Monthly Archives: July 2024

Postgraduate Conference success

Kent’s Annual Postgraduate Conference took place on Wednesday 3 July 2024, hosted by the Graduate and Researcher College (GRC), in collaboration with the Division of Arts and Humanities, the Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Kent Business School, the Division for the study of Law, Society and Social Justice, and the Division of Natural Sciences.

It was a remarkable celebration of the vibrant research community here at Kent, with a record number of students and staff attending.

Students and staff at conference Speaking at the Conference Reception, Gordon Lynch, the Director of the GRC said:

“The heart of the University’s mission is to produce new knowledge, to train people in developing new knowledge and ways of thinking, and to share that knowledge with the wider world. The annual PG Conference is a celebration of that work – whether it’s for all the innovative work done by our research students, all the investment in their training and development by supervisors and all the work done by other members of staff to make that community of learning possible. It’s been fantastic to see so many people engage with this year’s event and to continue to build on the partnership between the Graduate and Researcher College and our Schools and Divisions.”

Talk at conference in lecture theatre

Thank you to the student and staff organisers for their brilliant efforts in coordinating the Divisional sessions, and to the student presenters for their outstanding contributions. The engaging research talks, insightful panel discussions, impressive poster presentations, and dynamic interactive workshops made the day truly exceptional.

PGR Student Basma receiving award

Finally, we would like to extend our congratulations again to the winners and runners up for the Kent Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, GRC Prizes, and Divisional Session Competitions. A full-list of winners can be found on the GRC Annual Postgraduate Conference 2024 page.

Found in Translation

Margherita Laera Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre shares her experience of working with migrant secondary school pupils in Canterbury on this valuable project.

‘One of the most enriching work experiences I have had recently, has been working with Foreign Affairs theatre company on Performing International Plays school workshops, engaging secondary-school pupils and teachers with plays from around the world, often in translation, to foster love, curiosity and respect for global stories. Using international plays as a tool for social justice and representation through an inclusive pedagogy, we have made space for stories that rarely see the limelight but that matter to all, especially to those who don’t feel represented by the curriculum.

We have worked with all kinds of schools, 16 across the country this year, from the most underserved to the most privileged, because we believe that every single young person needs to have a chance to experience and respect stories and characters that emerge from other cultures. As well as at The Royal Court Theatre in London. However, one of these events recently took place closer to home, on campus, in the form of a two-day theatre translation workshop with Ukrainian refugee students and British GCSE Drama students from The Archbishops’ School in Canterbury.  Together they chose and translated a children’s play from Ukrainian to English, ‘Rubbish: Straw, Balloon and Shoe’ by Kateryna Penkova which they performed in front of an audience on the second day of the workshop.

We are incredibly proud that the feedback on our workshops from pupils and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The staff made us want to learn more about our cultures and respect people for who they are”, Workshop Participant

“I noticed students from racially minoritised groups taking the lead in discussions” Teacher

Teachers have highlighted that the workshops helped diverse pupils feel validated and recognised, and supported everyone in acquiring the skills that support English literacy. As well as engaging with social issues, building confidence, working in groups and speaking in front of a large group, improving their wellbeing, engagement and attainment at school and, for the English native speakers, practising foreign language skills.

We have lots to celebrate at the end of our fist academic year. Thanks to the trust of teachers and to our funders – ACE, AHRC, South East Cultural Innovation Forum and University of Kent.

Are you interested in our work? Get in touch! m.laera@kent.ac.uk

Medway Activities Awards

Kent Stars: Superstar Society

This month’s Kent Stars are the Medway Music Society who won Society of the Year at the latest Medway Activities Awards. They won for transforming the society, and running successful events that would often get up to 70 students attending.  

The nomination said: “I think it is impossible to ignore the achievements that the society has made over the past academic year… I wholeheartedly think the Medway campus would simply not be the same without the Music Society.” 

Hear more from the Medway Music Society and its President Skye: 

“We are the Medway Music Society, we hold regular events with amazing live music as well as interactive events such as quizzes and karaoke. Firstly, to introduce myself and my team: 

  • President: Skye Ryan, third-year student on the Music Performance and Production course. I am a keen guitarist, bassist and vocalist. 
  • Vice President: Chloe Jagger is a second-year student on the Social Sciences course and she is an amazing vocalist. 
  • Social Media Manager:  Izzy Logie is a third-year student on the Music Performance and Production Course and she is a great vocalist and drummer. 
  • Treasurer: Ash Luk is a third-year student on the Music Performance and Production Course and is a stunning bassist and vocalist. 

