Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Two students walking through field with canterbury cathedral in background

Kent 2030: Consultation update

Next phase of consultation

As you may know, consultation closed on 7 March on proposals to cease recruitment to some subject disciplines (Anthropology; Art History; Comparative Literature; English Language and Linguistics; Health and Social Care; Journalism; Modern Languages; Music and Audio Technology; and Philosophy and Religious Studies) at the University of Kent. Counter proposals submitted by staff in those areas are now being reviewed, with recommendations then made to Executive Group colleagues to decide on the way forward, meaning that final outcomes are likely to be known towards the end of March.

If it affects you, we’ll be in touch

Once outcomes are shared in late March, we will be in touch with students who are affected to explain what this means for the future of their particular subject areas. There will then be more details to work out in terms of teach-out for any area where the final decision is to cease recruitment. We will keep affected students updated by email each step of the way as those plans are scoped out, as we have more clarity on individual student circumstances and options, and can share how we will support you through the remainder of your degree, whatever your stage and type of study.

Opportunity for all students to hear more and ask questions

We invite you to sign up for an Undergraduate Student Open Forum from  12:00-13:00 on Thursday 28 March or to sign up for an Postgraduate Student Open Forum from 14:00-15:00 on Wednesday 3 April to hear from  Richard Reece, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education & Student Experience, and Mica Rose, Head of Student Experience. They’ll explain updates on Kent 2030 plans and what they mean for students, and invite you to ask questions. These online meeting will be recorded and shared afterwards, so don’t worry if you are not able to attend. We will continue to update information and FAQs on the Kent 2030 student webpage.

Exercise class

Free exercise classes, 14-15 March

In support of University Mental Health Day (Thursday 14 March) and Red Nose Day (Friday 15 March), Kent Sport will be offering 180 free spaces on our fitness and dance class timetable across both days to allow everyone within our community to join in exercise for free. This includes many popular classes such as Zumba and pilates, as well as our range of exciting virtual instructor-led classes from LES MILLS.

For all class descriptions, visit our Classes webpage.

To book a free class as a Plus, Pay to Play, or non-member, visit the Sports Centre reception and fill out the paper form for the class(es) you would like to join. There are 10 free spaces in each class so sign up quickly before they’re gone! If you’re a Premium Plus member, all classes are included in your membership so you can book online as usual.

If you’re not yet a Kent Sport member, you’ll need to create a free Pay to Play membership before you’ll be able to join the classes. You can create an account quickly and easily through our online booking system.

Donations for Red Nose Day can be made on the Comic Relief website.

Lead Kent

Kent Union elections: voting now open

Voting is now open for your Kent Union full-time Officers.

The full-time Officers work and support the student priorities that are picked by students for students. These make up the core campaigns of Kent Union’s Officer team. We currently have five full-time Officer positions that all focus on different remits for students:

There are three days of voting and there will be five polling stations spread around campus, plus you can vote online at any time during these three days. Voting closes Thursday at 17:00.

There are also chances to win a range of prizes if you vote in the Kent Union elections. Some of the top prizes include an Apple iPad, Xbox X and weekend getaways for two.

Group of Kent Grads

Events roundup: 4-10 March

This week marks the start of Worldfest, our celebration of cultural diversity at Kent, as well as International Women’s Day.

Plus, don’t forget to vote in the Kent Union elections between Tuesday 5 March and Thursday 7 March (closes at 17:00). You’re voting for your full-time Officers who will represent you for the next academic year.

Find out what’s on this week:

Monday 4 March: PGT presentation skills and mindfulness colouring

If you’re a PGT student, you can join this presentation skills online workshop which offers practical advice on how to prepare and deliver an effective presentation.

On Monday evening you can join ResLife Ambassadors in Keynes for a quiet environment where you can do some studying mixed with some mindfulness colouring to help you unwind.

Tuesday 5 March: Coffee with a Security Officer and LinkedIn photos (Medway)

Would you like to have a chat with our friendly Security Team? Each Tuesday lunchtime you can pop in to speak to one of the officers and ask any questions about the Safezone app, the role of Campus Security or for advice. And you can get a free cup of tea or coffee to enjoy while you chat.

Are you interested in pursuing postgraduate study in business? Even if you are not currently studying a business-related subject, you might be able to study a Master’s in Business. Find out more at the Ask the Experts: Kent Business School drop-in session in Nexus, Templeman Library. See all postgraduate study events.

