Author Archives: Miles Banbery

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Cases of suspected mumps

We have been advised by Public Health England South East (PHESE) that there has been an increase in cases of suspected mumps associated with our Canterbury campus.

Please read the PHESE letter to staff and students or read on to find out more.

If you think you have mumps or would like to enquire about being vaccinated, please contact your GP. The University Medical Centre can be contacted by phone on 01227 469333.

Out of hours you can call NHS 111 and the University Nursing Service on 01227 823503 or ext 3503. The service is available to all students and staff at the University of Kent (Canterbury Campus) and is staffed by registered nurses 24 hours a day during term time.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious viral infection. Swelling of the parotid glands is the most common symptom of mumps. The parotid glands are a pair of glands responsible for producing saliva. They’re located in the side of the face, just below the ears.

Other symptoms of mumps include headaches, joint pains and a high temperature, which may develop a few days before the swelling of the parotid glands.

The symptoms of mumps usually resolve within one or two weeks.

Complications of mumps include swelling of the ovaries (oophoritis), swelling of the testes (orchitis), viral meningitis and deafness.

How the disease spreads

Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu – through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.

A person is most contagious a few days before the symptoms develop and for a few days afterwards.

If you have mumps, you can help prevent it spreading by:

  • regularly washing your hands with soap and water
  • using and disposing of tissues when you sneeze
  • avoiding university or work for at least five days after the onset of swelling

When to see your GP

It’s important to contact your GP if you suspect mumps so a diagnosis can be made. Let your GP know in advance if you’re coming to the surgery, so they can take any necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

Protecting against mumps

The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed. If you are not sure whether you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, please check with your GP. If you have not had two doses of MMR vaccine, please make an appointment with your GP to get vaccinated. Staff can also receive MMR vaccine if not previously vaccinated. There is no upper age limit for receiving MMR vaccine.

Further information on mumps is available on the NHS website.

Condolences for Jess Small and Conor Chambers

It is with great sadness and regret that we can confirm the deaths of students Jess Small, a third year PhD student who died on 11 October, and Conor Chambers, a first year student who died on 18 October. Our sympathies and condolences are with both students’ families and friends at this most difficult time.

If you, or anyone you know, is affected by this sad news then you are encouraged to seek support. Staff and students are welcome to get in touch with the University’s Student Support and Wellbeing Service who are ready to help. They also provide a list of contact details for emergency and out-of-hours support services.

Staff and students may also wish to reach out to the University’s Chaplaincy or to Canterbury Nightline.

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USS pensions update

Universities and trade union representatives have been in negotiations over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme since March 2017.  This is a difficult and complex situation and the University and College Union (UCU) are now balloting its members for industrial action

The Executive Group (EG) regret this situation and the impact it has on staff, particularly at such a challenging time.

Because the USS scheme is a national one, the situation cannot be resolved at a local level. As a result, the University is doing all it can to support efforts to reach a national agreement and the Vice-Chancellor and other members of EG members recently met with Universities UK (UUK), the national body which is representing employers like Kent in this dispute.

EG is clear that members of USS need to have in place a long-term and sustainable agreement on both benefits and contributions. At the meeting, they presented the case for a review of the regulatory environment, arguing that the current framework makes it harder for the sector to reach such an agreement. The Vice-Chancellor and colleagues stressed that the current framework does not recognise the unique nature of the university sector, which they said needs a more bespoke approach to pension valuations, and urged UUK to open direct line of communication with the pensions regulator, involving the University and College Union (UCU).

They also asked that all efforts to be made to expedite the delivery a second phase report from the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), the recommendations from which could also move the negotiations towards a resolution that is acceptable to all.

Further background and information about the issues facing members of the USS pension scheme is available on the dedicated USS pensions website.

Staff who are members of the SAUL pension scheme should be reassured that at the last valuation the scheme was confirmed as fully funded and is therefore not impacted by the issues currently facing USS.

Kent Bunny - Canterbury Food Bank

Canterbury Food Bank thanks University staff

On Monday 17 December, the Canterbury Food Bank came to collect the donated items and were pleasantly surprised. They couldn’t believe the amount of food donated in such a short amount of time.

Kent Bunny hasn’t quite had time to come around to thank everyone for their donations, therefore, would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity so close to Christmas.

Thank you!

Kent Hospitality and Gulbenkian Annual Awards ceremony

A big congratulations to all Kent Hospitality and Gulbenkian staff who received awards at this year’s Annual Awards Ceremony [link to].

On Thursday 6 December, 130 staff were recognised for having achieved nationally accredited qualifications in the last year, with over 200 awards presented. The event celebrated both departments passion to learn and develop, Pride awardees, achievements and professionalism.

