Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Student sat by tree

Covid-19 update: Return to campus

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Earlier this week, the Government announced further details on when and how students will be permitted to return to face-to-face teaching at universities across England, and indicated that this would be no earlier than 17 May 2021. 

This is disappointing news for many and we share your frustration that we have not been able to welcome everyone back to our campuses sooner. As we move towards the exam term at Kent, we will continue to do everything we can to support you wherever you are based. We are firmly focused on helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your online exams from 10 May onwards, with more information on how we will support you in this on our Student Guide.   

The Government also confirmed that additional hardship funds will be made available to support students most in need given the continued restrictions – we are awaiting further details on what this means for us at Kent and will share more information as soon as possible. 

Come together for Kent Summer 

We are determined to give you all a chance to come together and end the year on a high when lockdown does finally ease. We will shortly share joint plans with our Students’ Unions for a fun-packed programme throughout the summer, with street food from around the world, outdoor screenings and live performances leading up to a two-week celebration at the end of June once exams are over. I hope as many of you as possible can take the chance to catch up with each other in person while making the most of everything our wonderful campuses have to offer.  

Enjoy the Easter break, and thank you all again for the fantastic way you have all continued to engage with your studies and wider university life this year. 

With best wishes, 

Richard 

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Students sat on lawn

Postgraduate study at Kent – Instagram lives and scholarships

In your final year? If you’re considering postgraduate study at Kent, check out these Instagram lives (@UniKentLive) coming up:

  • Wednesday 14 April at 14.00 – PG students Shelley and Laura will answer your Qs around Postgrad life at Kent
  • Friday 16 April at 15.00 – LLM student Alex from @kentlawschool will answer your Qs specifically around studying Law
  • Friday 23 April at 15.00 – Recruitment Officers Russel and Jon will give you application tips and advice and a tour of the Postgrad specific spaces on campus.

Exclusive funding for Kent students

Kent has over 100 awards for students with a First or 2.1 degree undertaking postgraduate study at our locations in the UK and Europe including new scholarships exclusive to Kent Finalists:

Learn more about our postgrad offer at Kent by checking out our #StayOn #StandOut webpage.

student sat at laptop

What’s on: 12-18 April

This week we will see the further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, you can learn how to ace virtual job interviews, and check out our Exam Calm webpages.

Using the library or on campus during the break? Book your Covid-19 test now 

Getting tested for Covid-19 couldn’t be easier with testing centres on campus. We are also giving you a free hot drink at Canterbury to say thanks.

For those observing Ramadan, the British Islamic Medical Association has published advice on testing during the fast.

Book your asymptomatic Covid-19 test now

Events for you to try this week: 

Browse all events

Have you read this? 

Browse all student support

Keep an eye on:

Let us know what you think of these updates by emailing communications@kent.ac.uk

laptop

Revision tips from current students

With exams fast approaching, many students are worried about revision. To help, we’ve gathered some tips from current students on how to revise!

Sarah Johns (fourth year, Accounting and Finance) – “I work in small, timed chunks (like working for half an hour and then taking a break, rather than aiming to write a certain number of words). If it gets to the end and you’re on a roll then keep going, but if not, take a break and come back to it. Keep your phone out of reach and on silent, and keep a physical to do list so that you can properly cross tasks off when they’re done. Remember that doing something is better than doing nothing – so event just 10 minutes of work is great!”

Sophie Miszori (first year, Psychology) – “I like to use the lecture slides to create questions which I use to quiz myself before tests or exams. I just find it more engaging than simply re-reading my notes.”

Connie Burt (third year, Biological Anthropology) – “Set yourself small, manageable goals rather than large, overwhelming ones – this will motivate you to work as you feel like you’re really making progress! Have a five minute ‘organisation time’ before you sit down to start revising. Use that time to make sure you have all the materials you need. This will make you less likely to need to interrupt your revision to get up and find something!”

Nisal Perera (third year, Business and Management) – “My top revision tip is to sit in a comfortable place where you will be able to work without distraction. I also put my phone away so that I’m not distracted.”

