Category Archives: Events

Staff with laptop

Staff Webchats on campus opening, student experience and recruitment

The University is to launch a series of Staff Webchats to share plans for our return to campus and the new academic year.

Each webchat will feature a panel of senior staff who will share information via a short briefing and then answer questions from colleagues. The webchats include:

  • Opening our Campus – Tuesday 14 July, 11.00-12.30 – chaired by Christina Hughes, Chair of the Covid-19 Programme Board. You can sign-up via Microsoft 355 Forms
  • Student Experience – Wednesday 15 July, 11.00-12.30 – covering Autumn 2020 arrivals, induction and the wider student experience. Sign-up via Microsoft Forms
  • Student Recruitment and Clearing – Wednesday 22 July 10.00-11.30. Sign-up on Microsoft Forms

By using the sign-up form, you can submit questions in advance, which the panel can review and aim to answer in their briefings. Time permitting, there will also be an opportunity for a live Q&A at the end of each webchat.

Space at the webchats is limited so we would recommend nominating one or two colleagues from each team to attend the webchat live. Each webchat will be recorded and the recording made available to all staff.

Find out more

Further information on plans for our return to campus is available on our updated Covid-19 webpages for staff.



Students on campus

Clearing 2020 update – Simone Davies, Interim Director of Marketing

I wanted to give you an update on how we will be approaching Confirmation and Clearing this year in light of Covid-19. We will need to do things a bit differently to mitigate working in a virtual environment and a Clearing that is going to be extremely competitive. For Kent to succeed in this year’s Clearing, we’re going to need a lot of help and support from everyone particularly around Clearing offer making teams and also staffing the Hotline.

For Confirmation, there is little change. However, we will be removing paper from the process and taking an Admissions-based approach with the aim of processing all students before A level awards day (13 August 2020). We will be working on a points-based tariff, whilst maintaining any grades that are mandatory. As in previous years, we will contact Schools about any student who falls outside the pre-agreed tariff.

Early Clearing will be managed by Central Admissions – based on previous year’s applications, this will be manageable and enables us to focus on the changes to systems and processes that are required for the main Clearing activity.

All hands-on deck

This year, we need to take an ‘all hands on-deck’ approach to Clearing. We are going to be delivering this virtually and that’s going to require us to make some adaptations. It’s also going to be extremely fast-paced and we need to process and offer quickly and efficiently.

We will be forming ten offer making teams which, in the main, will be based on the six new divisions with Schools staff and support from Central Admissions staff.

We need everyone to be able to make offers across a discrete range of courses – offer making training will be provided. In the main, this will see Schools making offers to their ‘own’ students. However, if they are not making offers to their ‘own’ students, they might need to support colleagues and make offers to courses within the wider portfolio. We only have a limited number of people and phones and can’t afford to have anyone waiting for specific applications rather than making offers – we need to respond as quickly as possible avoiding any bottle necks.

This year, UCAS has introduced ClearingPlus. We are still working though the detail of that, but it will require outbound calls to be made if/when we receive matches (applications).

We need your help

And we need more help. This year, we are unable to employ past and current students to be part of the Hotline Teams. We are currently around 30 people short of what we need to make this a success. Thursday 13 and Friday 14 August will be our busiest days and we’ll be taking calls and answering queries from 7.30am till 8.00pm. We’ll also be taking calls on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August and over the following two weeks.

If you’re able to help, particularly on the 13th and 14th, and you’re not already on a Clearing rota please get in touch with Laetitia Gullett: Full training will be given and, for anyone who hasn’t done it before, it is a really rewarding experience. You will have full support and supervisors are on hand to help at all times.

Thank you for all your help and support with Clearing. You might like to see the Clearing pages, which includes a link to this year’s campaign video. From 6 July, there will also be a link to the Clearing application form.

Simone Davies | Interim Director of Marketing

BAME event

Online discussion of institutional racism – Tuesday 7 July

All staff are invited to an online discussion of ‘Understanding and Interrupting Institutional Racism: A Collaborative Dialogue to Communicate Strategies to Advance the Agenda at the University of Kent’, on Tuesday 7 July, from 16.00-17.15.

This collaborative dialogue will give staff an opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives on institutional racism with senior members of the University’s academic leadership team.

We want these discussions to disrupt structural factors that produce white privilege and systemic disadvantage, and to advance an agenda of racial equality. We invite all staff to reflect on their identities and social positions, taking an “intersectional” approach. This approach recognises that several aspects of (in)equality combine to shape experiences and perspectives. It therefore helps to explain why a Black woman, for example, may experience racism very differently than her Black brother, father or male partner.

The meeting is intended:

-To give participants an opportunity to share perspectives and experiences of institutional racism at work, including any recommendations for change, with the University’s senior academic leadership team.

