Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Student eating lunch at Gulbenkian Cafe

£3 Meals moving to Gulbenkian Café for summer

From Monday 24 June, the £3 cost of living hot meals will be moving from Rutherford Dining Hall to the Gulbenkian Café for the duration of the summer. This temporary move allows Rutherford Dining Hall to accommodate language schools during the vacation.

£3 hot meals at the Gulbenkian Café will be available:

• Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 14:00
• Saturday & Sunday, 14:00 – 20:00

Meals will be displayed on the in-house specials board, and there will always be a plant-based option available. Please note that these meals are offered on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to order early to avoid missing out.

Additionally, £3 sandwich meal deals can be purchased at Dolche Vita and Rutherford Dining Hall throughout the summer. Please be aware that the opening times for these venues will vary, so we recommend checking the online timetable for the latest information.

The cost of living meals will be back at Rutherford Dining Hall in September for the new academic year.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us at


Preparing for resits

Hi, I’m Tim from the Student Learning Advisory Service, here with a few hints and tips as you prepare to resit one or more of your exams.

Firstly, stay motivated. The satisfaction of successfully passing your exams awaits you, so stay highly-focussed on reaching this important goal over the coming weeks. Free up as much time as you can to ensure success, perhaps by rescheduling some less important activities.

Consider any feedback that you may have received on your previous exams. What does it indicate that you need to improve for your resit? Perhaps you need to improve your depth of knowledge around a particular topic, or ensure that you include more key ingredients in your answers. Identify and use feedback to help you steer your preparation.

Reflect on how you managed the previous exam. Perhaps it was not lack of knowledge that let you down, but your exam technique. Perhaps you lost track of time so that you failed to complete the exam paper, or forgot to plan your answers before writing and lost your way halfway through them. Identify and note down any potential improvements to your exam technique that you can make, and practise them before your resit.

Plan your time so that you use it as efficiently as possible between now and your resit. Having identified gaps in your knowledge or aspects of your exam technique that require improvement, draw up a schedule on a time planner that will enable you to address all these issues in time for your exam. Break each day into one- or two-hour chunks of study time, each allocated to an achievable goal – be that revising from your notes on a specific topic, practising writing an essay under timed conditions, or committing important facts, formulas or theories to memory.

Remember that your exam is a performance. While you’ll want to work very hard between now and your resit to achieve the best possible result, you will need to stay fit and well at the same time. Establish a routine that balances your revision with enough sleep, regular breaks, good food and fresh air to keep you in excellent shape for your exam.

Finally, consider a 1-1 with an advisor from the Student Learning Advisory Service, to discuss revision skills, essay writing, exam techniques or any related topics before you resit your exam. You can book an appointment via the Student Learning Advisory Service website, where you will also find printable time planners to help you plot your course to success.

Good luck with your resit.

Students sat on bench on campus chatting

Events roundup: 10-16 June

It’s the final week of summer term and the end of the undergraduate academic year! Find out what’s on this week.

Staying on or near campus over the summer? Check out the Summer at Kent website for events and ways to meet other students.

Monday 10 June: From Wild to Web talk by Conservation Practitioner

Join Louisa, a Conservation Practitioner with over two decades of experience, as she shares her unique career journey evolving from Field Researcher to Academic Dean and Independent Consultant ‘From the Wild to the Web 3.0: An Unusual Journey’, focusing on sustainable conservation practices across Africa. This event is taking place in Kennedy and you are welcome to stay for refreshments and activities afterwards.

Tuesday 11 June: Reflective writing, free breakfast at Medway and help if you are graduating soon #ClassOf2024

Try out this reflective writing workshop that includes a walk to the labyrinth on campus.  Reflective writing is a skill that can help you to nurture a sense of progress and development, both personally and professionally.

If you’re based at Medway, on Tuesday morning you can enjoy a free community breakfast at the Hub.

Graduating soon? Find out how the careers service can help you if you are about to graduate, plus there’s also a workshop on how to reflect and identify questions to ask before deciding what to do next.

Wednesday 12 June: Chill zone, therapy dog and trip to Rye and Camber Sands (Medway)

Take a break in the Chill Zone in Templeman Library DG-01/02 (near Nexus) where you can play Nintendo Switch MarioKart, relax with arts and crafts and play some board games. Plus enjoy some refreshments.

