Author Archives: Allie Burnett

Head of Colleges talking to student

Hello from your Head of Colleges

Hello, how are you doing? 

Things may not have gotten off to the start you expected this term. It is okay to feel a bit wrong-footed, I know I doMaking and keeping connections with each other seems vitally important and I really want to help with that. 

If you are in your College accommodation on campus, in private accommodation in Canterbury or staying back at homethe College and Community Life team is still here. We are on the campuses, on the phone and on Teams, and if we can offer you support or advice on any worries you might have, small or large, you would be really welcome to our helpWoffer events, mediation and advice to support you. No matter where you are now, wwant to stay connected with you. 

Walso understand the challenges around making connections with other students and we have student volunteers hosting regular informal games, chats, craft activities on Zoom. We have noticed that student volunteers and guests have a better experience if you join in and say hello (and have your camera on, at least for some of the time) but you are welcome to engage as works best for you. These are sessions for students hosted by students so, no pressure.   

We really want to make stronger College connections first, so College Committeeswhere students like you can share ideas and plan your own College events, will be meeting very soon. The Residential Life Assistants will invite you to be a volunteer and join your College’s Committee, so look out for their email and go to see them at the Kent Union Fresher’s Fair on 4 February 

Do let us know if we can help you further at all.  

Best wishes, 

Jacqui Double

Head of Colleges 

women in mask and face shield

Apply to help local hospitals in Covid-19 effort

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust needs ‘Helping Hands’ to support patients and staff.

Do you live local to one of the East Kent Hospitals?

Do you think you could do any of the following?

  • Answer the phones
  • Re-stock areas
  • Act as a runner between departments
  • Help to provide general staff support
  • Support our vaccination centres

This could be in a full time or part time position and pay will be in line with agenda for change Band 2.

We appreciate this may be a daunting new role for you but we will aim to find a placement you are happy with and you will be provided with full induction and orientation.

PPE training will be given and as a member of staff you will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccination.

We cannot stress how helpful and valued this ‘Helping Hands’ support would be to our hospital teams at this time.

How to apply:

If you are interested please send a brief CV to nonclinicalteam@nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk and include ‘Student Helping Hands’ in the subject line of your email.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Scenic walks in Canterbury

Kent Union has published a guide to some of Canterbury’s most scenic routes for you to explore with a friend.

From local walks a stone throw away from the campus to scenic routes near the City Centre and a footpath that takes you through to Chartham – you are spoilt for choice.

There is also Marlowe’s Canterbury Walk. The aim of this walk is for you and one friend to explore the life of Christopher Marlowe, who is Britain’s best known playwright. The route takes you on a journey around the heart of Canterbury, visiting places he would have known, and offering an insight into his life.

Download the guide to find a route that suits you.

Photo credits: Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Two students chatting and sitting outside Templeman Library

Welcome to our Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you are a warm welcome to Kent!

Global Skills Award

The Global Skills Award (GSA) is a programme of lectures and skills workshops designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs. It also develops your personal skills and enhances your career prospects while you study for your Master’s.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network (Canterbury) or the GKSU Mature and postgraduate student network (Medway).

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Pat Stillman is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.

Welcome to our Postgraduate Research (PGR) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you are a warm welcome to Kent!

Kickstart your PhD workshop

PhD students embarking upon their first year as a PhD Researcher will need to attend a compulsory Kickstart your PhD workshop. This workshop explores the PhD journey and focuses on what researchers need to make the most of their doctoral programme. At this session, students will be introduced to the RDA form, which they will need to complete before your first year Probationary Review meeting. Kickstart your PhD sessions running in the Spring term are now available to book via the Graduate and Researcher College training portal Target Connect.

Researcher Developer Program

You may also be interested in our Researcher Developer Program (RDP) which is open to all postgraduate research students. The RDP is designed to equip postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers with a full range of skills. It improves your effectiveness as a researcher and ensures that by the end of your research project, you are both highly qualified and employable in a variety of careers.

