Monthly Archives: August 2023

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A Younger Becky with Family

A Conversation with Becky Lamyman

This two-parter blog series follows conversations held with staff members at the University of Kent during South Asian Heritage Month 2023.

In this article, we hear Student EDI Officer Becky Lamyman’s thoughts on identity, heritage, and belonging. As part of the University’s South Asian Heritage Week in 2022, Becky wrote the article White British or Mixed Race?.

B – Becky Lamyman, Student EDI Officer and Interviewee
Z – Zoe Grasby, EDI Office Assistant and Interviewer

Z: How are you really doing this summer break?

B: There’s not enough hours in a day to get everything done, especially when you are juggling childcare, work, summer holidays. I think a lot of people who do not work in Higher Education (HE) get the impression that we have the whole summer off like schools do and that we close. And the reality is that is not the case. You are trying to get work done while people around the university are on annual leave, on summer holidays, et cetera. Everything just slows.

I’m slightly panicking about how little of the summer is left, but then I remember that the students are not back until late September. So, there is a bit more time than I sometimes think there is. But yes, there is too much to get done.

Z: Tell me about your current role at the University. What do you get up to and what do you enjoy the most?

B: I am the Student EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity) Officer at the university, and I have been here for 11 years now. I love the job and I love the unpredictability of it and the fact that it is so varied. There is a rough structure to my year, because you know that October is always Black History Month, February is always LGBT History Month, there’s always Worldfest in March and things like that. But what we do on a day-to-day basis can change up so much.

I have a lot of meetings with people around the university. I always describe my role as an octopus because it has these tentacles that reach out across the entire university and gets into everybody’s business – hopefully in a nice way!

I have always said that my goal for my role is that the university will turn around and say, “sorry, you do not have a job anymore. You have worked yourself out of one because everything is brilliant!”. It is never going to happen. I am very realistic about that fact. There is always something else to do.

Z: When did you realise you wanted to work in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI)?

B: Until I got the job, I did not know this role – this type of work – existed. I had always done a bit of EDI work. I was the Education Sabbatical Officer for Kent Union. I have worked with students my entire career, apart from a very brief stint in Social Services for 10 months. While I was General Manager of CCCU (Canterbury Christ Church University) Student Union, I did an awful lot of EDI work, it just was not under the EDI banner. I was introducing HR (Human Resources) policies including flexible working. I was doing awareness raising for History Months. I was working hard with the LGBTQ+ and other societies. But it was not framed as equality. It was not a buzzword then. It was not something people really knew about.

And then the Equality Act came out in 2010 and suddenly everyone was talking about equality and this role here at the university came. I was going through a redundancy process, and I got lucky. I was in the right place at the right time to apply for this role. At the time it was only 50% EDI. The other 50% was community relationships, which meant that when students had house parties, I got the phone call from the angry neighbours. Eventually that role got split into two full-time jobs and my line manager at the time asked me what I wanted to do. I chose the EDI path and I have been on it ever since. This was before Athena Swan. This was way before the Race Equality Charter. It was pre- a lot of legislation. I have seen all of this grow as I have been in the field.

Z: Do you think you have a preference towards working with staff, or working with students?

B: I have not really got a preference, no. What I love about students is that they are so eager for change. When you get something that catches their attention and they are passionate about, they just want to run with it. They have got so many ideas and fresh approaches and creativity and diverse ways of using technology, which is amazing. Staff tend to be a little bit more realistic when it comes to constrictions, budget, space planning, health, and safety legislation, all that kind of stuff. So, you have to bring that balance into it.

If I did not like working with staff and students, I would not still be in HE at the end of the day!

Z: How did it feel writing about your South Asian heritage last year?

 “I am staring at the question that I never know how to answer. It is a standard question, a simple tick box and one that the vast majority of people would answer without a second thought. It simply asks me to define my ethnic origin for data management purposes.

The problem is, I never know whether to tick White British or Mixed. I fluctuate between the two depending on my mood, how much of time I have spent with my family, recent interactions and sometimes it just depends on what day of the week it is. I know that for many mixed-race people, particularly second and third generation who have been born and raised in Britain, it is a question of identity that they can struggle with.”

– Becky Lamyman, White British or Mixed Race?

