Author Archives: Hannah Brazier

Students achieve GOLD

The Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme has celebrated another successful year.

The programme, led by Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation Dr Anthony Manning, International Partnerships and International Programmes is a co-curricular venture which provides a framework of activities for globally minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.

Although the programme went online this year, participants took part in various workshops including Event Management, Talking Cultures, explored the concept of curriculum internationalisation and their own cultural intelligence (CQ).  They created a series of Web Hangouts that took place throughout the year, engaged in various virtual exchange opportunities with our university partners around the world including Hong Kong, Canada, the US and Europe, and represented Kent as student panel members at various internal and external conferences.

Leah Bird, Global Officer 2020-21, said, “The GOLD Programme has been a wonderful experience and his given me many opportunities that I had never considered before such as organising WebHangouts or participating in a global challenge with a Canadian university. The organisers make it an unforgettable experience and it has provided me with transferable skills and knowledge that I will apply in my post-university life.”

“This amazing group of #kentglobalofficers have led our internationalisation at home and have created and participated in so many cross-disciplinary and transnational activities; it is truly humbling and inspiring, especially given the challenges of the pandemic!” Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation

Would you like to become Kent’s next Global Officer, 2021-22?  Applications are now open (deadline 10 October 2021). For further information and to apply, please see:

person using laptop

Jobshop has moved to TargetConnect

The Careers and Employability Service is pleased to announce Jobshop, the vacancy portal run by Kent Union, has moved to TargetConnect. TargetConnect is the vacancy platform used by the Careers and Employability Service for advertising vacancies. Going forward, all part-time, temporary and seasonal roles will now also be advertised on TargetConnect, meaning students can access graduate schemes and jobs, internships, volunteering and now part-time vacancies in one place!

Students will still access the Jobshop website, however, they will now be directed to TargetConnect, to browse jobs and apply. Students will need to log in with their Kent credentials to access the jobs portal. Over the next few weeks, part-time roles will begin to be added to TargetConnect.

Employers can still advertise a part-time vacancy for free, by emailing Jobshop: or by visiting their website:

The Careers and Employability Service and Jobshop look forward to this new partnership!

Sally Mathias

Alumni Spotlight: Sally Mathias, Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship

Sally Mathias currently works for Ofcom, as part of their Content Policy team. The team, which focuses on policy for TV and radio broadcasting, has been looking at emerging trends in the way content is viewed (such as subscription services like Netflix, and catch-up services).

After completing a Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship at the University of Kent in July 2021, Sally successfully applied for a higher-level Policy Adviser role at Ofcom, a role she will take up in September. We caught up with Sally to learn more about her experience as an apprentice.

Why did you choose a higher apprenticeship over a university degree?  

When I left sixth form, I was the only person in my year who decided not to go to university. It would have been easy to go along with everyone else and be persuaded into going by my teachers. The main reason I decided against it was because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money studying for a degree when I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the end. An apprenticeship offered a more direct pathway into a career, with practical on-the-job training and a job likely at the end of it – and I didn’t have to pay anything to do it.  Even though it was scary to turn down the place at university, after successfully completing my apprenticeship and gaining a job that I really enjoy, I’m so pleased I made that decision!

How did you become an apprentice?  

I saw the job advert and decided to apply, as I had all the desired qualifications and the role looked interesting!

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?  

We work on projects which often span over a few months (sometimes even years for big projects!) so the daily work is always different depending on what stage of a project you are at. You might be doing research into an area at the start of a project, meeting with stakeholders to discuss policy change or the issues they are facing, meeting with the project team for a workshop to discuss ideas, or – if the project is at a later stage – you might be helping to draft a statement or report for publication.

Can you tell us about your experience of combining paid work with academic studies? Have there been any challenges?  

One thing I found particularly tricky, and wasn’t something I’d expected to be difficult, was switching between different writing styles. For instance, when completing study work, I’d be writing an academic essay, with references to other essays and literature. This style of writing can require the need to show explanation and depth of understanding of a topic. At work, I would be drafting a report or document where I needed to be more concise or write in ‘plain English’ to make the document more accessible for people to read. Switching between the two formats of writing was challenging, but I think it improved my writing skills overall and helped in learning to write for different audiences.

The programme is delivered primarily online as a flexible distance-learning experience – can you tell us what the online learning experience was like for you?

Online learning worked well for me, as it meant I didn’t have to travel to study – I could study at home or find a quiet space in my workplace. The fact that all the content is available online meant I could complete it at my own pace on study days and spend more or less time on different topics depending on how much I understood about them. All the lecturers I had for the course were there to answer questions via email. We knew when they would run check-in sessions if we wanted to speak with them about the work, so I felt supported and able to get help when I needed it.

Is there anything you learnt in particular during your higher apprenticeship that helps you now in your day-to-day working life?  

Time management! Having to split my time between work and study has been a challenge at times but it has prepared me well for when I need to manage time for two different projects or tasks at work. Overall, doing an apprenticeship means you are learning new knowledge whilst applying new skills on a daily basis. So it’s also made me feel more confident in applying new knowledge quickly and being proactive at improving new skills and participating in training activities.

