Category Archives: Campus online

#StayOn #StandOut

Undergraduates progressing to postgraduate study – #Stayon #Standout campaign

We’ve launched our undergrad to postgrad campaign; #Stayon #Standout this week. This is to help inform our students who are considering to stay on at Kent for a Master’s. If you could kindly spread the word about our offering, this includes:

  • Exclusive funding for Kent graduates – students can apply for scholarships of up to £5,000
  • Introducing them to a fantastic range of postgraduate courses, some of which offer work placement options.
  • Discovering conversion Master’s, for students who want to study a completely different subject to their undergrad degree.
  • Drop-in sessions at the Templeman library and Oasis lounge, we also have postgraduate Open Events on February and April. Please do encourage students to join these events and meet our staff and current postgrad students.

For presentation slides and creatives, please request these from your Marketing departments.

Find out more about the campaign at: kent.ac.uk/stayon-standout

Origins Bar: Free interactive darts and shuffleboards from January 2023

Head down to Origins bar, for some fun and competition this term. With free-to-use interactive darts and shuffleboards, you won’t be stuck for entertainment! Origins also boast a selection of tasty bites, from loaded nachos, mac ‘n’ cheese, wings and delicious desserts!

Origins is open daily from 16.00 – 23.00, so it’s the perfect place to hang out with your friends after a long day for an old-school games night.

For more information on interactive darts or shuffleboard, check out our useful blog, which details the rules and how to play.

Games are free – we look forward to seeing you there!

Kent Sports Clinic offers physiotherapy services

We all know daily life can feel relentless and stressful at times, so it’s important to practice self-care regularly. Whether this is running a hot bath, snuggling up to watch a good movie, practising meditation or indulging in a massage, we all need a bit of love.

This is where the Kent Sports Clinic comes in. Not just here for sports-related injuries, the Kent Sports Clinic combines physiotherapy and exercise science to create one of the most extensive performance, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation services in Kent.

Qualified and student-led services include:

  • Performance – taking an athlete-centred approach to create a bespoke programme for individuals and teams
  • Physiotherapy – helping to manage injury or disability and get you back to full fitness and prevent recurrence
  • Sports rehabilitation – cutting recovery time and preventing further injury
  • Respiratory clinic – providing state-of-the-art testing and customised solutions for athletes with respiratory issues
  • Massage – promoting rehabilitation and relaxation

Focusing on massage specifically, this is a therapy for everyone. No matter how active you are, massage will be of benefit to you, whether you need a massage to reduce your stress, tension or anxiety levels or work out those tight muscles and knots. Our qualified staff will work with you on any areas of concern, whether that’s relieving muscle soreness, or aiding injury recovery.

What are you waiting for? Book and attend a massage with one of our qualified staff between 30 January and 13 February 2023 and pay just £23.

You can choose between qualified and student-led appointments for many of our services. To find out more about our individual services, visit the Kent Sports Clinic webpage.

If you’re an existing customer, you can book and pay for services through your online booking account. New customers will first need to create a free account with Kent Sport. This is quick and easy to do. See our guidance for more information.

University of the Year, LTA awards nomination

Kent Sport is excited to announce that the Kent Indoor Tennis and Events Arena (KITEA) has been nominated for the University of the Year Lawn and Tennis Association (LTA) Awards. Each year the LTA award a selection of clubs, schools, universities, and individuals for their impressive achievements throughout the year.

2022 saw the University of East London take home the accolade for University of the year, something which the University of Kent is keen to rival. In addition, Tennis President, Sophie Kitson has also been nominated for the Rising Star award, after having served as a line umpire at Wimbledon in 2022 and successfully completing her chair umpire course in autumn last year.

With the awards dinner and regional voting taking place on 11 February 2023, the University of Kent is in a brilliant position to progress through Regionals in April and onto Nationals, which will be announced in May 2023.

