Monthly Archives: October 2023

Heading out for halloween? have fun and stay safe

Heading out for Halloween? Have fun and stay safe…

If you are heading out for Halloween, remember that having fun doesn’t mean crossing boundaries or compromising safety. This guide offers helpful tips to ensure everyone’s enjoyment, respect, and safety during Halloween celebrations. 

Safety services at Kent 

If you are heading out, here’s a reminder of the safety services on offer at both our Canterbury and Medway campuses. From the trusty SafeZone app, a Walking Taxi Service, to round-the-clock Campus Security, CCTV, and patrols, we’ve got you covered. Check out Kent’s safety services to learn more. 

Consent. Get it. FULL STOP. 

It’s crucial to always check for consent in all sexual situations. Consent is non-negotiable, regardless of the circumstances. Remember, Consent. Get it. FULL STOP. 

Respect boundaries 

While Halloween is a time for spooks and scares, not everyone enjoys being frightened. It’s crucial to respect people’s comfort zones and ensure that the fun doesn’t turn into distress for someone else. 

What to do in case of inappropriate behaviour 

If you witness something inappropriate or unsettling, there are several actions you can take. The University’s confidential online reporting tool, REPORT + SUPPORT, allows you to report and get advice about various issues. These include sexual misconduct, physical and verbal abuse, spiking, harassment or bullying, discrimination, or hate incidents. You can report anonymously or get support from an adviser. 

Seeking help at the bar 

If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable or threatening situation, you can discreetly ask for help at the bar. Simply ask for ‘Angela’ at bars in Canterbury (including all bars on campus), and the bar staff will understand that you need assistance. They can call you a taxi or help you out discreetly, ensuring your safety without drawing unnecessary attention. 

Building a safer community 

Everyone can contribute to creating a safer community, especially during festive occasions like Halloween. By respecting others’ boundaries, taking control, and seeking support when necessary, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable celebration for all. Remember, ‘Consent. Get it. FULL STOP.’ 

Student sat at bench with autumn leaves on ground

Events roundup: 30 October – 5 November

Find out what’s on this week, including some fun Halloween events and opportunities to try something new.

Monday 30 October: Israel and Gaza support drop-in and study support

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) are running a support session for students affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This is a drop-in session taking place from 13:00-14:00 on Monday, upstairs in Locke Building near the Coop, staffed by a mental health adviser and counsellor from SSW. All students are welcome.

Improve your study skills with events on Monday including general essay writing, Canterbury, time management for PGT students in Drill Hall Library, Medway, and a workshop on good academic practice – acknowledging your sources, Canterbury. See more Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) workshops.

Tuesday 31 October: Halloween activities and Kent Police drop-in

Happy Halloween! On Tuesday afternoon you can have some fun pumpkin carving in the Venue, and if you live on campus, you can join a Halloween quiz and movie at the Gulbenkian with the ResLife Ambassadors.

At Medway campus, you can team up and test your wits in a mobile escape room. Plus, in the evening there’s a Halloween party at the Deep End with the Music Society.

On Tuesday mornings during term-time, Kent Police are running a drop-in clinic in Locke Building on Canterbury campus. You can chat to them about crime prevention and safety or any general enquiries you may have.

Wednesday 1 November: Kent Police drop-in (Medway) and try something new

Kent Police are running a drop-in clinic in the Drill Hall Library, Medway, 10:00-12:00. You can chat to them about crime prevention and safety or any general enquiries you may have.

As there’s no scheduled teaching on Wednesday afternoons, use this as an opportunity to gain skills or find new passions and meet new people. This Wednesday you can try out the University Community Choir, join the research café and discover diverse routes into a PhD, volunteer at the Kent Community Oasis Garden or go along to the ASPIRE Business Start-Up Journey event around how to spot a gap in the market.

Thursday 2 November: Maths workshops

Brush up on your maths skills with these in-person maths and stats workshops on Thursday afternoon.

Friday 3 November: Global Hangout

On Friday you can go along to the November Global Hangout where we will be celebrating Guy Fawkes Night. Learn more about how it is celebrated and have a go at the interactive quiz to test your knowledge. There will also be hot chocolate and other bonfire-inspired snacks available for you to treat yourself to, while making new friends.

Saturday 4 November: Ponies and swimming

Meet some friendly ponies in Chilham with the ResLife ambassadors. You will be shown the basics of pony care including giving them a brush and a treat.

Enjoy swimming? Kent Union has hired a local swimming pool in Canterbury between 12:00-13:00 on Saturday just for Kent students!

