Author Archives: Wendy Raeside

Help make this year’s Celebration Ceremonies and Congregations extra special  

Graduation is a key moment in the lives of all our students and, following the impact of the pandemic over the last couple of years, we’re keen to ensure this year’s ceremonies, from March onwards, are extra special for everyone involved.

To do this, we need the support of colleagues from right across the University. We need help with roles such as ticket collection, graduate registration, ushering and handing out certificates.

These are wonderful occasions to share with our graduates and help celebrate their success, but there’s plenty of other benefits including a free lunch/dinner, if you work two or more ceremonies. If you’re on grades 1-6, you can claim for TOIL (time off in lieu) or overtime payments. You may also be able to claim time back if you’re on a higher grade, subject to agreement with your manager.

Watch our video on how you can help make our ceremonies extra special!

Find out more

Further information on what’s involved is available in our Congregations Factsheet and you can find out more about ceremony dates here. You can also email us at if you have any questions.

If you’re ready to sign-up, please complete this form asap.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Liberty Chambers and Chloe Cooper, Congregations team.

covid test kit

Covid-19 Update: Latest Government Announcement

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education & Student Experience

As some of you may have seen, earlier today the Government announced that a number of the current Covid-19 ‘Plan B’ measures will be ending on Thursday 26 January (next week). This includes ending the current guidance for people to work from home when they can, along with an immediate end to children wearing facemasks in classrooms.

We are currently working through what this will mean for us at Kent, including seeking HE-specific guidance on what the position is on face coverings in a university setting. For the time being, the current guidance around face coverings for students in teaching spaces remains in place – we will follow up with an update later this week to clarify what safety measures and working practices will be updated at Kent alongside the wider national changes.


Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education & Student Experience

KentVision Project Update: January 2022

From Martin Carvey, Project Manager

As we all get back up to speed with the start of the new term, work continues at pace to address the ongoing challenges with KentVision. As I previously updated, we have been working within a more robust project management structure which has helped us more effectively identify the areas where we can make progress quickly. 

Project timelines & resource 

We are focusing our work concurrently on several workstreams, with timelines linked to both business specific priorities and the academic calendar. These are currently being finalised through individual discussions with different stakeholders, filling in any gaps in knowledge and adding their on-the-ground experience so we can show a realistic delivery roadmap for each area during February. We are also continuously assessing resource levels for the project to ensure we have the right people in the right areas, having recently brought on board four additional KentVision team members to support this. 

Stakeholder engagement 

Bringing the right people into the project has been a key priority since we reformed the project structure, with stakeholder group meetings being set up with each functional area alongside the more detailed consultations taking place. This feeds directly into the design of the delivery roadmap, and the expertise we are drawing from across the organisation is proving hugely helpful – thank you for your continued engagement with this at a time when I know many of the challenges involved with using the system remain. 

We have also now introduced our new KentVision service desk workflow to help us better triage and prioritise ongoing issues. Tickets are being assessed and prioritised before being passed onto business analysts and developers so we can maintain a tighter focus on the key deliverables now, while also better managing expectations around work still to deliver. 

KentVision continued delivery 

One area where we have been able to move things forward in some areas is around Extenuating Circumstances. While in some areas there is still work to do to fully support deployment, a list of change requests for features and functionality relating to Extenuating Circumstances are being delivered with agreed Divisions this month.  

Attendance reports are undergoing user acceptance testing ready for delivery. 

A specific KentVision training environment is also being developed as a priority to ensure future deliveries are fortified by an additional focus on training prior to launch. 

This continues to be a complex project with multiple deliverables – however, we are now making clear progress and finalising tangible plans for the remaining deliverables across the University. Thanks to you all of you for your ongoing support with the project and I will provide a further update next month. 

Martin Carvey | Project Manager

Ben Cosh on guitar

Professor Ben Cosh’s Christmas single raises money for homeless charity

Professor Ben Cosh has written and performed a Christmas song Christmas is Coming, which has raised over £400 for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

Ben is the Director of the Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and has been at the University and in his role leading CEMS since September 2021.

He said: ‘I write, play and record music in my spare time and this was a fun project including online collaboration with some friends. The song is about Christmas having two meanings; on the one hand family, gifts and wintertime, and on the other a celebration of the birth of Jesus, which means a lot to some of us.’