This last year has seen the appointment of Tennis Development Manager, Nick Skelton, who has supported President, Sophie Kitson in the development of a comprehensive tennis programme aimed at all levels of player, from beginner to experienced. Including coaching teams’ tennis, development squad tennis, beginners’ tennis, social play and competitions. Additionally, Nick has worked hard to promote the Tennis Centre, through Open Days, individual and team coaching and training.

Some of the achievements highlighted in the nomination include:

  • An increase in student society memberships
  • 154+ student members playing university tennis each week
  • The British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) tennis team has increased from two teams to four
  • Female LTA level 1 delivered to eight participants
  • 100+ took part in TCF competition
  • University ladder league launched

We are wishing the Kent Tennis Centre all the best for February’s voting and look forward to seeing their continued development through the year!

transgender flag

Gender Recognition Bill: Support for staff

The recent Gender Recognition Bill in Scotland has attracted widespread comment and coverage after the UK government made history by preventing the Scottish Parliament from passing this law. The new Bill would make it easier for people born in Scotland to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), speeding up the process of changing someone’s legal sex and reducing the age that people can apply to 16.

Given this coverage, we want to reiterate our position of working towards an environment where individuals can feel safe and comfortable, without the fear of harassment or discrimination. Please take a look at our EDI policy, Dignity at Work policy and Trans Student Support policy for more information.

We are committed to fostering a positive working environment where all employees are treated fairly, with dignity, courtesy, respect, and consideration. All staff have a responsibility to create an environment that is free from harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination, and victimisation. We do not – and will not – tolerate discrimination and harassment within our institution. We have been pleased to see growing awareness of the diversity of the trans and non-binary community and increased understanding of the breadth of gender identities. Unfortunately, this visibility has come with a rise in hostility towards some members of the trans community.

Support and information for staff at Kent

  • There is a support group in Canterbury that meets twice a month. It is open to trans, intersex and non-binary people at Kent. The group is run by trans/non-binary people for trans/non-binary people. Family and partners are welcome.
  • There are gender-neutral toilet facilities across our Canterbury and Medway campuses.
  • Check out our directory of LGBTQ+ self-help resources including details of free, confidential, specialist helplines and support group networks, such as Metro, The Be You Project, and Gendered Intelligence.
  • Our LGBTQ+ Staff Network encourages people from all backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities to get involved and welcomes any ideas, feedback and advice you have.
  • We fully support and encourage all our students and staff to report incidents of harassment and discrimination using existing policies.
  • Our LGBTQ+ network have a fantastic blog that covers ongoing news, events and challenges – stay up to date with the issues affecting the community.
  • Mermaids UK and Stonewall have easily accessible resources and Q&A that cover many of the relevant issues.
  • The University of Kent Rainbow Lanyard celebrates and promotes our work around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Wearing one shows your commitment to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all of our LGBTQ+ staff and students. It also shows LGBTQ+ people that they can ‘bring their whole selves’ to you without fear of judgement or an unsupportive reaction.

Industrial Action Update

As we head into the Spring term, many will be aware that the dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK continues with further strike days expected this term. Nationally UCU currently has a mandate for industrial action through until April and has recently announced 18 days of strikes to be taken over the next two months – these start on the 1 February, with the full list of dates available on our staff webpages. 

While we regret the planned strike action, and particularly the effect this unprecedented amount of strike activity will have on our students’ time at Kent, we are far from the only sector facing disruption at the moment and it is clear that this a difficult time for many. The rising cost of living is putting great pressure on budgets for both individuals and employers – this is certainly the case at Kent, as I’m sure it is for many of you personally. As well as our ongoing discussions with our local UCU branch on matters under our control at Kent, we continue to urge all parties to continue discussion nationally in the interests of an outcome that balances a fair deal for staff with maintaining the financial sustainability of universities themselves.  