Ellie House (second year, Law) – “I like to use the app Quizlet! I spend some time making flashcards on there, and then use the quiz options to test myself. It’s especially useful for definitions or statistics, and I use it to memorise a lot of key cases and the important points to take from them. I also write out flashcards on paper with more lengthy information so that I can carry these around and use them whenever I have time for a quick content catch-up.”

James Hulme (second year, Biomedical Engineering) – “I try to split work into 20/30-minute blocks with short breaks in between. Paraphrasing what you learn in class into clear notes and listing what you want to do that day can also help.”

Thelakshe Vigneswaran (third year, Business and Management) – “To make sure I don’t get distracted I like to film a time-lapse of myself working. This stops me from using my phone so often and getting distracted!”

Yassin Pentoo (third year, Business and Management) – “I recommend listening to music as it helps me to stay motivated and to focus on my work.”

Gemma Overy (second year, Psychology) – “I like to make PowerPoint slides with my lecture notes. I’ll have a box with the main points of that particular subtopic, then a separate box down the side where I write the key terms and definitions. At the end of a section of slides I will have a slide where I write questions for myself to answer at a later date. Then, when I come to do my revision, I can print out the slides and annotate them.”

Bhakti Patel (third year, Social Science) – “I create mind maps for each topic and stick them all around my noticeboard so that I can see and recite them.”

Hope Turner (second year, Law) – “The first thing you are going to want to do is consolidate the notes you already have on the subject. A good place to start is with lecture notes. These should contain the basis of what you are revising and get you working in the right direction! From here you want to add to your consolidated lecture notes. These can be from seminar/workshop notes but also from textbooks or any other resources you have on the subject. Next you want to go over your notes and colour code/highlight the important bits such as cases or terminology.”

Shehaad Alighan (second year, Computing with a year in industry) – “I go through lecture slides and make my notes. I then make flashcards and go through them every day until I have memorised them.”

Alina Sajish (fourth year, Accounting and Management with a year in industry) – “I use the pomodoro technique where I work in 25-minute intervals in order to increase my productivity.”

Lauren Whitfield (second year, Marketing) – “I use the app ‘Forest’ which is really useful for revising. It prevents me from procrastinating and going on my phone. The purpose of it is that it grows trees the entire time that you are away from your phone, however, if you go on it and close the app the tree dies.”

Key resources for online exams

Thelakshe and friends sat outside Dockyard

Student blog: 5 reasons to stay positive in your final year

“I’m Thelakshe, a final year Business and Management student at the Medway campus. Being a final year student during the Covid-19 pandemic can be quite difficult to manage. You will be going through a range of emotions during this year, from being scared, anxious, uncertain to excited and relieved.  

Here I share to you my top five reasons to stay positive about graduating this year. I hope this shares more positivity for this year and helps keep you motivated.

1. About to complete another hurdle successfully

You may have found this year challenging and difficult, however just remember that you are very close to completing your degree successfully where all your hard work will be all worth it. You have come a long way with this degree and have done absolutely amazing during a global pandemic, so carry on working positively and this year will be another success!

2. New career or job opportunities

Upon finishing your degrees, there are many career and job opportunities available for you to enter. There are many things that the University can help out with too, especially in choosing your careers and job hunting. You may even consider going onto completing a Master’s, PhD or finding degree-related jobs. The University has a specific website for final year students to help make your next steps.

3. Support services available at Kent

There are many support services available here at Kent.  The University’s Careers Team offer great support ranging from careers guidance, interview practices, study plus schemes and many more. You can access the Careers and Employability Service for up to three years after you graduate. Check out the Careers and Employability page for more information.

4. A wonderful summer to look forward to

With restrictions slowly easing, this summer is definitely one to look forward to. Whether you decide to travel within the UK or try out new things, a well relaxed summer is waiting ahead for you. Make yourselves relaxed this summer by treating yourself to a chilled summer. Let’s hope the weather is also staying positive for us. The University is also organising a series of summer events for you to join on campus when coronavirus restrictions ease – so watch this space! 

