The first School of Computing ‘Diversity in Technology’ inspirational speaker event takes place on Wednesday 23 September, from 14.00-16.00.
Three speakers from various BAME backgrounds will each be giving a short 20-minute talk. This will be followed by a Q&A session for students.
Jason is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Computing, specialising in research that focuses on the interaction between users and aspects of cyber security, privacy and trust. He will be sharing his experience of growing up in Barbados, and how his University experience and employment at Ernst and Young has led to a career working in academia.
Temitayo is the Tech Venture Lead at Colorintech, where she leads programmes and initiatives for BAME tech entrepreneurs. After studying Economics & Politics at the University of Sussex, she started her career as a Technology Consultant at Deloitte. Temitayo then went on to gain start-up investing experience at Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s most successful tech investors. She will be discussing her experience of working as a black female in the tech sector and her motivations for aiming to improve BAME representation.
Amanda discovered her passion for data during her Masters in Computer Science at Kent. She is currently a Consultant Data Engineer for Kubrick Group, working at Sainsbury’s Data Tech, where she has gained extensive experience of working with Big Data using Cloud technologies. Working for partners of the Women in Data UK movement has provided her with an insight of diversity and inclusion within the data industry. Amanda will be sharing her experiences of studying at Kent, mental health and representing LGBT+ women in the data industry.
If you’re interested in attending the Diversity in Technology event, click onto the Teams link from 14.00 on Wednesday 23 September.
[Picture shows Jason Nurse, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing at Kent]
If you’d like a break from work, tune in to your FREE lunchtime Rock Choir once more this term!
Once you get your head around singing through Zoom, it’s a fantastic way to give your brain a break and to de-stress. Rock Choir will be meeting virtually online and learning some great new arrangements together.
Rehearsals start on Zoom from the 21st of September and for the following Mondays. You can turn up to as few or as many as you’d like. If you’d like to attend (and haven’t joined a session since the start of 2020), please email email@example.com to register to take part.
Places are limited, so make sure you sign up if you’re interested!
A webinar on ‘Subnational Governments in the COVID-19 Scenario in the Americas’ takes place on Monday 21 September from 14.00 (UK time).
The webinar is organised by School of Politics and International Relations, the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC), the Forum of Federations and the Organisation of American States (OAS).
You can watch it live on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoXLBorRKps or https://www.youtube.com/user/forumoffederations
The webinar will include welcome remarks from:
• Rupak Chattopadhyay, President & CEO, Forum of Federations
• Magdalena Talamas, Director of the Department for the Promotion of Peace, OAS
• Neophytos Loizides, Director of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent
• Matias Bianchi, Executive Director, Asuntos del Sur
• Juan Cruz Olmeda, Associate Professor, Centre for International Studies , El Colegio de Mexico
• Joy St John, Executive Director, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
• Isaac Alfie, Director of the Office of Planning and Budget of Uruguay and Head of the Covid- 19 Presidential Technical Advisory Committee
• Nathalie Behnke, Professor, Institute of Political Science of the Technical University Darmstadt
• Andreas Kiefer, Acting Secretary General, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe
The webinar is open to all and free to attend with no booking necessary. Feel free to pass on the details to anyone that might be interested.
Picture shows: Professor Neophytos Loizides, Director of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre at the University of Kent.
A walk-through coronavirus testing facility is opening this week in front of the Jellicoe Building car park on Medway campus.
Opening times are:
Thursday 17 September – 14.00-17.00
Friday 18 September- 10.00-17.00
And then 08.00-20.00 seven days a week.
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through centre will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely.
Everyone who attends the testing centre must follow a strict set of rules including following social distancing, practising good personal hygiene, not travelling by taxi or public transport and wearing a face covering throughout. There will be clear signage that directs those coming to the testing centre to move around the location in a socially distanced manner and they will be directed to leave as soon as they are finished.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
As well as the testing centre on Medway campus, another walk-through testing centre is available on our Canterbury campus (Rutherford car park).
Further information on Covid-19 is available on our coronavirus webpages for staff and students.
Welcome back to the staff who have returned to work on campus. If you would prefer to work back on campus, you will need to discuss your plans and circumstances with your line manager as part of the health and safety protocols now in place.
We know increasing numbers of staff are now seeking to work from campus, but we ask that you do comply with these essential protocols. However, we want to make it as easy as possible for you and we will be sending out new information for staff and managers to explain the return to campus procedures later this week.
The Government has published new guidance concerning meeting others. The new ‘rule of 6’ states that you can meet up to 6 other people indoors or outdoors providing you socially distance from each other. This means staying 2 metres apart where possible. Please adhere to the ‘rule of 6’ when engaging socially with others; for example during breaks, lunchtime and walking around campus.
There are some exemptions for University settings including seminars and households which include more than 6 individuals. This may be the case for some student residences. Further information can be found in the newly added FAQs on the Student Coronavirus webpages and Staff Coronavirus webpages (Safety on Campus section) .
A new FAQ has also been added to the Staff Coronavirus webpages concerning room bookings on campus (in the What Will Happen on Your Return section). This confirms the process for booking a room and that all interviews should be carried out remotely until Government guidance changes.
Our Covid-19 Programme Board, now chaired by Sinead Critchley, Director of Governance and Assurance at the University, continues to plan for a safe return to campus for us all.
