Monthly Archives: August 2022

I've had my Covid vaccination sticker

Reminder: have you had your vaccines?

Make sure you’re up to date with your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), MenACWY and Covid-19 vaccines. And if you’re not, book in with your GP Surgery to get the vaccine.

After arriving at university it is important you register with the local GP surgery, who will also be able to advise regarding your vaccinations and provide any vaccines to ensure you’re up-to-date.

Look out for symptoms of measles, meningitis and covid-19.

Facts about measles

  • Measles is circulating in England and in Europe, particularly among 15 -25 year olds.
  • Measles is very infectious, it can cause serious complications and, in rare cases, can be fatal.
  • Measles can be more severe in young people and adults, often leading to hospital admissions.
  • Measles starts with cold-like symptoms and sore red eyes followed by a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash. If you experience these symptoms, call NHS 111.
  • The best way to protect yourself against measles is to have two doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to get the vaccine. There are no risks to your health if you get an extra dose.
  • Young people are strongly advised to check if they have had the MMR vaccine. Check if you have had two doses of the vaccine with your GP and arrange a catch up NOW if necessary.
  • If you suspect you have measles stay away from others for at least four days after the rash has appeared.
  • Call NHS 111 if you think you might have measles or have been in contact with someone who has had it.

Facts about meningococcal disease

  • Meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly and can kill or leave people with life changing disabilities and health problems.
  • There has been a rapid increase in MenW, a type of meningococcal disease in recent years in the UK.
  • This recent MenW strain has been particularly serious and can be difficult to diagnose because it has been associated with symptoms less frequently seen with meningococcal disease, such as severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia include: 
    • a blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it; 
    • fever and/or vomiting; 
    • severe headaches;
    • aching muscles and joints and a stiff neck;
    • cold hands and feet, shivering;
    • pale or mottled skin, or rash;
    • breathing fast, breathless;
    • dislike of bright lights, seizures;
    • very sleepy, difficult to wake, vacant, confused or delirious.
  • The MenACWY vaccine is available free to students who are going to university for the first time up until their 25th birthday.
  • Any student born after 1 September 1996 who missed the MenACWY vaccine at secondary school can have the vaccine before their 25th birthday
  • Higher Education students are known to be at increased risk of meningitis and septicaemia. Being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls, hostels when travelling, or attending festivals, increase the chances of infection if unprotected.
  • Students should be aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and tell someone if they or their friends feel unwell.
  • It is vital for students to register with a GP and take up the vaccination as soon as possible. You can book an appointment to get the MenACWY vaccine via your GP.

To find out more about meningococcal disease and the Save a Life campaign, scan the QR code below.

meningococcal disease information QR code

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online.

For more information about Coronavirus visit our webpage for latest information.

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 sustainability@kent.ac.uk.

 

graduate woman looking excited

Support for mature, commuting and part-time students

If you are a mature, commuting or part-time student (or a combination) there is plenty of additional support for you and ways to connect with those in a similar position to you. This includes a society that runs events and study sessions at convenient times if you have other responsibilities (e.g. job and childcare), and a dedicated student network to help get your voice heard.

Mature Student Society

Kent Union has a Mature Student Society which acts as a forum to promote the challenges and needs of students over the age of 21. As well as being for mature students, the society welcomes students returning to education, part-time or commuting students, and students who have dependants or caring responsibilities. The society meets regularly and is a great way to socialise with other students with similar responsibilities and potential interests.

Mature and Part-Time Student Network

Kent Union has a number of student networks. The Mature and Part-Time Student Network aims to represent and act as the voice for all mature, commuting and part-time Students, and to feed back key issues that affect the mature, commuting and part-time student experience to both the University and Kent Union.

More about support available.

Spaces on campus

The following spaces are open to all and are a great place to make a base on campus for studying, heating up food or just chilling out. 

Community Lounge

The Community Lounge is based at the Canterbury campus as open Monday to Friday. As well as a social room and meeting room, there are two quiet study rooms, lockers, and kitchen access with a refrigerator, microwave, and kettle.

The Community Lounge is located on the ground floor of the Chipperfield Extension side entrance.

Oasis Lounge

The Oasis Lounge can be found in the Rochester building at our Medway campus. It includes a microwave and vending machines, as well as seating and a pool table. 

Hook Lounge

The Hook Lounge is based in the Clocktower building at the Dockyard, Medway. The Hook Lounge has vending machines which also provide free hot water to make your own drinks, plus a TV to help you chill out.

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 iihconference@kent.ac.uk

Two students chatting and sitting outside Templeman Library

Welcome to our Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you a warm welcome to Kent!

Global Skills Award

The Global Skills Award (GSA) is a programme of lectures and skills workshops designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs. It also develops your personal skills and enhances your career prospects while you study for your Master’s.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network to connect with other postgraduate students. They promote and raise awareness of postgraduate issues to students, University and Kent Union, as well as to create and support postgraduate campaigns and foster a community here in Kent.

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Ben Bradley is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.

Three people talking in a learning environment

Welcome to our Postgraduate Research (PGR) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you a warm welcome to Kent!

Kickstart your PhD workshop

PhD students embarking upon their first year as a PhD Researcher will need to attend a compulsory Kickstart your PhD workshop. This workshop explores the PhD journey and focuses on what researchers need to make the most of their doctoral programme. At this session, students will be introduced to the RDA form, which they will need to complete before their first year Probationary Review meeting. Kickstart your PhD sessions running in the Spring term are now available to book via the Graduate and Researcher College training portal Target Connect.

