Monthly Archives: May 2023

Members of the Kent Community Oasis Garden

Five reasons to love the Kent Community Oasis Garden

I was introduced to the Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG) in my second year, coming along to the open sessions on Wed and Fri 10:00-14:00 when possible, fitting it around my studies. The project is such a warm, welcoming space. The volunteers and staff are lovely.

During a typical volunteering session, I might water the plants, plant more seeds, create a woodchip path, put in a fence, harvest crops that are ready, or paint flowerbeds. The work is varied and is very flexible based around your ability, needs, and mood.

There is always something to do and it is wonderful to be able to get stuck into an activity and properly switch off your mind. I always look forward to seeing the other volunteers. There are a wide variety of ages, knowledge and skills, and talking to people who come to the garden is always fascinating and lots of fun.

Bella’s top five reasons to love KentCOG:

  • Mental health: get outdoors and feel a sense of accomplishment at what you’ve achieved.
  • Physical health: planting, pruning and digging doesn’t feel like exercise, but it is!
  • Spending time offline: you can’t use your phone when you’re wearing gardening gloves!
  • Get closer to nature: the sound of birdsong, and fresh air of the outdoors.
  • Eat local food: volunteers can take home some of the veg that’s grown at the garden.

Like the sound of this? Gardening sessions take place on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00-14:00. Find out more on the KentCOG webpage, or follow them on Instagram.

Written by Isabella Sabin-Dawson (Final Year student) and Joshua Stevens (Student Services staff), 23.05.23

Group smiling at Summer Ball

Events roundup: 30 May – 4 June

We hope you had a good bank holiday weekend!

June marks the start of PG Summer  – activities and events for postgrad students. June’s theme is your career!

Find out what’s on this week:

Tuesday 30 May: How to find opportunities abroad and Kent Union Activities Awards

Interested in working abroad as part of your degree, summer break or after graduation? Join this online session about how to find opportunities abroad.

Kent Union’s Activities Awards are on Tuesday evening, celebrating the very best societies, fundraisers and volunteers of the year.

Wednesday 31 May: Kent Community Oasis Garden, PGR wellbeing session and academic skills (Medway)

Consider volunteering at Kent Community Oasis Garden, located near Park Wood. Everyone is welcome at the Kent Community Oasis Garden, whether you’re an expert gardener, a complete beginner, or just coming along for a chat.

Are you a postgrad research student or considering becoming one in the future? Join this online session with nationally recognised expert on university mental health and wellbeing Gareth Hughes. Gareth is author of the Wellbeing Thesis, an online resource for postgraduate research students.

Need some help with your studies? Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) are holding academic skills drop-in sessions at the Drill Hall Library.

Thursday 1 June: Campus litter pick and ‘Shaun of the Dead’ open-air film showing

Join the Conservation Society for a litter pick on campus. It’s an opportunity to get outdoors, earn Employability Points and a make a difference to our campus.

This week’s open-air cinema showing is zombie comedy ‘Shaun of the Dead’! The film will be showing outside the Gulbenkian, with food and drink available to purchase.

Friday 2 June: Bubble football and photography walk

Give bubble football a go with the Eliot Residential Life Assistants and Kent Sport. Bubble football will be followed by a mini pizza party. This event is free but places are limited, so book on now.

Learn how to utilise your phone camera on our photography walk with the Photography Society. Explore the best places to take photos on campus and learn new photography skills.

Saturday 3 June: Summer Ball

Kent Union’s ultimate end of year party is back! The Summer Ball means Canterbury campus transforms into a one night only festival with live music, free fairground rides and themed areas! Don’t forget to buy your ticket.



Moving out: Waste and recycling advice

As the end of the academic year approaches you will be preparing to leave your accommodation, which usually means a good sort out of all the stuff you’ve gathered over the last year too!

We want to be as environmentally conscious as possible so we’ve made sure there are lots of ways you can donate or recycle items easily – and we ask that you try and keep your disposals into the general waste as low as possible.

The Waste and Recycling Team have collected some useful info below for you on the best solution to recycle/dispose of common items. But if in doubt please contact for advice, or look on our waste and recycling website.

If you do have to throw something away, did you know one item misplaced into a recycling bin makes all the contents of that bin unviable for recycling?

Please take care and avoid contaminating recycling bins with general waste. Remember Black bags should only be used for general waste, clear recycling sacks should be used for all your recycling and spare sacks are available at college receptions.

