Category Archives: Hello Kent

7 Frequently Asked Questions about dining on campus

Whether you are moving out of your family home for the first time or are a mature student starting at Kent, our campus at Canterbury has a great range of options to suit your needs. We cover 7 Frequently Asked Questions about dining on campus.

What type of food do you serve on campus?

There are many different catering outlets on campus offering a variety of delicious, high quality food and drink options. Whether you want comfort food, vegetarian dishes, healthy options, or an indulgent treat, you’ll discover something fit for your appetite. You could be eating Korean chicken wings in Dolche Vita one day and sharing a bowl of garlic butter fries in Origins the next. Full menus can be found on the catering webpage.

Do you serve vegan and vegetarian options?

Meat-free living is one of the fastest growing lifestyles in the UK. Self-identified vegans and vegetarians account for approximately 3% of the population, but they are amongst a broader base of people showing an interest in reducing meat and dairy intake. If you’re ever in doubt about a dish, full ingredient listings are available in all outlets, just ask a member of staff for more details. We’d recommend telling the restaurant team when you order that you’re a vegetarian or vegan, just to ensure they’re extra careful.

I have a food allergy; how can I find out which dishes are safe to eat?

At Kent we take allergens extremely seriously and do everything we can to accommodate students who have allergies. In every bar, café and restaurant there is a Food and Menu Specification Folder, which tells you all the ingredients in a specific dish. If you do have an allergy, please let catering staff know when you order so they can make double sure your meal is prepared with the utmost care to minimise cross-contamination.

I don’t have set mealtimes and tend to snack throughout the day. Are there places open to eat during the day and late at night?

Most cafes, bars and restaurants on campus are open throughout the day and into the evening. Both Hut 8 (Turing College) and the Library Café serve food and drink until 22:00, so you can enjoy a fresh slice of pizza or hot drink before heading out or heading home.

Due to the corona virus, is it safe to dine on campus?

Your safety is top priority. To ensure you don’t have to worry, Kent Hospitality has been working hard to develop new measures in line with government advice so you can safely enjoy food and drink on campus. Cafes, bars, and restaurants will be offering a takeaway service, with some larger outlets offering socially distanced seating areas.

Outlets will have signage and operate on a cashless purchasing system throughout. Kent Hospitality will continue to follow guidelines for the duration of the pandemic and will adapt their policies in line with government recommendations and advice as and when needed, or until such a time that the pandemic is considered low to no risk to customers, staff and suppliers.

I’m not very confident in the kitchen, do you offer a meal plan for students?

For those with little kitchen experience, learning to cook can be both an exciting and daunting experience. To help students with this life transition, and ensure they have access to a variety of healthy and convenient options during this busy time in their lives, Kent offers The Flex Catering Package. The Flex Catering Package is open to all students that live on or off campus. It offers an enormous amount of flexibility as well as a huge discount by paying in advance.

Costing £1100 for the academic year, you will get a food and drink allowance of £10 each day, but you would have only paid £5 a day, meaning you could benefit from savings of 50% on your food bill over the course of the year. The Flex Catering Package allows you to focus on University life and get the best possible degree rather than worrying about shopping or cooking. For more information, please visit The Flex Catering Package webpage.

What’s the KentOne card and how do I use it to buy food?

The KentOne card is your University of Kent student ID card. This multi-functional card enables you to access specific areas of the University, borrow books from Templeman Library, become a member of Kent Sport, and purchase items on campus. The KentOne card is a quick, easy and safe way to buy food and drink on both the Canterbury and Medway campus in a number of catering outlets and shops. Every time you use it, you’ll receive a 10% discount at the till.

The KentOne card works much like a prepaid cash card. You add cash to it and top it up when the funds run out, just like you would with a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. You can only spend what you load onto the KentOne card, so it’s very safe from a budgeting perspective. If you’re prone to overspending, the KentOne card can be a good way to make sure you stay on budget. For more information on where you can use the KentOne card, how to top up your card, and how to benefit from the 10% discount, please visit the KentOne webpage.

Dr Bike Medway

Support at Medway

Now the Welcome Week madness is over, it’s probably a good time to start exploring Kent and the support services we have to offer. 

Support with your studies

Studying for a degree is very different to studying at school. You have a lot more control over your learning and greater independence.

You will also be asked to do things you’ve never had to do before (eg referencing in a certain way, dissertations, vivas…) this is where the Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS for short) steps in.