B: It felt nice. It is not something I really got to do much in the past and I found that as I was writing that blog post, more memories kept coming back to me. For example, the memory of the story about the boy with the orange in the myth – or the fairy tale. It was lovely.

I had not realised quite how important the elements that she (my grandma) had passed on to us really were. Because it was always just what we were. But it did leave a strong impression. I have been proud of my heritage and proud of the fact that I have Burmese blood in me. But growing up in England, you do not always make that connection so much.

Z: You wrote about your struggles with identity as someone with mixed heritage. Given that your mother is biracial, do you feel like she was able to pass on any guidance in this respect?

B: I mean, she struggled with racism, but she would never dub it as racism. It is only when she describes it to me that I tell her that it was not acceptable and she is like, “it is how it is.”  Her brothers look much more ‘Asian’ than she does (she is more often than not mistaken for Italian or Portuguese), and they’ve also experienced racism as well in their lifetimes. But they are a different generation that thinks, well, you just deal with it rather than challenge it.

She always wanted to go to Burma, and she managed to do that. But she has got a very strained relationship with her mother, and I think delving too deep into [her heritage] emphasises that strain on her relationship with her.

My mother loves the food, and she is incredibly good at cooking. She loves all the food like the gulab jamun, the balachaung, lahpet, the curries. She likes the artwork, the wood carvings, she likes the visual elements of the culture. But she does not connect with the people so much, it is difficult.

Z: Am I remembering correctly that your grandfather, your Burmese grandmother’s husband, has written a book delving into some of your family history?

B: Yes, he was. I have got it here. So, there is a bit where it says…

‘I was now going through my “to hell with all women” phase when into the office came Joan Barry, a very attractive young Burmese girl who applied for a secretarial post. I was told later by the manager that she was turned down only because he considered her too good looking and would probably cause a distraction within the bachelor cause. How right he was. I tracked her down and we started dating and within six months were married. Mark arrived the following year and after completion of my tour in Burma and our setting up a home in England, the family was increased by the addition of Kim – ‘

That (Kim) is my mother. He said it was throughout his professional practise examination for his architecture qualifications that Joan’s assistance proved invaluable.

‘She’d always been extremely good at maths, particularly application of formula algebra and this is what I needed the most. With much exasperation, she got me to understand sufficiently to enable me to calculate beam loads and bending -’

I mean, this is a young girl in rural 1950’s Burma who is doing quite complex algebra. The book also delved into her experiences travelling to Britain, where most of the time it was assumed that she was the nanny and not the wife.

Z: She sounds like an amazing woman. So, can I ask, what is more important to you: family or community?

B: You know, I do not think you can replace either in any way. And I really feel for people who do not necessarily have that connection with one or the other, because I do think you miss something there.

So yes, I was thinking about this, and I think your community can be your family, but it is not to say that you must get rid of your blood family. I am incredibly lucky in that I live in a part of the UK, in a tiny little village where I have an amazing community around me. I mean, it is like a family, the way they bicker, and they get on with each other. But it is so, so supportive and we have chosen to live in that environment because our family is physically located so far away from us. We do not have that that family network physically close to us, but we still talk to them, love them, have a strong family connection.

Z: What do you think the core message of South Asian Heritage Month is – or should be? How can others support those in the South Asian community?

B: People know about a lot of the other History Months now and they do an amazing job at raising awareness about the nuances between diverse cultures. From a South Asian perspective, we all tend to get lumped in as one big homogenous group and that is not the case. I mean, you can even take from my grandmother’s homeland – the differences between the hill tribes and the city, the differences between the Chin state or the Shan state, the various religions et cetera.

People talk about common ground without necessarily considering the intricacies behind it. For example, someone may talk about the food, “Ohh, I love Asian food.” So, OK, which regions of Asian food do you love? Thai food? OK, which region of Thai food do you love?

I cooked Burmese food and all of us who sampled it decided that the region I had cooked from was too heavy on the peanut oil and the shallots for our palettes. But then I took a different region of Burma and tried the food from there, which is much more fish based. That was wonderful.

So, my core message is awareness raising and celebration. We are not a homogeneous group. Educate yourself, read a book or listen to a podcast, watch a television show (when they are accurate). Start to discover the nuances between the diverse cultures in South Asia.

There is a fantastic line. It is in, um… Pitch Perfect! There is a line where one of the judges at the music competition just tells the other one, whatever his name is, “crack a book.”  That is what I would like people to do.