See more student events.

Support reminder

Need some extra support? As we cross the halfway point of the Autumn term, it’s a good idea to make use of services available to you.

  • Nexus (in Templeman Library and online) can help with any query, signposting you in the right direction. Nexus is now open later and at weekends.
  • Divisional support teams are there to help you with matters specific to your course including changing modules/groups, support and adjustments and any questions about your studies.
  • Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) offer study skills, writing, maths, assignment and revision support to all students, from foundation to PhD.
  • Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) can help with mental health, disability, autism and specific learning differences (SpLDs, including ADHD and dyslexia), and accessibility.
  • Careers and Employability Service provides advice, workshops and tools to prepare you for employment and further study.
  • Welfare and Community Life provides friendly, informal advice and can support you with disputes in your accommodation, as well as refer to a range of other specific services.
  • Kent Union’s Advice Service offers free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues.

See all student support.

Kent sign on campus

Israel and Gaza

A joint statement from Professor Karen Cox, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Kent, and Zaid Mahmood, Student’s Union President, Kent Union

We are writing to you together to reflect on what has been a very upsetting time for many in our community. First and foremost we want to directly acknowledge the pain felt by our Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim students and staff. We are here to listen and support and want to express our thanks to those who have shared their heartfelt concerns with us.

The recent appalling terrorist attacks in Israel and ongoing devastating war and escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza continue to cause shock, hurt and concern across the world. It has also been heartbreaking to see rising antisemitism and Islamophobia here in the UK – we want to make it abundantly clear that there is no place for hate in any form on our campuses and as always will take a zero-tolerance approach to any instances.

When traumatic events like this happen, the importance of the University’s neutrality in political matters is made clear. While we express shared values around our mutual humanity, it is not our place to take any side – we must ensure we can support all in our community equally and that we foster an environment where thoughts and ideas can be discussed freely. That said, we are unequivocal in our condemnation of terrorism and steadfast in both our support for international law and for humanitarian approaches at all times. Civilian life must be protected – and peaceful solutions sought – with hostages released and vital aid prioritised where it will protect life.

Many of you will be struggling to make sense of what is happening in a part of a world you identify with, directly or indirectly. Lots have also understandably sought to stand with those they feel an affiliation to or in support of causes they feel strongly about. Our University is rightly an environment that facilitates healthy debate and discussion, while ensuring different views are respected. At all times, however, freedom of speech must take place within the law, avoiding racist or discriminatory language and rejecting extremist ideas that form part of terrorist ideology; and expressing support for a proscribed terrorist group, as Hamas are designated in the UK, is a criminal offence.

It is also crucial that people are considerate of the understandable fear, sadness and grief that many feel at the moment. Progress can only happen when opposing views have space to be heard; equally, tolerance, empathy and respect for others are values that must remain at the forefront of our minds. Many of our students and staff have direct links to Israel and Palestine – it is our shared responsibility to watch out for one another and to be mindful of this in how we communicate, whether online or in person.

Our Report and Support tool is there for anyone who experiences or witnesses discriminatory language or hate. We also have regular drop-in sessions hosted by Student Support and Wellbeing, while a multi-faith vigil is planned at Canterbury Cathedral on Monday 30 October for anyone who would like to come together with others to reflect and mark their support for a peaceful outcome. We are rightly proud to be a supportive University where people with many different backgrounds come together – through our collective efforts, we must work to ensure that that every member of our community feels safe and supported during these troubling times. Now more than ever, we must look out for each other.

Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Kent

Zaid Mahmood, Student’s Union President, Kent Union

** This statement was updated at 16.00 on 28 October to refer more directly to war in Gaza to better reflect the current situation and how this being reported elsewhere  **

Read our earlier statement for more information on support for students


Staff at helpdesk

Managing academic deadlines

Tim from our Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) shares top tips for managing academic deadlines…

Academic assignments do not always arrive one at a time with their deadlines conveniently spaced out. So here are a few tips that will help you manage multiple deadlines.

Break assignments down: Consider the stages of work that you’ll need to undertake to complete each assignment. These may include tasks such as planning, researching, drafting, editing, and checking. If you identify and understand the individual steps that are required to complete your assignment it will appear less daunting. This, in turn, will prevent you from procrastinating and enable you to start work on it. Starting assignments as early as possible will help you meet your deadlines.