SLAS can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly. You can learn in your own time using our online guides or attend one of SLAS’ many workshops.

Don’t forget your school is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Have you checked in with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability you should contact Student Support. They can provide not only academic support but can help with applications for funding.

If you’re going through a difficult time or just don’t feel happy – staff in our Wellbeing Team are always available to listen.

Advice Centre

From money worries to getting on with your housemates, GK Unions Student Advice Centre are available to help. All advice is free – so make the most of it!

Medical advice

You are advised to register with a practice near to your accommodation. The two closest The two closest medical practices to campus and Pier Quays are the Sunlight Surgery and St Mary’s Island Surgery.

Master’s Office

When you arrived at Kent you automatically joined a college. Your Master’s Office is there to give advice and can be used as a first port of call for any questions you may have.

You can also get advice and support from your Student College Community Life Officers and Assistants who work in the colleges and the community. This could include offering assistance if you are concerned about a flatmate, being disturbed by noise or there are problems with untidiness in your shared accommodation.

Chaplaincy

University Chaplains run a wide range of religious and social events (including a very festive carol service in St George’s Centre on campus). They are also a good contact for advice and support.

Support at Canterbury

Once you have settled into your new accommodation it would be a good time to explore Kent and the support services on offer.

Support with your studies

Studying for a degree is very different to studying at school. You have a lot more control over your learning and greater independence.

You will also be asked to do things you’ve never had to do before (eg referencing in a certain way, dissertations, vivas…) this is where the Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS for short) steps in.

SLAS can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly. You can also learn in your own time using our online guides.

Don’t forget your school is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Have you checked in with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability you should contact Student Support. They can provide not only academic support but can help with funding applications.

If you’re going through a difficult time or just don’t feel happy – staff in our Wellbeing Team are always available to listen.

They also run a series of well-being workshops to help you get the best out of University life.

Advice Centre

From money worries to getting on with your housemates, Kent Union’s Advice Centre is available to help. All advice is free to Kent students – so make the most of it!

Medical advice

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus. There’s also an independent pharmacy next door, so you don’t have to go far when you’re feeling under the weather.

If you need any medical advice, treatment of a minor illness/injury or contraceptive advice, you can visit the ‘drop-in’ Nursing Services on central campus next to Campus Security.

Your College

When you arrived at Kent you automatically joined a college. Your Master’s Office is there to give advice and can be used as a first port of call for any questions you may have.

You can also get advice and support from your Student College Community Life Officers and Assistants who work in the colleges and the community. This could include offering assistance if you are concerned about a flatmate, being disturbed by noise or there are problems with untidiness in your shared accommodation.

Chaplaincy

University Chaplains run a wide range of religious and social events (including a very festive carol service in the Cathedral). They are also a good contact for advice and support.

International students

As well as all the other support services available to students, international students can visit International Team in the Registry Building. They can help with any international related queries and run a series of cultural events.

Kent Union

The Vice-President (Welfare and Community) officer at Kent Union campaigns on well-being related matters so if students have any queries or issues they would like to discuss they can contact them directly.

What to and what not to bring with you

You are starting your first year at University so how do you decide which products to bring or not to bring? We asked our current students for their expertise.

The best place to start is to double check what is included in your room already, depending whether you’re living on the Canterbury or Medway campus.

Once you’ve done that, here’s our list of key things to remember.

1. Your passport
You will need this to register as a student so make sure you have your passport, your arrivals pass and parking permit ready to go. For Arrivals Week (and beyond) it can also be a good idea to have some other forms of ID too, so you’re not carrying round your passport.

2. Electronic essentials
Laptop, phone, tablet…check, don’t forget your chargers and your headphones too. Memory sticks and fans are rated high on most previous student’s lists as well. If you’re coming from overseas buy a high-quality international adapter, these are available to purchase at your college reception if needed.

You will need your own desktop or laptop, which you’ll need to use frequently for your studies: make sure it meets this minimum specification. If you’ll struggle to buy or access the required tech, there may be some support available depending on your circumstances.

Before you start packing, check that your technology will work on campus: if your printer or smart device (TV, speaker, streaming device) relies on Wi-Fi, it won’t work (it needs to have an Ethernet port and wired internet capability, or to connect directly to your computer). Bring a network/Ethernet cable for the wired internet in your bedroom. Wired internet is fast and reliable as there’s no risk of interference.