New PhD mentoring scheme

Do you want to learn new skills and meet other postgraduate researchers? The Graduate and Researcher College is delighted to announce the launch of its mentoring scheme for PhD students. The scheme is designed to help support the personal development of both mentors and mentees. Applications for the scheme can be made, until 29 January 2021.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network (Canterbury) or the GKSU Mature and postgraduate student network (Medway) to connect with other postgraduate students.

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Pat Stillman is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.

University of Kent logo

Tier 4 restrictions – student update

As you will know, the Government has placed Kent in Tier 4 which means that all of those living in the county are subject to tightened COVID-19 restrictions.

I am writing to let you know that, if you have not yet travelled home for Christmas, we have now had Government confirmation that you are still able to do so. This is the case whatever tier your family home is in.

Once you are home, you will be counted as part of your family household.

You will also be aware that additional travel restrictions are in place for those seeking to travel to and from the UK. If you are planning to travel outside of the UK, please check whether your plans will be affected by this.

If your plans have to change and you are not able to travel home, please be assured that we will be here to support you over the vacation period. We will also update the Student Coronavirus webpages later today with more information about Tier 4 restrictions and what they mean for those of us living in affected areas.

The Government will be reviewing the current situation on 30 December and we will update you shortly after.

Existing government guidelines indicate that plans for a staggered return to campus after the Christmas vacation can remain in place along with the offer of asymptomatic testing for students and staff on both Canterbury and Medway campuses from 4 January 2021.

Whether you are at home for the vacation or remaining at your term-time address, we are here for you. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk.

Thank you for working together to keep our University community safe.

screen shot of app

App for quick access to student advice

Check out the new MOSAIC app for students. The app brings together a collection of short videos for new, returning and final year students. Videos include advice from both staff and students about support and opportunities available at the University of Kent.

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email studentsuccessproject@kent.ac.uk.

toy-car

Preparing to leave campus for the Winter Break

Following the announcement of the Student Travel Window, here’s few things you need to consider when planning your journey home for Christmas.

Everyone should follow the national lockdown restrictions until 2 December 2020 and not travel home before 3 December.

  1. Decide when to travel

The Government has set out a Student Travel Window from 3-9 December 2020. All teaching will move online from 4 December to help support this. Please remember to keep up with your academic timetable online until term finishes on 18 December.

To help you travel home safely and reduce the spread of the virus, we ask that you travel during one of the following timeframes (depending on when you have face-to-face teaching):

  • If you do not have face-to-face teaching on 3-4 December 2020, please try to travel home between 3-6 December 2020.
  • If your face-to-face teaching continues until 4 December 2020, please try to travel home between 5-9 December 2020.

We understand that the allocated dates will not be suitable for all students. Some of you may have already made other plans or intend to stay with us for longer, which you are very welcome to do. Please be assured we will support you whatever your personal circumstances.

Once you know your travel plans please make sure you have completed the Winter Vacation/Student Travel Window survey which was emailed to you by the Accommodation Team on Friday 13 November 2020.

Please note: If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS test and Trace system, you will have to follow the self-isolation guidance before travelling home. See our self-isolation support.

  1. Book a test

You can book a Covid-19 test before you leave campus to help protect your loved ones and stop the spread of Covid-19.

  1. Plan your journey

If you are being collected by car between 3-9 December 2020, the person collecting you will not require a parking permit. They can park free of charge in marked parking bays on campus. Please have everything you want to take home with you ready for when they arrive so you can quickly load the car and make your way home.

If you are using public transport, book your tickets in advance, take a face covering, check for travel disruptions ahead of time, and avoid busy times (we anticipate 5-6 December will be busy). See our tips for travelling during Covid-19.

National Express has enhanced their coach service to help students get safely home between 3-9 December and you can get a 10% discount. Read more and get a discount code.

If you are planning to take the train, please book in advance and check South-Eastern’s website for travel disruption. Find out more on South-Eastern’s website.