Use a term planner: Seeing your academic deadlines clearly marked on a planner or calendar (alongside all your other fixed commitments such as lectures and seminars) will allow you to plan accordingly to meet them. So, working back from the deadline, allocate time for each stage of work on your planner. If you are working on multiple assignments, you can colour-code each one to give you a clear overview of which assignments you need to be working on during any given day or week. Your term planner will help you stay on track to meet your deadline, but if you find yourself falling behind schedule you can review and amend it.

Work efficiently: Meeting deadlines is not just about allocating time for each stage of an assignment. It also means using that time as efficiently as possible, by breaking each day into chunks of time and allocating a specific task to each of them. Each task should be goal focussed – whether that goal is meeting an assignment deadline or revising for an exam. It should also be achievable. For example, for a two-hour study period set yourself the task of reading and taking notes on a useful chapter of a book (which you can do), rather than the entire book (which you probably can’t). This technique will help you build momentum and feel that hour after hour, day after day, you are taking a series of small but successful steps towards meeting your deadline. Allow time for breaks and vary your activities during the day – perhaps mixing some reading and notetaking tasks with some planning and writing tasks – to help you stay fresh, engaged and productive.

Finally, don’t suffer in silence: Deadlines rarely move, so start assignments as soon as you can, and address problems when they arise. If you don’t understand a question, seek clarification from your lecturer. If you feel you don’t know how to start planning or writing your essay, or feel stuck half-way through writing one, seek advice on essay writing from the Student Learning Advisory Service.

Good luck with your assignment!

students sitting on bench

Dealing with homesickness

Many students at some point during their time at university have struggled with homesickness, whether they be in their first year or in their final year. This is a normal feeling as being in an unfamiliar environment with a different routine can be an adjustment for many and is nothing to be ashamed about.

From my own personal experience and understanding from others, I have compiled a little ‘Homesickness Toolkit’ to help manage and overcome homesickness at university…

  1. Throw yourself into university life. Try to get to know and socialise with your flatmates as well as your course mates. And join societies! Kent has many sports and non-sports societies that cater to all students. Have a look on the Kent Union webpage for more information regarding this. Having a strong support network around you is important, and just having a chat with a friend can make a world of difference!
  2. Why not decorate your room with photos, posters or anything that makes you feel more at home? Having things around you that are familiar and comforting will make you feel more at ease in your new space. For example, I have a photo of my family that I always display in my room. This reminds me of the happy memories that I have shared with them, making me feel more relaxed and comfortable in my new room.
  3. Keeping in touch with family and friends from home. Planning a phone or video chat catch-up with someone you miss can be a good way to feel closer to them. Maybe plan a specific day or time during the week to call to make sure everyone keeps that time free.
  4. It sounds obvious but explore our beautiful campus! Whether you are in Canterbury or Medway, the University of Kent has so many facilities on offer for you to make use of. Familiarity with your surrounding area would help to combat the feeling of homesickness, as you will begin to love the new area you are calling home during term-time! Check out the online map for venues you might not have come across so far.
  5. Why not plan a home visit? There is nothing wrong with going back home every once in a while. University is a change, and it’s sometimes nice to go back to a familiar environment. Or you could even plan for family and friends to come and visit you at uni. You could show them around town, around campus and your favourite hangouts!

It is okay to ask for help. The feeling of homesickness may pass, or you may continue to feel overwhelmed and might therefore benefit from support provided by Student Support and Wellbeing. If this is the case, then have a look at the resources available on the Student Support and Wellbeing webpage and get in contact if you need additional support.

Written by Lucie, postgraduate student

making friends at uni can be intimidating but umii can help

Download our friendship app – Umii

Whether you are a new student or looking to expand your circle, Umii connects you to students at university with the same interests, similar course types and societies as you.

University is a major time in your life, and one you shouldn’t do alone. We teamed up with Umii to make it easier for you to find and meet other Kent students outside of your course and accommodation. Only verified Kent students can access the app, so you can be sure who you’re connecting with is a real student.

Set up your profile in minutes:

📲 Download the app
🎓 Select the University of Kent
⚽️ Add your course, interests and societies
😁 Build your profile
👍 Verify your university email or university enrolment
💬 Get new matches every day and build meaningful friendships!

Canterbury Safer Streets logo

Take part in Canterbury Safer Streets survey

From Canterbury Christ Church University.

As part of a government funded Safer Streets project, Canterbury Christ Church University is conducting research with students in Kent and Medway.

The research aims to gain a better understanding of the experiences of students in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual misconduct. The insights gained from this study will enable us to be better able to tackle such incidences within our communities and ensure that we are building a safer environment for all.