Looking for an easy way to de-stress? Enjoy the last Pause for Paws of the summer term featuring Coco the therapy dog.

At Medway, you can join a full day trip to Rye and Camber Sands. Explore and meet new friends.

Thursday 13 June: Free breakfast at Medway

At Medway on Thursday, you can join for a free community breakfast at The Hub. As a Right to Food University, these breakfast sessions symbolise our ongoing dedication to tackling food insecurity.

Friday 14 June: Record your 3 Minute Thesis and Kent Community Oasis Garden

If you’re a postgraduate researcher, you can book a slot to record your 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) which celebrates research and encourages you to explain your research in three minutes in appropriate language to a non-specialist audience.

Get out in nature and volunteer at the Kent Community Oasis Garden. Everyone is welcome at Kent Community Oasis Garden, whether you’re an expert gardener, a complete beginner, or just coming along for a chat.

See more student events.



Students and staff in Sibson at GRC Annual Postgraduate Conference

GRC Annual Postgraduate Conference, 3 July

This summer, the Annual Postgraduate Conference returns and will exhibit  exceptional work carried out by our research community at the University of Kent.

Join us on Wednesday 3 July in Sibson and Kennedy at the Annual Postgraduate Conference to celebrate postgraduate research and our community at Kent.

This year, the Graduate and Researcher College (GRC) will be collaborating with the Division of Arts and Humanities, Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Kent Business School, Division for the study of Law, Society and Social Justice, and Division of Natural Sciences to celebrate our postgraduate researcher community.

The Annual Postgraduate Conference is an excellent opportunity for all postgraduate students to attend talks, take part in interactive workshops, learn from colleagues, a chance to view research posters – there are even GRC prizes to be won too!

There will be an awards ceremony and buffet lunch provided – an excellent opportunity to network.

Find out more and book your place.

Student putting book on shelf in library

Returning your library books

As we move closer to the end of the academic year, we’d like to encourage you to return your library books to the Templeman Library.

Please take any opportunity when you’re visiting campus to return books you no longer need, especially if you’re a final year student and are leaving Kent this year, or are going to be away from campus over the summer. Books you have borrowed can still be reserved by other people during the vacation.

Your options for returning books

  • If you’re on the Canterbury campus, use the book returns drop off point in the Welcome Hall or the external book drop on Library Road.
  • If you live in the Medway area, you can return Templeman Library books to the Drill Hall Library at the Universities of Medway campus.
  • Posting books: depending on weight and volume, you could consider breaking up a large parcel into smaller ones. Courier services might be cheaper than Royal Mail and pick up the parcel from you. Whatever method you use, please make sure you get a receipt.

Our postal address is:  

Book Returns, 
Templeman Library, 
University of Kent, 
Canterbury, Kent, 

If you’re unable to return your books by any of these methods, please get in touch with the Library and we’ll work out a solution with you.

Contact the Library Team

Please contact us if you need any help or advice around returning books or any other library or IT query. Our staff are here to help you: 

Cassie, Sakina and Harry sat in mooting chamber

Kent Stars: World leaders in the making

This month’s Kent Stars are Politics and International Relations students Cassie, Sakina and Harry who were recently selected to take part in the Model NATO event in London. Hosted by the British International Studies Association (BISA), Model NATO offers an opportunity to experience how countries manage their responses to world events and the many challenges this brings. Hear from Cassie, Sakina and Harry:

Harry – “Hey! My name’s Harry and I’m a second year studying Politics and International Relations with Spanish, originally from Barbados. Besides getting up to stuff with friends, I really love to spend my time reading. Nowadays, it’s usually stuff related to my course but when I have time I enjoy fiction as well.”

Cassie – “Hi, I am Cassie, I am a second year Politics and International Relations Student at the University of Kent. I am particularly interested in British Politics as well as Current Affairs.”

Sakina – “My name is Sakina, and I’m currently a second-year undergraduate student studying Politics and International Relations. Alongside my academic pursuits, I have a keen interest in a variety of subjects, including political ideology and contemporary politics. Outside of the academic realm, I actively participate in extracurricular activities such as the equestrian society and have recently joined the Labour society. I am also a veracious reader.”

