership approach across the University that gives everybody the opportunity to make meaningful contributions and to receive the recognition for them.

14.30 – 15.15 – Get involved – the Staff disability network – with Dr Jennifer Leigh, Josie Caplehorne, Hannah Greer and Dr Jolie Keemink

What does it mean to be disabled, chronically ill or neurodivergent? What is it like to work with or manage a disabled or neurodivergent person? What are we too afraid to ask or say?

Delivered by the Staff Disability Network, this session will create more openness and understanding around these topics, introduce the Network’s activities, explain how you can get involved and what the network can do to support you. An open discussion will follow, using an approach that harnesses creative research methods to bring about conversations on topics that can be hard to put into words and to co-create a tangible output.

15.30 – 16.15 – Making information and learning accessible for all – with Kasia Senyszyn

How do we make our content and our teaching more inclusive? How do we gain confidence in creating accessible content to support all our students?

This session is for all staff who want to improve their support for students and staff with additional accessibility needs, as well as develop creative ways to embed ‘reasonable adjustments’ into their work and processes. Come along to learn interactively and to play some games!

If you have any access requirements for the session please do get in touch.

16.15 – 17.00 – Bridging the gap: How the University is breaking barriers to adult education and doing 6th form differently – with Donna Coyte and Lucy Frost

Diversifying our teaching provision is an important objective for the University as it enhances opportunity for students, breaking down barriers to progress and achievement. Find out about the University’s responsive and flexible approach to adult education and 6th form provision, why we do this, what we’ve learnt and why it matters.

Listen to our students on the 6th form programme on the Medway campus as they explain why they love our University Entrance Diploma course, how it has helped them to progress to undergraduate study and why we decided to develop and invest in this innovative programme. Adult students on the University’s Access to HE Diploma programme will also share their experiences of getting back to education. This session will focus on how and why this information can be of use to staff with some key ‘take-aways’, with a brief Q&A at the end.

Check out the daily programmes for the Staff Conference 2022.

Student Rachel in 'The Shed' workshop

Kent Stars: Rolls-Royce Researcher Rachel

This month’s Kent Star is Rachel Muir, who won targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award Celebrating Neurodiverse Talent. Rachel explains why she applied (spoiler – it was a bigger competition that she realised!), how she is finding her internship at Rolls-Royce and her advice for other students. Hear from Rolls-Royce Researcher Rachel:

“Hello everyone, I’m Rachel! I’m currently in my penultimate year of computer science and working towards starting a PhD in software verification. Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time in The Shed, within Cornwallis, where Tinker Soc is held. Designing different projects and working on them with friends is one of my favourite activities. In the evenings, I love free-style ice skating, bike rides down the incredible Canterbury bike trails and spending time with my friends through activities such as guitar or gaming.”

Rachel stood outside "The Shed" in Cornwallis

Tell us about winning targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award Celebrating Neurodiverse Talent.

“My original impression of the Undergraduate of the Year award was that I was applying for an internship with Rolls-Royce. Later I found out that it was a UK-wide competition that held quite a lot of weight. It was quite the shock to find out the scale of the award and I certainly felt out of my depth.

However, as time went on, I met some fellow contestants online who were shortlisted for winning, and others who worked at R2 Factory, connected to the internship. Getting to know the other contestants, and learning more about who would be attending the awards and what the experience would be like, was a great comfort for me. I’d never been to a large event in front of so many people, and as someone who usually remains out of the attention of others, this was a new challenge.

On the day of the awards, I got to meet all the shortlisted contestants in person as well as James Corbin, Head of Careers and Employability at Kent, whom I was really glad came to support me! It was amazing to meet others who had made it to the award ceremony, and knowing they were also neurodiverse gave me a sense of pride and recognition for us achieving something amazing. With 300 people in the room, there was certainly an atmosphere of excitement, anticipation and nerves. Hearing the backstories for the awards was a reminder that one person can reach such a vast number of people, and you could see the emotional effect some of the awards had on the room.

As overwhelmed as I was when it was announced, I was honoured to win the award for the neurodiversity category and humbled by all the different challenges overcome and accomplishments from the other winners and short-listed contestants. I’ve really enjoyed the first couple of weeks of the internship learning so many new things, and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 weeks brings me.”

What advice would you give to other students?

“I said earlier that I didn’t quite understand the scale of the award when I first applied. This may have been the reason I didn’t hesitate much when applying, as if I knew the scale, I may have assumed I couldn’t win and never applied.