You can read our full advice and FAQs for travelling home for Christmas, including travelling outside of the ‘Student Travel Window’, on our Transport webpages.

  1. Planning international travel

International students: you can travel home from 3 December. Before you travel, you should:

  • Check the COVID-19 entry requirements for your destination country
  • Speak to your travel insurer
  • Check with your carrier for latest developments at your destination
  • Plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes

If you are a student abroad and are travelling back to the UK, you should:

  • Speak to your travel insurer
  • Check GOV.UK for advice on returning to the UK
  • Plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes
  • Complete your Passenger Locator Form before you return to the UK
  1. Leaving on-campus accommodation

If you are leaving your on-campus accommodation for the winter break, please make sure you:

  • Remove all rubbish from your accommodation, kitchen, and bins
  • Turn off all electrical items and lights (but not the fridge!)
  • Dispose of any perishable foods or take them with you. You can also donate any unwanted items. 
  • Close your windows but leave the vent open
  • Check your doors are locked

If you live in part-catered accommodation and are staying after the travel window don’t forget your winter vacation move out dates.

In case another lockdown delays your return, we also recommend taking all your important items with you.

Remember that items left in communal areas are not covered by your standard room insurance, so you may wish to move items into your bedroom.

Read more about moving out on our accommodation webpages.

Have a safe journey home and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year!

Photo by Nubia Navarro on Unsplash

Things you can do during lockdown 2:0

To help you through lockdown 2:0 we have organised a series of online events.

Whether you want to develop your CV, try something new or explore local parkland – there is something for everyone!

As well as a programme of events our support services are still available – so please get in touch if you have any questions or need some help.

Please remember – you can still go out for exercise as often as you like, either by yourself, with your household or with one other person from a different household. Read our explanation of the new lockdown rules for details.

We are here to support you and we will get through this together!

Look after your wellbeing

There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, and students are being faced with challenges not yet seen before, which might make you more vulnerable to feeling anxious, depressed or just low.

Whether or not you have struggled in the past with mental health issues, take a bit of time to actively focus on your wellbeing and remember that whatever you’re going through, support is available at Kent.

View wellbeing support and events at Kent

Develop your CV

Our Careers Advisers have developed a Moodle Module to help you develop your skills at home and will be sharing advice on how to gain experience and prepare applications.

They have also organised a series of employability events for lockdown.

Read careers advice for lockdown

Get crafty

With Christmas around the corner, why not try making some handmade gifts? Student Support and Wellbeing have subsidised some art kits for students during lockdown. You can pick up an art kit for just £4.50 (instead of £10) by 18 November 2020.

Find out how to get an art kit

Studying during lockdown

Studying and keeping focus during lockdown can be challenging. Our Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) offers free one-to-one appointments and are running a whole series of online workshops.

Find out more on the SLAS webpages.

Let’s make music

We are asking all our students, staff, and alumni musicians to record a piece of music in isolation and submit to our Virtual Music Project. Our Music Department will then build it into a festive virtual performance for Christmas.

Find out more on the Facebook page.

Explore Kent’s scenic walks

One of the perks of living and studying in Kent is access to lots of outdoor space. From beaches to scenic parks and historic buildings, this county has it all!

During this lockdown you can meet one other person from a different household for a walk with a coffee or you could go as a household.

Get outdoors this lockdown by exploring some of these walking routes

Bond with housemates

During lockdown you can still socialise as a household. Kent student Rowena has shared some fun things you can do with your housemates during lockdown.

Try Kent Sport’s online workouts

Kent Sport has created a range of online workouts for you to try at home.

Have a go at Kent Sport’s free online workouts

Photo by Rebecca Grant on Unsplash

Chat to our International Team

Drop in to our live chat starting this week until 25 September, we will be available Monday – Friday, 06.00 – 17.00, via instant messenger on our Getting Started pages for international students.

We will be available to answer any questions you may have about your arrival to Kent and help support your through your first weeks at Kent. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Kent and hopefully can chat with you soon.