Category Archives: Student covid

Kent Summer Fest cancellation and travelling home

For the attention of those students currently living or studying on campus or visiting to access campus facilities.

As many of you have already heard, yesterday we had to take the difficult decision to cancel all remaining non-essential on-campus student activities a week earlier than planned. This is due to a rapid increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 among students on the Canterbury campus. 

While we have no evidence that the rise in cases is linked to our events or the use of campus facilities, given the national picture and the number of you that are needing to self-isolate both on and off campus, we needed to take this step as a precaution.

We know how disappointing this news is, and we share your frustration that the ongoing pandemic has once again disrupted our plans to come together. For those who have booked onto paid activities, event organisers will be in touch soon with further details regarding refunds.

With the exception of those already self-isolating, we are now advising anyone who was planning to leave campus at the end of this week to travel home at the earliest opportunity to ensure we do all we can to minimise the risk of further cases.

Returning home

Walk-in on-site asymptomatic (symptom free) lateral flow tests are available in the Sibson Building from 09.30 – 19.15 daily where you can also pick up home testing kits.

If you do need to self-isolate, we will do everything we can to support you while you remain on campus.

If you need to stay on campus

For those of you who need to stay in accommodation longer for study or personal reasons, including KMMS students and postgraduates, the campus remains open providing essential services and support.

As you know, over the last 18 months we have introduced a considerable number of effective on-campus Covid-secure measures and the University and Kent Union will be continuing to provide a range of essential campus facilities and services including the Templeman Library, study areas, shops and Rutherford Dining Hall.

Staying safe 

Whatever your plans, please do remember that despite the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 is still with us and it is vital that we all:

Thank you for your continued understanding in this, and for the exemplary way you have all approached this most challenging of years. I wish you the very best for the summer break.

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

hand sanitiser

Important Covid-19 update

There have been some important recent changes to the behaviour of the virus and to the advice that we need to follow in order to keep ourselves and our wider communities safe.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is currently the most common in many regions of the UK including Kent and has changed how the virus is spreading. It has also changed the symptoms that are associated with infection with a headache, sore throat and runny nose now being commonly reported.

In young people, Covid infection can get mistaken for a cold or even hay fever.

Despite the relatively low-numbers of cases and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 is still with us and it is vital that we all:

Returning home

Please remember to get tested before leaving for home:

The FAQs below will help you understand what you need to do to keep you, your friends and family and our community safe.

I am sure we are all looking forward to the rest of the summer and hopefully some much improved weather. Please join us in doing everything we can to make sure we get to make the most of the summer and control the spread of Covid-19.

Please contact CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes

Lucy

Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Public Health Lead

 

Revised Covid-19 FAQs

What are the revised symptoms of Covid-19?

People with Covid-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have Covid-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue, muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat, congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

What do I do if I think I might have symptoms?

If you think you might have symptoms of Covid-19, regardless of any asymptomatic (lateral flow) test results you may have recently had, self-isolate immediately, get a PCR test done and let us know. Not doing so may put you, your family and friends at risk.

You can book a PCR test online or by phoning 119. There are NHS PCR testing centres all over the UK. We have one in Rutherford Car Park on the Canterbury campus and in The Deep End at Medway.

Please do not go to an asymptomatic (symptom-free) testing centre if you have symptoms or are self-isolating.

See our guide on ‘What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or advised to self-isolate’.

What do I do if I’m symptom free?

Please get tested regularly. Asymptomatic (symptom-free) lateral flow testing should be carried out at least twice a week. Whilst it doesn’t completely rule out you having Covid-19, there is a good chance that positive cases will be detected and you can then take appropriate action.

Please do not go to an asymptomatic (symptom-free) testing centre if you have symptoms or are self-isolating.

You can order lateral flow home test kits online or pick them up from the Sibson Building on the Canterbury campus and The Deep End on the Medway campus.

A negative test result is not a guarantee that you do not have Covid-19.

You still to need to follow the NHS guidance on Hands, Face, Space, Test and abide by the Government restrictions on social gatherings – only 6 people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors. Stick to the 2 metre rule whenever you can!