Pay is, of course, not the only issue under dispute with the long-running disagreement over pensions also at the heart of the current action. Changes for those in the USS pension scheme were brought in last year which, while regrettable, were done with the future integrity of the scheme in mind. However, the process that led to this exposed the weaknesses in the current governance structure for the scheme – along with other universities we are jointly funding a review of this and agree with UCU’s position nationally that we shouldn’t continue with taking the same approach to decision-making around the future of the scheme. There is more background on this, and the other areas under dispute currently, on our Industrial Action Staff Webpages. 

The first strike day on 1 February is timed to coincide with a national day of action around changes to strike laws in the UK. A strong trade union voice is an important part of employee relations and, here at Kent, local representatives of all our recognised unions regularly make valuable contributions in the interest of improving all of our time at Kent. We fully respect the right to strike and I can appreciate colleagues’ concerns at the recent proposed shift by the Government. Above all, though, it is important we respect the differing views people have across areas and, where we do disagree, ensure that this remains both considerate and constructive. Strike days can be contentious but there are agreed boundaries around what they involve – while those on strike are entitled to withhold their labour, I’m grateful that this continues to be done in a respectful manner that recognises that many others will be working as usual.  

It’s my sincere hope that an agreement can be reached between UCU and UCEA that avoids further damaging industrial action – in the meantime I will continue to keep you updated as the current period continues.

logo for holocaust memorial day and picture of electric tealights

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January

Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the HolocaustThe Nazis also murdered millions of others including Roma, Gypsy and Sinti people, people with disabilities, gay people, and many whose political views or religious beliefs threatened the Nazi regime.

On 27 January 2000, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, 46 governments signed the Stockholm Declaration and founded Holocaust Memorial Day. This day is to remember the millions murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia (1975-1979), Rwanda (1994), Bosnia (1995) and later Darfur in 2003.

You can learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

On YouTube, you can watch Medway campus Chaplain Lynne Martin’s seven-minute video marking Holocaust Memorial Day, in which she shines a light on the hope, bravery and heroism of an individual in the midst of horror and atrocity. You can also learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

Fighting antisemitism and hate at Kent 

Prejudice, discrimination and hatred based solely on difference is still pervasive in society today. This includes anti-Jewish attitudes, with reports of antisemitism increasing at Universities, and the recently released investigation into antisemitism within the National Union of Student (NUS).

Antisemitism is a form of racism and religious discrimination and we do not tolerate it at Kent.

We have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and the Jewish Declaration of Antisemitism. This is an important statement of our solidarity with the Jewish community and our commitment to stamping out antisemitism at Kent.

Light the Darkness – 27 January, 16:00.

On 27 January at 16:00, you are invited remember pause and reflect by placing a battery-operated tea light in your office or window to honour Holocaust victims and show you stand against prejudice and hatred today. You can also wear purple in solidarity.

The battery-operated candles are available free from Mandela Reception from Friday 20 January. (For safety reasons, please do not use a candle with a real flame. Candles with flames are not allowed in University offices or many privately rented properties.)

There are other opportunities to commemorate throughout the year, including Antisemitism Awareness Week in March and Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day on 22 August.

Written by Becky Lamyman, Natalia Crisanti and Joshua Stevens, Student Services staff.

laptop

Finance measures update

As we head toward the end of Quarter 2 of our financial year and take steps to ensure we achieve our budgeted results, we all need to continue to do all we can to reduce non-essential spending. Like many organisations, we are facing some extremely challenging financial conditions due to pressures from inflation and soaring energy prices. On top of this, we have faced additional challenges with lower student retention than expected impacting income levels.   

To address these issues, the budget has been reset for the year, reducing budgets for goods and services to compensate for our reduced income. It is essential that we stay within this budget, and last week budget holders were updated on reductions in their areas. 

