Monthly Archives: April 2023

King Charles III coronation emblem

Join the King’s Coronation celebrations at Kent

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort will take place on Saturday 6 May 2023 at Westminster Abbey.

To celebrate we are doing a number of things on campus including:

Canterbury ​​​​​​​

  • The Big Lunch Picnic in the tents outside the Registry and Gulbenkian (Canterbury campus) on Friday 5 May, from 12:30-14:30 
    Get together with your colleagues and bring your lunch to this Coronation picnic where we will be handing out free cake to celebrate. At the event you will also be able to buy our £4 packed-lunch deal.
  • Lawn games being provided by Kent Sport during the Big Lunch Picnic. Bring out your competitive spirit while enjoying some lawn games!
  • Coronation cupcake and hot drink for £3, from 2-5 May
    ​​​​Throughout the week you can get a Coronation cupcake and hot drink for just £3 from Gulbenkian Café, Dolche Vita and Sibson Café.
  • Coronation packed-lunch offer for just £4, from 2-5 May
    You can also buy a packed lunch including a sandwich, drink and crisps for just £4 throughout the week from BagIt in Rutherford College, Gulbenkian Café, Dolche Vita and Sibson Café.
  • British themed £3 meal in Rutherford Dining Hall from 2-5 May, 12:00 – 14:00
    The £3 meal deal menu in Rutherford Dining Hall (Canterbury) will feature a British themed dish for the week. 


  • The Big Lunch Picnic on the Rochester Lawn (Medway campus) on Wednesday 3 May, from 13:00 – 14:00
    Get together with your colleagues and bring your lunch to our Coronation picnic where we will be giving out free cupcakes. There will also be the chance to win a large Coronation cake.
  • Coronation deal at Medway on Wednesday 3 May
    The food truck on the Medway campus, Rich Aroma 21, will be offering a medium hot drink and a sausage roll or samosa for £5. ​​​​​​​

We hope to see you at the celebrations!

Kent sign on campus

Supporting staff and students affected by the conflict in Sudan

We are deeply saddened to hear about the fighting in Sudan. Our thoughts are with all our students, staff, alumni, and anyone who is affected by this conflict.

We are in the process of contacting our students and staff from Sudan and are taking immediate steps to support these individuals. The UK Government advice for anyone concerned about relatives or friends should call the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on 020 7008 5000.

Support for students:  

  • 24/7 support from Spectrum Life. If you or a friend need emergency support, Spectrum Life can offer online, text and telephone support from qualified counsellors and mental health professionals. Call 0800 0318227 and press option 1, or Text/WhatsApp ‘Hi’ to: +44(0)7418 360780
  • Free 24/7 support from peers and trained professionals with Togetherall.
  • If you’re feeling distressed and would like to talk to Student Support and Wellbeing staff, if you’re based in Canterbury, please call 01227 823158 or email; and if you’re based in Medway, please call 01634 888474, or email
  • Our Student Services team have written a blog which gives some practical advice on how to look after your wellbeing and where to go for support if you need it.

Support for staff:  

  • Our Employee Assistance Programme offers free support and counselling to staff.
  • Our Mental Health Support for staff hosts a wide range of support for when you’re struggling, such as helpful resources and advice and information on how to get in touch with our Mental Health Allies.
Wild flowers

No Mow May 2023

We’re taking part in No Mow May this year. This means central lawns that would normally be cut are going to be left to grow throughout May. Each year we leave the grasslands surrounding our campuses but this time we are including the central lawns. 

No Mow May is Plantlife’s annual campaign calling on gardeners and landowners to leave the mowers in the shed and allow flowers to grow. May is a crucial month for flowering plants allowing them to get established and provide nectar for pollinators and other invertebrates. Just 8 dandelion flowers are enough to produce the nectar sugar needed by a bumblebee each day. 

Over the month central campus will start to look very different and the Conservation Society will be carrying out surveys to see what changes are taking place. We will be putting signs across campus that will point out where lawns are being left for nature and No Mow May. A big thank you to the Graphic Design students that created the No Mow May signs you will see on campus, and to the Conservation Society who will be surveying our wilder lawns.     

This project forms part of the University’s Biodiversity Strategy and is being led on by the Landscape and Grounds team and the Sustainability Team. We hope that we can learn a lot about the difference it makes to our invertebrates, birds and small mammals on campus. We also want to hear how this project impacts on the human community on campus. We would love to hear your feedback through the feedback form we have set up on our website, where you can also share any wildlife spots of your own. 