-To give members of the University’s senior academic leadership team:

  • access to and information about staff experiences of institutional [or structural] racism at work
  • opportunities to answer [and to ask] questions about staff experiences of institutional [or structural] racism at work
  • a space in which to affirm commitments to addressing staff concerns about institutional [or structural] racism at the University.

The panel will include: Professor Karen Cox (Vice-Chancellor and President); Professor Christina Hughes (Interim Director of Student Services); Professor Richard Reece (Deputy Vice Chancellor – Education and Student Experience); Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance); Derek Baldwin (Branch Secretary, UNISON); and Sian Lewis-Anthony (President, University of Kent UCU Branch).

Discussion will focus on: the staff profile of the institution; decision-making boards and committees; equal pay; staff recruitment; progression and development; health and wellbeing support; sense of belonging; racial harassment; and racial discrimination.

We hope this event will be the first of many. There’s no need to sign-up – you can join live on Tuesday 7 July from 16.00 by clicking this link:

We look forward to seeing you (virtually) there!

Dave Thomas
Co-Chair University of Kent BAME Staff Network and Equalities Officer (UNISON)


Tedx at Medway campus

TEDx success thanks to The Student Projects Grant Scheme

Thanks to funding from The Student Projects Grant Scheme, a large number of Medway students got to experience a TEDx event at the Deep End on the Medway Campus. Organised by Kent student, Phoebe Thompson the event featured a series of inspirational speakers and films which tackle current topics.

You can see a film about the event on YouTube.

The Student Projects Grants Scheme is funded by the Kent Opportunity Fund, established to increase opportunities for students at Kent, today and in the future. The Student Projects Grant Scheme allows donations given by alumni and friends of the University to reach as many students as possible by enabling groups of students to bid for funds to run their own projects.

To find out more, please email

Cecil 2020

CeCIL Annual Lecture: ‘Have you seen dignity?’

This year’s Annual Lecture for the Centre of Critical International Law (CeCIL) at Kent will be delivered by Professor Susan Marks from the London School of Economics on Thursday 19 March.

Professor Marks’s talk, entitled ‘Have you seen dignity?’, will begin at 6pm in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2. It will be preceded by a reception in Sibson Atrium from 5pm.

Professor Marks is the author of The Riddle of All Constitutions, International Human Rights Lexicon (co-authored with Andrew Chapman) and A False Tree of Liberty. She is the editor of International Law on the Left. Her research seeks to bring insights from critical social theory to the study of international law and human rights.

Each year, the CeCIL Annual Lecture brings leading figures in the field of international law to Kent to share their cutting edge contributions to international legal thinking.

CeCIL is an innovative research centre at Kent Law School which aims to foster critical approaches to the field of international law, and other areas of law that touch upon global legal problems. In addition to an annual lecture, CeCIL offers a busy programme of activities for law students, including a speaker and films series and workshops for students keen to develop their employability and international law skills.

Anne Marie Baker and Minna Jahonen displaying the each for equal sign International Womens Day 2020)

Inspiring women to mark International Women’s Day

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020, members of staff have been sharing who their most inspirational woman is and what makes them so special:

Jacinta Ardern (PM of New Zealand) – ‘Compassionate leadership in a male dominated world. The youngest female head of government, and only the second elected head of government to have a baby and take maternity leave while in office.’ (Laura Pheils, L&OD Advisor)

Dame Julie Andrews – ‘Her incredible talent and how she coped with having to use this to support her family as a young child; not letting her childhood put her off her dreams. I admire her grace, charity work, her love of family, her strength after losing her voice and as the only person I’ve ever seen to get a standing ovation just walking into a room. ‘ (Helen Oliver, L&OD Coordinator)

Barbara Castle – ‘for introducing the Equal Pay Act.’  (Maddy Withers, Reward Assistant)

Aphra Behn – ‘A playwright, poet and spy was a remarkable and talented woman who made her voice heard and took risks for the things she believed in. Virginia Woolf wrote of her: “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn… for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”‘ (Alison Ross Green, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development)

‘Mary Lacy’ – ‘She was determined to succeed and did so in spades. Born and bred in Ash, Kent she ran away to sea and also became an accomplished shipwright: she was arguably the first women ever to train as shipwright (albeit disguised as a man) and was also the first woman (this time not in disguise) to gain a pension from the Admiralty. She published her fascinating, candid memoirs – The Female Shipwright – in 1773.’  (Simon Kirchin, Director of the Division of Arts, Culture and Design)

Isabel Myers Briggs – ‘No-one has to be good at everything, By developing individual strengths, guarding against known weaknesses and appreciating the strengths of others, life will be more amusing, more interesting and more of a daily adventure than it could possibly be if everyone were alike.’ (Anne-Marie Baker,  Project Manager Athena SWAN)

