Monthly Archives: January 2024

Introducing our next University Strategy

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Future plans for Kent

I wanted to update you all on work underway to develop our next University strategy, which is focused on ensuring we do more to put students at the heart of everything we do. This is being delivered through our Kent 2030 plan, which brings together a range of improvements based on suggestions from students.

Lots of this is due to come into effect from Autumn 2025 onwards, including planned changes to the structure of our academic year. We are also looking at the make-up of the courses we plan on recruiting to in the future, recognising that students have different needs and different expectations than they did in the past.

As part of this, we have started talking to staff in some areas about phasing out future recruitment to a number of courses. If agreed, this would only affect recruitment for future cohorts of students in these areas – for those studying them now, your teaching and graduation would carry on as normal.

These proposals are to do with our broader portfolio rather than any specific campus – we remain fully committed to our presence at Medway and as part of this will be looking at how we can refresh what we do to ensure we have a vibrant offer at Medway that matches what students and employers are looking for.

Why are we doing this?

We are always looking at ways we can do things differently as student demographics change, ensuring we match the ambition of students in what they can study at Kent and the ways we support them in doing that. Alongside this, like other universities across the country, we are responding to a challenging financial environment – we want to get ahead of this by building something different and better for future generations of Kent students.

What does it mean for you?

The Kent 2030 programme will be making improvements to lots of aspects of the student experience. As the programme develops, we will be in touch directly should any proposed changes affect you. Our priority throughout will be to ensure we maintain the quality and consistency of your course through to when you graduate, and your Division will be in touch via email shortly if there are proposed changes in your area as part of the current curriculum review.

None of the proposed plans being discussed would impact students’ ability to graduate or complete their courses, and as with any organisational changes, we will do everything we can to minimise the impact on your studies.

Find out more about Kent 2030

Change can be challenging for some colleagues but we are sure that these proposed changes are the right thing to do to ensure a positive future at Kent. We are working with Kent Union and staff unions to do everything we can to support affected staff as a result of the upcoming curriculum review. If you have questions or concerns about any of this, please contact Kent Union at union-president@kent.ac.uk or the Kent 2030 team at Kent2030Student@kent.ac.uk.

Want to hear more about how changes might affect your student journey and ask your questions? Join our next Student Open Forum from 15:30 – 16:30 on Wednesday 21 February online via Teams.

Sign up to attend Student Open Forum Wed 21 February

Read about Kent 2030 plans online

Bright lights of Seoul

Would you like to study in Seoul, South Korea, this summer?

Information session to study in Dongguk University, Seoul

Representatives from Dongguk University in Seoul will be visiting our Canterbury Campus to promote their amazing Summer school program for 2024.

Dongguk University is situated in the heart of Seoul giving you the chance to live, study and explore this amazing city in Summer 2024. The university offer some amazing unique classes, including Korean Film, K-Pop, Korean Language, Leadership Skills and many more!

Please come along on Monday 5 February, 12:00-13:00 in Keynes Lecture Theatre 2 to meet the Dongguk University team who will be giving an in-person information session about their Summer School opportunity. Find out more and register for the event.

Funding through Go Abroad Bitesize

This opportunity is being offered to Kent students as part of the ‘Go Abroad Bitesize’ initiative. Please see our website for information and the funding available.

Uni Students win a mac book air

Prize Draw Alert: Win 1 of 10 MacBook Air Laptops

We know that acing your studies is helped by having top quality tools at your disposal, so what better way to do this than with a new MacBook Air?

Back by popular demand, our partner Santander Universities, are once again giving away 10 MacBook Air laptops in their latest student prize draw.

Entering the prize draw is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Register for Santander Open Academy – a free online learning platform (if you’re not already signed up)
  2. Follow the verification link in your confirmation email
  3. Log into the Open Academy platform and select ‘Get Started’ to complete your entry into the Santander Universities MacBook Air Prize Draw!