The song gathered some attention in his local area and was featured in the Henley Standard. Ben said: ‘I’m a little embarrassed really. The initial reason for doing it was just to enjoy creating the song and make some music with friends. The money raised so far has been a splendid bonus. I certainly wasn’t expecting my local newspaper to pick up on it. However, I’m glad they did as it has helped raise further funds for a cause that is worthy all year round.’

To donate to Shelter, click on Ben’s Just Giving link.

Students taking part in Professional Practice MSc

Developing yourself with our Professional Practice MSc

The Professional Practice MSc, offers academic and professional service colleagues the opportunity to make your work your study and your study your work.

The course is a standard 180 Credit Master’s degree but spread over three years (two 30 credit modules a year-with a 60-credit dissertation module in the final year). Over the duration of the programme,  the focus of all the modules is your professional role within the University.  Modules are taught over two extended weekends (Friday-Sunday). There are no exams as all the modules have final assessment which involves a short presentation followed by a written work-based assignment.

As a member of staff doing a part time Kent course, you are entitled to 50% fee remission – this means you get a Master’s qualification for half the price. In addition, if you currently hold level 7 credits and/or experience, you may be able to gain accreditation for prior learning (APECL).


After a couple of induction days, you will start the Evidence Based Practice module. This module explores the nature of information used to answer work-based/practice-led questions and develops critical thinking.

The second module is the Learning and Development module. Here, you will explore the way we learn as professionals,  which as you know is totally different from learning at school or college.

Successfully passing the first year means you have a PgCert in Professional Practice and then commence on the 2nd year, which starts with an optional module and continues with a module to develop skills and prepare your research proposal for the final year.

You can find out more about the Professional Practice MSc on our Postgraduate course pages.

If you would like to find out more about this programme, please drop-in to our informal Teams meeting on Tuesday 5 April from 12 – 2pm.  Sign-up now via this link.

Lecture on ‘Transdisciplinarity – Solving Wicked Problems in Healthcare’

A lecture on ‘Transdisciplinarity – Solving Wicked Problems in Healthcare’ will be given by Professor David Croisdale-Appleby on Wednesday 19 January from 17.00-18.30.

The lecture is the latest in the ‘Talks on Transdisciplinarity’ series by the Medical and Health Humanities Group in our Division of Arts and Humanities.

Professor Croisdale-Appleby is the Chair of the RCP Board of Trustees, chair of Dementia UK; chair of the Public Health Advisory Committee at NICE, and non-executive director lead for medical and clinical education and quality at Health Education England.

Transdisciplinarity focuses on “wicked problems” that need creative solutions, which demand wide stakeholder involvement and the engagement with socially responsible science.

In this talk, Professor Croisdale-Appleby will address some of the issues that arise in transdisciplinary research in the field of healthcare, social care and wellbeing, and suggest how these can best be overcome in the exciting and scholarly enterprise of transdisciplinary research.

The lecture will be introduced by Professor Murray Smith, Professor of Film and chaired by Professor Julie Anderson, Professor of Modern History at Kent.

Find out more and register via this Eventbrite link or email:

Farewell to Richard Bradford

From Trevor Pereira, Director of Commercial and Facilities Management

Richard Bradford, interim Director of Commercial Services, will be leaving the University at the end of his interim contract on 31 January 2022.

Richard has shepherded the Commercial function over a difficult year, and I would like to thank him for his hard work over this period.

We wish Richard all the best with his future endeavours.

Trevor Pereira | Director of Commercial and Facilities Management


Update on University finances

From Frank Richardson, Director of Finance

The University’s Annual Report for 2020/21 has now been published and provides an overview of the financial performance for the year ended 31 July 2021 accompanied by the audited financial statements. Ahead of a Staff Webchat on this, where Jane Higham and I will talk through the statements in a bit more detail and answer any questions you may have, I thought it would be helpful to give a quick summary. 

Last year presented truly unprecedented financial challenges due in part to the unique and unpredictable spending patterns we saw as a result of the impact of the pandemic. Thanks to an enormous effort by colleagues across the University, we were able to manage this uncertainty and generate a small one-off surplus. This has provided a contingency buffer in the event of further financial impacts from Covid-19.

We are also able to make some repayments to our lenders ahead of schedule, ensuring their continued confidence in us and supporting us on the path to being free of these obligations as quickly as possible.  This includes being clear on the need to continue to balance this with reinvestment in Kent’s future. 