If you have any questions please contact, and please feel free to share any photos you take throughout the month of our wilder lawns. 


student smiling at camera

Take postgrad survey and get a free meal on campus

The Postgraduate Research Student Experience Survey (PRES) and Postgraduate Taught Student Experience Survey (PTES) are an opportunity for you to provide us with feedback on many aspects of your postgraduate student experience including supervision, progress and assessment, resources, research skills and professional development.

Eligible postgraduates have been sent an email with the unique link to the survey. Alternatively, you can use the links below where you will be asked to sign in. To access the survey please enter your Respondent ID as your University of Kent login and your Password is your student ID number. Kent login is the first part of your Kent email address, before the @ and all letters should be lowercase. University of Kent ID number should be 8 digits long. It can be found on your KentOne card.

Take the survey now: 

All students who fully complete the survey will be entitled to claim a free £3 meal deal at Rutherford Dining Hall on the Canterbury campus or a £3 discount in the Pilkington Café on the Medway campus, on behalf of the Graduate Researcher College (valid until the end of July 2023)

We very much hope that you will take this chance to have your say and make your views heard for the benefit of current and future postgraduate students. We appreciate any feedback you may have and we will use it to shape our future policies and student experiences.

Please note the deadline for completing PTES is 16 June and PRES is 15 May.

Thank you for your participation.

GRC Team

Students sitting together in Kent Community Oasis Garden

Register interest for Climate Cafe training

What is a Climate Cafe?

A Climate Café is a safe space to chat with others who are feeling anxious, sad, or frustrated about climate change.

Climate Cafe Training

As part of our commitment to a sustainable future, we are offering free training on how to facilitate Climate Cafe discussion groups. This is a great opportunity to take a proactive stance towards climate anxiety, meet like-minded individuals, and develop your communication skills.

The training will take place in June online so you can take part wherever you are.

Register your interest by emailing

Woman carrying bucket of apples in orchard

Canterbury Gleaning Collective – what is it and how to get involved

What is Gleaning?

In Kent as in the rest of the UK, surplus fresh produce is left in the field post-harvest or not harvested due to staff, quality or price constraints. Nationally, pre-farm gate food waste has been estimated to be 1.6 million tonnes annually.

Gleaning is the process of picking this surplus food and veg from farms that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributing it to those who need it.

Why is Gleaning particularly relevant now?

The cost-of-living crisis has increased the pressure on food banks and food redistribution organisations with many not including fresh produce in their offer. Food offered to those who need it is often just ambient and not always healthy.

Many students have expressed their concern about the increased cost-of-living, and Kent Union has seen an increase in the number of students accessing Campus Pantry, our on-campus food bank.

Farmers in Kent are keen to work more closely with the community, sharing the realities of farming but also promoting work opportunities in the agri sector.

How can I get involved?

With all this in mind, membership organisation for local food and drink businesses, Produced in Kent, and the University of Kent have decided to set up a gleaning group with student and staff volunteers from the university. The gleaning group will work together with growers in Kent, picking surplus fresh produce left on the fields, and redistributing this to charities, community groups and food banks in the Canterbury area.

Find out more and sign up to become a volunteer.

AI scholarship funding available

£10,000 scholarships available for students accepted on MSc Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence), a conversion masters course for graduates with little or no prior knowledge of computer science.

The School of Computing is delighted to have been awarded £160,000 for 2023-24 scholarships to encourage more students into the UK Artificial Intelligence workforce. There are 16 x £10k scholarships available, funded by the Office for Students (OfS) in partnership with the Department for Innovation, Science and Technology (DSIT).

The scholarships aim to encourage more graduates to launch a career in the growing field of AI and to improve the diversity of the workforce.

More information about the course can be found at MSc Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) conversion course.

Register your interest

Our conversion course is intended for non-STEM graduates with little or no prior knowledge of Computer Science. The scholarship is available for UK and International students.

An important aim for this programme of work is to increase the number of people from groups currently underrepresented in the AI and data science fields, and to encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in these occupations.

To register your interest, in the scholarship please email

Students showing their muddy hands at Kent Community Oasis Garden

Celebrating Earth Day 2023

Earth Day is on the 22 April and marks a day of collective action and global awareness on the importance of protecting our planet. At the Kent, we take our responsibility towards tackling climate change seriously and are committed to a sustainable future for generations to come. Here’s what’s been going on at Kent in the past year, and some ways you can get involved in sustainability initiatives.