All university students can enter. Including undergraduates, postgraduates, part-time and full-time students. You also don’t need to bank with Santander to get involved. So be sure to share with your friends, coursemates and anyone else who could benefit from this opportunity.

Enter by 11pm on 29 February 2024 for your chance to win!

Enter Now

laptop

KentVision update: now available

**13:00, 30 January 2024 – KentVision is now back online, ahead of schedule **

The KentVision system will be unavailable for all users from 17:00 on Friday 26 January 2024 until Wednesday 31 January 2024 at 12:00 due to planned maintenance.

If you need to view your timetable during these times, you can integrate your timetable with a personal calendar (e.g Outlook or Google calendar) on a mobile or computer through iCal. Please go to the my study webpage and click the cog in the top right-hand corner to see the subscribe to calendar options.

You will be unable to submit an Extenuating Circumstance request (Extension / Late Submission) during this period and you should aim to meet the original assignment deadline, but should that not be possible please submit your work within 7 days of the deadline and apply for a late submission, with supporting evidence, advising us why you could not meet the deadline once Kent Vision is up and running again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused while this essential work is carried out.

Should you have any concerns or queries please contact helpdesk@kent.ac.uk

Exams: Religious Observation request deadline Fri 2 Feb

Some religious days or festivals will fall during the May/June exam period and we understand that students may wish to observe these. We will therefore make every effort to avoid timetabling exams or assessments on such dates where a religious observation request has been made ahead of the deadline.

The deadline for submitting a religious observation request for the 2024 exam period is Friday 2 February 2024. Find the request form and further information on Religious Observations here.

Inclusive Pride Flag

Introducing LGBT+ History Month 2024

What is LGBT+ History Month? 

LGBT+ History Month takes place every February in the UK and is a month-long celebration of LGBTQIA+ identity and observance of the injustices and discrimination faced by the community in the past, and faced by many still to this day. LGBTQIA+ people have the right to live their lives as their true, authentic selves free of fear, discrimination or harassment and one of the goals of LGBT+ History Month is to move us as a culture towards a society that is kinder and fairer to LGBTQIA+ people. 

The 2024 theme is Medicine – #UnderTheScope and it celebrates LGBTQIA+ peoples’ contribution to the field of Medicine and Healthcare both historically and today. 

This year, LGBT+ History Month wants to showcase the amazing work of LGBT+ staff across the NHS and in other healthcare settings, in providing healthcare, especially during the pandemic. The Month also aims to shine a light on the history of the LGBTQIA+ community’s experience of receiving healthcare, which has been extremely complicated and leaves LGBTQIA+ people still facing health inequalities even today.  

What’s on at Kent 

At Kent, LGBT+ History Month is organised by the University of Kent, Kent Union and the Students’ Unions at Medway. Events are open for staff and students and the vast majority are free. See all LGBT+ History Month events

Key events include: 

The LGBTQ+ In Lockdown Exhibition, available to view in the KMMS Pears Building showcasing the experiences of LGBTQIA+ students during the Covid pandemic, the LGBTQ+ In Lockdown exhibition is a powerful reflection on identity, isolation and time experienced by so many LGBTQIA+ people during the pandemic. 

There is an LGBTQIA+ Careers Fair at Medway where you can meet employers from 20+ Stalls from Stonewall accredited organisations to showcase their work, their EDI commitment and any placements or roles they have currently. 

There are loads of Give it A Go and crafting activities taking place at both the Canterbury and Medway sites; from friendship bracelet making to flag making and pronoun badge making. Check the website for dates and times. 

Loughborough academic Dr Jo Harper will be giving a talk about her research into the impact of testosterone in sports and the culture, attitudes and barriers for transgender athletes. 

There are film screenings at the Gulbenkian Cinema for Femme and All Of Us Strangers and loads of fun craft activities that celebrate LGBTQIA+ identity. 

What support is available to me? 

