Author Archives: Alice Allwright

Pinocchio film image

What’s on at the Gulbenkian

With the Gulbenkian cinema and café now open (since 17 August 2020), there’s plenty of fantastic films and live events for you to enjoy!

Cinema bookings are currently online only and close two hours before the screening time. To find out what the Gulbenkian has been doing to ensure a safe visit, please visit its Customer information page.

Here are just a few of the movies and events you can go and see:

Clemency – Friday 21 August – Thursday 27 August 2020

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) .

Family Film: Trolls World TourSunday 30 August 2020

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return in an all-star sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s 2016 musical hit: Trolls World Tour.

Pinocchio Friday 4 September 2020

In this live-action adaptation of the beloved fairytale, old woodcarver Gepetto (Roberto Benigni), fashions a wooden puppet, Pinocchio (Federico Ielapi), who magically comes to life.

Jive Talkin’ perform the Bee Gees – Saturday 10 October 2020

Rescheduled from May 2020, this group is renowned for being the original and best Bee Gees tribute show.

Bogota in Columbia

Erasmus+ funding award links with law school in Colombia

A new exchange agreement between Kent Law School (KLS) and the University of Los Andes, Colombia has been signed.  The agreement covers PhD student and staff exchange; activity that will be supported by an Erasmus+ grant won by Kent.

University of Los Andes plays a central role within the academic community in Colombia and in Latin America as a whole. The institution shares KLS’ critical, interdisciplinary approach to law and commitment to excellence in research and education; it is hoped that the exchange will establish long- lasting avenues for research collaboration particularly in the areas of peace building and transitional justice.

Dr. Luis Eslava, Co-Director of the Centre for Critical International Law within KLS, welcomes the new agreement:

‘It is extremely exciting to inaugurate the Erasmus+ programme. It will give the Kent and ‘Universidad de los Andes an opportunity to further consolidate their interinstitutional partnership while supporting a fantastic exchange programme that will benefit staff and doctoral students from both institutions. We are looking forward to receiving at Kent Law School our colleagues from Los Andes.’

Head of Kent Law School Professor Lydia Hayes is also excited about the partnership:

‘The student and academic community at Los Andes is wonderfully vibrant and we are proud that the new exchange agreement further enhances our connections. We foresee many benefits for staff and students in Columbia and in Kent because of new opportunities for student placements, the exchange of knowledge and learning, and joint working on research in the social study of law’.

Due to Covid-19, the exchange will commence online, with physical mobility taking place when it is safe to do so.

For information about Erasmus+ funding to support exchange outside Europe, please contact Primrose Paskins in International Partnerships

Erasmus CE-Big Climate Movement 2020 logo

Virtual Exchange Opportunity – The Big Climate Movement

What is the impact of climate change on the planet, political action and the movement of people?

Kent has partnered with Sharing Perspectives Foundation to bring students the opportunity to discuss this question through a new 9-week virtual exchange course beginning in October, Cultural Encounters: The Big Climate Movement.

With the guidance of certified dialogue facilitators, students will meet weekly to discuss the theme of the course and engage in interactive assignments building 21st century skills, bringing their online experience to their offline reality.

For more information about this exciting new opportunity including the course outline and how to apply, please visit the Global website.

Watch this YouTube video, to find out what to expect when participating in the Interactive online course.

If you would like to participate, please register your interest by 21 September.

Virtual exchange allows students to engage in meaningful, cross-cultural experiences as part of your education.  These projects are becoming ever more important in offering students an international learning experience.  With recent events preventing traditional study abroad, these projects provide the framework for students to develop their cross-cultural attitudes, skills, and communication in addition to improving their digital literacy skills valued by employers.

If you have any questions about this course, please contact

Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme Students

Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme

We are delighted to invite Kent students to apply for this year’s Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme.  The programme is a co-curricular venture, designed to fit around your academic studies.  It provides a framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.

There are 5 components which can be completed throughout the academic year.

Benefits include:

•  Employability Points awarded per activity
•  Certificate of recognition and personal reference from the Dean for Internationalisation
•  Recognition on your Higher Education Achievement Report
•  Practical event & project management experience
•  A chance for you to record your international skill development in the Kent Global Passport.

This programme is also offered as a credit-bearing ‘wild’ module, GOLD500.

For further details please see our website.

Deadline to apply is midnight on 11 October, 2020.

(If considering taking this as a wild module, usual module registration deadline applies).

