Category Archives: Campus online


Covid-19 update – 27 October 2020

Since the start of October, there has been a weekly update on the number of cases of students and staff who havreported that they are currently self-isolating following a positive test for Covid-19.  

The Update on Covid-19 cases webpage now includes additional information such as what to do if you are self-isolating or if you have symptomsIn response to feedback from staff, the cumulative figure for the total number of cases reported is also being published as part of our weekly update. Since the start of September, the cumulative number is 96.

The number of cases of students and staff who are currently self-isolating following a positive test for Covid-19 that have been reported to us is currently 30, including one member of staff.  Again, although figures remain comparatively low, there is no room for complacency. We continue to remind students of the need to comply with government and University guidelines.  Although the vast majority continue to do so, we have robust procedures in place to manage any exceptions.  

Staff working on campus should ensure that they are fully aware of the safety measures we have put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.

We continue to work with the public health team who are satisfied with the measures we have in place at the University. Their advice supports the decisions that are being made across all activities, including the plans for the end of term and the Christmas period. Staff will be updated as soon as these are finalised

Dr Gloria Chamorro

Dr Gloria Chamarro receives grant for Refugees project

Dr Gloria Chamarro, Lecturer in applied linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, has received a grant from the Orange Tree Trust and The Thomas Sivewright Catto Charitable Settlement for her work on The English Hub for Refugees project.

The project helps refugees and asylum seekers gain the English language skills they need in order to integrate into their new communities and access mainstream education and jobs while also allowing University students to gain teaching experience. Apart from the English classes, the project also develops language learning materials for refugees and migrants, which are freely available in our Materials section.

Gloria says: “Thanks to the funding received from the Orange Tree Trust we will be able to continue supporting unaccompanied refugee minors with their language skills so that they can successfully integrate into their new communities and access mainstream education and jobs. It will allow us to continue with our English classes as well as with the development of language learning resources to support these and other migrants for two more academic years.”

Help us keep our community safe

Keeping our university community as safe as possible is a top priority for us all.

Staff working on campus should ensure that they are fully aware of the safety measures we have put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.  Whether it’s arranging a meeting, in a teaching setting or simply walking across campus, please remember to follow the guidelines for ‘hands, face, space’ and the ‘rule of six’ as they apply in a work setting.

Risk assessment

Make sure you are aware of the detailed risk assessment, which has been applied across the University ahead of staff return to work across campus.

The risk assessment covers measures such as

  • Disease control (including downloading the NHS Test and Trace app, and staying at home if you feel unwell)
  • Improved hygiene (such as extra hand-washing and sanitisers in all key areas and enhanced cleaning of buildings)
  • Social distancing set at 2m in most areas but 1m+ in teaching rooms (where all students should be wearing face coverings and staff have access to face shields, particularly for over-the-shoulder supervision)
  • PPE/face coverings
  • Safeguards for vulnerable individuals

Code of Conduct

You should also familiarise yourself with our Covid-19 Code of Conduct for Staff and Students.

The Code of Conduct is updated regularly in line with latest government guidelines. It outlines changes to our environment, adaptations to ensure our sites are Covid-secure, and what we all need to do to make sure we keep each other safe.

All staff and students are expected to follow the Covid-19 Code of Conduct guidelines while on campus, as well as standards within our existing Charter/Code of Conduct.

Find out more

To find out more about staying safe while on campus, see our staff Covid-19 webpages.

A lion

Oxford University, Hinduism and Narnia: Nostalgia interview with Jessica Frazier

In the latest episode of the Nostalgia podcast series, Dr Chris Deacy, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, interviews Jessica Frazier, former University of Kent member of staff and current Lecturer in Theology and Religion for the University of Oxford.

Jessica was born in Washington D.C. and came to England when a child. Jessica reveals how she fantasized about going to Narnia as a kid, and we learn about the appeal of Thailand where it is always summer – indeed, a portal into something magical.

Jessica also talks about teaching Hinduism at Oxford, how she wanted to be an explorer growing up, why she has become more of a Platonist as she gets older, why she has never been frightened of solitude, and how it is okay to be a nerd.

Time1 PATH poste

Attitudes to Perinatal Mental Illnesses – Study for recent parents

Are you an expectant parent or did you become a mum or dad last year?

You are invited to take part in an online study about your mental health and wellbeing around the time of the birth of your child.

If you want to take part then click on this survey.

Led by the NHS Kent and Medway Partnership Trust, with the University of Kent as one of 24 formal participant identification centres, the aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a perinatal mental health multimedia campaign (PATHMC) in England. In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the study also includes questions which aim to assess the differential impact of COVID-19 on parents and partners.

