Author Archives: Sophie Conner

transgender flag

Gender Recognition Bill: Support for staff

The recent Gender Recognition Bill in Scotland has attracted widespread comment and coverage after the UK government made history by preventing the Scottish Parliament from passing this law. The new Bill would make it easier for people born in Scotland to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), speeding up the process of changing someone’s legal sex and reducing the age that people can apply to 16.

Given this coverage, we want to reiterate our position of working towards an environment where individuals can feel safe and comfortable, without the fear of harassment or discrimination. Please take a look at our EDI policy, Dignity at Work policy and Trans Student Support policy for more information.

We are committed to fostering a positive working environment where all employees are treated fairly, with dignity, courtesy, respect, and consideration. All staff have a responsibility to create an environment that is free from harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination, and victimisation. We do not – and will not – tolerate discrimination and harassment within our institution. We have been pleased to see growing awareness of the diversity of the trans and non-binary community and increased understanding of the breadth of gender identities. Unfortunately, this visibility has come with a rise in hostility towards some members of the trans community.

Support and information for staff at Kent

  • There is a support group in Canterbury that meets twice a month. It is open to trans, intersex and non-binary people at Kent. The group is run by trans/non-binary people for trans/non-binary people. Family and partners are welcome.
  • There are gender-neutral toilet facilities across our Canterbury and Medway campuses.
  • Check out our directory of LGBTQ+ self-help resources including details of free, confidential, specialist helplines and support group networks, such as Metro, The Be You Project, and Gendered Intelligence.
  • Our LGBTQ+ Staff Network encourages people from all backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities to get involved and welcomes any ideas, feedback and advice you have.
  • We fully support and encourage all our students and staff to report incidents of harassment and discrimination using existing policies.
  • Our LGBTQ+ network have a fantastic blog that covers ongoing news, events and challenges – stay up to date with the issues affecting the community.
  • Mermaids UK and Stonewall have easily accessible resources and Q&A that cover many of the relevant issues.
  • The University of Kent Rainbow Lanyard celebrates and promotes our work around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Wearing one shows your commitment to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all of our LGBTQ+ staff and students. It also shows LGBTQ+ people that they can ‘bring their whole selves’ to you without fear of judgement or an unsupportive reaction.
logo for holocaust memorial day and picture of electric tealights

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January

Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the HolocaustThe Nazis also murdered millions of others including Roma, Gypsy and Sinti people, people with disabilities, gay people, and many whose political views or religious beliefs threatened the Nazi regime.

On 27 January 2000, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, 46 governments signed the Stockholm Declaration and founded Holocaust Memorial Day. This day is to remember the millions murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia (1975-1979), Rwanda (1994), Bosnia (1995) and later Darfur in 2003.

You can learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

On YouTube, you can watch Medway campus Chaplain Lynne Martin’s seven-minute video marking Holocaust Memorial Day, in which she shines a light on the hope, bravery and heroism of an individual in the midst of horror and atrocity. You can also learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

Fighting antisemitism and hate at Kent 

Prejudice, discrimination and hatred based solely on difference is still pervasive in society today. This includes anti-Jewish attitudes, with reports of antisemitism increasing at Universities, and the recently released investigation into antisemitism within the National Union of Student (NUS).

Antisemitism is a form of racism and religious discrimination and we do not tolerate it at Kent.

We have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and the Jewish Declaration of Antisemitism. This is an important statement of our solidarity with the Jewish community and our commitment to stamping out antisemitism at Kent.

Light the Darkness – 27 January, 16:00.

On 27 January at 16:00, you are invited remember pause and reflect by placing a battery-operated tea light in your office or window to honour Holocaust victims and show you stand against prejudice and hatred today. You can also wear purple in solidarity.

The battery-operated candles are available free from Mandela Reception from Friday 20 January. (For safety reasons, please do not use a candle with a real flame. Candles with flames are not allowed in University offices or many privately rented properties.)

There are other opportunities to commemorate throughout the year, including Antisemitism Awareness Week in March and Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day on 22 August.

Written by Becky Lamyman, Natalia Crisanti and Joshua Stevens, Student Services staff.

Download DEFY. and explore local independent businesses

Veronika Stoyanova, Lecturer in Political Sociology has teamed up with two local business owners Jack Mayhew of Bramley’s Bar and Sam Holden of The Monument Pub to create DEFY. This app maps out all independents in your area and helps boost their popularity by making them easier to find, offering discounts, and highlighting promotions.   