I would urge anyone to apply for anything that piques their interest, whether it’s an award or an opportunity that arises. Even if you have doubts about how far you may get, or whether you have a chance of winning, you can always give it a go. If you’re interested about a subject, why would you not be able to do it?”

Rachel soldering

What are your plans for the next year?

“I hope to travel during the summer and explore a little bit more of England, and the world. I would like to try and incorporate some small coding camps or competitions during my travel and gain more experience. Hopefully I will learn more about programming, but my favourite part of travelling is learning about other people’s backgrounds, cultures, what they’ve learnt and what I can learn from them. After my final year ends, my intention is to start a PhD and see where it leads me.”

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

Staff Conference 2022 – Building our University Community

Last year’s inaugural staff conference was necessarily a virtual event. This year, with Covid restrictions behind us, we can for the first time ensure that connectivity, collaboration and community-building of the face-to-face kind lie at the heart of our annual staff conference.

Everyone gets involved

The programme, launched today, shows us I think a number of things: with more than 50 sessions led and presented by around 70 members of staff, it shows us the extraordinary richness of the ideas, interests and insights that colleagues are keen to share with others. It highlights the tremendous opportunities we all have to learn from one another and it underlines the ambition that underpins so many of the activities being undertaken here at our University.

Such was the number and quality of the proposals received that the organising committee decided to extend the period of the conference and start it at the beginning of the week commencing 12 September with a number of wellbeing-related activities, tours of facilities within Divisions, bookable health tests and much more taking place through the whole week both at Canterbury and at Medway.

What we have in store

On the morning of September 15 the formal programme kicks off with a ‘state of the nation’, priority-setting welcome and introduction by the Vice-Chancellor, with a chance to ask questions. This will also highlight projects coming this year that demonstrate our collective pursuit of progress and our determination to make our mark in the world – linked to our new and exciting brand identity, which has ambition at its core.

Later that morning, we have an in-conversation session, open to all, between Kent and Kherson State University, our Ukrainian ‘twin’ institution, currently under Russian occupation. What is university life like for staff and students at Kherson under such difficult and challenging circumstances? How are students and staff coping? How can our twinning initiative help them? Come along and find out.

Through the day and a half of the conference, one strand of activities (Strand A) will be available on Teams as well as face to face, highlighting the University’s three strategic pillars, introducing some key initiatives, and launching the new People and Culture Strategy.

Features of the conference

Another feature of the first day is an ‘EDI Pathway’, a day-long, face-to-face strand of presentations and workshops addressing, among other things, the experience of our trans students, the role of our staff disability network, accessibility and adult education.

Health and wellbeing are at the heart of the programme too with a wide range of activities that will be as good for your mind and soul as they are for your body, including pilates, tai chi, zumba, a tour of the trees of the southern slopes, and the very first appearance on campus of Jack the therapy cat! Financial advice will also be available, as will help in navigating the support accessible by all through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

Employability, schools and colleges outreach, data protection, communications support, and showcases of the work of our Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (iCCi) and Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) will also feature prominently. And look out for Vicky Annis from Kent Sport, giving us her first-hand account of volunteering at the recent Commonwealth Games.

Network opportunities

Opportunities to socialise and network will be key to the event – with lunch and a drinks reception open to all on the 15th – as we look to bring colleagues together, celebrate our achievements and look forward to those to come. There will also be giveaway items for staff that showcase our new look and feel, linked to the brand launch at the beginning of the day.

Last – and certainly not least – the staff barbecue, a highlight of the staff calendar, will take place at lunchtime on the 16th to round off the week off in suitably celebratory fashion.

Launch events, social and networking occasions, leisure and fitness activities, tours, workshops, presentations, debates and discussion… I hesitate to say that ‘there’s something for everyone’ – but there really is!

Do take a look at the programme, come to as much as you can and we look forward to seeing you there.

Philip Pothen | Director of Engagement  

Fruiting trees

Kent’s Diamond Garden – Grow With Us!

Our beautiful, green and biodiverse environment is such a special feature of our campuses. We’re also ambitious for how we can develop this further in the future as we look ahead to the University’s 60th anniversary.

Starting this year, we’re going to be working with students on the exciting new Diamond Garden project, planting 300 fruiting trees to create an orchard on the Southern Slopes of the Canterbury Campus. We are also planting a fruit tree and wildflower meadow on the Rochester Lawn at our Medway campus.

The trees will be planted at an event this year with incoming undergraduates, marking the start of their special journey to becoming the Class of 2025, and growing with them before they graduate in our Diamond Anniversary year. This marks the start of a three-year project as we develop the Diamond Garden to become a space that will support people and wildlife in this area of the campus.