Among latest updates from the Board’s weekly meetings are:
Health and Safety
Face coverings should be worn in transit areas of buildings, entrances, exits, foyers etc. Signage is being placed in buildings to reflect this. For ease, signage will say ‘Face coverings must be worn in this building’. Please note this does not apply in staff offices/break rooms as these are all organised at 2m social distancing therefore a face covering is not required.
From 1 September the majority of Canterbury and Medway campus buildings have reverted to their previous normal opening hours, with free-flow and/or card access exactly as before the Covid-19 closure. You can find a list of exceptions on SharePoint. Those staff working on campus are asked to keep their offices locked and alert Campus Security of any unusual or suspicious behaviour. All access control rights will be reinstated to staff and students from 1 September, but please note that there is no change to the policies regarding staff return.
New signage is being placed on single occupancy offices to discourage one to one meetings with students being held in these spaces. Building managers will be responsible for displaying this signage. In addition, capacity limits on toilets are to be removed to prevent pinch points once students return. New signage will be displayed asking users to be aware the toilets may be busy and to potentially find alternative facilities.
New and returning students
Information for students is contained on the following sites and downloadable campaign materials are now available on our Welcome-2020 webpages.
Corporate Communications are working on a campaign to encourage positive behaviours among staff, students and visitors on campus. Work is also taking place with Canterbury City Council, residents’ associations and other local partners to support students’ return to the community.
Alongside ongoing work to finalise changes to professional service departments across the University, activity has been continuing to support the transition from Schools and Faculties to academic Divisions.
As Divisions took over responsibility for their budgets from 1 August, a number of key changes were needed to systems and processes to reflect the new model. Several other admin and wider updates have also taken place across teams, with this work continuing ahead of new structures being fully operational from 1 November.
What’s been done so far
A major step in transition has been the introduction of our new Divisional Leadership roles, with latest appointments available on the Organising for Success staff webpages.
Other changes to date include:
- Adjustments to key finance processes: including setting up Divisional cost centres; changing financial reporting structures to Divisions and Directors of Operations; updating authorisation processes for payments and invoices; and updating relevant access and permissions in Agresso
- Moving towards new governance and committee structures: including standing down Faculty Committees; putting arrangements for 2019/20 Boards of Examiners and Appeals are in place; facilitating Kent Union representation in new Divisions; and reviewing our Research Ethics governance structure
- Updating our key systems to support transition: including IS reconfiguring Staff Connect; identifying essential changes to SDS and associated downstream systems, which will take place on 14 September; assessment of the impact on Moodle to ensure this is carefully managed; and evaluation of the impact on our module evaluation system
- Updating key policies and procedures: Including handover of student conduct and complaints procedures from 1 September (with investigations carried out by the Student Conduct and Complaints Office and signed off by Divisions); and HR-led revisions underway to key policies affected by the changes, such as academic promotions
- Key communication changes: including updating student ID cards to remove references to Faculties; development of Divisional landing webpages; transferring or archiving all relevant content from the three Faculty and FSO websites
A number of teams will now take forward work in their own areas to support transition, including updating relevant policies, communication documents and new training requirements. This will be supported by the Project Management Office to ensure a coordinated approach across the University.
Find out more about Organising for Success
Kent’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (ICCI) is now up and running.
The Institute’s role is to coordinate and advertise our teaching and research across Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities disciplines, as it relates to cultural, creative and digital innovation. We’re working at the cross-over between creativity and the digital in particular, in areas like gaming, immersive tech, AI, health and welbeing (including social prescribing) and placemaking, but also more generally in finding creative solutions to cultural problems.
Your ICCI offers a place for business, academics and students to come together around these questions.
The key schools to date have been Computing, EDA, Business School, Journalism, the Centre for Music and Audio Technology, Architecture, English and Arts, but we have also been working with SSPSSR, CHSS, KentHealth and KMMS to generate new types of teaching and interdisciplinary research. We want to put people in touch with one another across these areas of the University and beyond to make sure that, as a university, we’re ready to take advantage of new opportunities.
So we would love to hear from you if you are interested in creative work – do please email us with a very brief description of your interests, join the mailing list on the ICCI website, or get in touch with any questions or suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Restrictions on travel for University purposes are still in effect and have not been relaxed.
Whilst the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) may have relaxed restrictions on travel from 4 July 2020, the University still regards any and all international travel – even to countries that have relaxed travel restrictions by the FCO – as high risk and not to be booked where at all possible or avoidable. This is particularly relevant to undergraduate and PGT students.
If staff or PGR students have external funding for essential travel, they should be able to travel as long as the FCO is not advising against travel, the trip is supported by a completed risk assessment and is insured through Kent’s Insurance Office. Staff should be aware that FCO guidance is liable to change at very short notice.
There may be some internally funded travel needed to prepare some grant applications with other universities. This should be at the discretion of the Divisions.
The process staff and PGR students should follow when booking essential travel is:
- Review the University’s updated Travel Policy and complete the enclosed Travel Exceptions form confirming the essential nature of travel and that external funding is available
- Complete the relevant online Overseas Travel Risk Assessment form
- Register for the University’s travel insurance using the form here.
It is not recommended that you book travel using any personal funds as this is at your own risk and any expense claims may not be authorised if you travel contrary to University advice.
This travel advice is being reviewed on a regular basis. For latest updates on travel and other FAQs on Covid-19, see our staff webpages.