Z: Do you feel a sense of belonging at the University of Kent?

B: Yes, I do. I went to work at CCCU for some time, and I remember the very first time I drove back onto [University of Kent’s Canterbury] campus, before I started my new job here, I felt like I was coming home.

I could not imagine working anywhere else now. Do not get me wrong, it goes through its tumultuous periods. But overall, I feel a sense of pride working here.

Z: If you could, what would you say to your teenage self?

B: I think the same as it is for all teenagers and all teenage girls. Do not read the magazines. Do not look in the mirror. Keep your friends around you. Trust that it gets easier!

Z: Do you have any book, film, or podcast recommendations?

B: I do EDI so much at work, that when I get home, I am watching things like Sex in the City, back-to-back Midsummer Murders, Great Pottery Throwdown, The Witcher… I just love the ‘switch off’ stuff.

Book-wise, I am currently reading the Silence of the Girls– my Classics education and background comes into play here. It is written from the perspective of the captured women of Troy, you get their names in one line of the Iliad by Homer and then they are just wiped out of history. So, some female authors are now taking these women and reimagining their stories, placing them back at the centre. I have also just finished reading Cersei [by Madeline Miller].

There is also one by a Whitstable based author. I am loving it, but I am reading it quite slowly. It is amazing. Mischief Acts by Zoe Gilbert. It is all about Herne the Hunter and his different incarnations throughout history. So, it jumps through time zones. But again, it is completely away from what I do on the day-to-day basis. It taps into my personal interests in fairytale, mythology, and classics.

Z: Finally, are there any projects, events, or programmes you are working on and would like to share?

B: Black History Month! Always want to make sure people know about that coming up. Especially with the fact we are going to have an amazing looking exhibition.  We are just finalising all the details for it now. It is with a Nigerian artist called Abolore Sobayo.

Z: I took a little peak, his work looks amazing!

B: Yes, so that is the big one for me now. But it is just like always – trying to just get people to be aware of what work we are doing within the EDI field. So, making sure people are keeping abreast of the news blogs and channels and the project work that we are doing with regards to the Race Equality Charter and Athena SWAN and Disability Confident and all the rest of it.

And just making sure that people know EDI does impact everybody. And if you think it is not related to you or your work, it will affect the environment within which you are working.

What to pack?

‘Don’t over pack!’ is one of the most common responses whenever we ask students for the advice they would give for those about to arrive on campus for the first time. 

It can be tricky to know what you might need and what you should bring with you, so this is definitely a decision that shouldn’t be based on ‘what more can I cram into the car/suitcase?’ So with this in mind, listen to the voice of experience as our students and staff share their top tips so you can save yourself the pain of trying to squeeze in a second food dehydrator… 

Aleena, Psychology student and Liane, English Language and Linguistics student – ‘make a packing list’ 

Aleena: ‘Making a list would be useful, as I found I missed out [packing] a lot of essentials and had to spend money buying things I already had at home.’ Fortunately, we have a packing list to help get you started but another piece of advice is to ‘pack boxes so items related are put together (e.g. kitchen, bedding, bathroom etc.)’ says Liane ‘this makes unpacking quicker and easier’. 

Student unpacking in bedroom

Laura, from our Accommodation Team – ‘check what’s already in your room’ 

‘Know what’s already included [in your room/accommodation] to avoid wasting valuable space by packing duplicates. You can check what is in your Canterbury or Medway bedroom online.’ 

Omar, Architecture student – ‘don’t forget the essentials but prioritise things you can’t easily buy’ 

‘Bring your chargers and double check on things that you need to use every day, such as soap, as it’s easy to forget. But don’t worry too much about these as you can literally get them from anywhere, just mainly bring the things that aren’t easily bought or replaced if you need them.’ 

Sam, from our Housekeeping Team – ‘know your bed sizes’ 

‘Aside from forgotten passports or driver’s licences, this is one of the most common mishaps for new students. There are different bed sizes across the rooms on campus (and in private accommodation) so don’t buy any bedding until you have accepted your room offer, and double checked the bed size online so you know which size sheets to buy. Some folks have trouble getting hold of sheets for the 7ft beds, but a king size flat sheet will fit.’ 

