Category Archives: Campus online

Questions of Space Festival 2016

University re-commits to NCCPE Manifesto for Public Engagement

The University has re-committed to the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s manifesto for Public Engagement as part of its ten-year anniversary programme celebrating the organisation’s progress in leading engagement support across the higher education sector.

Our re-commitment to the manifesto is testament to our institutional passion for engagement in all of its forms through our research and teaching practice, in the context of our renewed emphasis on engagement, impact and civic mission.

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) continues to work with Kent on its plans to develop the infrastructure and support mechanisms to enable staff and students to engage with the public.

Last year, the NCCPE worked with us to develop and deliver a survey on the infrastructure around engagement with research and on our current activities. It shone a light on our strengths in engagement with research: in our schools partnerships, engagement with policy makers on our research, and colleagues’ breadth of knowledge and expertise in engagement practice.

We will now be working with groups across the University to look at the opportunities to strengthen support and activity further.

Please contact Maddy Bell, Research Impact and Public Engagement Manager at with any questions or comments.

BBC News: Luke Lavan discusses ancient coin find in Kent

Dr Luke Lavan, Lecturer in Archaeology in the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies, appeared on the BBC’s South East Today Evening News on Monday 14 January as part of a news story on the recent discovery of an ancient coin, which experts say is a significant find.

Regarding the discovery, Luke comments: ‘The coin is a Frankish imitation of a Late Roman gold coin, the solidus. Marks on the coin show it was minted in Marseilles. However it was struck to take the portrait of Maurice Tiberius, emperor in Constantinople from 582-602. A number of features show that it is an imitation, and not minted under Roman control: the obverse side has a high quality portrait of Maurice, which is based on an style brought in during the fourth century, that had not been used officially for many decades. The reverse stamp also contains elements which are upside down, along with the mint mark ‘MA’ for Marseilles, which appears alongside a cross on a globe.

The coin has then had a second life, has been turned into a pendant, when it reached northern Francia or England. This particular kind of coin is found in areas of East Anglia and Kent where there are surviving areas of political complexity, after the Romans left. It may have been a gift, one of a number of pendants, given by a chief to his leading followers. This person then took it to their grave, from which it has likely come, although ploughed out into the loose earth of Kentish fields long ago.’



January sale across Kent Hospitality’s catering outlets

Following on from last year’s successful January sale, Kent Hospitality are holding another sale on some of their best-selling dishes across the Medway and Canterbury campuses. Each deal is priced at only £5, and the offer ends on 31/1/2019.

There’s some huge savings on Big Stack burger meals from Hut 8 (Turing College), two healthy smoothies for £5 in K-Bar (Keynes College), loaded fries from Cargo Bar & Grill (Liberty Quays), or a delicious wok bar meal from Rutherford Dining Hall (Rutherford College).

More details on each offer can be found on Kent Hospitality’s Catering blog.

Mental Health training for line managers

Delivered by MIND, this popular session provides a comprehensive blend of practical advice and support for managers; including recognising potential issues and understanding how they can support and manage staff with mental health issues to effectively engage with the workplace.

The course is aimed at line managers and is taking place in Darwin College, Canterbury campus, on Thursday 24 January 2019. Book your place by logging onto Staff Connect.

Kent Logo

Lift entrapment training – Thursday 17 January

The annual training for the safe release of trapped passengers is scheduled for 17 January.

This means that lifts in the following buildings will be out of service for short periods of time:

  • Becket court
  • Cornwallis Octagon
  • Cornwallis East
  • Tyler Court A
  • Sibson (Maths reception)
  • Sibson Platform lift
  • Woolf College
  • Jarman
  • Sports Pavilion (new)
  • Turing Hut 8
  • Kent Union Parkwood Student Hub

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will endeavour to keep any disruption to a minimum. If you have any queries, please contact Estates Customer Services on ext 16666.

Phil Whittall
Head of Maintenance, Estates Department


Teaching Enhancement Awards (TESSAs) and Technology Showcase – 26 February

Colleagues are invited to attend this collaborative Teaching and Technology event taking place on Tuesday 26 February 2019 from 10.00-14.00.

The morning session, in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2, will include presentations from academics from all three Faculties on their successful TESSAs projects involving technology.  During the afternoon, colleagues will demonstrate technology and discuss support available at the University in the format of workshops and hands-on sessions.  Students will also be involved in a panel discussion on how they are using technology to support their learning.

Please see here for the programme for the day and to book a place.

Xercise Factor 2019

Do you have the Xercise Factor?