BAME Staff Network All Staff Survey 2020

Don’t forget to have your say in the BAME Staff Network All Staff Survey 2020, which is open until 8 November.

Why we are running this survey
The University of Kent has committed to addressing racial inequalities and creating an inclusive culture and environment where individuals are able to thrive, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or various intersections. To help facilitate progress, the University of Kent’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network is working in collaboration with the University senior management team.

We want to hear your views on working at the University of Kent, and whether you think there is anything the University can do to eradicate racial discrimination and advance race equality. This survey is just one of the ways you can be involved. We will be communicating with you regularly to keep you up to date with the race equality work we are undertaking and will seek your views on future actions we intend to propose. If you would like to be further involved in this work, or become a member of the University of Kent Staff Network, please email

Who should take part?
This survey is for both BAME and White staff working in academic or professional services roles within the University of Kent.

Why should you take part?
This survey is the first part of a wider piece of research that seeks to understand the culture of the University of Kent, in order to advance race equality. By taking part in this survey, you are adding to the knowledge of the University of Kent and helping us to identify areas for improvement, and ways to make those improvements.

The results of this survey will be published on our website. We hope you will see your views and ideas acted upon and reflected within the University Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy, in order to make progress on race equality. The survey will be followed by a qualitative study that will involve participants from this survey who have willingly expressed an interest in being part of a case study. The second phase will involve participants of the survey who have willingly expressed an interest in being part of a case study who will be contacted by the management research team. At the end of this survey, you will be asked to indicate if you would be willing to participate in the case study.

Data security and anonymity
Throughout the survey, please only answer the questions with which you are comfortable. All of the information you provide will be held in the strictest confidence and will only be seen by the University of Kent BAME Staff Network management team which comprises the four co-Chairs of the BAME Staff Network, Dr Heejung Chung and research associate (RA) Hyojin Seo. The data will be stored according to the Data Protection Act 2018. The University’s privacy notice contains information that outlines how your personal data will be processed as part of this research process.

Only the research team will have access to this database. Aggregated, anonymised analysis will be shared with other departments in the University to inform the development of services, policies and processes. At no point will the information you provide be shared in a way that would allow you to be personally identified. Any published material will be anonymised.

If you have any questions about this survey that have not been answered by this information page, please contact the BAME Staff Network by emailing

Proceed to the survey
To proceed to the survey, please click on this link.

The link also includes more information about the survey’s purpose and objectives, and outlines its complete anonymity and confidentiality.

The Survey will be open until 8 November 2020 and the Network hopes that as many staff members as possible will participate. Please remember, if you have any questions about the survey, email the Co-Chairs at

Thank you,
Bridget, Dave, Barbara and Vanisha, Co-Chairs of the BAME Staff Network

Macbook pro on white table next to a plant and yellow table lamp

Care first webinars w/c 26 October 2020

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 26 October – Friday 30 October) webinars are as follows:

Monday 26 October 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 27 October 2020 – ‘Tips for improving posture’
Time: 14.00-14.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 28 October 2020 –  ‘Fear & Anxiety’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 29 October 2020 – ‘How the Pandemic has affected how people have accessed support’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 30 October 2020 – ‘Finding joy in 2020’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Applied health and social care researcher survey

Are you a health care professional, social care professional or an applied health and social care researcher in Kent, Surrey or Sussex currently involved with, or interested in, applied research? Then NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC KSS) would like to hear from you.

ARC KSS is keen to find out how your interests align with its themes and hear about your learning and development needs and preferences. The findings from its survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, will help develop and shape the ARC KSS Academy’s activities that will support applied health and social care researchers across the region, over the course of the next four years.

If interested please complete the ARC KSS survey

If you have any questions about the survey please email

Professor Julia Anderson with comedian David Walliams

History Professor appears on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are

School of History Professor Julie Anderson has appeared on BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ helping comedian David Walliams find out more about his family history.

Julie provided David with some information on his great great grandfather, who was a patient at Salisbury Infirmary in 1884, suffering from cataracts. You can watch the full episode on the iplayer here, and Julie has shared more about her appearance with the School of History team…

What was it like being on ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Being on the show is really good fun. When the researchers call you months in advance, you have no idea of the identity of the person you are going to be working with – it is revealed shortly before you start filming. Before that, there is lots of discussion and the researchers on the show get tips from you about what they should be looking at and images and documents that might work on tv. The crew was so professional and patient and they made me feel relaxed.