Bed sizes from standard single to XL double

You can find out what size bed is in your room online. 

Phil, from our Catering Team – ‘don’t pack the kitchen sink’ 

‘Just bring enough to get you started as you may want to go in with your flatmates for to buy some items. If you live in accommodation with a meal plan you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans.’ 

Student and parents unloading car

Beth, History and Social Anthropology student – ‘make it home’ 

‘The best bit of advice was to bring decorative items. Strings of lights, small potted plants for the windowsill or desk, photo frames with silly, happy photos, blankets and pillows, etc. It makes the room that bit more comforting and homely and can help with the homesickness.’ 

Ella, Wildlife Conservation student – ‘bring things that remind you of home’  

‘Bring as many things that remind you of your home. Bedroom ornaments or just things, and bring white tack and printed photos and put them up all over your room.’ 

Kent Union officers sitting on deckchairs chatting

Harry, Psychology with Clinical Psychology student – ‘someone else will have what you’re looking for’. 

‘Don’t stress about forgetting things and feeling like you need to pack every little thing – someone else will have what you’re looking for and will let you borrow it! Also, there is a shop on campus and everything you need can be found in Canterbury.’ 

Of course, there are also some things you should 100% not be bringing. You can probably guess these but anything with a naked flame, (such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, or smoking paraphernalia) is one to avoid. Cars, mini-fridges, adhesive strip lights, heated airers, multi-way cube adaptors and pets are some of the other items featured on the prohibited items list. 

Our Canterbury Arrivals and Medway Arrivals pages are full of useful info to help get you ready to arrive at Kent including more info on what to bring (Canterbury and Medway editions). Plus we’ve got more advice from previous students coming your way, including tips for settling in, so keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest blogs and useful information before you arrive. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon! 


Students and staff at Pride event.

How to join Medway Pride Parade, 19 August

At Kent, we stand for Pride and will be sponsoring Medway Pride as part of Universities at Medway! Join us for a spectacular celebration of LGBTQ+ identity set in the heart of Rochester.

The event will start with entertainment in a Pride Parade through Rochester High Street on the 19 August starting at 10:45, with the main event being held in Rochester Castle Gardens. There will be community stalls, bars and food outlets, and creative activities.

If you’d like to take part in the parade as part of the Universities at Medway group, sign up now. The promo code will be automatically applied, so just select the number of tickets required.

There are no tickets currently available for people who just want to attend the festival event at the Castle Gardens, but you can go on a waiting list for returned tickets.

If you have booked parade tickets but have also previously booked Castle Gardens tickets, please return the Castle Gardens Festival tickets on Eventbrite so these can go to people on the waiting list.

Students chatting in Pilkington building

Accessing support at Medway campus

Find out how to get support at Medway:

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget your Division and School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at University or have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service. Find out more about Kent Union at The Hub

Financial support

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

Careers support

Our Careers and Employability Service offer advice, workshops and tools to help you prepare for your future career or further study. They can also help you find and apply for part-time jobs while you study.

Health services

It’s a good idea to register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS): Find your nearest NHS Surgery. Medway students can call Canterbury Nursing Services on 01227 823503 for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception advice.

Two students sat at Canterbury labyrinth chatting and smiling

Accessing support at Canterbury campus

There are lots of ways you can access support at Kent:

Nexus – your campus help point

Not sure where to go to ask a question? Head to Nexus in Templeman Library. Enter the library through the main entrance, go through the turnstiles and take the first right.

As well as a social and study area, Nexus is your campus help point. The staff at Nexus can help with any query and point you in the right direction.

You can also access Nexus online.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget your Division and School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at university or something you have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

Kent Union are your Students’ Union. From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Student Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service.

You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas within the Union.

Financial support and £3 meal deal

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

Our £3 meal deal returns to Rutherford Dining Hall! Choose between a plant-based or a meat option and then add sides and veg. A great meal at a great price!

You can also access Kent Union’s Campus Pantry at Mandela Student Centre, and can speak to their Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need.

Careers support

Our Careers and Employability Service offer advice, workshops and tools to help you prepare for your future career or further study. They can also help you find and apply for part-time jobs while you study.

Health services

Kent has an NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre, with an independent pharmacy next to it. Our University Nursing Service provide advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception, and is staffed 24 hours a day during term time by registered nurses. 