Do you need a better LinkedIn photo? You can get a professional portrait taken by Matt Cook Photography free of charge in Medway building on Tuesday.

Wednesday 6 March: Graduation Launch event (Medway) and Worldfest international dishes and using GenAi in your studies

In your final year at Medway? You’re invited to the Graduation Launch event in Rochester Building where you can find out your graduation ceremony date and ask any questions you may have. You can also try on caps and measure your height for your gown, as well as write a message to your supporters to be displayed on the screens during your graduation ceremony.

As we celebrate Worldfest, enjoy a taste of Japanese and Arabic Cuisine. Our World language tutors will provide you on a journey to learn how to cook some of your favourite international dishes from Japanese and Arabic cultures.

Find out how you can use GenAI legitimately in your studies at this in-person workshop in Canterbury or you can join online.

Thursday 7 March: Canterbury Graduation Launch and how to network (Medway)

In your final year at Canterbury? You’re invited to the Graduation Launch event in Darwin Conference Suite where you can ask all your questions and find out the individual School dates for the 2024 graduation ceremonies. There are opportunities to try on caps and measure your height for your gown and write a message to your supporters to be displayed on the screens during your graduation ceremony.

Learn how to network effectively at this Aspire workshop in Medway building, plus you can grab some free pizza.

Friday 8 March: International Women’s Day events and katsu cooking class

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, you can join various inspiring talks with successful Kent alumni; Balancing Acts: Navigating the Workplace as Women of Worth in Keynes, In conversation with: Elouise Mitchell, Senior Planning Consultant  in Keynes and Female Changemakers: In conversation with Bethany Matthews, Access Coordinator at ITV Studios which is taking place online.

As part of Worldfest, learn how to make Japan’s katsu curry from scratch from Chef Benjamin Elsbury, so you can get together with friends and re-create at home.

Sunday 10 March: Howletts trip and gallery hopping

If you live in on-campus accommodation, you can join the ResLife Ambassadors for a trip to Howletts Wild Animal Park where you can see elephants, gorillas, rhinos and much more. (£10 which covers coach and entry fee).

Join the ResLife Ambassadors for some gallery hopping in Canterbury City Centre. Canterbury has lots of galleries and museums to explore including The Beaney and Canterbury Roman Museum.

Opportunities

  • Looking for housemates? On the Umii app you can now add a signifier to show you are looking for someone to live with.
  • If you’re based at Medway campus, make the most of Medway Move, a series of free exercise classes including yoga, Jiu Jitsu and social badminton.
Find your housemates with Umii

Find your housemates with Umii

Struggling to find housemates? The perfect people might be waiting…

Find housemates on Umii app

The Umii app connects you with other students at the University of Kent based on your interests, course and societies, helping you to find new friends and housemates all in one go!

“I downloaded Umii as I wanted to make new friends, find out about student life and meet people with similar interests. Umii also helped me secure accommodation with a connection I had made.”

– Mohammad
Postgraduate Student

New housemate signifier

You can now add housemate signifier to your profile to show that you are looking for someone to live with. How to set up your profile:

  • Download the app
  • Select “University of Kent”
  • Add your course, interests and societies
  • Build your profile including choosing the housemate signifier
  • Verify your email
  • Get new matches every day!
Student Jack Scott standing at his farm

Kent Stars: Horticulture Hero

This month’s Kent Star is Jack, Environmental Social Sciences student, who was named the 2023 BBC Countryfile Young Countryside Champion! Jack won the award for the horticultural work and public engagement initiatives he is involved in. Alongside running his own horticulture business, Jack works closely with his supply chains and customers. Hear from Jack:

Video transcription below.

“I’m Jack Scott. I study Environmental Social Science at the University of Kent in my last year, four more months to go. I also grow vegetables at Nonnington Farms, as well as being a farm advisor for Farming Wildlife Advisory Group South East.

An interesting fact about me is I won the BBC Countryfile Champion Award for 2023. BBC Countryfile came to the farm in August. We picked vegetables and delivered them up to one of our Michelin starred restaurants, Angela’s in Margate, so the TV crew could experience the whole farm to fork process. The awards ceremony was in late October and November in Newport in Wales.”

How did you feel about winning the 2023 BBC Countryfile Young Countryside Champion award?

“It felt weird being on national TV. It felt good too. Getting recognition for something that you’re attempting to achieve, the food to fork scheme, better knowledge, bringing education into it with children coming on to the farm through school visits.