How can I get vaccinated?

The UK vaccination programme is now available free of charge to everyone over 18 years of age and current programmes have already shown that vaccination prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

You can find out more about walk-in vaccination centres via the local media in your area, or use the NHS booking service online or by phoning 119.

For those of you travelling from term-time to vacation addresses, you do not need to have both vaccination appointments in the same place. You are free to book each one, or attend walk-ins, in different locations.

More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online and the NHS student vaccination FAQs are also now available, including more detailed information for international students.

What if I’ve been vaccinated?

You need to have had two Covid-19 vaccine doses to provide the recommended amount of protection against new variant Covid-19.

This protection starts approximately three weeks following your second dose.

Even when you have had both doses, you should still test regularly, follow the NHS guidance on Hands, Face, Space, Test and abide by the Government restrictions on social gatherings – only 6 people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

Students sat at labyrinth at the Canterbury campus

End of term update

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

In recognition of last Friday being the end of term, may I begin by congratulating all of you on everything you have achieved during this challenging and remarkable time.

You have shown incredible levels of creativity, flexibility and dedication in the pursuit of your studies, and I know from colleagues around the University, along with Kent Union and GKSU, that many of you have also achieved tremendous things outside of your courses caring for and supporting others. Thank you for your contributions to our community this year.

Whilst many of you are on campus either enjoying Kent Summer Fest (despite the current weather) or continuing with your studies, we are all looking forward to welcoming most of you back to our campuses in September.

For those of you leaving us this summer – thank you again, and good luck for the future. Our Alumni Team will be in contact soon to let you know how to keep in touch with Kent and news of our ongoing services and support for all our former students.

Exam results

Now that all the summer examinations are complete, Boards of Examiners are working to finalise your end-of-stage marks and degree classifications. Their work includes taking into account all the details of circumstances which may have impacted on your performance, including Covid-19 and national lockdowns in accordance with our No Detriment measures.

The anticipated completion date for the boards is listed below and you will be emailed once your results are available on Kent Vision as soon as the decisions of the board relevant to you have been processed, so please allow a day or two for that to occur.

  • Undergraduate final year and diploma – Thursday 1 July 2021
  • All other undergraduate stages and foundation – Monday 19 July 2021
  • Postgraduate taught courses – Monday 19 July 2021

Support over the summer

Student support services, including student wellbeing and learning advice, continue to be available to you throughout the summer in the form of both online and in-person provision. You can find all our services via the Student Guide, as well as more information about our on-campus services and opening hours on both our Canterbury and Medway campuses.

In addition, the Kent Union and GKSU advice centres are both available to help across a range of areas including academic support, accommodation issues and wellbeing concerns.

Vaccinations

Thank you to all of you who have attended vaccination pop-ups or booked your appointments already. As you know, the UK vaccination programme is now available free of charge to everyone over 18 years of age and current programmes have already shown that vaccination prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

You can find out more about walk-in vaccination centres via the local media in your area, or use the NHS booking service online or by phoning 119.

For those of you travelling from term-time to vacation addresses, you do not need to have both vaccination appointments in the same place. You are free to book each one, or attend walk-ins, in different locations.

More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online and the NHS student vaccination FAQs are also now available, including more detailed information for international students.

Please do continue to get in touch with CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes,

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Covid-19 vaccine sticker

Covid-19: Pop-up Centres in Canterbury

From Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Health Protection Lead

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. Current programmes have already shown that it prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

Those of you over 21 can already book a vaccination using the NHS online booking system and by the end of the week, all over 18 year olds will be eligible.

Two pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinics are open in Canterbury this weekend and I would like to encourage you to attend if you can, particularly with the summer vacation in mind.