Freddie Mercury, performing on stage during the Live Aid concert

10 Notable British South Asians from the Past

During South Asian Heritage Month, the University of Kent is glad to celebrate the immense contributions British South Asians have made to UK society, politics, culture, healthcare, and many other areas for decades. In this blog, we would like to highlight ten extraordinary British South Asian figures in UK-SA history. 

18th Century

Sake Dean Mahomed (1759–1851)

Mahomed was an Indian surgeon, entrepreneur, and one of the most notable early immigrants to Europe. He introduced Indian cuisine and shampoo baths to Europe, as well as offering therapeutic massage. He was also the first Indian person to publish a book in English. 

Learn more about Sake Dean Mahomed here

19th Century

Dadabhai Naoroji (1825 – 1917)

Also known as the ”Grand Old Man of India”, Naoroji was an Indian political leader, merchant, scholar, and writer. He was also a Liberal Party Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895 and the first Asian to be a British MP. Naoroji is renowned for his work in the Indian National Congress, of which he was one of the founding members and thrice president – 1886, 1893 and 1906.

Learn more about Dadabhai Naoroji here

Maharajah Duleep Singh (1838 – 1893)

The Maharajah was born in Lahore and came to the throne of the Punjab at only five years old. After the annexation of the Punjab to British territories, the Maharajah was exiled to England in 1854 and looked upon as an adopted son of Queen Victoria. His relationship with the British establishment was fraught due to their manipulations and the terror of the Anglo-Sikh war.

Learn more about Maharajah Duleep Singh here

Cornelia Sorabji (1866 – 1954)

Sorabji was the first woman to study law at Oxford University in 1889, having fought a long battle to sit the law exam alongside her male colleagues. This was the first victory for opening up the profession to women and equality in higher education. She retired in Britain in the 1930s, working as a writer and broadcaster.

Learn more about Cornelia Sorabji here

Frederick Akbar Mahomed (1872 – 1884)

The grandson of Sake Dean Mahomed, Mahomed was an Englishman of mixed Indian and Irish descent who made substantial contributions to the study of high blood pressure. He also initiated the Collective Investigation Record for the British Medical Association, the precursor of modern collaborative clinical trials.

Learn more about Frederick Akbar Mahomed here

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh (1876 – 1948)

Singh is best known as a suffragette and women’s rights campaigner. As the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh and goddaughter of the Queen, she used her fame and position in the fight for gender equality in the early 20th century, leading movements such as the Women’s Tax Resistance League. Singh also volunteered as a British Red Cross nurse.

Learn more about Princess Sophia Duleep Singh here

20th Century

Aftab Ali (1907 – 1972)

Ali was an early 20th-century Bengali social reformer, British Indian and East Pakistani politician, and entrepreneur. His work is recognised to have helped thousands of British South Asian lascars to migrate, settle and find employment in Britain.

Learn more about Aftab Ali here

Shah Abdul Majod Quershi (1915 – 2003)

Quershi was an early British-Bangladeshi restaurateur and social reformer. He is notable for being involved in the early politics of British Asians and pioneering social welfare work for the working-class diaspora in the United Kingdom. He was the first ever Sylheti to open up a restaurant in the United Kingdom, and his restaurants were one of the earliest Indian restaurants at the time.

Learn more about Shah Abdul Majod Quershi here

Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991)

Born Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was a British singer, songwriter, record producer and the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music with his four-octave range and ‘flamboyant’ stage persona, Mercury’s later private battle with AIDS and death shocked the world.

Learn more about Freddie Mercury here

Shivananda Khan OBE (1948 – 2013)

Khan is renowned for his life-long activist work for queer and South Asian rights. Whilst attending university, Khan became the first gay South Asian sex worker in Manchester. Disenfranchised by the treatment of sexual minorities of South Asian descent in the West, Khan co-founded Shakti in 1998, a collective for South Asian gay and lesbian people, alongside Poulomi Desai. He further founded the Naz Foundation with Desai in 1991, and was made an OBE in 2005.

Learn more about Shivananda Khan OBE here

If you are interested in gaining a further understanding of the rich history of South Asians in Britain, the British Library has a wealth of resources here:

Fist bump in the gym

Staying active – new monthly gym membership

Kent Sport, in collaboration with Kent Union, are delighted to offer a new Kent Sport membership payment plan for students; monthly payments. The new payment plans are starting in September 2023. If you’re interested in monthly payments, register your interest here.