3. Bedding
Don’t buy new bedding until you have accepted your accommodation offer and you know your exact room number.  Why? We have different size beds in different rooms on the Canterbury campus, so always check your bed size before you buy (Medway Pier Quays accommodation – you have it easier, as all beds are 4 foot).

4. Clothes
Pack for all four season as the weather is unpredictable. To help keep your room clutter free, make sure you pack enough hangers for your wardrobe

5. Cooking utensils
If you live in part-catered accommodation you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided and toasters aren’t allowed. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans to get you started. Holly Donkersloot, Psychology student, says, “bring coloured crockery so you don’t all get confused about whose everything is!”

6. Stationery
The usual suspects from your college pencil case, pins for your noticeboard and white tack for your posters is a good start. Your school should let you know if you need any subject specific items.

7. Cleaning supplies
It’s your responsibility to clean up after yourself and collectively with your flat/house mates, so when you pop to the shops either before you arrive or with your housemates, pick up a few cleaning bits and bobs like washing up liquid, sponges, surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner and laundry detergent.

8. Decorations
As long as it doesn’t mark the furniture or walls (we suggest command strips) then you are welcome to decorate your room. So print pictures; bring your favourite books; posters; battery-powered fairy lights; pack of cards; and things that make it feel like home. Of course, there are some obvious (and less obvious) restricted items.

Don’t rush to buy

Don’t buy any subject books or resources until you’ve been told to do so by your school or lecturer. If the lecturer thinks you need your own copy of a book, they will tell you. Most other resources you will need should be available through the library. Modules are updated each year and essential texts may change so wait for your 2020-2021 reading list.

You won’t need to buy Microsoft 365 – you get FREE on to up five devices when you get your IT Account!

Restricted items

…on to the serious stuff. There are some items you should not bring to University, including:

  • Anything with a naked flame, such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, lighters, or smoking paraphernalia.
  • Electronics must all be in good, safe working order. However, some items are completely banned, such as heating appliances like heated airers, cooling appliances like mini refrigerators or air conditioning units and multi-way cube adaptors.
  • No pets
  • Finally, we know it sounds pretty obvious, but please do not bring any dangerous items such as flammable liquids, weapons (including replicas) or fireworks.

If you are in doubt about any item please get in touch with the Accommodation Team.

Follow us

Keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for more top tips and useful information before you arrive. We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon!

Kent’s outdoor walks and activities

Being a student cannot be all work and no play, you need to make time for some fun and relaxation. One of the perks of studying at Kent is access to lots of outdoor space; from beaches to scenic parks and historic buildings, Kent has it all.

Canterbury

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50 mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages and hamlets.

Marlowe’s Canterbury Walk

The aim of this walk is for you to explore the life of Christopher Marlowe, who is Britain’s best known playwright. The route takes you on a journey around the heart of Canterbury, visiting places he would have known, and offering an insight into his life.

Kent Food Trails

Kent Food Trails are designed to encourage visitors and locals alike to discover new places and taste new dishes. You will meet fantastic food and drinks producers and farmers from all over Kent.

Via Francigena

If you fancy a real adventure then consider Via Francigena which is an ancient route that starts at Canterbury Cathedral and passes through France, Switzerland, across the Alps and through Italy finally finishing in Rome. You will step into the shoes of Sigeric the Serious, a famous Archbishop of Canterbury, and follow his journey across the Via Francigena to meet Pope John XV in Rome back in 990 AD.

Medway

Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a free-to-visit historical site  with 20 acres of green space all linked to the Great Lines Heritage Park. You will be able to explore tunnels, nature trails, ditches, ammunition magazines, cannons, soldier’s quarters and fortifications.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Picture from Canterbury City Council.

A weight sat on a running track

Free sport and fitness membership

Kent Sport are here to help you stay active while you study at the University of Kent. That’s why, for the first time ever, we’re giving all first-year students FREE sport and fitness membership which includes unlimited gym and classes, access for club training, discounted fitness services, and lots more.

Free membership applies to:

•       All first-year students
•       All UG and PG students living in Canterbury campus accommodation

Membership will be automatically added to your Kent One card, so you’ll be able to book activities as soon as you’ve registered*

To see if you’re eligible for free membership, visit our webpage kent.ac.uk/sports/membership/free-membership
There are also free membership options for students at the Medway campus.

*Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have implemented safety measures throughout our facilities which will restrict access. All activities, including the gym, classes and sports, will need to be pre-booked through your online account. 