What was David Walliams like?

David is obviously an experienced professional who was funny in real life, and curious about his family. He was tall too.

Did anything funny happen while you were filming?

When we were standing outside doing our ‘meet’, people kept recognising David and shouting hello to him. But most people were really respectful as they could see we were working.

Were you nervous?

Not really – I have done TV before and I did a WDYTYA before with Martin Freeman before I came to Kent – I did a lot of work on his show as it was centred on the sensitive topic of venereal disease – that time I ended up on the cutting room floor – which can happen with TV shows as they only have so much time to present everything. It was disappointing, but working with Martin and the crew was great and I remember laughing all day.

What is the strangest thing about doing a tv show like WDYTYA?

Probably all the walking and pointing. You have to make sure you have nice clean nails as you have to point to lines on documents. What goes on behind the scenes is a surprise – our cameraman was contorting himself in all kinds of ways to get the best shot, and you have to try and not notice. There are lots of people in the space – producers, director, camera and sound persons, so it is not as ‘intimate’ as it looks. There were about seven of us in a little staircase.

Did the segment take a long time to film?

That is one of the oddest things about performing in front of a camera. It takes a really long time to do the filming, so that the director is satisfied. Things can go wrong with the sound and you have to wear a microphone which attaches to your clothes – it is usually stuck under your jacket and then a pack with batteries attached behind you which is really heavy and is why I always wear trousers. I sat in a stairwell with David for at least an hour and a half and I was numb and stiff when I finally got up, even though we took breaks to get different camera angles. You have to do the same thing over and over with different camera angles.

Is filming WDYTYA different from other types of tv?

It is because you are moving and engaging. In a lot of tv historians are talking heads and you stand or sit in a chair. When you are walking and moving it is harder. And when the enthusiasm for history overtakes you, you often forget yourself and get really enthusiastic. With tv you have to think about where your body is in relation to the camera and not bump your microphone.

Did you ever think that being in front of a tv camera would be part of your job as a historian at a university?

Never! I thought tv was only for male historians who did war and royalty. It is good to see a more diverse range of historians on tv these days. I have done a couple of programmes a year since 2011, and I really enjoy doing them.

Who are the people you enjoy working with the most on tv programmes?

I really enjoy working with the researchers and producers. They work so hard to get the context and interpretation right, and there is a lot of communication before the programme is filmed. Interestingly, they often have History degrees, so that may be something for our students to consider as a career in the future.

What did you learn from David Walliams?

He gave me instructions on how to walk up stairs when you are being filmed from above. Not necessarily a life skill necessary to a historian, but you never know.


SEPnet Diversity Webinar: Nurturing community and belonging

The University of Kent will be hosting the SEPnet Diversity Webinar Nurturing community & belonging – particularly during Covid-19 on Wednesday 2 December 2020, 10.00 – 13.00

Building an inclusive community within universities where students and staff feel heard and supported is more important than ever in the current climate. Universities need to consider the impact of remote working and studying as well as dealing with future uncertainty for different groups including, for example, 1st generation students, those from different BAME backgrounds and those with physical and mental health issues.

Early career researchers can be forgotten and feel a lack of empowerment and anxiety about their future.  Understanding how different groups engage with their working and learning environment is key to helping them feel a sense of belonging and enabling them to achieve their potential.

This annual workshop will explore how we can engage students and support early career researchers through specific interventions aimed at addressing these challenges. This event is aimed at all STEM staff, PGRs and student representatives and those responsible for diversity and inclusion including Project Juno and diversity champions, Athena SWAN representatives, HR managers and academics.

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Nigel Mason, Head of School of Physical Sciences at University of Kent and is FREE to attend.  Places are limited.  Please register for a place  on the Eventbrite website on a first come, first served basis.  Please circulate to your relevant colleagues.

Joining instructions and a link to join the webinar will be sent nearer the time.


10.00  Chair’s Introduction – Professor, Nigel Mason, Head of School and E&D Committee

10.15  The effect of online/remote learning on widening participating students

Amy Low, Service Delivery Director, AbilityNet

10.40  Understanding attainment differentials at a London-based university: student engagement through a mixed-method lens

Dr Diego Bunge, Independent Researcher and Dr Daniel Hartley, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

11.05  Early Career Researcher Mental Health in Academia

Dr Zoë Ayres, Research Scientist and Mental Health Advocate

11.30  Panel discussion

11.50  Break

12.05  Breakout group discussions

12.35  Summary and questions

13.00  Close of proceedings