What past students have said:

‘I would highly recommend this programme to any student who is globally minded and wants to be more active on campus, as well as wanting to learn new skills that you don’t get when you join a society’. 
Preena Dodhia, BSc Biomedical Science

‘I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the GOLD programme, not only do I think that it has allowed me to develop skills that have strengthened my employability, I also found the programme to be an important avenue for expression during an intense final year of study. I would recommend the GOLD programme to any student that is interested in further developing themselves personally and professionally’.
Leo Harris, BA History and Spanish

The header image was taken on 4 March 2020, before lockdown.

International Programmes to host BALEAP event

BALEAP is a body which supports the professional development of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) professionals. It also runs an accreditation scheme for EAP courses. We are delighted to be hosting the BALEAP Professional Issues Meeting (PIM) online on 6 November 2020.

The theme of the PIM is 2020 Visions: Looking Back and Looking Ahead.

The new decade has brought with it major shifts in higher education, with many challenges and opportunities. This event will allow participants to explore how EAP practitioners have responded to these and how they have influenced future plans.  It will also allow participants to reflect on the past and look forward to the future, as we adjust to, work with and create the ‘new normal’.

We are now inviting EAP colleagues in the UK and further afield to submit proposals for sessions on a range of topics:  a PIM online is a great opportunity to present from anywhere in the world.

Present a session online
Present a session online

Possible topics to explore are:

  • the response to the ‘new normal’ so far, our plans looking ahead
  • tools and techniques – from materials to assessment to pedagogy/approaches and blended learning
  • the learning environment – inside and outside the classroom, the impact of a ‘digital first’ approach
  • the learner – what does the learner now want and need?
  • the practitioner – how has the changing environment affected us?
  • how have we adapted to the changing environment?
  • what has worked and what has not?
  • what is next and where do we want to go?

Other suggestions are welcome. Submission Deadline: 17.00 (BST) Tuesday 6 October 2020

Further details about the PIM and how to submit a proposal for a session are on our website.

Students on campus, Canterbury

Student Services update: Changes to colleges and new appointments

I am writing to give you an update to changes in Student Services that have been designed to ensure the continued success of the college system at the University of Kent and to support the delivery of an outstanding student experience. This has involved a review and restructure of the colleges including a clear separation of responsibility for college life and student conduct and complaints.

Continuing the excellent work of College Masters, assistants and colleagues since the University began, the new college structure ensures the University is aligned with the very latest regulatory requirements and sector best practice particularly in the separation of responsibility for student wellbeing from student conduct and complaints. The new structure helps facilitate a consistent approach to both of those areas for all our students.

You can see the new structure on the Organising for Success staff webpages.

In essence, the College Master function is now undertaken by the Head of Colleges and Community Life supported by a team of College Life Officers and a Community Life Officer. They will provide strategic leadership and management on all aspects of enhancement and innovation in the area of college and community life, ensuring that student life and the University’s engagement with the community is sector-leading, inclusive, evidence-based and contributes to successful student outcomes.

In addition, the Head of Student Conduct and Complaints will provide strategic leadership and management on all aspects of student conduct and complaints, supported by a team of specialist Student Conduct and Complaints Officers. The Office will be responsible for the management and investigation of all non-academic student discipline cases and complaints.

They will work closely with Campus Security and external bodies such as Kent Police, and address community concerns through local Resident Associations as well as liaising with and responding to regulatory bodies such as the Office for the Independent Adjudicator.

Following the appointment of Dr Lucy Foley as Director of Student Services, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Jacqui Double as our new Head of Colleges and Community Life and Alison Mansell as Head of Student Conduct and Complaints.

To further strengthen the college system on the Canterbury campus, a new college for Park Wood students will be in operation from this September.

Providing additional support will be several teams of students in both Canterbury and Medway providing on- and off-campus support, helping to build community through a series of engagement activities and events. These include Residential Life Officers recruited from this year’s 2020/21 taught postgraduate cohort.

The new structure has also allowed us to invest further in mental health support, and out-of-hours provision.

We believe that these changes will enable the University to better meet the needs of students in the 21st Century, build stronger communities within the colleges, and strengthen the wider student communities throughout Canterbury and Medway.

Further appointments to the team are in the process of being made and more information will be available soon including online Q and A sessions for staff led by Lucy, Jacqui and Alison.

Until the teams are fully in place, please do get in touch with any queries:

Should you have any other queries please contact Dr Lucy Foley’s office,

Professor Christina Hughes | Interim Director of Student Services

A group of sitting around a table in the Tonbridge Centre

Courses in Tonbridge come to a close

After 36 years delivering courses and programmes to the local community, the University’s services in Tonbridge will come to an end next week, bringing to a close a unique chapter in our history.