Medway Music Society 2023-24Front-left: Chloe Jagger; front-right: Izzy Logie; back-left: Skye Ryan; back-right: Ash Luk 

Society of the Year
“Winning Society of the year came as a complete shock as we thought due to the other amazing societies, who have also done so many amazing things for Medway students, the running would be very tough. Yet to hear that we won we are so grateful. 

 

“This year we have really pushed the society to get back on its feet and rise to its former glory as we saw how amazing it could be and the experience it provided for students. Though this did not come easy, there was a lot of work to be done throughout the summer in the build-up to our freshers event to make sure we started off with a bang. 

“This event made a great first impression and we couldn’t have done it without the help of the music lecturers Dr Rich Perks and Dr Richard Lightman. They helpfully guided us through the process making sure we thought through every detail so that this event would set us on track for an amazing year and it truly fulfilled its purpose. 

“And so, winning society of the year was not just down to us but down to all those who supported us along the way. Including our returning crowd of students who stuck with us through the hard times as they knew we would come out on top.” 

What advice would you give to other students?

“As for advice we would give other students running societies… 

“First of all, it is not a small job, if you want success you have to be dedicated and stick to the plan even when it doesn’t seem worth it. 

“Secondly, fix the small problems as they cause so much frustration and yet are fixed so easily. For example, we kept having problems with the key code of our cupboard door and this small fix has led to smoother running events. 

“Thirdly, rely on your team. If you can’t do something yourself, ask for help, there is no point in making it difficult for one person when with the help of your team it can get done more easily and efficiently. 

“Lastly, have fun. If you’re not enjoying it then why should you do it. This was the one rule we took on when starting out as we felt that for this society to work it shouldn’t be painful to run. Yes there will be bumps along the way but overall if it is taking a toll on your wellbeing and you can’t fix a better way then just don’t do it..” 

What are your plans for the next year?

“Next year we plan to continue to grow the society, we have an amazing team taking over that have plans to elevate the Music Society to new levels. Such as getting gigs in different locations, perhaps introducing a music society after hours, a dedicated club night and much more (secret plans to be revealed next year so stay tuned). 

“We, the current committee, can’t wait to see how the Music Society will continue to develop next year.” 

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

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign. 

Medway Pride rainbow

Free Medway Pride tickets now available

Tickets allocated specifically for the Universities at Medway for Medway Pride on Saturday 17 August are available now!

Please only book the tickets you need, as these are limited.

Summer at Kent

Summer at Kent: What’s on in July

As well as relaxing in the sunshine, summer is a great time to meet new people, develop your skills and explore!

Summer at Kent is a series of events aimed at students who are staying on or near campus, whether that’s for a few weeks or the whole summer.

Get involved this month

Develop your writing skills with writing well sessions, Academic English Support for ESL students and dissertation writing workshops.

Network at the Annual Postgraduate Conference on Wednesday 3 July. The conference celebrates our postgraduate research community and is open to all PG students and includes the chance to attend talks, take part in interactive workshops and enjoy a free buffet lunch.

Get creative with regular Creative Spaces events where you can work on your crafts or just come along for a chat. To celebrate the Olympics, you can also join Chef Ben Elsberry to bake and decorate cookies and cupcakes with a prize for the best Olympic themed decorated baked item.

Get outside and get active by volunteering at the Kent Community Oasis Garden, open 10:00-14:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays. Enjoy spending time in nature and learning new skills. On Thursday 18 July you can join in a fun “School Sports Day” to celebrate the Olympics. Come along as a group or on your own, no athleticism necessary. Games will include the Sack Race, Relay Race, Egg and Spoon, Tug-of-War and much more. Plus, try Olympic sports with Give It A Go Weightlifting and Basketball.

Chill out with regular Chill Zone sessions where you can play Nintendo Switch MarioKart, board games and more as well as free refreshments. If you’re enjoying the football, you can watch the Euro’s on high-definition screens in K Bar. At Medway on Tuesday 16 July, come to the Oasis Lounge in Medway building for a Medway Games and Crafts session. Drop in for as long as you like.

If you have resits, there are online sessions around revision skills and coursework resit planning to help you progress.

More events will be added throughout the summer, so make sure to check back on the Summer at Kent website.