Our progress

Kent has made a lot of progress towards sustainability in the past year. From reducing carbon emissions to promoting biodiversity and sustainable food systems, we have achieved significant milestones in various areas. Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

  • Kent improved by 12 places in the People and Planet University League table to achieve 29th place overall.
  • We remained on track with our Net Zero by 2040 reduction target and have undertaken audits across University buildings to identify further opportunities.
  • Planted 300 fruit and nut trees for the Diamond Anniversary Orchard project, celebrating the arrival of the Class of 2025.
  • We were awarded a Silver Award in the Wilder Kent Awards for 2022 for taking positive action to restore green spaces and help people to reconnect with nature.
  • Our WARP-IT furniture reuse scheme has passed £1million in savings since starting. Last year we reused 153,919kg of furniture equivalent to 113 tonnes CO2.

Get involved – taking action towards a sustainable future

There are lots of ways for students and staff to get involved in our sustainability initiatives.

Kent Community Oasis Garden

The Kent Community Oasis Garden is an extraordinary collaboration between the University and East Kent Mind, supporting sustainability and good mental health. This year, the garden has expanded its growing space, seen a large rise in its number of volunteers, and been used as a living lab site for the School of Architecture. Get involved by coming along to one of the open gardening sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, 11:00-14:00

Register for Climate Cafe Training

A Climate Café is a safe space to chat with others who are feeling anxious, sad, or frustrated about climate change. As part of our commitment to a sustainable future, we are offering free training on how to facilitate Climate Cafe discussion groups. This is a great opportunity to take a proactive stance towards climate anxiety, meet like-minded individuals, and develop your communication skills.

The training will take place in June. Register your interest by emailing

BioBlitz 2023

Join Kent’s BioBlitz on 20 May 2023, to record as many living species as possible on the Canterbury campus. The event is open to everyone, regardless of experience. Participants can take part in numerous sessions throughout the day, collaborating with local conservation and wildlife organizations. Find out more about the BioBlitz and how you can get involved.

Gleaning collective introductory meeting

Kent and Produced in Kent have established a ‘gleaning’ group in Kent to collect surplus produce from local farms and distribute it to charities, community groups, and food banks in the Canterbury area. If you are interested in finding out more, you can attend an information session on Tuesday 25 April at Woody’s on Canterbury campus to learn more about becoming a volunteer with the Canterbury Gleaning Collective.

Let’s continue to work towards a sustainable future, and make every day Earth Day.

Industrial action

Industrial action: marking and assessment boycott begins

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education & Student Experience 

The UCU’s national marking and assessment boycott begins today (20 April). It is disappointing that this action is going ahead, however we have plans in place to make sure this does not get in the way of you finishing the year as normal. As always, we will do everything we can to limit the impact this has on your studies.

What does a marking and assessment boycott mean?

Academic colleagues who are taking part in the action may not mark coursework or exams while the dispute is taking place. However, it is important to stress that not all staff are UCU members and not all UCU members take part in industrial action.

While staff do not have to let us know if they are taking industrial action, we know the impact at Kent will vary greatly across areas. It is important you continue submitting assignments as usual and sit your exams in the Summer Term. We will do all we can to make sure your marks are turned around in appropriate timeframes.

Ensuring you can progress or finish your studies 

I understand that this is a worrying time, but I want to reassure you that we have specific measures in place to make sure you can progress or finish your studies on time. Graduation ceremonies will also go ahead as planned.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email You can also see further information and support on the industrial action website.

Typing on laptop

How to write a postgraduate personal statement

My name is Caroline, I am a current PhD student and undertook both my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Kent. Naturally, having to write three personal statements throughout my educational journey, I have picked up a thing or two therefore, it is my hope with this overview of what is expected in a personal statement as well as a simple 8 step guide, that it will be beneficial to those, like me, who struggled to find credible resources.

What is a postgraduate personal statement?

A postgraduate personal statement is a piece of writing submitted alongside your masters or PhD application. It is your first and only chance to show the University you are applying for who you are, your research and academic interests and in essence, demonstrate why you deserve to have a place on the course that University is offering.

What does a postgraduate statement look like?

Exactly like how your undergraduate one does. The only difference is that you will need to showcase how your undergraduate degree has equipped you with the essential skills to advance to the next level.

What sort of vocabulary should I use?

