Author Archives: Sophie Conner

What’s New in Talent and Organisational Development

Why complete EDI training

Equality and diversity in the workplace have become increasingly important in recent years. While it would be nice to think that both of these aspects of working life would manage themselves in a modern-day environment, they sometimes require a bit of help. In many cases friction in the workplace is based much more on lack of understanding than on actual malice or prejudice.​​​​​​​

​​​​At Kent we provide a wide range of Equality training which is available for all staff to complete either online Via Staff Training Moodle, links within the university EDI webpage, by attending one of the face-to-face sessions which is bookable via staff connect or by contacting Ldev@kent.ac.uk

Talent and Organisational Development Survey

As the 2021/22 academic year draws to a close the T&OD team have already started to plan for 2022/23.

We are reviewing our processes, session offering and the method of delivery with the aim to provide as much development as possible in a way that makes it accessible to all

We would be incredibly grateful if you can spare us five minutes of your time to participate in/cascade our survey. This survey will help us understand your needs and enable us to keep bringing you a high-quality service that has value for you.

Please complete your survey by Friday 12th August 

Bag Week Round up

2022 saw us return to more in person sessions for BAG Week, and it was great to see staff getting involved whist being on campus!

We had a varied and full programme, and were able to offer a range of sessions for staff to take part in.

What’s on in June and July

June and July have a number of training opportunities open to all staff, and bookable via Staff Connect.

Issues with KentVision

Update: 24/06/22 – 15:00

The KentVision system has been stable throughout the day. We are engaged with the system supplier to identify the root cause and to provide a fix for the intermittent performance issues experienced by colleagues. We will continue monitoring the system and will update you on our progress.

For more live updates please follow our Service Status page.

23/06/22 – 15:00

We have continued exploring all mitigations for the intermittent performance issues and assessing the root cause. The KentVision system has been stable throughout the day despite similar levels of usage from colleagues – a further update will be provided tomorrow.

23/06/22 – 09:40

Yesterday, additional computing capacity was brought online to help mitigate the intermittent performance issues with KentVision. We have continued to monitor the system and we are aware some colleagues are still experiencing issues. We apologise for the impact this is having, especially given the tasks currently underway. We are working urgently with the supplier to provide a fix – a further update will be provided by later today.

22/06/22 – 16:00

We have brought additional computing capacity online to mitigate the performance issues experienced by colleagues today – this appears to have made a positive difference. We will continue to monitor the system and gather live feedback from users.

22/06/22 – 13:30

We are aware of the performance issues being experienced with KentVision; this is currently under urgent investigation. Users will be informed when the system issues have been fixed – a further update will be provided later today.

SummerZone returns this August!

With the Summer holidays just around the corner, you may be thinking about how to keep your children active and entertained. With our SummerZone sports and activity camp for children aged 5 to 12, you won’t need to worry. During SummerZone we provide daily sports and activities, all under the supervision of experienced and DBS verified camp staff. Activities include Nerf, tennis, cricket, mini golf, New Age Kurling and much more. 

“Really impressed by EasterZone; facilities, staff, children and activities were all fantastic. Our children cannot wait for SummerZone!” – Parent feedback from EasterZone 2022

Dates and times:

SummerZone 2022 runs from Monday 15 to Friday 19 August. You can drop your children off from 8.30am and pick up at 3pm. We also offer a late pick-up option from 3pm to 5pm.

Booking and prices:

Online booking for SummerZone 2022 is now open. Please ensure you complete a form for each child you wish to book on SummerZone. Booking and payment can be completed online.

University of Kent staff

  • One day £30 per child
  • One week (five days) £125 per child

Members of the public

  • One day £35 per child
  • One week (five days) £150 per child

Late pick-up (3pm to 5pm)

Our late pick-up option includes fun and engaging activities tailored to the location, such as table tennis, table football, new age kurling, bowls, speed stacks, twister, board games, and creative drawing.

  • £10 per child per day

Questions?

If you have any questions about our holiday camps, or if you would like to be added to the mailing list for future camps, please email sportsdevelopment@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 816391.

To stay up to date with Kent Sport news, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter UniKentSports.

 

Kent Clearing Team

Call for Clearing Volunteers 2022!

From Simone Davies | Director of MORA

As many of you will know, Clearing is the time of year when we fill any remaining places on our courses. We receive phone calls from potential students who have not yet secured a place at University, meaning that during Clearing our hotline is especially busy.