One hour degree logo

Ever thought about a one hour degree?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a degree in a fraction of the time it normally takes? The One Hour Degree game has been produced specifically for students who are about to join or have recently begun their degree journey at Kent.

It is a narrative based adventure game which simulates all the significant elements of gaining a degree condensed into one hour.

There are five independent ‘quests’ focused on Welcome Week, the first term, the first year, year 2 and year 3.  The game introduces key facilities, support networks and social opportunities that are available at Kent as well as displaying stunning imagery of our parkland campus.

Players will earn ‘knowledge’ and ‘wellbeing’ points along the way as well as a badge for each completed quest. Together they will dictate the classification of the ‘degree’ received at the end before you have the opportunity to be part of your very own graduation video. With more than 100 million unique pathways through the game, you can easily choose a different story path each time to see how different decisions result in different outcomes.

The game does not require a login or user account and can be played by anyone who has access to a web browser, on any device.

Play the One Hour Degree game now.

Finance

Finance deadlines and support

Being a student can be financially demanding; when you pay your rent, bills, food and factor in having an active social life there probably won’t be much left over. The University has a variety of scholarships and financial support packages that you may be eligible.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some scholarships are specific to your course, location and fee status (UK, European or overseas). Read the scholarship information carefully so you only apply for scholarships where you meet the eligibility criteria.

How to apply for scholarships

Kent Financial Support Package

The Kent Financial Support Package (KFSP) 2020 is a financial support package of £4,500 for eligible undergraduate students across three stages of full-time study. Eligible students studying a full time four year undergraduate programme with a sandwich year or an integrated Masters year will receive a further cash bursary of £1,500.

All new full-time students will be automatically assessed for the KFSP, however, you may need to make a separate application.  Students who do not receive a letter by mid-November confirming their eligibility for the KFSP should contact the Financial Aid Office.

New part-time students starting in the academic year 2020/21 may be eligible for a pro rata cash bursary in each year of study as part of the KFSP. Part-time students will need to make an application.

Further information on KFSP

Access to Learning Fund

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) provides financial assistance to UK students so they can access and remain in higher education, particularly those students who need financial help to meet extra costs that cannot be met from other sources of support.

The amount will depend on your circumstances and how many applications the fund receives.

Further information on ALF

European Financial Support

The European Financial Support (EFS) fund can provide up to £500 financial support per year to full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘EU’ rate experiencing emergency situations or those experiencing a financial deficit over the academic year. The EFS cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on EFS

International Hardship Fund

The International Hardship Fund (IHF) can provide emergency financial assistance to all full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘overseas’ rate. The IHF cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on IHF

Financial support for care leavers

Students eligible for the Kent Care Leavers Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

Further information on the Care Leavers Pack

Financial support for estranged students

Students eligible for the Kent Estranged Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who are irreconcilably estranged from their parents.

Further information on the Estranged Student Pack

Financial support for student carers

Students eligible for the Young Adult Carer Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

This financial support is for young carers who can provide evidence of caring responsibilities.

Further information on the Young Adult Carer Pack

Financial support for young independent students

Students eligible for the Kent Young Independent Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for young independent students who have been in receipt of income support while in full-time education prior to starting at Kent.

Further information on the Young Independent Student Pack

Financial support for ‘homeless’ students

Students eligible for the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who were living in a Foyer (hostels and other emergency housing options) or were ‘homeless’ before attending the University.

The Kent Foyer Bursary is specifically to help Foyer and ‘homeless’ students to meet their accommodation costs during the long vacation (up to £1,500).

Further information on the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package

Need more help?

For more advice on scholarships, email scholarships@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 768896.

If you need more help on your funding and financial support options, email financialaid@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 823851/824876/823488.

Studying from home

Studying from home can be challenging especially when you try to stay focussed in order to meet your deadlines. We have put together some tips on how to study at home effectively.

Familiarise yourself with Moodle

Moodle is the University’s virtual learning environment, it is where all of the necessary information for each of your modules are.

Check Moodle daily for announcements, updates or changes to the module, and to take part in structured discussions. Look ahead at the structure of each module, take note of all important dates and deadlines and then build them into a study plan.

Have a plan

Use a study planner to organise your study time:

Put module start and end dates, exam dates and assignment hand-in dates into your planner.

Identify how much time you should spend each week on each module in order to meet hand-in dates; divide your time between weeks, days and hours accordingly, add to your planner.

Break your work into small tasks and set yourself short deadlines to complete each task, this minimises the chances of you over-running hand-in dates. Use simple project management techniques such as a Gantt chart to plan the course of your whole degree/apprenticeship programme.

You can find recommended apps and software to help with study planning and time management at www.kent.ac.uk/tools as well as your software needed for study. Download Microsoft Office 365 for free on up to 5 devices when you get your IT Account!

Be organised

Create your own study space – somewhere quiet where you can concentrate on your studies – ideally with a suitable desk and chair, and a place for storing your course material (computer, physical files/folders, books etc). Make sure your personal computer is kept up to date with the latest software updates and security features. Discounted and free study-related software is available for Kent students at along with a range of free productivity tools to help you work more effectively. Leave enough time to ask for help If you get stuck in you studies go back to your course modules, notes and readings, or conduct some research; however, if you are still unable to move forward please contact your tutor, as well as talk things over with fellow students.

Use SLAS

Remember the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) is here to support your academic development. We offer individual appointments to distance learners (by phone or Skype) on all aspects of effective learning and study skills, including maths and stats. For more details go to www.kent.ac.uk/learning

Keep motivated

Remind yourself of your long-term goals, why you embarked on the course – are you wanting to further your career or learn more about the subject? This will maintain your focus even when things are difficult. Work actively to maintain your interest in the subject, the more you regularly engage with your studies the more likely your motivation will be maintained. Any subject can be interesting if you are curious to learn more about it.

Get started

The hardest part can be starting a task, so start with something small or easy; once you’ve got going, you’ll find it easier to keep going. Keep in contact with your course – contact your tutor to get advice or to make sure you’re on the right track. Set up social media forums, groups and networks with students on your course in order to share experiences and swap tips.

Study at the right time

Work out when you’re at your most focussed and alert. Decide whether you are a morning bird or night owl.. Study requires a high level of concentration and focus.

Stay organised

Make sure you have all the resources you need to hand, and think carefully about what you want to achieve.

The Templeman Library has thousands of resources including e-books, e-journal articles and access to databases in our Digital Library.

Reward yourself

It is important to give yourself a perk when you have achieved your aims for the day or week.

Get ahead – what you can do before you arrive

Here are some things that you should do before you arrive at Kent.

Arrange your accommodation

At Kent we offer different types of accommodation to suit a variety of needs. These include a mixture of catered and self-catered, sociable and quiet and single and mixed-gender halls.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your preferences, as many halls places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch with your university’s accommodation office to discuss your options.

Sort out your finances

You’ll need to get your finances in order before fresher’s week. This may not seem like the most exciting task when preparing for university, but it’s one of the most important. We have put together a Money Timeline that covers all of this.

Decide what to take

Find out what’s provided at your accommodation to avoid making unnecessary purchases, and check how much storage you’ll have – there’s no point taking things you don’t have the space to keep. We have written a blog post about the items you will need.

Organise a railcard

Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you at least 1/3 on most rail fares. There are a variety of railcards available from the 16-25 Railcard, 26-30 Railcard and the Family railcard. You can find more information about them here.

Get reading

Many schools put their reading lists online weeks before their courses begin, or will send you the details via email. This will give you an idea of what to expect from your workload, and getting a head start on reading will build your confidence for lectures.

You don’t need to own every book on the list – identify the core texts and buy these. Any others you need will be available to borrow from your university library or to buy from former students for a fraction of their original retail price.

Get to know the area

You can read up on your campus town area by heading to Visit Kent, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Canterbury Council. Also try resources such as The Student Room who have threads about various student towns.

Learn to cook

Ask for help with making your favourite meals while you’re still at home – you’ll be glad you did once you’re fending for yourself. Student cookbooks, available in bookshops and online, focus on using simple ingredients and cooking on a budget.

Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – Co-op offers a 10% discount to NUS cardholders, and own-brand food from the supermarket is often of the same quality as the more expensive branded alternatives.

Get involved in Freshers’ Week

The welcome period is full of events designed to help you settle into university life, so find out how to make the most of freshers’ week. Kent Union and GK Union will host fairs to join societies and sports teams, and your course department might hold an icebreaker session in this time to introduce you to your peers and lecturers.

While you don’t have any course commitments you can immerse yourself in these activities and make sure you’re prepared to start your degree. Organisation is key – make sure you know in advance when you have to be somewhere, as will help with planning your time in the long run.