Do not use vocabulary that is not already included in your everyday speech. This is because you may use a word which you think is synonymous to another but, means something else entirely; whoever is reading your personal statement may think that you have had help/ you are trying too hard to impress them. There is, however, no harm in using a thesaurus to prevent using the same word repeatedly.

For example:

Demonstrate’ – determined, establish, exhibit, indicate prove, testify to, validate, etc.

Explain’ – advise, announce, confess, declare, disclose, express, inform, mention, instruct, etc.

Understand’ – figure out, interpret, know, find out, explain, discern, accept, learn, master, etc.

How long does a postgraduate personal statement need to be?

Postgraduate personal statements are usually around the same length as an undergraduate one. Like when you wrote your undergraduate personal statement however, different universities require a word limit to how much you can write. Make sure you know this before you begin writing as personal statements that are below or over the word limit may lessen your chances of either impressing the people reading it or in some cases, your personal statement may even be rejected.

Can I use the same personal statement I wrote when applying for my undergraduate course?

No. You can take inspiration from your undergraduate personal statement such as expanding on some of your original points however, it is more than likely your undergraduate personal statement will be flagged and easily recognisable, even if you are applying for a different university. You can, however, take inspiration from your undergraduate personal statement and develop some of the key highlights that you wish to carry froward into your postgraduate personal statement.

For example:

Undergraduate Personal Statement example

I began learning about complex equations in primary school where I then realised, I wanted to pursue a career in this field. It was also here that I enrolled in an extracurricular volunteer programme where I tutored students who struggled to understand the complex equations I loved, helping them tackle them and providing them with a helping hand. For me, areas of particular interest are those where mathematics can be carried into the real world, and does not remain simply on the page, and would like to pursue a career where I can take numbers to help advance the world of technology.

Postgraduate adaptation of original undergraduate statement example

Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in mathematics, I have remained passionate about perusing a career where mathematics can be used within the real world and help with the technological advancements of our time. I continue to love the challenge of tackling difficult equations and throughout the final year of my degree, I applied for a course which helped supplement my understanding and kickstart my ability to handle said equations faster and more efficiently.

As you can see from the underlined segments, your inspiration and goals can remain the same but, you need to highlight them in a manner which is building on from your previous statements and show that you have grown in this field, remain passionate as well as demonstrating that you wish to pursue a career in this field.

What are the 8 simple steps?

  1. Plan before you write. This will allow you to collate your thoughts before writing to ensure you mention all the things you want to/ ensure you have included a wide range of topics that allow the reader to get a sense of who you are as a person.
  2. Check your spelling and grammar. I know this sounds like an obvious one but, universities don’t only want to see your academic record, achievements and what you have to offer, but also if you are careful and precise when providing work. They will not care how clever you are if you have not taken the time to read over your work and ensure it has been submitted to the highest standard possible; it will make them think you are lazy or uncaring if you do not.
  3. Explain your reason for study. You will have to demonstrate why the course you are applying for is your first choice. This could be due to location, a lecturer who is working on something that interests you, the only one in the country that meets the things you need in the future, etc.
  4. Give as many examples of related academic work as possible. You could go into detail about a project you undertook, supervised, or participated in or you could mention how the work you will learn will advance your current work. This is important as you are also demonstrating your academic skills as well as selling your personality.
  5. Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable of the course you are applying for. Whoever is reading it will be impressed that you have researched not only the university but the course that you wish to be enrolled in. This shows you to be a detail orientated, enthusiastic and hardworking individual who wants the best for their future.
  6. Go into detail about why you deserve a place at the university. For me, it was about conquering the misconceptions that come with having learning disabilities, as many people perceive those who have them to be stupid, incapable of learning and in severe cases, not worthy of a place in a masters or PhD. You do not have to make it overly personal but showing that you are an individual who truly cares about their education and advancing to be the best they can be, will always impress others and make your personal statement stand out amongst the rest.
  7. Provide mini-conclusions after every major point. Not only will this help navigate around your personal statement, make it easier to read and digest and ensure you clarify each point, but it will also ensure that your writing remains focussed and on topic.
  8. Showcase your current skills and how enrolling onto this course will enhance them. Postgraduate education is all about enhancing your current skill set, adding new ones, and accomplishing things that are not possible at undergraduate level. It is important to note your excitement of growing into an individual fully versed within their chose field of topic, and how you are looking forward to being at the top of your game.


Blog post written by PhD student Caroline Harriman.