We are keen to ensure that we authentically capture the voices of all students and as such, we encourage everyone from all backgrounds (men, women, non-binary, ethnically diverse/minoritised communities, LGBTQ+ communities, individuals with a disability) to share their experiences and thoughts.

Please note that some questions within this survey will include sensitive information and ask personal questions about your experiences in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. If you find these distressing, we would prefer that you do not continue with the survey and you can exit the survey at any point. Also, remember you can use your university’s online Report and Support Tool to connect with the Student Support and Wellbeing Team if you need emotional support or guidance on any harassment or sexual misconduct you have witnessed or experienced.

The survey is anonymous, and your responses will be confidential. As a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw to win Love2Shop (or similar) vouchers (20x £30).

If you would like to obtain further information related to the survey or how your personal data is processed for this project please contact

Thank you for playing your part in this important research.

Take part in the Student Safer Streets survey

Abi Williams

£30k funding and trips to Italy are all part of being a Santander Unis Scholar! See what you can apply for

Kent student Abi is one of 100 Santander Universities’ Scholars from a selection of UK universities.

After applying for the scholarship at the end of 2022, Abi was awarded £30,000 to help throughout the three-year course at the University of Kent. As well as the funding, Abi also gets additional training and a dedicated mentor from Santander.

This scholarship is part of a series of opportunities, funding and grants Kent students can apply for as part of the University’s education partnership with Santander.

Another opportunity Kent students can apply for now is Santander’s Brighter Future Grants. All you need to do is sign up with Santander Universities before 20 November and you could win £1,000! It doesn’t take long to register and there are 10 lots of £1,000 to be given away to Kent students. Register now so you don’t miss out!

Here’s what Abi had to say about being a Santander Universities’ Scholar…

How did you feel when you found out you won the scholarship?

“Stunned, amazed, excited…

“It did not feel real for a long time after I had found out I was a Santander Universities’ Scholar. It’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and I am so grateful to be a part of the programme.

“The moment it really hit me how lucky I am was during the launch event at Wembley Stadium. It was announced that the 100 scholars will be able to visit Italy’s Ferrari factory in Maranello next year, I am excited beyond words for that. Thank you Santander!”

How has the scholarship helped you?

“It means I can focus on my studies and personal struggles without the added stress and pressure of financial constraints. I have been able to obtain everything I could possibly need for my studies and more. Alongside that, I receive invaluable careers mentoring and amazing opportunities for personal development that money could never buy.

“When I applied, I never thought in a million years I would be selected for something like this, but I have been. In fact, I had forgotten that I had applied until I was contacted to confirm my student status a couple of weeks before hearing that I had been selected. If you are reading this and you are dithering over applying for a scholarship or have not looked for one because you do not think it could ever be you – I know from experience it genuinely could be!”

Group of international students

Apply to be on our International Student Advisory Board

Are you passionate, organised and motivated to represent international students at Kent and make a difference to their student experience?

The International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) launched in January 2023 and is in collaboration with Kent Union to ensure that the needs and voices of our international students are heard.

The purpose of this Board will be:

  • To inform the inclusivity and accessibility of university-wide services and policies at both the University and Kent Union, for the benefit of all international students at the University of Kent
  • To provide feedback mechanisms to allow international students to actively contribute towards campaigns, awareness raising and submit suggestions for policy change
  • To support internationally focused activities and events such as, Welcome and Arrivals, Worldfest and International Education Week.

We are looking for up to 20 individuals to join and work alongside our existing Board members.  Whether you have been at Kent for a while or have just joined us this September, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to represent and make a difference to your student experience while at Kent.

To apply:

– You must be a current international student at the University of Kent
– You must have enthusiasm and commitment to improving the international student experience
– You must be available to attend all the meeting dates advertised

For more information, to hear from Eunice, a previous ISAB member on why you should join the Board and to apply, please see our webpageDeadline for applications is 30 October.

Nexus desk with staff smiling

Nexus support: now open later and at weekends

Nexus staff can help with any query, signposting you in the right direction. You can ask Nexus for help with accommodation, wellbeing, course queries and admin, KentOne card issues, support and much more.

We have extended the Nexus opening hours. During term-time, you can now access Nexus 9:00-21:00 on weekdays, and 12:00-18:00 on weekends!

Nexus is located in Templeman Library D Block, on the ground floor. Go in the Main Entrance, through the turnstiles, and take the first right.  See the map for directions (view PDF map).

Can’t make it onto the Canterbury campus? Log in via Nexus online to find out who to ask about your problem.