Looking back, did your apprenticeship live up to your expectations? What were some of the highlights of the higher apprenticeship for you?

Policy was never something I considered as a career path, and I didn’t really know what to expect when I applied for the apprenticeship, but it’s proven to be a really interesting experience! Learning about how policy is made has been interesting. And getting experience of doing a job in policy has been challenging at times but it’s the type of job I have always wanted to have – you’re always learning new things, working on a variety of tasks, and have lots of opportunities to work with colleagues and share ideas.

In what ways has this higher apprenticeship made a difference to you and your career?  

The apprenticeship has enabled me to gain a higher level qualification and this achievement, along with the training and experience I have gained in the role, has helped me gain a job I am passionate about. It has opened up a career path that looks exciting. I have the determination to progress and develop my skills.

What are your future plans/aspirations? How do you see your career progressing?  

Moving into my new permanent role in September, I aim to take on some more responsibility including improving my skills in project management. I’d also like to commit some more of my time to internal organisational activities and give back some of the support that colleagues have given me over the course of my apprenticeship! I think the apprenticeship scheme is a great route into a career in policy, so I’d also like to help new apprentices on the scheme and raise awareness of what it can offer if you’re prepared to work hard.

What advice would you give to people considering a Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship?

The prospect of doing something different can be a bit daunting, especially when people act like university is the only good option – don’t be put off by this! Think about what YOU want to do and if you’re considering the Policy Officer apprenticeship then you don’t have much to lose in applying; you can ask more questions about the role if you get an interview, you won’t have to pay for it, and it only takes two years to complete the course. Chances are you will enjoy the role, and if not then it’s more experience and another qualification gained in your pursuit to find what career you want to do! The University of Kent has been a great place to do the course. We have had support with our studies and been able to discuss the work with teachers and advisors who are experienced in teaching and giving support to higher level students and apprentices.

The Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship at the University of Kent

Our Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship is designed for employers looking to develop their in-house talent in policy analysis or policy advice. It’s a unique formal qualification that equips apprentices to progress in their role, whether they work within central and local government or within companies, campaign groups, charities and membership organisations that strive to influence government policy.

It combines on-the-job training with off-the-job learning as an alternative to a university foundation degree over a period of 24 months, with the option to start in September 2021 or January 2022. There are two modes of delivery on offer: one that is 100% online learning and one that also includes face-to-face teaching. On successful completion, apprentices receive a Certificate of Higher Education in Policy Studies and an Apprenticeship.

Want to know more?

For more information about the Level 4 Policy Officer Higher Apprenticeship at Kent:

Gulbenkian Café is open for brunch and lunch!

The Gulbenkian Café’s kitchen has reopened serving a brand new brunch and lunch menu, Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 16.30.

With locally sourced produce and ingredients, try our new Kentish Mac and Cheese, Canterbury Cobble Cheese and Bacon Burger or sample our American-Style Pancakes served with lashings of golden syrup and seasonal Kentish fruit.

Weekends and Weekday evenings:

Our kitchen remains closed but takeaway drinks and snacks will be available for cinema and theatre event audiences.

Drill Hall Library

Drill Hall Library summer improvement works

This summer the library’s Quiet and Silent Zones will get a fresh new look! The zones will be revamped with a new layout and furniture for a better study experience.
Some of these works may cause some noise disruption in parts of the library so we apologise in advance.

Study spaces
The access to these zones will be sectioned off during July to allow work to take place.
All students can still find plenty of usable study space in the Group Zone.

The Drill Hall library summer opening hours:

Monday to Friday 9:00 – 19:00
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 – 17:00

How can I borrow or access books this summer at the Drill Hall Library?
Whilst we are refurbishing the Quiet and Silent Zones, you won’t be able to access books by yourself after 2nd July, but we can help you!
1. Select items from the library catalogue and complete a book retrieval request form available at the reception.
2. Hand the form to staff at the reception and a staff member will come to assist you.
3. Once you receive the items requested you can add them to your Library account using our self-service machines.

Book moves
Books belonging to the Computing, Sports and Exercise Sciences will move to the University of Kent Templeman Library in Canterbury this summer. There will be periods when access to these books will be limited, but arrangements will be put in place should you require effected items. Please contact your liaison librarian if you have any questions or concerns. Email


See the Drill Hall Library website for Latest News updates or follow the library on social media (TwitterFacebookInstagram).

4 different coloured dustbins

Moving out – bin amnesty information (Canterbury)

A bin amnesty will operate from Monday 28 June to Friday 23 July 2021 on these Canterbury roads to help you with moving out.

Where black bin bags would not normally be collected, they will be picked up during the amnesty period to cover students moving out of their properties. The black bin bags should be placed next to the normal bins on your regular bin collection day.

The local recycling centre is open 7 days a week and can be used by appointment only – please ensure you book a timeslot.

Unwanted furniture and bulky household items can be donated to Necessary Furniture and the British Heart Foundation. Get in contact with them to arrange a free collection.