Mother Teresa – ‘Despite all her encounters with adversity and distress, she maintained an iconic symbol of hope, peace and compassion.’ (Jena Dady, L&OD Advisor)

Emmy Noether – ‘As a woman in a patriarchal scientific community and a Jew in a brutally anti-Semitic society, she was unquestionably an outsider. Yet she discovered mathematics of great power and reach: her theorems on symmetries underpin our understanding of physics, and her exceptionally clear teaching has formed the heart of algebra for the last century.’ (Peter Hydon, Professor of Mathematics and Director of Division)

The abolitionist Sojourner Truth – ‘Born into slavery and at one point sold with a flock of sheep. She fought for the right to have all that comes with the freedom of personhood and equality.’ (Christina Hughes,  Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience)


Volunteer for Congregations this summer

The Development Office is looking for support for Congregations in July.

Graduations are an important University occasion supporting students in a crucial part of their journey at Kent. Ceremony dates and times are available here.

Various roles are available during graduations. Full training will be available for your designated role, with a member of staff on hand to support you at all times. Staff working two or more consecutive ceremonies will be provided with lunch/hot dinner in between their two shifts as well as allocated breaks throughout the day.

Please complete the form here with your availability. Once you have committed to these hours, please block them out in your calendar as we may not contact you with your role until nearer the time.

Where possible, we will try to allocate you your preferred role. Each role has varying start and finish times so we advise that you are available for two hours before and after the ceremony time you select.

Some of the graduation shifts may involve working outside of your contracted working hours.  Please get permission from your line manager prior to agreeing to work outside of your contracted hours, as they make the decision whether to permit you time off in lieu.

International Womens Day Engineering and Digital Arts Event with the date and time of the event and images of the four people involved in the event

International Women’s Day: Engineering and Digital Arts Event

Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is #EachforEqual and a number of events are taking place across campus to mark the day.

There are a number of events happening across the University of Kent at the Canterbury Campus and here at Engineering and Digital Arts we are hosting a lunchtime webinar titled “Flexible Working: How to make it work, and how not to”. Book your place via the Eventbrite website 

This is a joint event with the Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group from the Association of Project Management. This event supports the campaign #flexforall – to promote equality and flexibility for all.

The Panel explores:

. Why flexible working is important to attract and retain diverse talent for your projects

. The stigmas and challenges that can still exist when finding project work that is flexible

. Different experiences and examples of flexible working within project management

. Take away tips on how to make flexible working work for you and your projects.

We welcome all to join in and hopefully share and discuss your experiences on this topic.

International Womens Day

International Women’s Day events

Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme is #EachforEqual and a number of events are taking place across campus to mark the day:

Within the Templeman Library, there will be a display throughout March from our women’s history reading list in the library café.  There will also be a display of women in STEM books from 6 March that will be accompanied by slides of winners of a competition celebrating women in Physics.

Gulbenkian has a number of events planned around ‘This Girl Can Family day’ on 7 March. Kent Sport This Girl Can..lift is also happening on the day, which is part of our Lets Play suite of events/activities.

Kent Union has a number of events, including:

  • Quiz in Woody’s on 8 March themed around women’s history and iconic women.
  • Kent Uniboob has confirmed a photoshoot for body positivity with the money going towards the National charity. 29 Feb – 1 March. The shoot is £10 per person.
  • Movie night on 12 March.

The Athena SWAN team will be hosting a special meeting of the Women’s Network on Thursday 5 March in honour of International Women’s Day, on the theme of inspirational women. We will be holding an informal discussion about the amazing women who have inspired us in work and life.

The event will take place from 12.00–14.00 in the UELT Seminar Room. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in the conversation, or just listen and get inspired. Lunch will be provided. Book your place via Eventbrite.

Engineering and Digital Arts have a an event titled Flexible Working in Project Management: How to make it work, and how not to on Wednesday 11 March, 12.30-13.30 in the upper area of Jay’s Tea bar, Jennison Building. Book your place via Eventbrite. 

Worried man

Staff advice service – Q and A sessions

Our Employee Assistance Programme is live. To get support from them, counselling or advice, ring 0808 168 2143 or go to their website and enter the following details:

USERNAME: uokent |PASSWORD: university

If you would like to learn more about the Employee Assistance Programme or have specific questions, then please come along to one of the Awareness Sessions taking place on 26 February 2020. Times as follows:

10.30 until 11.00 with 15 minutes for questions
11.15 until 11.45 with 15 minutes for questions
12.00 until 12.30 with 15 minutes for questions
13.15 until 13.45 with 15 minutes for questions

All the sessions will be taking place in Darwin Conference Suite Three. They are just 30 minutes in duration so won’t take much time out of your day.

If you would like to attend one of the above sessions, please book a place via Staff Connect.