Emily Mason, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, explains what the Diamond Garden project is all about and how we can all get involved: 

Kent’s Diamond Garden project is a special collaboration between teams across the University, aiming to both boost our biodiversity and also create connections between this year’s incoming students and their campus. We want the incoming students to feel that these trees are theirs and see how this part of campus transforms over the next three years and beyond.

Celebrating our 60th Anniversary

2025 will be a big landmark for the University and we want to show how sustainability is at the heart of our future plans – planting an orchard is a commitment to our green spaces, while developing them will support local wildlife too. Green spaces are also so valuable to mental health and broader wellbeing – we want all of our community to benefit from healthy diverse habitats, even if just for a bit of a quiet time in the middle of their busy days.

Transforming our Southern Slopes

The Southern Slopes provides an ideal setting for a semi-natural orchard and meadow that will not only be a beautiful space for students, staff and community members to enjoy, but also provides a complex habitat that we do not already have on campus, boosting biodiversity in the area. Because orchards are mosaics of trees, grasses, shrubs and wildflowers, they support a wide range of wildlife – as fruit trees age quickly, they create the perfect habitats for invertebrates and birds, such as the lesser spotted woodpecker.

Getting involved!

We are planning a wide range of activities around the space including guided walks, BioBlitz activities and wellbeing opportunities. There will also be more opportunities as the trees grow for harvesting and cooking activities.

Co-creation is at the heart of the project, starting in September with students helping pick elements that make this project unique. The orchard will have six distinct features within it, chosen by students from each of the six divisions. These could include seating areas, performance spaces, hibernacula and quiet areas, and anything else the students may come up with. These unique features will open up a new range of activities that can be led by students and staff across the University.

We’d also love to hear your thoughts! If you have any ideas that you would like us to hear and consider, or thoughts on future activities, please email the Sustainability Team at


Final call for bOing! Family Festival this weekend Sat 27 and Sun 28 August

As ever, bOing! is totally free to enter so you can relax and enjoy a brilliant festival day with lots of free, outdoor performances and activities. bOing is a family festival, meaning its not just for children – we programme fantastic artists from across the UK and beyond who make work for all ages.

We also have a number of ticketed indoor performances that you can buy tickets for. This year we are excited to host the world premiere of Alice by Jasmin Vardimon Company and we have the return of the bOing! favourite – the Architects of Air Luminarium. Plus many more.

For more details visit the bOing website.

Innovations in Internationalisation at Home Conference

The University of Kent has hosted the third successful Innovations in Internationalisation at Home Conference, chaired by Kent’s Director and Dean for Global and Lifelong Learning Dr Anthony Manning, and in collaboration with The IC Global.  Building on previous successes, this year’s conference remained digital allowing for participation by delegates spanning more than 30 countries with 145 attendees of the live conference session on 15 July and already more than 2000 views of our video session content.

The theme for 2022 was ‘The Power of Co-creation’ and included the creation of 20 pre-recorded video presentations from colleagues around the world sharing their experiences and insights in this area of work.  Topics ranged from working with students as partners, developing intercultural competences and skills, building a community, to examples of COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Initiatives.  Online presentations were made available asynchronously in advance of the live conference, followed by the opportunity for live Q&A sessions with our presenters during the main conference.

Colleagues can access the IIH Conference sessions on this link

We were delighted to welcome Plenary Speakers, Eva Haug, Educational Advisor for Internationalisation of the Curriculum and COIL, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, who shared her thoughts about the potential of COIL and Virtual Exchange for a co-creative experience and Eveke de Louw, International Policy Advisor for the Curriculum and Co-curriculum, The Hague University of Applied Sciences who  gave a critical reflection on moving towards an impactful practice for IaH.

Dr Anthony Manning, said, This third conference in the Innovations in Internationalisation at Home series shows how interest in this important area of inclusive and accessible internationalisation continues to grow in interest across the international HE community. The conference and it’s diverse presenters continue to showcase a wide range of good practice through formal and informal curriculum internationalisation initiatives which offers opportunity for educational enhancement and global citizenship development. This benefits, students, universities employers and international communities.

Kent is now delighted to announce its first IIH workshop which takes place on Friday 9th September in London.  This in-person event will include a series of workshops and round-table styled activities which will build on the themes of our recent digital conference.  It will provide practitioners with the opportunity to learn from colleagues, bring their own challenges and problems, to hopefully leave with solutions to enhance their own practice.

Booking for this workshop is now open

For more information, see our website or contact us at