5. Moving onto a new and exciting chapter of your life

Joining University has been a new chapter of our lives which is nearly accomplished. The exciting thing is that you will be moving into another new chapter of your life. This can be exciting and tense but imagine it as the new opportunities approaching. 

The main message I wanted to convey is to keep being positive despite the circumstances we are in. Please remember the University is here to support you all the time.”

Work set up organisation

What’s on this week: 6-11 April

It’s the last week of the Spring Term, so this week’s update includes exam preparation workshops, tips to help manage stress and help with graduate job selection tests.

Coming soon – Launch of KentVision and read-only access to Student Data System (SDS)

The new KentVision student portal launches on Monday 19 April. So SDS will close from 9 April. Find out more about the great new system. 

Events for you to try this week:

Browse all events

Have you read this?

Browse all student support

Keep an eye on:

Let us know what you think of these updates by emailing communications@kent.ac.uk

Kent Vision screen shot showing different blocks

Launch of KentVision and read-only access to Student Data System (SDS)

The new KentVision student portal launches on Monday 19 April. KentVision reports the information we have about you and simplifies a lot of processes behind the scenes, providing you with an enhanced student experience and record of your time at Kent.

What differences will I see with KentVision?

The main change for you as a student is that the KentVision student portal will look a little different. Watch this quick video guide below to see the new look and tips on how to use the new system.

With any new system comes some changes; module codes are different in the new system but both the old and new codes are referenced on your examination timetable to ease the transition. Your timetable view will also display a different set of week numbers the new system uses but will still be easy and intuitive to view.

How will the Student Data System (SDS) be affected?

The Student Data System (SDS) will close Friday 9 April at 17.00. You will have read-only access to SDS between 12-18 April while your data is transferred to the new system. This means the information you can see will be “frozen” and you will not be able to make edits during this time.

Please note – any new course marks that are due to be released while SDS and KentVision aren’t available can be viewed in Moodle.

Please be patient with any student data queries during this time as staff will not have access to SDS from 10-18 April. Staff will be able to answer these queries from 19 April once KentVision launches. We do not expect any interruptions in this period to other core IT services for example Moodle and TargetConnect.

Student exam accommodation

What is stress and what can we do about it?

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Due to Covid-19 and lockdown, this year it is more important than ever to understand stress and how it can be reduced. With deadlines and exams fast approaching, many students can find this a very stressful time. Understanding stress and how it affects you can make it easier to deal with. Below are some interesting facts about stress and some links for where to go if you need help.

What is stress?

Stress is when your body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode. It releases hormones and chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, which causes a number of reactions.

Everyone can experience stress in different ways and changes caused by stress can be emotional, physical, behavioural, or a mixture of the three.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Where can I go for help?

Student Support and Wellbeing Services:

If you feel that stress is affecting your mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out to Student Support and Wellbeing. The University is able to offer counselling and other support to any students experiencing issues such as anxiety, depressed feelings and emotional difficulties. For more information, head to Student Support and Wellbeing.

Stress Management Workshops are also available and delivered by qualified counsellors who will help you to identify stress triggers and learn how to manage stress levels effectively. Sign up for the next workshop on 28 April.

Speak to your friends or family (or someone you trust):

When you’re feeling stressed, often the temptation is to isolate yourself. However, speaking to friends and family can help a lot!

Although it can be difficult to connect with friends due to Covid-19, interaction with others can help with relaxation and generally just talking things through. A good idea could be to go for a socially-distanced walk, or to call your friends online.

The Stress Management Society’s ‘Free Stress Guide’:

If you’re looking to better understand stress and how to deal with it, take a look at the Stress Management Society’s ‘Free Stress Guide’. It explains what stress is, how to recognise it, and what you can do to cope better.

Prepare, Connect, Be Calm

Exam season can be difficult and this year students all over the world are facing new challenges as they prepare for exams. At Kent we have a lot of resources, information and activities to help you stay calm, connected, and feel prepared to tackle your exams.