Summer library and IT services for postgraduates

We’re here to support your studies throughout the summer:

  • library opening hours
  • study spaces open on campus
  • survey tool now available for taught postgraduates
  • your chance to feed into the development of our new A-Z of e-resources.

Library opening hours

During the Summer Vacation, the Templeman Library opening hours are:

  • Weekdays: 09:00 to 21:00
  • Weekends: 09:00 to 18:00
  • Monday 30 August (summer bank holiday): closed

See the full Templeman Library opening hours and the support available and keep checking our Library and IT services blog post for updates.

The Drill Hall Library’s opening hours (from 28 June) are:

  • Weekdays: 09:00 to 19:00
  • Weekends: 09:00 to 17:00

Check the Drill Hall Library opening hours.

Senate Postgraduate Study Hub

Good news! The Senate Postgraduate Study Hub will be open 24/7 throughout the summer vacation.

More about study space in the Library and on campus

Online Surveys – now available to all postgrads

Online Surveys is now available to taught postgraduates as well as research postgraduates and staff.

The tool allows you to design, share and analyse web-based surveys. Your survey can:

  • be simple or more complex
  • include a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, free text and scales
  • be shared through a link or embedded in an email or social media post

The in-built reporting capabilities allow you to filter data and represent it with different graphs. You can also export the data into a PDF report or into other software for more analysis (for example Excel or SPSS).

To get started, you need to apply for an Online Surveys account.

Help us improve the A-Z of e-resources

Do you ever use our A-Z of e-resources on the Library and IT website?

We are working on replacing it with a tool you can search and filter, with more in-depth descriptions of each resource.

If you can spare a few minutes this summer to help us get it right, please email We’ll set up an individual Teams call with you to demo the new tool and get your feedback.

Here’s a screenshot of our prototype, showing the search box, filters and a list of resources.

Person on laptop

Bright Network Internship Experience

Exams are over and now’s the crucial time to focus on your career.

It’s no secret that the Investment Banking & Asset Management sector is a competitive one and gaining experience is incredibly important.

Join Bright Network’s 3-day virtual Internship Experience designed to help you gain exclusive insights and drive forward your career. The 3 days will include:

  • The chance to learn from and connect with leading employers in the Investment Banking and Asset Management sectors
  • All-new sector-focused and core skills sessions to give you greater insight into working in these industries
  • The chance to tailor your work experience based on your interests
  • Unique sub-sector streams and project work that you can impress current and potential employers with

Industry experts include:

  • M&A deep dive – Goldman Sachs
  • Insights into private equity – Blackstone
  • Investment banking of tomorrow – Deutsche Bank

Applications take around 10 minutes to complete, and you don’t need previous experience to complete the experience – just a passion for the sector.

The application deadline is 29th June at 11:59pm.

To find out more about the 3-day virtual internship, including how to apply, visit the Bright Network website.

people studying and chatting

Four new PhD studentships launched at SSPSSR

Exciting opportunities to join one of two prestigious research centres at SSPSSR have opened up with the launch of four new PhD studentships for scholars interested in researching applied health and social care.

Three of the studentships are based at the University’s Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS), and the fourth is based with the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).

Both research centres have close links with each other and are based within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) at Kent, one of the largest social science communities in Europe. SSPSSR is recognised worldwide for producing excellent research and was ranked 2nd for research power, 3rd for research intensity and 5th for both research impact and research quality (GPA) by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

For all four studentships, we are looking for applicants who are:

  • enthusiastic about applied health and social care research
  • have completed a health or social care related postgraduate training course at Master’s level equivalent to merit or distinction with a substantial research training component (such as an ESRC recognised training course), or be willing to undertake additional research methods training.

As a PhD scholar with CHSS or PSSRU, you will become part of the research communities within the Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) and the University of Kent. ARC KSS is one of 15 ARCs across England, part of a £135 million investment by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to improve the health and care of patients and the public.

Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS) 

CHSS is a centre of research excellence which undertakes high quality research into a wide range of health systems and health services issues at local, national and international levels. CHSS also supports and advises health care staff to develop and undertake research projects. CHSS collaborates with a wide range of partners in Kent, the UK and in other countries to improve the links between research, policy and practice.

Apply by Friday 23 July for the following scholarships at CHSS:

For the CHSS studentships, students are required to apply to SSPSSR’s PhD Applied Health Research

Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) 

PSSRU is a leading social care research group that conducts policy analysis, research and consultancy in the UK and internationally. The Unit’s mission is to undertake high quality research on social and health care to inform and influence policy, practice and theory.

PSSRU’s current research programme focuses on needs, resources and outcomes in social and health care, with particular emphasis on economic aspects of community care, residential and nursing home provision, social care markets and commissioning, long-term care finance, and mental health policy. The PSSRU has long had close and productive links with policy-makers in the UK and elsewhere.

Apply by Friday 23 July for the following scholarship at PSSRU:

For the PSSRU studentship, students are required to apply to SSPSSR’s PhD in Social Policy