The start of a new year brings a raft of new resolutions. Getting fit, losing weight, and being mindful of food are all common resolutions in the post-seasonal break. If this sounds like you, then we have an exciting competition which starts soon.

The Kent Sport Xercise Factor programme offers free one-to-one training over six weeks with the goal of improving members’ health and fitness lifestyles. The application process is now open to all Kent Sport Gold and Silver members, all you have to do is fill out an application form and post it in the ‘X’ box in the gym or email it to by Friday 25 January.

The successful applicants will be guided by one of the qualified fitness instructors at Kent Sport and given specific advice and personal training to help them achieve their goals. At the end of the competition, the participant deemed to have embraced the programme the most will be crowned Xercise Factor 2019 champion.

Applications are now open and we are looking for students, staff and members of the public who think they have the Xercise Factor and want to commit to getting fit and changing their lifestyle for the better. It is a complete overhaul of exercise and lifestyle habits and the promotion requires full commitment from the contestants to complete the challenge. Pick up your application form from the fitness suite reception at the Sports Centre or download it online.

Not yet a member of Kent Sport? See for details and to sign up.

You can follow the progress of the Xercise Factor participants through our Instagram page UniKentSports or by searching #XerciseFactor.

Student Success Staff Seminar rescheduled

The Student Success Staff Seminar due to take place Wednesday 16 January 2019, Medway Campus, Pilkington Building Room 127, 1pm-2pm will be rescheduled. It has come to our attention that this seminar clashes with several other Medway events. We will be in contact shortly with a new date.

The Canterbury event Friday 18 January 2019, Canterbury Campus, Keynes Seminar Room 13, 1pm-2pm will still go ahead.


Learning and Teaching Conference 2019

The University of Kent’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference takes place on Monday 17 June.

This year’s conference will be focusing on interaction and inclusivity in learning and teaching, and we are inviting proposals for workshops, discussion papers, mini-presentations and posters from Kent staff involved in teaching or supporting students’ learning.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is 28 February. You can find more details of the theme and arrangements, and a straightforward and friendly booking form.

The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference is open to all who are interested in celebrating our excellent teaching at Kent, improving our support for students’ learning, sharing good practice, and trying out new ideas. It’s a welcoming space for us to think, talk and learn together; but we know the impact lasts much longer than the day itself. From previous conferences have come successful funding bids, published papers, collaborative research, and changes to practice – last year, for instance, our keynote presentation inspired several schools to try out new approaches to student induction.

To book a place on the conference please complete the online booking form.



Support in booking annual leave and recording sickness absences

Since 2 January 2019, staff have been able to request annual leave and record sickness absence through Staff Connect; the University’s integrated HR and Payroll system.

This is part of the continuing development of Staff Connect which aims to streamline our HR processes and extend employee and manager self-service, providing a one-stop-shop for as many HR activities as possible.

If you have any questions about Staff Connect and the launch of this new module, there is guidance and support available, including;

There are a couple of recurring questions that we thought it would be useful to highlight:

Bank holidays and customary days

  • Your annual leave includes your entitlement for bank holidays and customary days and any carry over hours that we were told about in December.
  • For full-time staff, bank holidays and customary days have been automatically deducted, however it is your responsibility to check the details entered are correct and amend if necessary (for instance, for staff who work a shift pattern across Bank Holidays)
  • For part-time staff, holiday bookings need to be made for all bank holidays and customary days that you would have worked. Although the bank holidays are greyed out in the calendar (to make them easier to spot) you are still required to book leave on these days.
  • When you request annual leave you will be asked to enter the hours you would normally be working on that day or days. That number of hours will then be deducted from your remaining annual leave entitlement.
  • A report has now been made available to managers to allow them to review Bank Holiday and Customary Day bookings made by their team.
  • Any 2019 leave which was already authorised via local systems or arrangements now needs to be requested through Staff Connect.

Annual leave entitlement for seconded staff
Staff Connect calculates annual leave based on your current role. Unfortunately this means that staff on secondment cannot book annual leave for their substantive role until they return to their post. We are currently looking into whether this can be amended.

Sick leave
All new sickness absences need to be entered in Staff Connect. Any absence which started before 2 January 2019 should be managed via Payroll.

Team calendar view 
We have temporarily removed the ‘view team calendar’ button as it is not showing the correct information. The issue has been raised with our suppliers as a matter of urgency.

‘My View Session Ended’ message
This message occurs for some users. This issue has also been raised with our suppliers. If you get this message and cannot enter absence you can ask your manager to do it on your behalf.

This is the latest update in the Staff Connect Phase 2 project. The new staff recruitment system, replacing i-Grasp, will go live in February.