We don’t just grow vegetables, we have the soil we look after. We’ve also got hedgerows we look after and we’ve got the nature element we try to incorporate. So sunflowers bring in the pollinators and supply bird feed for the winter months. So that just element there, you’re not just producing food that goes to someone who eats it, you’re also providing a habitat, you’re providing food for nature. So the two in harmony it makes me more joyful.”

Jack Scott receiving award

Do you have advice for other students?

“So I think just give it a go. The university runs quite a few initiatives for students to get involved in, such as the gleaning project. If you look at the university campus, on the north side, you’re surrounded by farms; go and ask them for a job. There’s loads of farmers out there wanting fruit pickers and general farm hands. Just get involved -you never know where it could lead.”

What are your plans for next year?

“We are a small agricultural business. We just finished our trial year where we experimented on what we can grow, if the market wants it and whether it’s profitable or suitable for the ground. So we’ve done that on one acre this year and it’s going really well.

For the future it is scaling up, so if we can increase our scale, we can start doing some of our larger orders and, we can start pick up a bit more the market in turn that should allow us to bring in employees or apprenticeships and business further financial sustainability.”

Student Jack holding basket of vegetables he has grown

What does the Right to Food mean to you?

“For me, the Right to Food is the right to food. So it’s having access to food, having the access to seeing how food is produced or reared. I think it’s just the enabling of better communications and generally just being involved, seeing it and buying more local. So buying it within five miles of the campus, it for me is vital to food and awareness.”

Find out more about the Right to Food project.

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

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

Students sat together chatting

Events roundup: 26 February – 3 March

Find out what’s on this week including therapy dogs, writing retreat and attempt the Ninja Warrior obstacles.

Monday 26 February: Medway Global Hangout and LGBTQ+ Social Mixer

The Global and Lifelong Learning Team and the Student Experience Team are teaming up to bring you a Global Hangout in Medway. There will be a selection of games, crafts and activities as well as lunch provided. You can come to all of the event or just drop in for part of it around your classes. All students are welcome.

This LGBT+ History Month, the LGBTQ+ Students Network are organising a social get-together for students and staff. The LGBTQ+ Social Mixer aims to bring together everyone on campus who identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as friends and allies.

Tuesday 27 February: CV drop-in and Bubble Football

Want to improve your CV? Come along to the CV drop-in session in Sibson. The Careers Team will have prompts ready for you to check your CV and be there to answer your questions. You can also join an online session about how to find a part-time job.

Have you tried Bubble Football before? Give bubble football a go and bounce your way to victory. No football experience is needed.

Wednesday 28 February: ResLife Rodeo, Pause for Paws and Ninja Warrior (Medway)

The ResLife Team are hosting the ResLife Rodeo, an afternoon of tasty treats, fun, activities and entertainment for students living on campus. Ride the rodeo bull and see how long you can stay on for. The student who lives in on-campus accommodation who stay on the longest will win a £50 amazon voucher! Enjoy complimentary burgers, curries and hot drinks as well as doughnuts, popcorn and candy floss for students in our accommodation (burgers will be available to purchase for students not in our accommodation).

Take a break with Coco the therapy dog at the Pause for Paws event in Nexus, Templeman Library. Spending some time with Coco is a great way to de-stress and recharge.

If you’re based at Medway and want an adventure, join the Hub trip to the Ninja Warrior centre for an action-packed afternoon. Test your skills on challenging obstacles and cheer on your friends.

Thursday 29 February: Yoga and Writing Retreat, talk by founder of LGBT History Month and Leap Year Birthday Party (Medway)

If you’re a postgrad researcher, consider joining this Yoga and Writing Retreat in Cornwallis East, Canterbury. It’s a mix of guided yoga sessions with opportunities for you to get on with your writing in a relaxed setting.

Come along to a talk by Sue Sanders, founder of LGBT History Month and Schools Out. Sue is an “out and proud” lesbian and a British LGBTQ+ rights activist who has specialised in challenging oppression in the public and voluntary sectors for over forty years. This is an in-person talk in Keynes Seminar Room 4. All welcome.

Thursday is also the 29th February, an extra day due to 2024 being a leap year! At The Hub, you can join this Leap Year Birthday Party, celebrating those who were born on February 29th and just an excuse to have some fun with some tasty treats and tunes.