New measures in place 

Steps have been taken to reduce non-essential expenditure across all activities and categories of spend, with expenditure only incurred where absolutely necessary. Specific areas that will make a big difference are:  

  • Consultants and Contractors: This resource should only be used where it would otherwise greatly reduce the student experience and a new approval process for this is in place for any essential requirements in this area. 
  • Travel: Bookings for in-person conference attendance in 2023 should not be made unless funded externally or with advance permission from a Director. Wherever it is possible to attend events online or achieve similar outcomes without travel, we should not be travelling. 

Planning ahead 

Looking ahead, we urgently need to reduce spend for the rest of this year and the above are areas where we can see room to do this. Alongside this, and with a focus on the longer-term financial sustainability, initiatives are being worked up aimed at increasing and diversifying income and ensuring our operations are delivered as efficiently as possible. 

If you need further advice on this, please contact the finance team via the emails below: 

Any questions relating to procurement can go to: procurement@kent.ac.uk 

For specific queries relating to Divisions, contact: managementaccounts@kent.ac.uk 

For Professional Service Departments, contact: financebusinesspartnering@kent.ac.uk 

Inspirational Speaker event with Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE

The BAME Staff Network are proud to be joined by Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE for an insightful conversation on Brilliant Leadership in a Diverse World. This online event will take place on Wednesday 8 February at 14.15 via Teams.

Fill out this form to book your place or alternatively scan this QR code:

About the Speaker – Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE

Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE is Global Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the British Council and member of its Global Leadership Team, she is responsible for setting and driving the strategic direction of EDI worldwide. 

Fiona is a former social worker, a member of the Higher Education Academy and her local Race Equality Council, a Trustee of Africa Gifted Foundation led by Tom llube, supporting gifted and talented African girls in science, and a founding member of the Premiere League’s Independent Equality Panel.

Her 2005 OBE further recognised her contribution to EDI, and she has been recognised as Britain’s most influential people of African and African Heritage Powerlist on three occasions and is now in its Hall of Fame.  As a published writer, strategic thinker and EDI powerhouse, the BAME Network looks forward to what will be an insightful and powerful conversation with Fiona.

Join the Pint of Science Festival – 22-24 May 2023

Calling all scientists and researchers! You are warmly invited to the Pint of Science Festival, taking place from 22-24 May 2023.

This event is a worldwide science festival which brings researchers to your local pub/cafe/space to share their scientific discoveries with you, in a relaxed and informal setting.

The idea is to provide a platform which allows scientists from a wide range of fields, to share their research with the public. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage the public with your research and to get experience of sharing it with new audiences. Both the University and the REF acknowledge the importance of such outreach. Plus it’s a lot of fun!

We will be running festival events in Canterbury and Medway and are now looking for expressions of interest from speakers, including Early Career Researchers and final year PhD students looking to develop their skills and experience in talking about their research.

If you are interested, please email us at pintofscience@kent.ac.uk with the following details by Tuesday 31 January:

  1. Your name and school/department
  2. A summary of your research (max 100 words)
  3. Your description for your proposed session – 20-30 minutes (max 100 words)
  4. An explanation of how you will make it engaging for the public audience – importantly involving an interactive component (max 100 words).
  5. Suggest which of the below Pint of Science themes you think your session would best fit into.

Pint of Science themes

  • Beautiful Mind – neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry
  • Atoms to Galaxies – physics, chemistry, maths, astronomy
  • Our Body – medicine, human biology, health
  • Planet Earth – geosciences, plant sciences, zoology
  • Tech Me Out – biotechnology, robotics, computers
  • Our Society – law, history, politics, policy, languages
  • Creative Reactions – art and science come together

The Kent Pint of Science Team will review these ‘expressions of interest’ with a view to developing themes for each evening of the festival. We will then contact applicants in early February with the outcome, further info and later organise a practice run in the spring for all of our presenters.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For further general information visit the Pint of Science website.

Read our news stories and watch the video on the Pint of Science event

Canterbury Pint of Science Event – to focus on human thought

Public invited to Pint of Science Event – Pros and Cons of Modern Technology

Kent Online video – Worldwide Talk Celebrating Research Comes to Kent