Author Archives: Rowena Bicknell

Student Activities you can get involved with in 2021

The beginning of 2021 has brought a rather different experience for many University students than the usual start of term, with many working from home and isolating. However, no matter how different, it is still vitally important to socialise in a safe way and to stay active!

A great way to keep connected with your peers is through student groups and the great activities they have to offer, even in lockdown. Whether you want to become more active or make new friends, there will be a group perfect for you. You can still get involved with many of Kent’s student groups, with most running online events to keep students busy.

Getting Active

Many student groups are continuing to support students in getting active whilst they’re at home and away from campus. Here are a few great ways they are ensuring that you can stay active and involved!

  • Yoga SocietyThis term the Yoga Society are running classes over Zoom, with a free taster class on the 6th of February for non-members. It’s a great way to get active, but also a good way to focus on your wellbeing and mental health.
  • Kent Pole FitnessTo keep you active, Kent Pole Fitness is running strength and flex classes on Instagram Live. They will also be running yoga and other workshops on Zoom soon!
  • Kent DanceThis term, Kent Dance is running weekly virtual dance classes in a range of styles, so you can do a class in a style you’re familiar with or try something completely new! They are also holding virtual fitness and technique workshops, and all classes are over Instagram Live, so you don’t even have to have your camera on. Next week, they will be running a Contemporary class to Lo Vas A Olvidar, and the week after there’s a Jazz class to Big Spender!

Great for socialising

Another important aspect a lot of our student groups are keen to help out with is ensuring students get to socialise! Although virtual, it’s a great way to keep in touch with like-minded people and make new friends.

  • Business SocietyThis term, they are hosting a variety of online events, including challenges and quizzes for members to take part in and the chance to win prizes.
  • Marketing SocietyThe Marketing Society will be running online socials ranging from quizzes to online games. Some previous socials included playing games like Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity. Also, you can keep up with what’s going on through their Instagram page, where they post lots of interactive Instagram Stories so that members can stay involved in the society.
  • Women’s LacrosseFor members, they are holding fun Zoom socials, where freshers can get a chance to meet and speak to other members. Hopefully, they will be able to also start hosting sports classes soon!
  • Canterbury Homeless OutreachIf you’re looking for a chance to volunteer, Canterbury Homeless Outreach are running outreaches to support the vulnerable homeless community. These outreaches are hosted a few times a week. Also, the society is organising a Shoebox event, and hopes to hold an online social this term over Microsoft Teams.
  • Vegan SocietyOn the 5th, the Vegan Society will be hosting a social event in partnership with Amnesty International Society. They also have other events lined up for the rest of term which would be great to get involved with if you want to socialise!
  • Religious Studies SocietyTo help you socialise during lockdown, the Religious Studies Society is holding socials on Wednesdays, with an upcoming crafting event for members.
  • Books2AfricaIn the next few weeks, this society will be hosting some online events for their volunteers to socialise. Their members are still able to volunteer in the warehouse, however at reduced numbers. They are looking for more volunteers, so if you’re interested in expanding your volunteering experience and meeting new people, this could be the perfect society for you!

Educational Events

Many academic groups are still working hard throughout lockdown to ensure students have lots of extra opportunities to advance their education and career prospects. There are plenty of interesting online events running which are great not only to keep you occupied, but also to enhance your CV!

  • Kent Law Temple SocietyHolding regular events with guest speakers, focusing on different aspects of a career at the bar. Their first session of the term takes place on the 4th of February at 6pm. They are also launching an advocacy skills course and competition!
  • Kent InvestEver wanted to learn more about investing and financial services? Kent Invest is holding weekly sessions to teach members about financial markets. On the 2nd of March, they have an event running with guest speaker Jim Leaviss, “Britain’s best-known bond investor”.
  • Kent Critical Law SocietyEvents are open to all students at Kent, not just society members! Upcoming events include an exclusive M&A masterclass with BCLP on the 10th February, and a Critical Law Conference on ‘Rhythms of Law’ on the 13th March.
  • Kent Art Law SocietyAlongside the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network, this society will be holding a Digital Art Exhibition, as well as a ‘Lockdown Art Competition’ with the Therapeutic Art Society.
  • EconomicsEvery Tuesday from 6-7, the Economics Society is holding events! They have a careers event coming up soon which will help students with making the most out of University and building portfolios. They also run debates and games nights which are great for socialising in lockdown!
  • Kent P.O.C.A.S (People Of Colour Arts Society)This society is continuing to run workshops and events online catered towards building your skills. Some notable events include their weekly Creative Writing & Poetry session, and a meeting on the 9th of February to discuss Queer Representation in TV & Film.
  • Physics (PhySoc)PhySoc are holding a big online panel on Quantum Physics on the 9th of February, and have more talks to follow. Also, they will be hosting some chilled out socials soon!