Financial Improvement Plan 

Work to deliver the Financial Improvement Plan continues with a focus on ensuring Kent attracts  and delivers rewarding education experiences to sufficient numbers of high quality students in order to ensure our ongoing financial resilience in the face of any future uncertainty. This includes focusing on keeping Divisions on track with sustainability targets, while working together to identify areas which are best suited to growth and further investment 

For the current year, we are on track to achieve our student income targets although some areas have had a more challenging time than others. We are also on track to achieve the budgeted outcome and have been further boosted by the recent award of £1.2m of capital investment from the Office for Students, which is being used to improve facilities for Image Rendering, High Performance Computing and improvements to Computing, Engineering and Natural Science Laboratories. 

Staff Webchat  

You can find out more about our finances for last year and plans for the year ahead at our Staff Webchat on Friday 28 January from 12.00-13.00.  

Sign up now for the webchat via this Forms link.

Covid testing

Covid-19: The Weeks Ahead

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education & Student Experience

A warm welcome back to all of you who have returned to work this week – I hope you all had a chance to unwind over the Winter Break, and that your plans were largely able to go ahead as intended. My thanks also to all of those who remained working on campus over the break to support the 500 or so students who remained with us. 

Following yesterday afternoon’s Government announcements on the ongoing Covid-19 guidance, I wanted to send a quick reminder to everyone of where things are as we head into the next term. There has been lots of attention on the rise in case numbers nationally, which I know will be concerning for many – I want to reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of our entire community has always been, and will continue to be, our key concern. We will also be holding a Staff Webchat to discuss all of this in more detail on Friday 14 January at 2pm ahead of the start of term – you can sign up for this online

Working from home 

The current guidance remains that everyone not involved in the delivery and support of teaching and direct student services or research should continue to work from home until 26 January where possible. Non-essential on-campus meetings or gatherings should also be avoided. 

Teaching in the Spring Term 

As you know, in the Autumn term, we held face-to-face teaching sessions for seminars, tutorials, lab classes, etc but retained the majority of our lectures in an online form. We have committed to provide students with face-to-face lectures in the Spring term, and the Government continues to stress the importance of this in their sector-specific guidance. While the situation is far from straightforward, this is still our intention – we are also taking the associated safety aspects very seriously, including undertaking risk assessments to ensure each area is safe, and reducing lecture theatre capacity in a number of cases to ensure appropriate ventilation.  

Together with the expectation for all staff and students to test regularly and to wear face masks in our buildings, and particularly during teaching sessions, I am confident that returning to in-person lectures is the right thing to do at this stage. We will, of course, continue to closely monitor case numbers locally. 

Face coverings 

Everyone on campus is still expected to wear face coverings in places where social distancing can’t be maintained such as in teaching spaces and communal areas, unless they have a medical exemption. In most cases, those teaching classes will not need to wear face coverings as they will have room to be socially distanced at the front of the class. 

Elsewhere, face coverings should also be worn in shared offices and other indoor spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distancing. 

Together with the expectation for all staff and students to test regularly and to wear face masks in our buildings, including students during teaching sessions, I am confident that returning to in-person lectures is the right thing to do at this stage. We will, of course, continue to closely monitor case numbers locally. 


Those coming onto campus should continue to test regularly and report your results to the NHS online. Take-home lateral flow tests are currently available for those on campus from either Campus Security or Templeman Library Deliveries entrance on Library Road – they will shortly be available more widely, with a further update to follow on other locations. If you do test positive for Covid, please inform us by emailing and also let your manager know as soon as possible while you isolate. 

Ongoing support 

Both the national picture and the continued uncertainty as a result is difficult for all of us and it is really important you can access support when you need it. If you are worried or need further support, please do speak with your line manager or email You can also get free, confidential advice at any time via our Employee Assistance Programme

Thank you once again to all of you for the huge efforts I know all are making to keep things going while keeping everyone safe. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and I will provide a further update later in the month ahead of the current restrictions ending. 


Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education & Student Experience

Launch of Prevent e-learning module for staff

As part of our statutory requirements to the Prevent Duty, Higher Education institutions are required to provide staff with Prevent awareness training.

Prevent is an aspect of the University’s Safeguarding and Duty of Care Policy, and we encourage all staff to complete this e-learning module, which can be found on Moodle. This new e-learning module will give staff an introduction to Prevent, our local risk context in Kent and Medway, and advice on what to do with a Prevent related concern. If you have any problems accessing this module, please contact .

Alongside this module, the University continues to provide Prevent Safeguarding Awareness training for student facing staff facilitated by the Centre for Child Protection using the simulation Behind Closed Doors. For more information on these training sessions, please contact Emma Soutar .