  • We have a large number of resources available to support LGBTQIA+ students at Kent and can signpost to external resources. 
  • Kent Union run the LGBTQIA+ Network to act as a voice for LGBTQIA+ students. 
  • The University has the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, open to any staff member who identifies as LGBTQIA+. The Network hold regular social activities for members and Allies. 
  • The University runs a Gender Affirmation Fund for students who identify as trans, non-binary or gender queer. 
  • The University has an Inclusive Language Guide to help support staff and students in developing their Inclusive Language skills. Keep a look out for a future blog post in LGBT+ History Month with more information. 
  • The Canterbury Trans Network runs a bi-monthly social on campus 
  • The Kent Union LGBT+ History Month webpages feature a Curiosity Hub, designed to display dozens of films, books, podcasts, celebrities and more  – all handpicked by staff and students at Kent, with each recommendation relating to LGBT+ History Month and Pride. There are even hand-out resources as well as links to the various schemes that are available to support LGBTQIA+ students at Kent. 

What do I do if I have experienced prejudice or discrimination? 

We are committed to ensuring that all students and staff are supported at Kent and can study and work to their fullest potential. We also take discrimination, harassment and bullying extremely seriously. If you feel that you have been subjected to any form of bullying or discrimination due to your LGBTQIA+ identity, please do report it via the Report and Support tool. This will trigger an investigation and support for you, although you can do report anonymously if you prefer.  

Look out for more blog posts and information over the course of the month, and we hope you enjoy LGBT+ History Month. 

What do I do if I want more information? 

If you have any comments or feedback about this month’s activity, or any other History Month or equality, diversity or inclusion related activity, please do email EqualityandDiversity@kent.ac.uk 

 

Badges representing different LGBTQ+ identities

Kent Union’s LGBTQIA+ Student Voices Project

The LGBTQIA+ Student Voices Project is an important research piece which is part of Kent Union’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. The project leans into understanding students within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual plus community, in the hopes to understand their barriers to education & engagement and overall areas to improve their student experience. This project will have an important focus on the Transgender student experience, as we know they are one of the most marginalised in society.

This Inclusive Project mirrors our Black Student Voices Project, which will be led by three Student Researchers that will create events and gather data in a published report. We are still devising questions to answer within the research, and aim to embark on outreach activities to engage the students within the community. This research will produce recommendations for the Union and University to be held accountable and to better the lives of LGBTQIA+ Students at Kent.

Events to be announced soon – add your email to stay up to date.

Students sat together chatting

Events roundup: 29 January – 4 February

Find out what’s on this week. Plus, LGBT+ History Month kicks off later this week! Look out for the Pride flags on campus as well as lots of events throughout the month.

Following Holocaust Memorial Day at the weekend, there is an exhibition in the Library Cafe, running until Sunday 4 February. The exhibition is organised by the Union of Jewish Students to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in a meaningful way. 

Monday 29 January: Free covid and flu vaccines and CV help

Do you need some help with your CV? Attend this CV drop-in session to get some support from our Careers and Employability Service as you continue to work on your document.

If you’re thinking about getting a part-time job, come along to this session in Pilkington, Medway, to discuss options for part-time work and where you can look for opportunities.

Have you had your vaccines? There’s a free walk-in clinic in Senate, Canterbury campus, for free covid and/or flu vaccines.

Tuesday 30 January: Student Survival Guide and Employability Points Scheme

Open to all university students, A Student Survival Guide includes opportunities to learn about cooking on a budget, building positive relationships and partying safely, featuring ‘Commando Chef’ and Robbie White.

Find out more about applying for Rewards through the Employability Points scheme. This online session will explain the application process for applying for Rewards on the Employability Points scheme, including the timeline for advertisement of rewards, making applications, shortlisting and interviews.