  • Duvets and pillows: The best option for your duvets and pillows is to take them home with you for cleaning and re-use. Alternatively, donate to Campus Pantry (see below) or a local charity – try Catching Lives in Canterbury (homeless charity) or another local charity.  We don’t have a recycling facility for these items so if you are unable to re-use yourself or donate to a charity they should be placed in the general waste bins in your nearest bin compound).
  • Electrical items: If you have any small electrical item to dispose of, place these in one of the four yellow WEEE bins on campus (See map for locations), avoid the general/waste bins.  Items in good working order can be put into one of the British Heart Foundation containers on campus.
  • Clothes, shoes, linen, DVDs and books:  Place in one of the eight British Heart Foundation containers on campus (see map for locations).  Free bags are available from college receptions and the Estate Customer Services Reception.  The donation containers will be emptied regularly during the departures period.
  • New/unused food, cooking utensils or new/unopened personal hygiene products: Can all be donated to the Campus Pantry where they’ll be available for other students who need them. All food must be non perishable and in-date and example personal hygiene products include toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, sanitary products etc. See more information including where drop off points are available. 

A map is also available which shows your nearest bins and recycling locations.

Student putting book on shelf in library

Returning your library books

As we move closer to the end of the academic year, we’d like to encourage you to return your library books to the Templeman Library.

Please take any opportunity when you’re visiting campus to return books you no longer need, especially if you’re a final year student and are leaving Kent this year, or are going to be away from campus over the summer. Books you have borrowed can still be reserved by other people during the vacation.

Your options for returning books

  • If you’re on the Canterbury campus, use the book returns drop off point in the Welcome Hall or the external book drop on Library Road.
  • If you live in the Medway area, you can return Templeman Library books to the Drill Hall Library at the Universities of Medway campus.
  • Posting books: depending on weight and volume, you could consider breaking up a large parcel into smaller ones. Courier services might be cheaper than Royal Mail and pick up the parcel from you. Whatever method you use, please make sure you get a receipt.

Our postal address is:  

Book Returns, 
Templeman Library, 
University of Kent, 
Canterbury, Kent, 

If you’re unable to return your books by any of these methods, please get in touch with the Library and we’ll work out a solution with you.

Contact the Library Team

Please contact us if you need any help or advice around returning books or any other library or IT query. Our staff are here to help you: 

Three students smiling and doing mindful colouring

Events roundup: 22-28 May

Find out what’s on this week:

Monday 22 May: Graduation action plan workshop

Are you graduating this year? Come along to this Careers workshop to make your own career action plan.

Tuesday 23 May: Paint a tote bag, CV help and yoga (Medway)

Take a break from exams and paint a tote bag in the Venue! Tote bags will be provided, or you can bring your own.

On Tuesday, the Careers and Employability Service are running a session on the essentials of writing CVs and cover letters as well as a specific session for academic CVs for aspiring lecturers and researchers. Both these events will take place in Eliot and be streamed online.

As part of Medway Move, you can join a weekly yoga session to de-stress in the Hub on Tuesday lunchtimes.

Wednesday 24 May: Language taster sessions and study skills drop in (Medway)

Would you like to learn a new language? On Wednesday there are lots of Study Plus language taster sessions. Languages on offer include Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, French and more!

The Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) are at the Drill Hall Library on Wednesday afternoon for a study skills drop-in session.

Thursday 25 May: Therapy dog, Politics live panel event and open-air cinema

‘Pause for Paws’ at Nexus in Templeman Library. Come and meet Coco the therapy dog for a pet or a cuddle. Plus, there’s also a book swap and mindful colouring on offer.

The School of Politics and International Relations is hosting a live panel event with some of its world-leading researchers to provoke discussion around protest, dissident voices, strikes, terrorism and political frustration. The event is taking place at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre and is free and open to all. Sign up now.

The Gulbenkian open-air cinema returns this week with 90s rom com ‘Pretty Woman’. The Gulbenkian Open Air Film Festival is free and non-ticketed so you can just turn up on the day.

Weekend (27-28 May): Chatham Maritime Food and Drink Festival

The Chatham Maritime Food and Drink Festival is taking place this weekend, offering food and drink from award-winning local producers. The highlight of the event is the Dragonboat Race on Sunday, and the Universities at Medway will have a boat in the race!