Head to the Exam Calm page to see how you can make the most of a range of support from different university departments who are working together to help all students throughout the summer term.

Remember: stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It helps us to survive dangerous situations and is a natural reaction. However, being in a state of stress for long periods of time can be damaging to our health, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you feel you need help. To look after yourself, ensure you are getting enough sleep, managing your time, taking part in physical activity and talking to others! Try taking up hobbies, and take breaks from work whenever possible.

Students sat at Canterbury campus

Covid-19 update: Easter vacation, graduations and summer events

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

I hope you are all well and looking forward to some much-needed relaxation at the end of the Spring Term. Thank you for your dedication to your studies during what has been an incredibly challenging academic year – watch this space for plans to bring those that can together later in the Summer when restrictions allow, with more information below.

For now, as we move into the next stage of the Government’s roadmap we can look ahead to lockdown rules easing further and being able to spend more time with friends and family. Please remember that from 29 March, the ‘Rule of 6’ is now in force, meaning you can socialise outdoors in groups of 6, or as 2 households. Socialising indoors with those not in your household is not yet permitted.

Easter vacation

For those of you already in your term-time accommodation, Government guidance states that although you may travel back to your permanent home at Easter, it is preferable that you remain at your term-time address, if you can.

If you do intend to travel, please ensure you get tested before you leave, plan your journey in case of delays and get tested at a local community testing facility if possible before you return to campus. Remember that if you test positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate and are not permitted to travel.

If you plan to travel from abroad, please see our International information page for more on the travel and testing arrangements that must be followed if you are returning to the UK from abroad.

Graduations

This week we have written to final year students confirming our delayed plans for this year’s graduations. While everyone will still receive their certificate so there should be no need to delay plans for employment or further study, it is important that every Kent student can enjoy the graduation ceremony they deserve. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee this for this summer – however we will be welcoming all our final year students to celebrate their graduation at Canterbury or Rochester Cathedral next May.

Summer events

Look out for joint plans on the way with our Students’ Unions to make the most of summer and celebrate the end of term, including a festival fortnight of fun and community on our Canterbury and Medway campuses from 21 June to 2 July. We’re aiming to have something for everyone, with music events, outdoor catering, sports programmes, screenings, workshops and much more to coincide with the planned removal of Government restrictions. I hope as many as possible can join activities when we can this summer and come together safely to mark the end of a difficult year for everyone.

Summer Term accommodation at Canterbury

As I mentioned last week, if you no longer have term-time accommodation and wish to stay on the Canterbury campus for any part of the Summer Term, we have a range of accommodation options available starting at £35 per night. Whether for exams or our summer events, you can book online using the EXAMSTUDY promotional code to reserve your room.

Best wishes

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Spring concert 18 April

Virtual spring concert for charity – ‘Music in Springtime’

The KSL Music Collective are back with another virtual music concert – Music in Springtime, with performers from the South East, including several alumni of the University of Kent. The concert is organised by Arun Silva (organist and singer), alumnus of the University of Kent. The group includes several musicians who have studied at the university’s Historic Dockyards campus. The performance will be streamed via YouTube on 18 April 2021 at 17.30 and will cover a variety of musical styles, performed virtually by singers and instrumentalists. The aim of this event is to bring music and cheer to audiences in any location, at this time, when live performances and events have been limited.

The group are keen to continue to support a charitable cause through their events. This concert is in aid of the Young Minds Trust, a charity that supports children and young people’s mental health. Donations can be made via the JustGiving page. To access the programme and receive a link to view the concert, viewers should register free via the Eventbrite page or the Facebook event page. All donations will go directly to the Young Minds charity.

Young Minds provide young people with tools to look after their mental health. They give them the space and confidence to get their voices heard and change the world we live in. Coronavirus has had a significant impact on the mental health of young people. Whether they need a reassuring conversation, specialist mental health support, or simply the knowledge that they are not alone in how they are feeling, Young Minds ensures that all young people get support they need as quickly as possible.

Register your free ticket online. 

You can also view the event on Facebook.