We are so excited to announce that from September Kent Sport will be implementing monthly payments for membership! Over the last few years, Kent union and the VP for Student Engagement, have been lobbying Kent Sport and the University for this outcome, and we’re so happy that student voices have been heard and change is being made! We have been working with Kent Sport to create a more active campus and encourage more students to take part in exercise and activities, to look after their physical and mental health and wellbeing. This new monthly payment option will make Kent Sport more accessible to students by spreading the cost of the membership over the whole year and will break down one of the biggest barriers to participation!

– Caroline Van Eldik, Kent Union Officer: VP Student Engagement (2022-23)

Gym membership prices

The prices for our new monthly payment options are:

  • Premium Plus £18.99 per month or £195 annual
  • Plus £13.99 per month or £150 annual
    You’ll be able to buy your monthly payment membership from 1 September, either through your online account or at the Sports Centre and The Pavilion receptions. You can find out more about the benefits of Kent Sport membership on our website. Purchasing your monthly instalment membership is easy. If you’re already a Kent Sport member, you’ll just need to login to your online account from 1 September and there you can purchase your membership. If you’re not a member already, you’ll need to create an account first before you can purchase your membership.

    You’ll still be able to pay for an annual membership in one payment if you prefer. Monthly and annual memberships can be purchased at anytime throughout the year, however, all student memberships have an automatic end date of 31 August.

    An added bonus

    Get a £20 credit top-up on your KentOne card when you purchase a Premium Plus membership between 1 September and 30 September 2023. This includes monthly and annual payments.


    Please note we are retiring the Premium (gym and class only) membership option from 1 September 2023.

Welcome Fair

Ignite your start: Library & IT services in the first few weeks

Welcome to Kent! Excited to get your student journey off to a great start? We’re here to help you in using the exceptional Library and IT services Kent has to offer.

🌐 Navigate success

Discover our new student information page, a space dedicated to helping you successfully navigate your way to through these first few weeks. Whether you’re exploring the campus or joining us remotely, this resourceful page is tailored to provide just the right tips and insights, ensuring you’re all set to go.

🚀 Propel your knowledge

Take the IT and Library e-induction on Moodle – access this once enrolled. Our digital launchpad is designed to guide you through all the vital information, ensuring your student journey starts on the perfect trajectory. No matter where you’re learning from, we’ve got you covered with the Digital Library and IT e-induction (remote study only), tailored to those studying away from campus.

🌠 Discover more

Explore our online guides and equip yourself with the essential tools you will need during your time at Kent. Whether its our expert guidance on Wi-Fi setup, learning how to access premium software available to students, or discovering all you need to know about borrowing books from the renowned Templeman Library; if you need it – we’ve got a guide for it!

👨‍🚀’Fuel Up’ at the Treasure Tent 💎

Join us at ‘The Treasure Tent‘ on 19 and 20 September for a 2 days of engaging activities designed to ignite your curiosity and enhance your student experience. This Welcome Week event is an opportunity to ‘Fuel up’ for the journey ahead by discovering the treasure trove of services we offer that will help you excel at the University of Kent. Get it in your diary!

Contact IT & Library Support

  • Use Nexus Self Service
  • 01227 824888
  • Use the Chat to us button (Library and IT web pages) to launch online chat
  • Visit us: Nexus, Block D, Ground Floor, Templeman Library
Three students walking together

Support for mature, commuting and part-time students

If you are a mature, commuting or part-time student (or a combination), your university experience might look a little different to someone joining university straight from school. But don’t worry, there is plenty of additional support for you and ways to connect with those in a similar position. This includes a society that runs events and study sessions at convenient times if you have other responsibilities (e.g. a part-time job and childcare), and a dedicated student network to help get your voice heard.

Introduction event for mature students (with lunch provided)

In the week before Welcome Week, our Student Learning Advisory Service are running in-person introduction events for mature students. These events will help you prepare for university study, give you an introduction to digital learning and a campus orientation. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions and meet other mature students at the free lunch.

Please book the relevant event for you based on your Division and campus:

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 feedback on key issues that affect the mature, commuting and part-time student experience to both the University and Kent Union.

More about support available.