PhD student Alex Davis smiling

Kent Stars: Award-winning Ambassador

This month’s Kent Star is PhD student Alex Davis, who recently won the NEON Student of the Year Award! NEON is a professional organisation supporting those involved in widening access to higher education. Hear more from Alex:

“My name is Alex. I am a mature student, and I arrived at Kent in 2016 to study BA Classical Studies, having taken an Access to HE Diploma at Canterbury College. I love my subject, and remained at Kent to study MA Ancient History, progressing to a PhD in 2022 (part-time). I am working on the exile poetry by the Roman poet Ovid, in the original Latin. I am President of the Mature Student Society, PGR Student Rep for Classics, and I live in Canterbury with my awesome partner Owen. I run regularly, and am training for a half marathon in August.”

Tell us about your outreach work and winning the NEON Student of the Year Award. 

“Wow! What an amazing honour this is. I am so happy and proud…and still a little dazed! The award ceremony was at the House of Commons, and my partner Owen, and two members of Outreach Widening Participation staff – Vanessa and Ruth – accompanied me. It means so much that the people I work with think so highly of me that they nominated me for this award.

PhD student Alex with Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Matt Western and the Chair of NEON, Les Ebdon.

I didn’t go to University after A-Levels. I knew nothing about it, and there were no ambassadors back in 1993!  Later, I regretted that decision, so when I had a chance to change career I decided that it was my time.

Coming back to full-time study as a mature student was exciting, and terrifying. I thought I would be the oldest person here, and that I would not make any friends. I was wrong.

Kent Outreach Staff and Ambassadors helped immensely, running talks and workshops at the college, and organising visit days to campus. Their hard work and kindness ensured that I felt at home here from day 1.

That is why I applied to be an ambassador: because Kent ambassadors helped me.

From left to right – Ruth Westbury (Development Officer – FE), Alex Davis with her award, Dr Owen Lyne (Senior Lecturer – Statistics), Vanessa Nedderman (Outreach Manager).

I’ve done my best to inspire the people I’ve worked with, to repay that. I’ve worked with hundreds of students on a wide variety of events, and met amazing people. Many of the best friends I have are via Outreach – some of whom I first met whilst at their college or school. They are now Kent students and awesome ambassadors alongside me.

Outreach makes a huge difference to those we work with, every day.  Widening Participation is so important, enabling students who may not think university is for them, or who feel they have a barrier between them and their dreams, to break down those barriers and do what makes them happy and fulfilled.

I love my job. I know it changes lives. It has certainly changed mine.”

What advice would you give to other students?

“University is not just about our studies. It also provides us a massive variety of other opportunities. Please do engage with as many of those as you can. You never know which one will inspire you, give you a new interest, suggest a career path, or change your world.

I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now I know that I want to work in outreach after I complete my PhD. My experience here has inspired me to explore a career that I did not know existed before I returned to education. There are so many opportunities out there – go for it!”

What are your plans for the next year? 

“I will be continuing with my PhD studies which I find fascinating and enjoyable, although it is also most challenging. I have great supervisors, and I enjoy the autonomy which PhD study provides. However it can be rather isolating, so it is important for my mental health to have other interests alongside it.

This means that I will also be continuing as an outreach ambassador and tutor, as student Rep, and as part of the Mature Student Society committee. In all these occupations I have amazing friends and activities, all of which make me happy. No changes required!”

Do you know an inspirational student or student group? Let us know.

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

Student looking at food in co op shop

Save money and food waste with Too Good to Go on campus

What is Too Good to Go?

Too Good to Go is an app designed to reduce food waste. Cafes, shops and restaurants upload their excess food as a ‘Magic bag’, which you can then buy through the app at a reduced rate, and collect that evening. This means you can save food from going to waste and save money.

How much does the food cost through the app?

You can get a Magic bag’ from the Co-op plaza shop which has £10+ worth of food (chilled items as well as some fruit, veg and bakery items) for just £3.34.

In the Gulbenkian, you can buy a ‘Magic bag’ of deli food (sandwiches, cakes, pastries etc) for £3.95 that has a value of £10+.

Watch Kent Union President Zaid talk us through Too Good to Go.

By being signed up with Too Good To Go, we can reduce food waste while also providing low cost food.