Check out the Kent Union website for more ways to get involved. It’s not too late to sign up!

Multicoloured pencils joined to make a circle

Upcoming Study Plus events this week

Here are some Study Plus events coming up this week. Courses are free to students registered on an existing Kent programme of study.

Mentoring by Kasia Senyszyn 10am – 11am Monday 8th February

Being a mentor helps you to develop leadership, communication, and organisational skills, as well as giving you the opportunity to advise others and share your expertise. This session will explore what it takes to be a mentor and how to improve your skills and experience. You will also learn how to support different people and develop your communication skills.

Understanding unconscious bias at work by Sal Pearman 2pm – 4.30pm Monday 8th February

In the session we will look at:

  • What is unconscious bias?
  • Understanding unconscious bias: the key principles and concepts
  • Micro behaviours: assumptions, affirmations and aggressions
  • Practical steps to mitigate against unconscious bias

Personal Presence and Impact by Ali Whelan 11am – 12pm Wednesday 10th February

To introduce the concept of positive personal presence and impact and how it can benefit career development. Students will come away;

  • Understanding what we mean by personal presence and impact
  • Knowing how to create a positive presence
  • Understanding the role of authenticity for positive impact
  • Recognising how personal presence and impact affects leadership potential

How to think like a Recruiter by Annie Gainsborough 1pm – 3pm Thursday 11th February

You can expect a complete breakdown of popular recruitment processes and how to succeed in them. Across the two hours, we combine our top tips of the trade with short activities. These include analysing job descriptions, playing the recruitment ‘game’, and improving how to articulate your top skills during an interview process.

Project management by Anne Marie Baker 10am -11.30am Friday 12th February

Projects are happening all around us and in the workplace, it is likely that you will find yourself either involved in a project or managing one. The aim of this course is to share some tools and approaches that will help you set-up and deliver your project successfully. Delivered online by an experienced project manager you will hear about real-life projects and what to do when things don’t quite go to plan. There will be opportunities to input into the course but this will be entirely optional.

Working in a Team By Kate Gardner 1.30pm – 3pm Friday 12th February

By the end of the session you will have:

  • Identified the characteristics of a great team
  • Explored the stages in team formation
  • Examined the roles people play in teams
  • Looked at things to do to encourage team performance
Awards ceremony

Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme

Since 2013 Freshfields, the international renowned Law firm, has provided the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship scheme to a handful of students each year. The aim of the scheme is to address the under-representation of black males in city careers and it provides mentoring opportunities, access to work experience, and a bursary to each cohort.

The University of Kent is privileged to take part in the scheme as a pilot university meaning we can submit applications for both Law and non Law students. Year on year, Kent has secured places for our students on the scheme. For 2020, following many covid delays, the Work-Study scheme is delighted to announce that we have yet again had two successful students awarded scholarships. A total of 68 students from universities all around the UK attended assessment centres both virtually and in person. 13 scholars were chosen, 9 Law students and 4 non Law students. Theo and Alex from Kent secured two of those four places maintaining Kent’s success with this programme. After a delayed start, Theo and Alex are now well into the swing of the programme.

Applications for the 2021 programme open imminently and the Work-Study team in partnership with Sheree Palmer look forward to helping to the next generation of Freshfields scholars.

Kent logo

Regular testing for Covid-19

Taking part in regular testing is an essential part of the Government’s strategy to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

If you are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19

If you are currently living on campus or accessing campus facilities having followed the latest Government guidance and are Covid-19 symptom-free, it is very important that you get tested regularly.

Canterbury campus

  • We can now provide 2 tests per week at our Asymptomatic Testing Site on the Canterbury campus up until at least 15 February 2021 for any students who need to be on site and are not experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.

Medway campus

Alternatively, you can also choose to access any of the regional community testing facilities, whichever is nearest to where you are living. Lists of community testing facilities are available on the Kent County Council and Medway Council

For those of you living away from the University at the moment, please refer to your local or national government websites for information about Covid-19 testing in your area.

Please remember – even if you receive a negative test result following a Covid-19 test, you must still adhere to the national lockdown restrictions and continue to follow all advice concerning Hands, Face, Space.   