This year, we require support from members of the University to ensure the success of our Clearing campaigns. We are therefore inviting volunteers to work in our Applications Support Team. You can work from home or from the campus, and training will be provided. The shifts for the Applications teams are:

Thursday 18 August: 07:45–15:45 or 09:00-17:00

Friday 19 August: 09:00-17:00

If you would like to get involved, please speak with your line manager and email Ami Solomon a.solomon@kent.ac.uk

Thank you in advance for your help in supporting future students on their journey to Kent – we can’t do this without you.

Memorial at Canterbury Cathedral for Dr James Appleyard (23 June)

Memorial at Canterbury Cathedral for Dr James Appleyard, 23 June at 14:00.

Dr James Appleyard was awarded an honorary degree by the University in July 1999. Throughout his career as a consultant paediatrician and child health campaigner he was a strong supporter of the University and most recently the new Kent and Medway Medical School. He was also Treasurer of the British Medical Association and President of the World Medical Association.

As a highly respect local doctor and campaigner across the county, his family would welcome being joined at the memorial by University staff who had the opportunity to work with and get to know him.

The memorial for Dr James Appleyard will be held in the Quire of Canterbury Cathedral on Thursday, 23 June at 14:00.

Obituaries:

Latest Development from the KentVision Project

We have continued to listen to feedback, engage with colleagues, and design system improvements to ensure that KentVision improves a variety of processes as its implementation continues.

We have confirmed the immediate and future SITS features and functionality required with diverse stakeholder groups. The KentVision Delivery team has continued delivering the agreed enhancements, features, and functionality to meet the short-term academic calendar timelines.

Functional Area Working Groups

To ensure colleagues views and recommendations are fully considered, the KentVision Board established six Functional Area Working Groups to enable and track feedback from a variety of teams across the University. This has enabled the team to best prioritise future improvements to the system.

Functional Group members represent a mixture of colleagues from Divisions, professional services and central teams and are split across the following operational areas:

  • Statutory and Core student record
  • Admissions, Clearing and Recruitment
  • Assessment
  • Finance
  • PGR
  • Student Activity and Experience

The work of the Functional Groups, with the support of an independent SITS consultant, has enabled us to fully assess and prioritise the requirements of future improvements to help move forward key areas of work, reprioritising our plan where required in response to our changing circumstances. We will be updating colleagues on this delivery schedule for 2022 during June.

Our technology teams have been very busy in the background working to enhance various pieces of functionality, via a series of technology improvements, throughout the last year and we would like to share an update on our most recent deployment:

Assessments – Board of Examiners Meetings

The KV delivery team have worked hard with colleagues to gather as much feedback as possible to improve the Board of Examiners Meetings functionality – we have taken this feedback and held extensive discussions with staff through a series of workshops facilitated by our business analysts and developers.

The improvements that were recently deployed to live functionality have been widely praised by staff – with positive feedback received from our Show and Tell sessions. The improvements will help enhance processes – and deliver a better experience for our staff and our students. This year, we will gather live feedback during Boards so we can make fixes and enhance the functionality to prepare for future improvements in this area.

  • Significant development across all aspects of the board process following detailed user feedback. Functionality deployed to the live environment with a read-only version of board to be released.
  • Reconfigured board screens to ensure faster processing times for Divisions – enabling a smoother user experience.
  • A detailed results letter review was conducted with divisions and central teams; new templates created for agreed progression outcomes.
  • Significant changes to post-board processing functionality for central teams enabling a defined process and wider use by team members.
  • New end-to-end process in KentVision from mitigation committee through to internal, main, and post-board changes. All note recordings (module actions and outcome recommendations) are now recorded within the system.

These improvements are the culmination of months of hard work behind the scenes, and we commend everyone involved for their work -especially the users of the system dedicating time to ensure improvements are realised.

Next Steps?

  • Technology and process improvements are to continue with deployments scheduled through June and July.
  • A staged approach and timeline for delivery during 2022, of the far-ranging and numerous improvements, will be shared in June.
  • Detailed business readiness activities, including transition plans and training and communication.
  • Continuous updates on how our improvements, plans and communications are informed by feedback from our students and staff.

Brand Roadshow (16-17 June)

Work is continuing to develop on the new look and feel for how we talk about Kent. As this progresses, we would like to invite you to a roadshow next week to understand your views on the work so far!

This is open for everyone to drop in and will include an introduction to the thinking behind the updated brand work alongside mock-ups of different options we have been exploring. You will get a chance to feedback via an online form about what you like and how you feel about the new branding. Join us at either the Canterbury or Medway campus:

Canterbury: Templeman Library Foyer between 10:00-15:00 on Thursday 16 June and Friday 17 June.