With the cost of living and energy crisis, the team have spent months worrying about tough conditions and the concern of rare and special places in Kent being shut down amid our current economic climate.  

“DEFY. came out of frustration with how little your chances are of weathering a recession if you’re a small independent business. So, we came up with an idea that’s very simple – an app that maps out all independents in your area and gives you access to discounts and offers from them, as well as alerting you to local events and campaigns. Businesses, for once, pay nothing to be on it. Users pay 99p a month but gain that back with just one visit to the local pub. A friend recently saved £8 in a week using 10% off in a local cafe and 20% off in a local pub.” Veronika Stoyanova 

As a non-profit organisation, the 99p subscription fee will initially go towards running costs, but as the team hopes to map out much of the country, they aim to get to a stage when they can offer interest-free loans, free legal advice, and cash-back rewards to businesses on the app.   

You can download DEFY now and further information can be found on the DEFY website. There’s already a wide range of independent Canterbury businesses on the app including The Fig Wine Bar, The Ballroom, Burgate Coffee House and Citi Terrace.  

Students volunteering

Help us shape the Kent Staff Volunteering Scheme!

Are you a volunteer or are you interested in volunteering? If so, help us shape the Kent Staff Volunteering Scheme by coming along to a workshop and sharing your ideas with us!

Canterbury   11.00-12.30    Senate Committee Room 1             26th January 2023

Medway       10.30-12.00    Rochester Board Room R2-09 (TBC)      2nd February 2023

Even if you can only pop in for 5 minutes please come along and give us your suggestions. If you can’t make it, share what you do and any ideas that you have at Kent Volunteers.

The Kent Staff Volunteering scheme gives each staff member 25 hours of paid leave for volunteering each year (pro-rata for part-time or fixed-term contracts). Volunteering is an excellent way to give something back to the community, enhance your CV and broaden your life skills, as well as the opportunity to meet new people and have fun.

To bring the scheme to life, we want your ideas to shape the scheme and help identify voluntary activities that benefit staff, the University and our communities.

KentVision unavailable between 20-23 Jan

Our student record system, KentVision, will be upgraded from 21-22 January 2023, this is a technical upgrade only, to keep us in support with the system supplier (Tribal) and to ensure that we continue to receive essential updates.

During this upgrade the KentVision system will be unavailable to all users from 17:00 on 20 January until the upgrade is completed, until 14:00 on 23 January.

If students need to view their timetable during these times, they can integrate their timetable with a personal calendar (e.g Outlook or Google calendar) on a mobile or computer through iCal. Please refer them to the my study webpage and click the cog in the top right-hand corner to see the subscribe to calendar options.

Professor Iain Wilkinson appointed the Director of Division for LSSJ

We are delighted to announce that Professor Iain Wilkinson has been appointed the Director of Division for the study of Law, Society and Social Justice (LSSJ).

LSSJ is a large, diverse, multidisciplinary Division comprised of the Kent Law School (KLS) and the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), plus the Centre for Journalism, the Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS), the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), the Tizard Centre, the Centre for Child Protection and the Centre for Philanthropy. LSSJ provides some of the largest undergraduate and graduate teaching programmes in the University. It also has a strong research culture with Kent Law School currently ranked 2nd and Social Policy and Social Work (including the submissions from Sociology and Criminology) ranked 3rd in the UK for their research quality.

Professor Wilkinson is a Sociologist by training and his research and teaching interests concern problems of social suffering, the social history and politics of humanitarianism, sociological theory, and the sociology of health and health care. He is also currently involved in developing the Kent’s civic mission to promote food justice, tackle food insecurity and become the world’s first Right to Food University.

Two men and a woman sitting at a desk engaging in a conversation

Summer Vacation Research Competition 2023

Recruitment for the Summer Vacation Research Competition 2023 has now begun. Watch the Q&A session to learn more.

Details of how to apply, including the application form, are available via the GRC KentNetthe closing date for applications is 10 February 2023.

The Summer Vacation Research Competition was developed for PDRAs, RAs and Research Associates wanting to gain additional research project and line management experience, and enthusiastic and motivated undergraduate students wishing to gain research experience through an established scheme where they are supported by University staff. For the first time, there are also two opportunities for Professional Services staff.