If you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19

If you do display any symptoms that could indicate Covid-19, self-isolate immediately, get a PCR test at a local testing site, and let the right people know.

Please read our procedure if experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have been advised to self-isolate. There is a local testing site on the Canterbury campus in Rutherford College car park.

We know that this is a worrying time, and we are here to support and advise you wherever you may be. If you have any concerns or queries, please check our Student Coronavirus webpages or email and we will respond as soon as possible.

Nominate yourself to run in the Student Networks election!

It’s that time of year! Kent Student Union are now open for nominations and elections to their Student Networks!

Student Networks are student-led spaces where students who share an interest or identity can discuss issues relating to their group, and collectively work on events and campaigns to build a community of students and make change to your student experience and beyond. Networks exist to represent and act as the voice for all defining students, to feedback key issues that affect their student experience to both the University and Kent Union, and to lead campaigns to affect positive change for students at Kent and beyond.  

Students can get involved with running this student network, by standing in this election to become part of this student network team.

Each network is led by a team of up to five elected students, with a designated chair who is a member of the Union Executive Committee.  

If you are interested in running for the network teams then you can nominate yourself here.

Things to do on and off campus – Week starting 28th September

We have put together a selection of activities that you can get stuck in this week.

On Campus

We have a few in-person activities that you can attend.

Pleasure in Painting Exhibition – Keynes College

By a Kent Alumnus, ‘Pleasure in Painting’, is on display in Keynes College on two levels in the Atrium for the Autumn term.

College Life Photo Competition – Everywhere!

Submit a photo a day for the next 2 weeks themed around your College and University Life! Prizes to be won… did someone say a cash prize!?

Walking College Trail

Explore the campus, discover your college, and get some fresh air on our self-guided tour around the University!

Social RunMonday and Thursday 5 – 6pm

, meet your running partners, and set-off.

Joker: Free Outdoor Screening – Wednesday 8 – 10:30 pm

Another chance to see Joaquin Phoenix’s sensational performance as Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society and his journey that led to the Joker. To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 members of the same household/bubble.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Free Outdoor Screening – Saturday 8 – 10:30 pm

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in this foot-stomping celebration of Queen leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 people from the same household/bubble.

Gulbenkian Cafe

You can also pop into the Gulbenkian Café for lunch, they are open between Monday to Friday from 12:00 to-2.30.

Off Campus

While you have a bit of spare time on your hands why don’t you get to know your student town? Whether you are at Canterbury or Medway, you will find that both towns have a lot to offer.

Student Canterbury Shopping Week

Students – welcome (back) to Canterbury! We are delighted that you will be studying in our beautiful city and look forward to seeing you in Whitefriars soon. Enjoy some exclusive discounts that are available to you over the next two weeks within Whitefriars and the rest of the City!

Canterbury’s Pride – The Story of Pride Canterbury

With Pride Canterbury delayed until 2021, this exhibition allows you to experience a little bit of Canterbury’s Pride, through photography and film, giving you the background to Pride’s origins.

City Feast 2020

A new weekly Street Food Market will take place in central Canterbury on Guildhall street (just off the high street), creating a unique environment and vibe for enjoying some of the best street food Kent has to offer. The Market will run from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50-mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover, and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages, and hamlets.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries-old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.

The Beaney Collection

The Beaney has completed a ground-breaking 18-month long volunteer project, designed specifically for students affected by anxiety. It was funded by the Museums Association Esmée Fairbairn Collections.

Heritage Walk Treasure Hunt

Take a quirky, self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Canterbury an amazing place to explore! You’ll get detailed directions, a map, clues (with answers in the back!), pictures to march, and some interesting snippets about the history of Canterbury and the people that have shaped it.

At Home

Bond with your housemates by chilling out with a DVD boxset or binge-watching a great TV series or film. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV have some great options.


What will campus-life look like in September?

The safety of our students, staff, and visitors is our top priority and we will be following the Government’s guidance. With this guidance in mind, we have made a number of changes in order to welcome students in September. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

The campus

To keep everyone safe, all staff and students will be expected to wear a face covering on campus where social distancing is difficult, and may also apply to other areas where we have indicated. This is most likely for short periods indoors, in crowded areas, corridors, and shops. Face covering usage will be in line with Government guidance.