Researcher Developer Program

You may also be interested in our Researcher Developer Program (RDP) which is open to all postgraduate research students. The RDP is designed to equip postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers with a full range of skills. It improves your effectiveness as a researcher and ensures that by the end of your research project, you are both highly qualified and employable in a variety of careers.

New PhD mentoring scheme

Do you want to learn new skills and meet other postgraduate researchers? The Graduate and Researcher College is delighted to announce the launch of its mentoring scheme for PhD students. The scheme is designed to help support the personal development of both mentors and mentees. Applications for the scheme can be made, until 29 January 2021. Contact skills@kent.ac.uk to show your interest.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network to connect with other postgraduate students.

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Ben Bradley is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.

Stir fry

Cooking survival tips

Student Aleeya shares her experience about learning to cook at university:

Coming to university, many people think that cooking is something that can be easily picked up while you are adjusting in your first year. As a third year student, I can say from experience that cooking can be pretty exhausting, especially after a full day of lectures, seminars and assignments. In this post, I will be providing tips that I have learned over the years so that you can start your cooking journey as easily as possible.

The most important thing to think about when creating food that you find enjoyable to eat and to make is seasoning. Some people can forget that the bread and butter of cooking is seasoning. You need to have your basics, salt and pepper. These two items always need to be stocked in your cupboard. If you are a beginner cook, this can change the taste of your meals. For ingredients themselves make sure that you have both garlic and onion. Frying these before you cook can add that extra flavour that is needed to make sure that your meal tastes great.

Example recipe: Easy stir fry

For a simple stir fry you will need a couple ingredients:

  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped/ crushes
  • Stir fry vegetables (can get as a pack from the supermarket)
  • Soy sauce/stir fry sauce
  • Cooked noodles
  • (Optional) any meat of your choice

Method:

  1. Put oil into your pan and wait until it is hot. (You can tell if it is hot enough if it has a very water-like consistency compared to when it first entered the pan).
  2. Once the pan is hot enough, throw in the chopped onion and garlic. (If you want to have meat with your meal put the meat into the pan with the garlic and the onion)
  3. Once the onion and garlic is cooked ( as well as the meat if you have also added that), add in the stir fry vegetables with the sauce of your choice and mix.
  4. With all the vegetables cooked, add the cooked noodles into the pan and add more sauce if you want
  5. Wait until all the ingredients have reached the same temperature and then plate your food.
  6. Enjoy!

Tip for meat eaters

If you tend to have a packed schedule, to make sure that you get all the nutrients that you need, MAKE USE OF THE OVEN!  Compared to most recipes that involve the stove and a lot of supervision, when using the oven all you need to do is wait for the timer to end and for your food to be cooked.

For non-vegans/vegetarians, when my schedule was packed, I would prepare my meat before my day would start. I would do this by taking my meat out of the fridge (if you put your  meat in the freezer make sure to leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw out) and season it with the seasoning of my choice and leave that to soak during the day in the fridge. This will make sure that all the flavour is tasted throughout the meat and melts in your mouth.

You can prepare either a salad or rice whenever it is convenient, either in the morning or when you have the time later in the day. When dinner time has come around, you can quickly chop up some onions and garlic onto a pan with oil and place the meat on top as well as putting some oil over the meat and placing it in the oven. You can look online for the time it takes to cook most ingredients in the oven, but for a quick tip, for chicken you can put  it in the oven at 200 degrees (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes. While you are waiting for the meat to be done you can relax in the kitchen.

Tip for vegan/vegetarians

For the people that are vegan/vegetarian, you can do something similar but without the meat. Good vegetables that can be cooked in the oven are cauliflower, potatoes and broccoli. You can season these before you put them in the oven during the day and then when you are prepared to eat, follow similarly to the instructions above.

There are many resources online that are available, including recipes and videos that can easily guide you through this culinary journey. Don’t get demotivated, cooking can be a relaxing experience if you want it to be. Best of luck!

Handy cooking resources:
laptop

KentVision functionality back online

We are pleased to confirm that KentVision is currently running as normal following unprecedented pressures on the system.  

We have now brought all our functionally back online for our staff and students. Thank you for your continued patience while full functionality was restored and apologies for the impact this may have had.

woman working on a laptop on a desk with a notebook

Care first fortnightly webinars

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support.

Due to the stabilising situation of Covid, they’ll be doing a side-range of webinar topics. Here’s the schedule for two weeks:

Week commencing 15 August 2022

Monday 15 August –‘Care first critical incident support’ – This webinar provides details of the support Care first can offer that maybe relevant following a traumatic incident in the work place
Time: 13.00-13.30 – click on this link to sign up

Wednesday 17 August – ‘Never give up day – 18th August 2022’ – This webinar in about motivating and inspiring ourselves and others to never give up, while understanding how we can support those that might find it difficult.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Friday 19 August –‘How Care first can support you’ – A webinar for awareness and how to access the EAP service provided by Care first.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Week commencing 22 August 2022

Monday 22 August -‘Practical information and advice through Care first’ – The webinar provides detail about our Information Specialists and their role as part of your EAP service.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Wednesday 24 August – ‘How Care first can support you’ – A webinar for awareness and how to access the EAP service provided by Care first.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Friday 26 August – ‘Returning to school anxiety’ – A light touch session offering tips to help manage stress and anxiety when your children are returning to school or moving to a new one
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up