The competition, now in its sixth year, was initiated and is led by Dr Jennifer Leigh with a team including academic and professional services colleagues from across the University. Participating in the competition is an excellent way to boost your career and you can gain transferable skills by developing a research proposal, shortlisting, and interviewing students, and managing your own project, budget, and intern for 4-7 weeks with funding worth up to £2,500.

To contact the competition organisers, please email

Good luck with your application!

Power has been restored on our Canterbury Campus

Update: 04/01/22 at 12.50

Following the earlier power cut, we are pleased to confirm that power and internet access has been restored to the whole of the Canterbury campus and the Templeman Library has now reopened. Thank you for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

We have been made aware of a power cut temporarily affecting some of the buildings on our Canterbury campus. We currently believe the buildings with no power are Rutherford, Rutherford Annexe, Templeman and Tyler Court. Due to the power issue, the internet is also currently down in Darwin and the Postgraduate Study space in the Senate building. This is part of a wider outage affecting Canterbury and work is underway to address the issue.

In the meantime, if needed, staff should move to another building temporarily to work where they can.

Templeman library is closed for the time being and alternative study spaces are being highlighted. Here’s a full list of places to study on campus.

Given the localised power issues, we recommend you save work regularly throughout the day wherever you are working in case they are short-term outages as power is restored.

We will provide a further update shortly.



Pre-Hannukah Celebrations across Campus

It was lovely to welcome Rabbi Zalman Lewis to campus this week to conduct a pre-Hannukah celebration. Rabbi Lewis lit a Hannukah candle, shared some welcome doughnuts and brought people together at this important time of year in the Jewish calendar.

Rabbi Lewis praised the university for its support and encouragement of the annual celebration. He said, “an essential Hanukkah message is the rights of all to wear their religion and identity proudly and publicly”.

“It was wonderful to promote a meaningful message to so many students via our pre-Hannukah celebration. As a small community at Kent, events like this are so important to raise the profile of Jewish students at the University and to help young Jews to connect with each other at this special time of year. There were also lots of warm interactions with students and staff from many backgrounds which is exactly what festivals like this are all about.”

Chabad at South East Coast Universities was established in 2006 as part of the expansion of Chabad at University Campuses across the UK to be a presence for Jewish students and provide the security and confidence they need. Since then, many social events, meals, lunch n learns and more have taken place at the University of Kent and other universities based across the South East.

Director of the Institute of Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (iHSCW)

We are currently inviting applications for Director of the Institute of Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (iHSCW), on a fixed-term basis (3 years). To apply, fill in a short form and upload a CV and Cover Letter. 

Institute of Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (iHSCW) will be promoting multi and interdisciplinary research and teaching activities in the field of health, social care and wellbeing.

The University of Kent is establishing an Institute of Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (iHSCW) as a university-wide hub to promote multi- and interdisciplinary research and teaching activities in the field of health, social care and wellbeing. Building on existing strengths at Kent in health and social care, iHSCW will serve as a major regional catalyst for the highest-quality research, knowledge exchange, and education. It will lead a step change in the University’s activities in this field, regionally, nationally and globally, providing leadership and a scaled-up approach across the three pillars of the University’s activities, with a particular emphasis on building partnerships with external stakeholders and securing external funding to support research and innovation that can contribute significantly to addressing challenges in health, social care and wellbeing.

iHSCW will support the University’s civic mission by addressing significant regional needs and challenges in health and social care.

Working in close collaboration and partnership with external stakeholders across Kent and Medway, including the Integrated Health Boards (ICBs), Public Health departments, local authorities, health and social care providers and commissioners, business and industry, policy-makers, post-16 education providers, and the wider community, iHSCW will support the University’s civic mission by addressing significant regional needs in health and social care, particularly those in coastal towns and communities. Mobilising the University’s current resources and research expertise in the field, and building on those resources, iHSCW will focus in particular on the prevention of ill-health, both physical and mental, and on interventions and other strategies (including educational) designed to increase opportunities for lifelong health.

As a hub for research, innovation and education in health and social care, iHSCW will bring together researchers and educators across the University to work together on larger collaborative funding applications, as well as the development of intellectual property (IP) and spin-outs, involving those from across the arts, humanities, and medical, natural, and social sciences. The Institute will work with academic Divisions to ensure coherence and oversight to our education and training provision, ensuring that any future offer is responsive and aligned to external stakeholder needs.

The Institute will thus ensure that the University plays a major role in addressing health and social care challenges in the region and beyond, though research, innovation, and knowledge exchange, education, and civic engagement, generating significant income to support its activities.