Tell us about your experience of the Model NATO event

Sakina – “Participating in the Model NATO event was an illuminating and rewarding experience. This simulation mirrors the workings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with students assuming the roles of representatives from different member countries to address pressing international issues. Through this immersive experience, I not only deepened my understanding of global politics and diplomacy but also honed essential skills such as negotiation and effective communication.

Collaborating with peers from diverse backgrounds fostered a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives, leading to a profound appreciation for the complexities of geopolitical discourse. Being awarded the most ‘Distinguished delegate’ certificate with my fellow team member Cassie, was such an incredible honour. Importantly, this event solidified my aspiration to pursue a career in international relations, underscoring the significance of such experiential learning opportunities in shaping one’s professional trajectory.”

Cassie, Harry and Sakina at Model NATO event

Harry – “The point of the Model NATO exercise was to craft a response to a humanitarian disaster in the Mediterranean caused by severe earthquakes. We sat in committees around a table alongside students from various other universities, each representing a different country within NATO. Together, we decide what we’re going to talk about, how we’re going to talk about it and in what order.

For each successive issue, everyone takes turns stating and arguing for their point of view, we discuss and negotiate and then eventually, attempt to find a response to that particular point that every single person agrees with. That’s how NATO functions in the real world, every country has to agree. This was quite tricky, and we often got bogged down in the precise wording of particular agreements or things that, when you consider that the hypothetical scenario we were dealing with already had thousands dead, seemed silly. Yet they weren’t because each country is supposed to guarantee their own interests. It did give a lot of perspective in terms of why negotiation between countries can often be so difficult and take so long. We were supposed to be helping people suffering from an earthquake and instead we ended up spending half the morning arguing about if we’d be able to use each other’s satellites. All in all, it was a great experience, it was a lot of fun, I met some cool people and I’d love to do it again.”

Cassie – “We were given the country of Germany, so beforehand we familiarised ourselves with German Capability and Interest in order to stay authentic as a delegation. By practicing our diplomatic skills, we had to collaborate with other delegations to achieve a resolution, which could only be achieved through full consensus. This was the root of much disagreement between delegations, particularly on the topic of priority setting. Many countries felt NATO should remain dedicated to Russian threat as a main priority, where others felt NATO should streamline capabilities in response to the unfolding disaster. This experience highlighted the importance of respecting ongoing geopolitical crises even when attempting to handle new critical disasters. The experience helped solidify my knowledge of international relations as well as helping grow my negotiating and problem-solving skills. At the end of the simulation, we were able to produce a comprehensive resolution to tackle the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquakes.

Due to our extensive research and knowledge Sakina and I were delighted to be awarded the ‘Distinguished Delegation Award’ in the Military Committee, which is the first time a representation from Kent has won an award through the experience.”

Cassie and Sakina receiving their award

Cassie and Sakina receiving their award for “Distinguished Delegation in the Military Committee”, representing Germany.

What advice would you give to other students? 

Cassie – “Though university is about getting a degree, there are so many opportunities outside of Academics, such as societies, conferences, or exciting events such as Model NATO. Though sometimes it takes a bit of time and effort to seek them out and apply, it is completely worth it.”

Harry – “It is always a good idea to find ways to improve your public speaking skills. It’s important now within university, in classes, to be able to express yourself and describe your understanding and your point of view. Wherever we all end up after university, it is always going to be helpful to be able to speak to a group of people and explain whatever it is you want to explain, clearly, concisely and convincingly. If you agree, you should try out Model UN, there’s a club for it on campus. I think it’s a great way to improve those skills and the club is filled with plenty of cool and friendly people, so, consider checking it out.”

Sakina – “My advice to fellow students is to actively seek out opportunities for experiential learning and personal development. Whether through participation in events like Model NATO, involvement in student clubs, or pursuit of internships, these extracurricular engagements offer invaluable avenues for growth and exploration. Embrace challenges, step out of your comfort zone, and seize every opportunity to broaden your horizons. My own journey exemplifies the transformative power of such experiences, as they not only enrich academic pursuits but also illuminate potential career paths and passions.”

What are your plans for next year?

Cassie – “My plans for next year include my continued involvement in political societies at the University, such as Model UN. I will be entering my third year so I hope to write a dissertation about British Politics.”