Medway: Student Hub social space between 11:00-14:00 on Thursday 16 June.

For those who are unable to attend in person, the roadshow will be supported by an online version.

Watch out for an invite next week with more details, plus more information on the journey so far!

You can read Simone Davies blog on our new brand identity here.

Pride flag with Kent logo and copy 'The University of Kent proudly sponsors Pride Canterbury

Join us for Pride Canterbury!

This Saturday (11 June) is Pride Canterbury! The parade will pass through Canterbury High Street at 11.30am and is followed by a star-studded festival in the city’s Dane John Gardens.

Take Part in the Parade

University of Kent LGBTQ+ staff, students, and allies are all warmly welcomed to take part in the parade. If you would like to march with us in pride, you can collect a wristband from EDI Adviser Kim Mulholland on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 June between 12.00 and 13.00 in the Gulbenkian Café. Wristbands will also be available to collect on the day, but please note that these will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

On the day…

The University of Kent Parade Group will meet on the steps of the Marlowe theatre between 10.00 and 10.30 before walking to the Parade Staging Area together. Please be prompt, and remember to wear your best Pride outfit! A number of banners, placards and flags will be available for you.

See you there!

Cathedral view with Daffodils

Lambeth Conference to be held on campus this summer

From Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura | Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Lambeth Steering Group

This summer the University will host the Lambeth Conference from 26 July to 8 August. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will convene senior figures from across the worldwide Anglican Communion to join for prayer, reflection, fellowship and dialogue.  

The Conference will have international prominence and is expected to attract widespread interest, with our Canterbury campus providing the platform for the Lambeth Conference’s wide-ranging programme of discussion and spiritual reflection on many of the key questions facing society including climate change, sustainable development, international collaboration, poverty, gender justice, and much more.

As a community of learning, our University is a place of debate and discussion. Sometimes that debate is lively, sometimes contentious, and sometimes challenging. Wherever possible we use our position of influence, the insights of our researchers, and the work of our students and staff to bring about progress and positive change.

In this spirit, we warmly welcome the gathering of voices from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and outlooks to the Lambeth Conference and, as a University, we intend to learn from and, where appropriate, add our voice to the discussion of the vital questions under discussion.

Alongside this we are clear that the position of the worldwide Anglican Communion on the place of LGBT+ people within the Church and wider society does not fit with our deeply held values of equality, inclusion, tolerance, and mutual respect. We say that openly and unambiguously.

Hosting the Lambeth Conference on our campus provides an opportunity to promote our fundamental values on an international stage – using this platform to influence debate and ensure unrepresented voices are heard at the conference. However, the Lambeth Conference Steering Group, which I lead, understands the serious and sincere concerns of many in our staff and student body, and we share those concerns. We also hope that there is more to be gained through engagement and dialogue than through disengagement. It is in that spirit of supporting the many people, within and beyond the Church, who are working hard for change that the University agreed to host the Lambeth Conference in 2022.

Ahead of the conference, we are working closely with the organisers, and our LGBTQ+ staff and student networks, to ensure there is a platform for LGBTQ+ voices to be heard ahead of and alongside the event. Through a joint statement of expected behaviours, there is assurance that the conference will be conducted in a way that accords with our fundamental values, ensuring the safety and rights of our community are fully respected. Throughout the process, we will reaffirm our commitment to LGBTQ+ people across the world, promoting the legal and civic safeguards which are required to underpin equality and safety for all, however differently experienced they may be even in our own country.

We are developing, with our LGBTQ+ groups, measures to support and ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and students as well as a programme of activities that in the coming weeks will celebrate and promote equality, diversity and inclusivity and support continued progress towards a world free from prejudice and discrimination. This includes the University’s continued sponsorship and support of Canterbury Pride next week as well as our new sponsorship of Medway Pride later in the summer.

Further information on this full programme of activities will be available in the coming weeks.

 

Gordon Lynch appointed as the Director of the Graduate and Researcher College

Congratulations to Professor Gordon Lynch for being appointed as the Director of the Graduate and Researcher College.

Gordon is Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology at Kent and has substantial experience both in developing doctoral training and in research leadership, including serving as the sub-panel chair for Theology and Religious Studies for REF2021. His research has crossed a number of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences and he has undertaken a range of public engagement and impact work with think-tanks, educational organisations, museums and national abuse inquiries.

On his appointment, Gordon has commented, ‘This is an important time for the University as we seek to provide the best possible educational and research environment for our postgraduate students and academic staff in the context of wider national changes. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take on this role and look forward to working with colleagues as we take this forward.’