Sunday 3 March: Bowling

If you live in on-campus accommodation, you can join the ResLife Ambassadors for an hour of ten pin bowling in Canterbury.

See more student events.

Opportunities

  • Enter the Kent CyberAnything competition for your chance to win cash prizes. Tell a story through a photo, short video, essay, poem (or other media form) about living, learning and connecting in the cyber or cyber-physical world in the past, at present, and/or in the future. Deadline to apply is Friday 1 March 2024.
  • The Hub offers a free community breakfast to Medway students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Choose from toast, pastries and cereal as well as tea/coffee.
  • Considering postgrad study? Check out upcoming events to help you decide if postgrad study is for you.

See more student opportunities.

Students doing food shop

Student Money Week: events and support

Next week is Student Money Week (4-8 March), and the theme is ‘Less Risk, More Reward: Maintaining your financial wellbeing at university.’ Find out what events are coming up and where you can go to for support around your finances.

Upcoming workshops to help you manage your finances, 18-19 March

Our Careers Team are running some StudyPlus workshops in March to help you develop your budgeting skills and get a better grasp on your finances.

These events are taking place online and are open to all Kent students.

Don’t become a money mule

Be cautious if someone asks you to transfer money for them. You might become a money mule.

Recruiters may try to befriend you and ask you to transfer money between accounts for them, giving you a small cut for doing so. You may think you are doing someone a favour, but you could be transferring criminal money. If you get caught, you could get a criminal record and up to 14 years in prison.

Did you know 6 in 10 money mules are under 30 years old? Most are recruited between the ages of 17 and 24 – either online, in person, or even through friends and family. Find out more about money mules and how to protect yourself.

Financial support

We offer a range of emergency financial support for students who are in financial difficulty. The emergency funding webpage provides information on support available and how you can apply. Take a look at all our emergency funds below. At the bottom of this page you can find additional ways to access support if you are experiencing emergency financial hardship.

Where to go for support

Kent Union’s Advice Service at Canterbury and at Medway through the Hub offer free, confidential and impartial advice to all Kent students. They can help with financial topics such as student funding, bursaries, budgeting and hardship.

You can also see our finance contacts webpage for more ways to access support at the University and other useful finance contacts and resources.

Our Cost of Living Support website also summarises support on offer and initiatives by the University and Kent Union to help students with the rising cost of living.

Gleaning team

Right to Food: tackling the cost of living on campus

Becoming a Right To Food University means working to ensure that we protect our students from food insecurity and that access to nutritional, affordable and sustainable food is paramount across our food services.

To celebrate our one year anniversary (26th February), we celebrate what we have achieved against this mission and look forward to some exciting projects that will do even more.

Cost of living meals

A number of initiatives are underway already – most notably the £3 meal deal on campus. Starting as a hot meal, served in our Rutherford Dining Hall with a choice of salad or vegetables, but moving on to include a grab-and-go deal in outlets across campus has proven to be extremely popular. We have now sold over 60,000 meals since November 2022.

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced.

At the Medway campus, the Hub offers free community breakfasts for students, supported by the Universities at Medway.

Giving Week generosity

Alongside the £3 meal deal and reduced prices across our catering outlets, we kicked off our anniversary week with a special free breakfast for students on Monday 26th February. This event was funded by the generosity of staff, students and alumni at last year’s Giving Week, which raised £18,000 to provide meals for students facing hardship.

Zaid Mahmood, Students’ Union President at Kent says: ‘Kent Giving Week 2023 raised money that would directly help in tackling food insecurity on campus. Being a Right to Food University, this is a critical mission for us as an institution because no student should go hungry and be disadvantaged in their university career. These giving week meals will ensure that the most disadvantaged and impacted students are supported during their time at The University of Kent and are set up to thrive in their academics. We want to thank every single person that donated to support this cause, the impact of this initiative will change the lives of so many students!’

As well as supporting over 350 students with a free hot breakfast, the money will help provide meals and other financial support for students who need it the most thanks to a collaborative approach between the university’s student support and wellbeing services and Kent Union.

Gleaning

Our student led gleaning project, ran in partnership with Produced in Kent, has also given students the chance to access free fresh produce. Our student volunteers go to local farms to pick surplus food and veg that would otherwise go to waste. As well as redistributing it to those in the wider local community who need it, the volunteers also get to take home some of the produce for themselves.

Find out more about the gleaning project and sign up to become a volunteer now.