Harry – “This September I head to Madrid to do a year abroad for my course. It’s really scary and sad to say goodbye to friends I’ve made here at Kent. I’m definitely going to miss Canterbury and everyone in it over the next year. At the same time, I am definitely looking forward to meeting new people, finding new experiences and (hopefully) learning more Spanish in Madrid. One of the best things about moving to the UK has been learning to adapt to an entirely new environment, so I’m excited to be able to do that again.”

Sakina, Harry and Cassie standing outside

Sakina – “In the upcoming year, I am committed to furthering my understanding and expertise in the field of international relations. This entails pursuing internships or research opportunities aligned with my academic and career goals, thereby gaining practical insights, and forging valuable connections within the industry. Concurrently, I aspire to engage in meaningful community service initiatives, leveraging my skills and knowledge to effect positive change on a local and global scale. Additionally, I aim to embark on enriching travel experiences and cultural explorations to deepen my appreciation for global dynamics and diverse perspectives. These endeavors collectively serve as building blocks for my future, including potential postgraduate studies in a specialised area of international relations.”

Do you know an inspirational student or student group? Let us know.

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.


Gulbenkian with light projection

Events roundup: 28 May – 2 June

We hope you enjoyed the bank holiday weekend! Here’s a few ways you can get creative and relax this week.

Tuesday 28 May: Studying, mindfulness colouring and free breakfast (Medway)

On Tuesday evening you can join the ResLife Ambassadors for a quiet environment where you can do some studying intermixed with mindfulness colouring to help you unwind.

At Medway, you can enjoy a free breakfast between 10:00-12:00 at The Hub. Come together with friends and enjoy a tasty meal.

Wednesday 29 May:  Wellbeing in research and free cinema screening of Wonka

If you’re a PGR student, join this online session about improving wellbeing in research to learn more about stresses and coping strategies for academics.

For students living in on-campus accommodation, you’re invited to the Gulbenkian cinema for a free showing of Wonka. Register on the Home at Halls app.

Thursday 30 May: Painting on the Library Lawn and graduating information session

Take a break from revision and exams and join Kent Union for some painting on the Library Lawn. They’ll provide the paints and canvases, you just show up and enjoy the views. This event has been cancelled due to poor weather forecasts. 

Graduating soon? Find out how the Careers Service can help you in your next steps at this online session.

There’s another chance for a free breakfast at Medway on Thursday. These free breakfast sessions symbolise our ongoing dedication to tackling food insecurity.

Friday 31 May: Taylor Swift conference, rock climbing (Medway) and Kent Community Oasis Garden

On Friday, Kent will host the first ever European Taylor Swift conference! Swift’s feminist reputation will be explored, while the conference will also host the first ever academic discussion of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department (which has been dismissed by critics but praised by fans worldwide). See the conference programme.

Do you enjoy rock climbing or fancy giving it a go? The Hub is running a trip to a brand new climbing centre at Dockside so you can try it out.

Join an open volunteering session at the Kent Community Oasis Garden near Park Wood. Kent COG is a collection of students, staff and community members working to create a sustainability hub centred around growing food.

Saturday 1 June: 1920s themed afternoon tea and the Summer Ball

Students living in on-campus accommodation are invited to this special 1920s themed afternoon tea with live music on the lawn by the Registry building. There will be prizes for the best fancy dress. Register on the Home at Halls app.

Come together on Saturday night for the Summer Ball! Get dressed up and enjoy some huge acts and celebrating with friends.

See more student events.


See more student opportunities.


Mental health awareness week events

Mental Health Awareness Week: what’s on and support

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May 2024). Find out what’s on and support:

Event highlights

Look After Your Mate workshops

Kent Union is running “Look After Your Mate” workshops on both Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May. These are in-person workshops to help give you the practical skills and knowledge to support a friend in need whilst protecting your own wellbeing.

The workshops are open to all students whether you are currently supporting a friend, want to be prepared for the future or just have a keen interest in wellbeing. And on completion, you’ll receive a certificate!

The workshop is approximately two hours long. Spaces are limited to 20 students per workshop so register now to avoid disappointment.

Book your place for Look After Your Mate workshop.

Relaxation sessions at The Hub, Medway

If you need a way to de-stress during exams, head to The Hub for one of their relaxation sessions on Monday 13 May and Friday 17 May. On the Monday you can choose between a 15-minute massage or a gel manicure. Friday is another chance to be pampered with a gel manicure.