Wednesday 31 January: Year In information sessions and PGR Yoga Writing Retreat

Are you interested in taking a ‘Year In’ a different subject? The Year In programme can be taken between stage 2 and stage 3 or after stage 3 of an undergraduate programme, and will appear on your degree transcript and in the title of the degree awarded, letting employers know about the additional skills and knowledge you have gained. On Wednesday there are Year In information sessions in Keynes, Canterbury, and online. There’s a Year In introduction event followed by subject specific sessions, so you can find out which Year In programme might be right for you.

If you’re a postgrad researcher, consider joining this Yoga and Writing Retreat in Cornwallis East, Canterbury. It’s a mix of guided yoga sessions with opportunities for you to get on with your writing in a relaxed setting.

Thursday 1 February: Trip to Huckleberry Farm, Pottery Session and LGBTBQ+ art exhibition

Do you live in on-campus accommodation and love cute animals? Join the ResLife Team on a trip to Huckleberry Farm where you can meet micro-pigs, miniature donkeys, teddy sheep, pygmy goats and alpacas! Book through the Home At Halls app.

Give pottery a go with Kent Union. They’ll provide the clay and tools so you can make a decorative object of your choice.

LGBT+ History Month begins on Thursday so why not head over to the KMMS Pear’s Building and take a look at the LGBTQ+ In Lockdown exhibition which showcases the experiences of LGTBQ+ students during the Covid- pandemic. The exhibition is a powerful reflection on identity, isolation and time experienced by so many LGBTQIA people during the pandemic.

Friday 2 February: Tai Chi (Medway) and Kent Community Oasis Garden volunteering

Give Tai Chi a go at The Hub and immerse yourself in the graceful and flowing movements of this ancient Chinese martial art, designed to promote harmony between mind, body, and spirit. Discover free Medway Move activities.

Consider volunteering at the Kent Community Oasis Garden (Kent COG), located near the end of Park Wood. Kent COG is a collection of students, staff and community members working to create a sustainability hub centred around growing food. Open sessions are Wednesdays and Fridays (10:00-14:00).

See more student events.

Opportunities

  • If you’re a student looking to make strides in your academic and career goals, sign up for the Career Mentoring Scheme, which partners students with alumni who work in their chosen industry or sector.
  • Enter the Kent CyberAnything competition for your chance to win cash prizes. Tell a story through a photo, short video, essay, poem (or other media form) about living, learning and connecting in the cyber or cyber-physical world in the past, at present, and/or in the future.
  • Apply for i-teams – an innovative programme that allows Kent students to work in interdisciplinary teams, solving real-world problems and gaining valuable experience in a variety of fields. Apply by 23:59 on Monday 29 January.

See more student opportunities.

Student and lecturer smiling while listening and watching work on desktop PC

Ever thought about studying a Year In? Find out more on 31 Jan

The Year In programme can be taken between stage 2 and stage 3 or after stage 3 of an undergraduate programme, and will appear on your degree transcript and in the title of the degree awarded, letting employers know about the additional skills and knowledge you have gained.

On Wednesday 31 January, there are Year In information sessions in Keynes (Canterbury) and online. There’s a Year In introduction event followed by subject specific sessions, so you can find out which Year In programme might be right for you. 

Year In programmes you can choose from include:

Student smiling to camera

Join Kent’s New Mentoring Scheme: Celebrating Mentoring Month

January marks Mentoring Month, and there’s no better time to invest in your personal and professional growth. If you’re a student looking to make strides in your academic and career goals, sign up for the Career Mentoring Scheme, which partners students with alumni who work in their chosen industry or sector.

By participating in the mentoring scheme, you’ll gain a unique perspective on your chosen profession, develop key skills and knowledge, and prepare for life after graduation.

You can take part in the programme for one or two terms, depending on your needs and availability. The programme is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students, with applications accepted throughout the year.

The Career Mentoring Scheme is an excellent opportunity to build your professional network, connect with alumni in your field, and receive valuable advice and guidance. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your career journey and apply today!