Expect to see a one-way system in buildings, however, when a one-way system isn’t possible, there will be clear signage to say it is two-way and caution is needed. Screens and social distancing signage will be installed in areas where students are interacting in-person with school reception staff.

Hand sanitiser will be made available at the main entrances of buildings and a limit will be placed on the number of people allowed into a building at any one time. The cleaning of areas identified as ‘high-touch’ will also take place across the campuses.


All lectures will be online with smaller discussion groups on-campus. Any on-campus teaching, including lab and practical work, will take place in strict compliance with health and safety requirements.


Campus catering outlets will be mainly offering takeaway service at the start of term, with some larger outlets offering socially distanced seating areas. All outlets will have clear signage and operate on a cashless purchasing system throughout. Don’t forget to top-up and use your KentOne card for a 10% discount at the till.

Student accommodation

All residents of on-campus accommodation on the Canterbury campus will be provided with high-quality cleaning materials to help you keep your accommodation clean. These cleaning materials will be provided free of charge, speak to your local housekeeping team to find out more.

The Library

In the Templeman Library, there will be a limit on the number of people allowed in the building and you’ll need to follow a one-way route to ensure social distancing. There will be a reduced number of socially-distanced study spaces and PCs available. There is also an enhanced cleaning schedule of this shared equipment including PCs and printers.

If you’re using a study space remember to pick up a ‘clean me’ sign to place on your desk after you have finished. This will help us know which spaces need to be cleaned and ensure each study space and PC is clean.

Make sure to check the Returning to Campus FAQs regularly to stay updated ahead of your arrival on campus.


Pops Orchestra: an informal play-through of music from stage and screen, 24 Oct

If you enjoy playing film music and scores from classical musicals, come and try the Pops Orchestra at its first rehearsal!

An informal weekly play-through of popular film and musical scores (and conducted with varying degrees of success by the Deputy Director Music) Pops Orchestra is an informal ensemble open to all students, staff and alumni – no audition required!

Join us on Thursday 24 October at 1pm for an hour-long session including music from ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and more, and turn your lunchtime into a musical journey across the silver screen…

Image of Nora Laraki

PhD student Nora Laraki curates exhibition on the Berlin Wall

Doctoral student Nora Laraki, who is completing a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Art, has curated and produced an exhibition at the 12 Star Gallery in Europe House, London, entitled ‘”If Only You Could Be Here…”: Love Letters Across the Berlin Wall’.

The Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany for nearly 30 years until its fall in 1989. East and West Germany only had limited opportunities to visit each other, and even less for East and West Berliners. Families, friends and lovers were divided and many people tried to escape from East to West.

The exhibition features works by the Berlin art collective Tape That, and focuses on three special love stories between East and West Germans that took place in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Three couples fell in love during the German division. Their stories, of love that defied a time of isolation and separation, were kept alive through letters. Here, in this exhibition you will have the opportunity to see Germany’s Cold War history from a new and unexpected perspective. This is a story about devotion without borders, without walls, told in the words of the lovers themselves.

The exhibition is supported by the German Historical Institute of London and the Goethe-Institut in London, and was produced in partnership with the European Commission.

Nora’s research project is entitled ‘What is the Impact of Corporate Art Collectors on the West-European Contemporary Art Market (and its Art Production)?’, and is supervised by Dr Ben Thomas, Reader in the History of Art.

The 12 Star Gallery is open from 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday and is located at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU. The exhibition runs until 31 October and will then move to the German Historical Institute London, where it can be visited between the 5th November and 5th December at 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ. The German Historical Institute is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am – 5pm and Thursdays from 9.30am – 8pm.

More details are available here:

Image of Joy Martindale

School of Arts hosts ‘Lilacs in Bloom’ artwork

The School of Arts is currently hosting an artwork installation as part of the Platforma 5 festival, currently running across the Kent and Medway region.

The biennial Platforma festival for the arts by, with, and about refugees and migration is produced by Counterpoints Arts. It brings together artists, organisations, funders and others for discussions, workshops and the chance to share practice and showcase new work.

The piece, entitled ‘Lilacs in Bloom’ by artist Joy C Martindale, is a participatory artwork made in collaboration with survivors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The participants of the project were a gentleman from Lithuania and a mother from West Africa and her three young children. Working with paint and scraps of colourful cloth collected by Joy along the tidelines of the coast in Southeast Kent, the artist and the participants explored creativity as a means of being free in the moment to choose how to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

You can read more about the process of putting together the artwork here.

The artwork is currently on display in the Jarman foyer, until 25 October 2019.