Quiz Night at Woody’s

For Mental Health Awareness Week, Kent Union is hosting a Quiz Night on Wednesday 15 May 16:00 – 18:00 in Woody’s. This will be a fun-filled evening with fantastic monetary prizes up for grabs.

This event will feature a special round dedicated to men’s mental health, raising awareness for this important issue. Entry is £1 per person with proceeds going to men’s mental health initiative Men’s Shed.

See more Mental Health Awareness Week events.

Mental Health support at Kent

Student Support and Wellbeing offer a range of mental health support including:

  • Counselling offers a safe confidential space to help you re-balance thoughts, feelings and behaviours about life in general.
  • Mental health advisers can help you with managing the impact of your mental health on your academic progress and your day-to-day wellbeing.
  • Specialist wellbeing support– practical help and advice on sexual assault or rape, discrimination, hate incidents or bullying.
  • Addiction support – manage addiction and restore control, including gaming, gambling and substance use.

Spectrum Life for 24/7 support

Our partner organisation Spectrum Life can offer you online, text and telephone support from qualified counsellors and mental health professionals.

Spectrum Life will work with you in getting initial support and help and can liaise with Student Support and Wellbeing to continue supporting you.

See Student Support and Wellbeing website.

New Oasis Lounge in Medway Building

New Oasis Lounge at Medway

Over the Spring break work has started to move all University of Kent activity at Medway to the Medway Building for September 2024.

Something that has already moved is the Oasis Lounge. The new and improved Oasis Lounge can now be found on the 1st floor of the Medway Building and is a place you can meet friends, study, heat up lunch and grab a drink.

Oasis Lounge seating

You will still find Student Support in the Gillingham Building until the end of the 2023/24 academic year if you need student support or careers advice.

Exams are scheduled to take place in the Medway Building this term.  However, Journalism exams will take place in the existing newsrooms on the first and second floor of the Gillingham Building. You will find where your exam is taking place in your exams timetable.

Oasis Lounge

Students doing food shop

Cost of living support during exams

Earlier this year, Kent Union, along with the University and The Food Foundation carried out a Cost of Living Survey across the Canterbury and Medway campuses for a second year. The survey results highlight areas where we need to improve.

During exams especially, you don’t want money worries to negatively affect your studies. Here are some ways you can get support at Kent, so you can fulfil your potential this exam season:


We know that food insecurity is a growing issue on university campuses across the country. Kent Union’s Campus Pantry in Mandela Student Centre offers short-term support to students who find themselves in need of supplemental food. The first time you visit there are no questions asked, you just need to show your student ID and then you can choose some food items.

It’s important to be well fueled for exams. Some affordable food options on campus include the £3 Meal Deals, or you can bring in leftovers and heat them up in a microwave on campus. At Medway, you can also join a free community breakfast at The Hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Plus, don’t forget to hydrate. See places where you can refill your water bottle rather than buying a new one.

Free sanitary products

From the Cost of Living Survey results, we know that some students are spending less on sanitary products because they are worried about money. Sanitary products are not a luxury. On exam days, you can ask an exam invigilator who will give you a free sanitary product.

You can also find free sanitary products in the Mandela Student Centre reception at Canterbury and The Hub toilets at Medway campus year-round.

Travelling to exams

Check out travel discounts for getting to campus, including reduced bus tickets for Stagecoach and Arriva buses, as well as the 16-25 rail card (which is also available to full-time students who are 25+) where you save a third on your off-peak train travel. Please note, there is a planned train strike on Tuesday 7 May, so if you have an exam on this day, you should arrange alternative travel.

Is your technology playing up?

If you are having trouble with your laptop, you can borrow one from Templeman or Drill Hall Library for free so you can continue with your revision and other work.

Staying active

Exercise can be a great way to de-stress during exam season. If you are in your first year or live on campus, you have access to free Premium membership in Canterbury, or Premier Medway Park membership at Medway campus.

Even if you are not living on campus, we have different gym membership options for every budget at Kent Sport. There’s a monthly gym membership and the free Pay to Play membership where you just pay when you visit the gym facilities for £5 per session, or take part in an ALL Active sport or fitness class for just £2 per session.

See all gym membership options this summer.

Our cost of living website has more support including specific hardship funding available.