See more cost of living support for students.

student in exam

Please don’t bring a bag to your exam

If you have in-person exams, please only bring with you the essentials and don’t bring any bags. You can find a list of what you can and can’t bring into the exam hall on our website.

You are allowed small items such as a phone, wallet and keys. Phones will need to be turned off and placed under your desk.

If you have to bring a bag or any other unauthorised items, please allow plenty of time ahead of your exam to store your bag safely in one of the lockers on campus or one of our bag drops. Lockers are limited so it is best to leave your bag at home.

You can find out more about exams and support available on our exams webpages.

Best of luck with your exams!

Kerala curry

Kerala Curry: authentic Indian street food

Discover the flavours of South India this Summer term!

Gulbenkian Café chef, Anto, will be cooking up authentic Keralan street food from his pop-up food stall outside the Gulbenkian Arts Centre, for the duration of the Summer term.

The menu will change on a weekly basis, meaning customers can enjoy a variety of different South Indian dishes, from aromatic biryanis to mouth-watering dosas.

Find the Kerala Curry street food pop-up outside the Gulbenkian Arts Centre, 9 May – 16 June, Monday to Friday11.00 – 14.00.

V – Vegetarian | Ve – Vegan | GF – Gluten Free

Week 1

Tue 9 May – Fri 12 May

Homemade Chicken Curry (GF) £6.00
Served with basmati rice and poppadums.

Homemade Aloo Gobi Curry (Ve, GF) £5.00
Served with basmati rice and poppadums.

+ Mango chutney (Ve) and minted soya yogurt (Ve)

Week 2

Mon 15 May – Fri 19 May

Chicken Masala Dosa £6.00
Indian style pancake filled with chicken masala. Served with fresh chilli, coriander, onion, coconut chutney, and minted soya yogurt.

Vegetable Masala Dosa (Ve) £5.00
Indian style pancake filled with vegetable masala. Served with fresh chilli, coriander, onion, coconut chutney, and minted soya yogurt.

Week 3

Mon 22 May – Fri 26 May

Homemade Chicken Biryani (GF) £6.00
Served with a hard-boiled egg and topped with chilli, coriander, and onion.

Homemade Vegetable Biryani (V, GF) £5.00
Served with a hard-boiled egg and topped with chilli, coriander, and onion. (Vegan option available)

+ Mango chutney (Ve) and minted soya yogurt (Ve)

Week 4

Tue 30 May – Fri 2 June

Bombay Street Pulao (Ve, GF) £6.00
An all-in-one rice and vegetable dish.

Butter Chicken £5.00
Served with cumin rice, poppadums, fresh coriander, chilli, and onion.

+ Mango chutney (Ve) and minted soya yogurt (Ve)

Week Five

Mon 5 June – Fri 9 June

Sabzi Vegetable Curry (Ve, GF) £5.00
Served with fried rice and poppadums.

Aloo Paneer Onion Curry (V) £5.00
Served with fried rice and poppadums.

+ Mango chutney (Ve) and minted soya yogurt (Ve)

Week 6

Mon 12 June – Fri 16 June

Pick ‘n’ Mix Indian Snacks – 4 for £10

Homemade Giant Onion Bhaji (Ve, GF) £3.00
Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Samosa £3.00
Homemade Vegetable Samosa (Ve) £3.00
Homemade Spinach & Onion Pakora (Ve) £3.00

+ Mango chutney (Ve) and minted soya yogurt (Ve)

Kerala dosa

Student talking to someone about their research poster

Share your research at the GRC Annual Postgraduate Conference

There’s still time to be involved in the GRC’s Annual Postgraduate Conference, as both and audience member and in the many opportunities to share all your hard work with fellow students across the University.

Ways to share your research

As well as listening to guest speakers, a Kent Research Institute panel and a timely discussion on the impact of AI on academia, there are plenty of ways to present your own work. Can you sum up your research in one image? In one poster? In ten minutes? How about three?

If you can sum up your research in one image, why not enter our photo competition? Or display your work in poster form? If you’re looking for an engaged interdisciplinary audience for your work, why not apply for our research talks.

Deadlines to apply:

  • Photo competition – 29 May, 16:59
  • Poster competition – 22 May, 16:59
  • Research talks – 22 May, 16:59

Who can sign up?

This event is for all postgraduate students at Kent and undergraduates interested in postgraduate research are welcome to attend as audience members. Sign up is open now, register to attend.