The University has been operating from its Avebury Avenue site in Tonbridge since 1983 and was the first UK building to be specially constructed as a regional satellite University Centre. From its humble origins in mobile classrooms, it developed to support hundreds of students through its dedicated programmes for adult learners, which ranged from accredited study options to short courses. Staff at the Centre were also able to form valuable links with the West Kent community, through events like the Tonbridge Arts Festival, the annual Pint of Science Festival and networking events for local businesses.

To encourage access to the Centre, short courses at Tonbridge were always competitively priced with costs supported by the University. This approach is sadly no longer viable in the current financial context, and with the Centre having been closed to the public for a number of months due to Covid-19, it will now not reopen for further courses from 31 August 2020. Students and local stakeholders have been informed of plans, including options for alternative study opportunities such as the U3A.

The University remains fully committed to delivering wider services for people in Kent and will continue to look into how people can best study and engage with us across the county as part of our ongoing regional engagement plans. Kent-franchised programmes in the creative arts will also continue unaffected at West Kent University Centre (part of West Kent College).

Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox said: “I’d like to thank both staff and tutors at the Tonbridge Centre for all their work to deliver a fantastic range of courses over the years to their committed students, and wish everyone associated with the Centre all the best for the future.”

Boxes of food donations

Latest food donations to Catching Lives

Last week Kent Hospitality’s Housekeeping Team visited local homeless charity Catching Lives to donate remaining food items that been left by students.

Following the early departure of students from their on-campus accommodation earlier this year, Kent Hospitality’s Housekeeping Team had been making weekly donations of food items left behind to Kent Union’s campus Food Bank. As the need for new items at the Union’s Food Bank decreased question remained over where remaining items could be donated.

‘We didn’t want to throw anything away that could still be used, so we didn’t hesitate to look locally and donate the food items to Catching Lives in Canterbury, who we had raised money for before. We knew it would be put to good use and they were delighted to have this bought to them’ said Becky Verlin, Housekeeping Manager.

In addition to sharing the news about the recipients of the food donations Becky also wished to express thanks, continuing ‘It’s meant a great deal to all the housekeeping team that we have been able to support others during this time and so we also just want to take a moment to thank all the staff and students. Without their co-operation, understanding and support we wouldn’t have been able to help so many people.’

Macbook pro on white table next to a plant and yellow table lamp

Care first webinars w/c 24 August 2020

As our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support.

Their weekly webinars continue this week (Monday 24 – Friday 28 August) and are as follows:

Monday 24 August 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 14.00-14.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 25 August 2020 – ‘Preparing for Schools reopening’
Time: 11.00-11.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 26 August 2020 – ‘How to Promote the Care first Services effectively’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 27 August 2020 – ‘Post-lockdown Anxiety’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 28 August 2020 – ‘COVID-19: Where are we now?’
Time: 12.30-13.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link


BSc Computer Science student Mihail Munteanu wins intern coding challenge

Student wins global coding challenge

BSc Computer Science student Mihail Munteanu took first place in the American Express global intern coding challenge while on an internship at Amex. In total, 278 interns attended the challenge from the UK, the US and India.

Mihail said ‘We were given 3 algorithmic problems and were asked to solve them using the most efficient way. In order to solve these problems we had to be familiar with data structures, algorithms and time complexity, luckily enough all of these were taught at Kent. By having a great day, I was able to solve the three problems and be the only contestant with a 100% score. I was awarded an Apple watch for being the first in the UK and a Nintendo switch for being first globally.’

Mihail found out about the six-week American Express summer internship through the School of Computing Employability newsletter. Mihail explained  ‘The internship made this summer one of the best experiences ever. Amex is the gold standard for how a company should treat their employees. I got to work with another team of interns on a project which aimed to solve a real life problem using some of the most modern concepts and technologies. We successfully implemented it, and from speaking with other engineers they mentioned that what we did will be in place for 30-40 years. It’s crazy how a company trusts interns with such important problems, but at the end of the day we weren’t just interns, we were a part of the Amex family. I got to work with engineers with over 20 years of experience who always treated me like a fellow senior developer.’

This year’s internship was obviously a bit different as everyone was working virtually. Mihail said of the virtual experience ‘It’s quite hard to work with people you have never actually met, to counter this, our team had a lot of informal meetings were we got to know each other, played games and in the end we got quite close and we were able to trust each other with the work we did. Another big challenge is the environment we work in, I was living in Tyler Court and I had my own space which was work friendly.’

Congratulations to Mihail.