The CECS (Consistent Excellence in Customer Service) Award was also presented at the event by Denise Everitt, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer. Many congratulations to runner-up: Sam Ranger, Street Kitchen chef and this year’s winner: Lucy Galt, Gulbenkian Café Bar Assistant.

James Corbin

New Head of Careers and Employability

I am very pleased to inform you that following a recent competitive selection process,  James Corbin has been appointed as Head of Careers and Employability.  As many of you will be aware James currently holds the post of Interim Head of Careers and Employability and I am delighted that he has been successful in his substantive appointment.  James will commence his new role this week, and I am very much looking forward to working with him, as is Jane Glew in her new role as Interim Director of Student Services.  I am sure you would like to join me in congratulating him in his recent appointment.

Professor April McMahon | Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education

Leadership Bulletin 31 October 2018

Read the latest Leadership Bulletin (31 October 2018)

The latest issue of the Leadership Bulletin, designed to give an overview of key developments at Kent, is now available.

The latest issue (31 October 2018) includes a summary by our Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox of discussions held at the latest Senior Leadership Forum including the University Structures Project as well as her visit to the University’s Beacon Observatory.

There is also an update on Executive Group meetings, information on KentVision from Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, David Nightingale plus an analysis of the Autumn budget.

The Bulletin is distributed fortnightly to all members of the Leadership Forum to cascade to staff in schools and professional service departments. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you can read the bulletin online.

Find out more about the Leadership Bulletin and see previous issues on the OVC webpages.

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Condolences for John Butler

The University is very sorry to have received the news of the death of John Butler, former Master of Darwin College, Lecturer in Politics and Local Government and Social Sciences Faculty Admissions Officer.

John was appointed lecturer in 1969, was Master from 1982 to 1987 and Admissions Officer from 1991-93 and is remembered with great fondness by colleagues across academic schools and professional services.

His funeral will be on Friday 16 November at 12.00 at St Thomas’ Catholic Church, Burgate, Canterbury. Any former colleagues wishing to attend are most welcome.

We hope to publish a fuller tribute to John next week.


Canterbury campus

Canterbury campus Masterplan update

Over the last three weeks we have again been running public consultation sessions on our estate Masterplan for the Canterbury campus.

Our final event took place last Thursday in Darwin Conference Centre last Thursday and 130 members of staff, students and members of the local community attended. This follows similar events in Canterbury’s Westgate Hall, Tyler Hill Memorial Hall and Blean Village Hall.

The Masterplan is a requirement of Canterbury City Council’s Local Plan and is a vision for the evolution of the campus, not a set of planning applications. It provides a direction for decisions about the future of the campus and a framework against which future planning applications will be assessed.

A number of projects have been mentioned specifically, however, as being in our short- or medium-term plans. In the short-term (2018-2021) these include academic and administrative facilities including a new building for the Kent and Medway Medical School and a Life Sciences building.

Medium-term priorities (2022-2031) include new student service and Kent Union buildings, new teaching and academic buildings, additional leisure and sports facilities including a swimming pool and the possible development of a conference centre and hotel all of which are subject to funding.

The inclusion of a 150-bed hotel and conference centre our Canterbury campus reflects an aim that is supported by an external consultancy review of its potential market and is a response to the lack of hotel and conferencing facilities in the area. It would provide us with an opportunity to host academic conferences and other University events all year round as well as increasing our vacation time capacity.

It is also based on our need to diversify our future income due to an unprecedented level of challenges facing the university sector. A hotel and conferencing option – one that has already been taken up by other universities – would help us meet the economic challenges we face by generating essential revenue that would be reinvested in education and research, and our students and staff.

There is still time to send us your thoughts on the Masterplan – the deadline for inclusion in the Consultation Statement is this Friday 26 October 2018 – you can read more at and email

Leadership Bulletin September 18

Leadership Bulletin

The University has launched a new Leadership Bulletin designed to give an overview of key developments. The Bulletin is distributed to all members of the Leadership Forum to cascade to staff in schools and professional service departments. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you can read the bulletin online .

The latest issue contains a message on the strategy refresh from the Vice-Chancellor. Senate has now agreed the draft of ‘Kent 2025’ should be submitted to Council on 5 October for discussion and approval. Senate also took note of the emerging sub-strategies on Education, Research and Innovation and Engagement and our Civic Mission. Copies of all these papers are available on the Strategy Refresh pages.

In addition, the Bulletin also includes an update on Executive Group meetings including a discussion by the Extended Executive Group on our recruitment position which is significantly lower than anticipated. Work is currently underway to assess the subsequent impact on the University’s budget. Once the situation becomes clearer, we will let staff know and also update the Finance 2018/19 budget FAQs which have been developed to help explain our current budget position.

If you have any enquiries about the new publication, please contact Megan Wells, Policy Officer in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor –