Category Archives: Returners

Support for mature, commuting and part-time students

If you are a mature, commuting or part-time student (or a combination) there is plenty of additional support for you and ways to connect with those in a similar position to you. This includes a society that runs as events and study sessions at convenient times if you have other responsibilities (e.g. job and childcare) and a dedicated student network to help get your voice heard.

Mature Student Society

Kent Union has a Mature Student Society with acts as a forum to promote the challenges and needs of students over the age of 21. As well as being for mature students, the society welcomes students returning to education, part-time or a commuting student and students who have dependants or caring responsibilities. The society meets regularly and is a great way to socialise with others students with similar responsibilities and potential interests.

Mature and part-time student network

Kent Union has a number of student networks. The mature and part-time student network aims to represent and act as the voice for all mature, commuting and part-time Students, and to feedback key issues that affect the Mature, Commuting and Part-Time student experience to both the University and Kent Union.

More about support available.

Three students sat on corner sofa together catching up

Looking out for each other

At Kent we’re a community who look out for each other. Here are a few ways to help you look out for your friends and classmates.

Check in with your friends

We are all experiencing a particularly strange year and feelings of loneliness and overwhelm may be popping up more than usual. Remember to check in with your friends and course mates to see how they are doing.

If you or a friend needs some extra support, there are lots of people at Kent ready to help. Contact your School for academic help, and the College Life Team for concerns about accommodation sharing and any other practical worries. They will be able to help or refer you to someone who can.

For support with mental health, disability or specific learning difficulties, there is a  Student Support and Wellbeing team of professionals providing online, telephone and face to face wellbeing services. Do also check out specific wellbeing events such as the weekly International Wellbeing group and Wellbeing café. Do you use social media? Follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for ideas and resources to stay well and connected.

Download the SafeZone app

SafeZone is a free campus safety app for all students and staff, giving you quick access to first aid, security or safety assistance.

SafeZone is an easy way to connect to Campus Security, who are on campus 24/7 365 days a year! Learn more about safety on and off campus.

Stick with your household and plan your journey home

If you’re heading out in the evening, make sure you plan your journey home and stick with your household bubble. Please follow social distancing guidance. Remind yourself of the Government guidance about meeting with others.

Walking? Follow the recommended fully lit walking routes around Medway campus. In Canterbury make sure to check out the #LitRoutes maps and guidance.

If you’re using public transport, remember to bring your face covering and some hand sanitiser. Getting a taxi? Make sure it is registered.

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation in Canterbury where you need to take a taxi back to campus or to the police or hospital, you can use the student safe taxi scheme to get a registered taxi back to campus and pay the funds later.

Find support through the Virtual Buddy Scheme

Sign up to Kent Union’s Virtual Buddy Scheme either to find a buddy or to volunteer as a buddy. Buddy volunteers are there to give you a helping hand and offer you support and friendship. The buddy scheme is available for Canterbury and Medway students.

Meet new people through societies

Don’t forget that societies and sports teams can be a great support network. There are many different kinds of societies from academic, faith and belief, special interest and more so you can find people with similar interests to you. Check out the Kent Union and GKSU webpages to learn more.

Sexual violence online support sessions

New for October 2020, if you or a friend have been affected by any form of sexual violence you can speak to staff from East Kent Rape Crisis Centre via a virtual sign up session. Here you will find advice about accessing counselling, support groups and how to access support from an independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs). If you are interested in attending a session, or for further support, email wellbeing@kent.ac.uk. You can also find more support on our webpages.

Download the NHS Covid-19 app

Please download the NHS Covid-19 app and encourage your household and friends to do the same. Through the app you can report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues (including some on campus) by scanning a QR code and help the NHS trace those who may have coronavirus.

If you or anyone you’ve had close contact with test positive for coronavirus, you’ll be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate. You will be asked to provide them with information they’ll need to help stop the spread of the virus. Learn more about the NHS Covid-19 app.

Inform Kent (InK) online reporting tool

Everyone should feel secure at Kent—we’re here to support you. InK is an online reporting tool that helps record details of incidents such as sexual assault, harassment, relationship abuse or hate crime. Find out more about the services available with Student Support and Wellbeing.

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.

This game lets you make choices and see the effects of your actions in many different university scenarios. The story line was however written before COVID-19, so things like social distancing and online lectures haven’t been taken into account. It’s still a valuable resource as it’ll help you get a feel of the vast array of support and advice available to you at Kent that you can still access and it’s something that has not changed.

The One Hour Degree recently won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Digital Innovation so be sure to check it out!

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.

Online Learning at Kent: A Guide to Successful Study Online

Feeling anxious about online study? Wondering how it will all work?

Available in Moodle, the Online Learning at Kent: A Guide to Successful Study Online module has been created by the University’s E-Learning team to help you get the very best out of online learning.

The Online Learning at Kent module is designed to help you with the transition to online study as part of our blended learning approach. Through this module you can familiarise yourself with both the technologies you will be using as part of your studies and the types of online and interactive activities you are likely to experience. There is an emphasis on digital accessibility and how you can engage with resources to suit your needs. Most importantly, the module will enable you to be able to do the right things to gain the most benefit from online learning.

“Determination will take you anywhere” – overcoming injury to achieve success

As part of our new student success series, History student Ben Thomas shares how he overcame injury in his first year to achieve success. He explores how both his mindset and support from others helped him through this difficult time.

What happened?

‘At the end of my first academic week at Kent in my first year I very unfortunately dislocated my kneecap. This led to me being unable to walk for approximately 5 months and I still have problems at times now.’

What did you do about your injury? Did you feel supported?

‘The support that Kent offered me was amazing, even to the extent of offering deferment, but I understood that this was a life changing decision I could not undertake. I was focused on doing well in my degree despite the circumstances that arose and could not tolerate losing a year of my education. I was offered a wheelchair but I understood that this was a task I needed to complete myself. Every day I crutched to Lectures and seminars from Eliot college around campus despite the painful blisters and exhaustion I may have endured, my determination to succeed overrode any problems that arose. I am proud to say that I achieved a pass with distinction (equivalent to a first-class grade) in my History course, thanks in no small part to the support received by my peers, professors, and the Kent support team.’

Do you have any advice for others going through a difficult time?

‘With the inability to walk combined with a lockdown situation from a global pandemic this has easily been the most difficult part of my life, but I always remembered that one of my old teachers told me that as long as you have determination, that determination will take you anywhere and I sit in lockdown determined to improve myself academically and professionally ready for when this unfortunate situation hopefully passes.’

-Ben Thomas, studying Ancient, Medieval and Modern History (second year).

Ben Thomas

If you have a success story you’d like to share, please email stories@kent.ac.uk.

You can also contact Student Support and Wellbeing if you require any support for long-term health conditions, a disability or for your mental health. There’s also plenty more support available during your time at Kent.

screen shot of app

App for quick access to student advice

Check out the new MOSAIC app for students. The app brings together a collection of short videos for new, returning and final year students. Videos include advice from both staff and students about support and opportunities available at the University of Kent.

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email studentsuccessproject@kent.ac.uk.

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.

Student standing on beach

Student success: opportunities through the Employability Points Scheme

Business student Keerttana Sankaran shares how getting involved in the Employability Points scheme lead her to secure a summer intern position and then a part-time position during her final year.

How did you learn about the Employability Points scheme?

“I was first introduced to the Employability Points (EP) Scheme during my first year of studying at the University of Kent. Though my interest in earning points peaked during my second year, I was quite interested in entering the EP Scheme from year one. By attending numerous workshops and talks organised by the EP scheme, as well as my role as the Student Course Representative for stage 2 BBA Business Analytics and my role as the Vice-President of the Kent Marketing Society, I was able to acquire 500+ points.”

Did opportunities arise from the Employability Points scheme?

“I was offered a summer internship position at Sustainability Monitor after a successful application and interview process. As I was very interested in the role description and passionate about both marketing and research, I accepted the role of Digital Marketing and Research Analyst.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many student placements and summer internships were negatively affected. However, I was very lucky to have been offered a role at a company that decided to move forward with a virtual internship. Due to which, I had been able to get right into providing valuable insight into the job from day one, as I worked so closely with the marketing and research team virtually. Thus, opening up opportunities to gain technical skills like Slack and Trello, that were key to my internship.

From a marketing point of view, I had the opportunity to observe and assist with a launch project from start to finish. I was involved in tasks that involved qualitative and quantitative research and analysing data to produce reports using my excel and business analytics knowledge. I have also accumulated insights on other topics, such as research database, machine learning and taxonomy.

At the end of the summer internship, I was offered a part-time position to continue as a Digital Marketing and Research Analyst. I was very pleased to accept this role and continue my work at Sustainability Monitor.”

Would you recommend getting involved with the Employability Points scheme and why?

“I would highly recommend joining the Employability Points (EP) scheme. Especially now with an unstable Covid-19 situation the EP scheme allows students to access vital information regarding employability in the current market. From networking skills, CV writing to seminars that aid international students find employment. The EP scheme helps all students form all courses across the University to improve their chances of employment while encouraging students to try and learn from new and challenging experiences to gain points and redeem rewards in the form of work experience.”

-Keerttana Sankaran, Final year, Business Administration with Business Analytics

Learn more about how you can get involved with the EP Scheme. For each co-curricular activity completed, students can claim ‘Employability Points’, which can be cashed-in for the chance to apply for exclusive internships, work placements, vouchers and more.

Virtual Employability Festival

#EmpFest20 is here! 12-23 October

The Virtual Employability Festival has started. Attend events online, including our showcase Virtual Careers Fair 2020. Free to University of Kent students and recent graduates!

Want to know how to network online? Or how to prepare for a virtual assessment centre? The Virtual Employability Festival is the perfect opportunity to develop your job-seeking skills and gain an insight into a range of career sectors from graduate employers, industry experts and Kent alumni. Receive expert advice on the key things that can make you stand out in the recruitment market! And, you can earn Employability Points (EP Points)!

Take advantage of the range of online activities taking place, which will help you to take the steps towards your career goals. These include:

  • Virtual Assessment Centres
  • Creating a great CV
  • Video Interview Skills
  • Psychometric tests
  • Career insights into: Finance, Law, Social Work, Politics, Project Management and much more!

The EmpFest programme is available on the Careers and Employability Service website. The great news is that the majority of events are open to students from all stages and schools. Some have limited spaces, so check out the website and book your place ASAP.

Virtual Careers Fair

The Virtual Careers Fair is the highlight of EmpFest and takes place Tuesday 20 October, 10.00-16.00. Meet with exhibitors offering a variety of graduate and undergraduate opportunities, ranging from Graduate Schemes, Year in Industry placements and Summer Internships to Insight Days.

  • Download the Careers Fair Plus App – available on the App Store and Google Play
  • Book appointments with recruiters from 1 October

The app will allow you to:

  • View exhibitor profiles in advance, find out more about them and view their websites
  • Filter and search for opportunities by degree subject, sector or business area
  • Book short 1-2-1 appointments to talk to recruiters (usually 10 mins)

Keep updated with Careers Fair and #EmpFest20 news by following us on:

  • Canterbury: Facebook: @UKCES   Twitter:@unikentemploy    Instagram:@unikentces
  • Medway: Facebook: @ukmemployability  Twitter:@ukmemploy Instagram:@medwaycareers

Join the conversation at #EmpFest20

Multicoloured pencils joined to make a circle

Study Plus free workshops (October)

The Study Plus programme has been revamped with a new and exciting range of workshops, all of which are free of charge to attend.

All workshops in term one are taking place virtually. Places are limited to please book online early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday 21 October 14.00-16.00 – ASPIRE – Business Start Up Journey 

Find out more about the University’s flagship student start-up support programme at our inspirational launch,  where we welcome serial entrepreneur Dr Mick Jackson, founder of WildHearts, a multi-million-pound group using its profits to help humanity.
Hear from student entrepreneurs talking about founding their own businesses and learn more about the Business Start-Up Journey’s mix of interactive workshops and one-to-one advice sessions which will guide you through starting your own business.

Saturday 24 October 10.00-16.00 – ASPIRE – The Ideas Hack 

Dive into our ideas hack where you’ll work with other students to find ideas using the Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration. Develop key skills using Design Thinking techniques that help you to fully understand what users want and how to unlock the innovation in your ideas.

Monday 26 October 11.00-12.30 – Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence refers to the capability to understand and recognise your own emotions and those of people around you, which is crucial to personal effectiveness.  You will come away with:

  • Understanding of the 5 elements of EI,
  • The importance and impacts of EI in the workplace and for career building
  • Actions they can take to increase their own EI

Monday 26 October 15.00-16.30 – Building Resilience 

Building resilience is key! From the field of early years (0-5 years old) through education and into the professional working world, resilience is something we need to help us thrive in whatever stage of life we find ourselves and appropriately manage any challenges we may face. Most importantly resilience helps us in our personal and professional lives. By attending this workshop, you will learn:

  • strategies to become more resilient
  • how to challenge your limiting beliefs
  • how to address challenges you face in life
  • how to adopt a growth mindset.

Wednesday 28 October 15.00-17.00-  ASPIRE – Problem Solving for Start Ups 

The best businesses solve problems for their users or customers. In this interactive workshop we learn together how to pull problems apart and see how our start-up can really make a difference in solving the world’s problems. 

Wednesday 28 October 18.00-20.00 – Meditation 

This course will enable you to apply meditative practices to study, work and life:

  • Applying knowledge of the roots and purposes of meditative practise to personal circumstances
  • Utilising the basic principles of meditation to events and situations
  • Adopting contemplative skills of mindfulness, focus, and personal transformation to activities
  • Choosing meditative approaches that suit their needs

By the end of the session, you will have:

  • Examined presentation fears and strategies to overcome them
  • Understood some tools and models for presenting such as Kiss; The Pyramid Principle and INTRO
  • Practiced presenting – speed style
  • Explored ways to beat the nerves

Saturday 31 October 10.00-14.00 – Emergency First Aid 

An introduction to Emergency first aid. This will be a 4 hour event. Please note we have limited spaces available so book soon to avoid missing out!  

Book a virtual workshop now.