  1. Saturday 19 June, 10.00-17.00
    First and second Pfizer vaccination doses
    Sea Cadet Hub, Vauxhall Road, Canterbury CT1 1ZN – Google map
  2. Sunday 20 June, 08.30-19.00
    First Pfizer vaccination doses only
    Augustine House, Rhodaus Town, Canterbury CT1 2YA – Google map

The walk-in clinics will be offering the Pfizer vaccine, which means it is most appropriate for people aged 39 and under, but adults of any age are welcome to attend. No appointments are necessary at either of the clinics.

There may be queues outside the buildings, so people are asked to wear appropriate clothing and observe social distancing rules. The entrance for the Augustine House is at the rear, accessed by walking up the pathway to the left of the building. It is walk-in only, with no parking available on site.

Those who receive a vaccination at the clinics are advised to visit the online national booking service a few days after their first jab to book their second dose. Appointments for the second vaccination can be made via the national booking service.

There is more information on the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination in Kent and Medway, and you can find other locations of vaccination sites. More information about the UK Government vaccination programme is also available online.

Even if you are unable to attend these pop-up clinics this weekend, I strongly encourage you to participate in a Covid-19 vaccination programme at your earliest opportunity to do so.

You might also find this NHS vaccination video helpful.

Best wishes,

Lucy

Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Health Protection Lead

People walking on Canterbury campus

Covid-19 update – delay to roadmap and Kent Summer Fest

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

As you may already know, the UK Government announced yesterday evening a delay in moving to the next step of their roadmap out of lockdown. Step 4 has now been put back to no earlier than 19 July 2021, meaning for now the vast majority of the ongoing safety requirements will remain as they are.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued cooperation throughout the ongoing lockdown period. I know that this delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but it is vital we all keep supporting one another by following all Government guidance during this additional stage of lockdown release.

Kent Summer Fest

For those of you looking forward to joining us on campus for Kent Summer Fest next week, the good news is that we will we going ahead from Monday as planned.

Whilst yesterday’s announcement means we will be making some changes to our programme to fit within the current restrictions, we have had safety and flexibility built into our planning throughout and we will still be offering a full programme of events.

I hope to see as many as possible of you for a fortnight of fun-packed events and a chance to socialise and relax together after such a difficult year. We will share final details of ‘what’s on’ via our Kent Summer Fest webpages later this week.

Testing

A huge thank you to all of you who have taken part in the additional enhanced testing in Canterbury both on our campus and across the city. The testing finishes at the end of today, so please do try and get along to the testing vans on the Keynes and Darwin carparks today if you can for one of your weekly tests.

Whilst this focus on new variants is coming to an end, remember that you do still need to get regularly tested, especially if you are living on campus, coming to Kent Summer Fest or accessing other campus facilities. The campus asymptomatic testing centres are still open in Canterbury and Medway and in Canterbury we also offer home testing kits for you to collect. For those not able to collect from campus, please order your home kits from the NHS directly.

For those of you with symptoms or who test positive, please self-isolate immediately, arrange an NHS PCR test and let us know. Further information is in our ‘What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or advised to self-isolate’ online guide.

Please do continue to get in touch with CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Covid testing

Covid-19: Increased testing in Canterbury

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Following last week’s update, Canterbury has had confirmation of further cases of Covid-19 and in particular those linked to one of the new variants of concern.

Whilst the number of cases remains low, to ensure any spread is limited as quicky as possible, Public Health England (PHE) have launched an enhanced testing programme for everyone living, working or studying in either the CT1 or CT2 7 postcodes. This precautionary measure includes our Canterbury campus and the majority of student accommodation areas in the city.

We strongly encourage all of you living, working or studying in the target postcodes to play your part by getting one of these additional tests as soon as possible. As the enhanced testing is specifically to locate cases of the new variant, this includes those of you who have been regularly completing asymptomatic tests in recent weeks, even if you have recently tested negative.

What you need to do

PHE have requested that anyone living, working or studying in the target postcode areas, including student accommodation, should attend an enhanced testing centre between the 1-15 June.

Two mobile units will be situated in Keynes College and Darwin Car Parks from Tuesday onwards, and will be open to students, staff and members of the public from 09.00-19.00 daily. There will also be several enhanced testing units around the city, with more information on locations online.

After your test, you can resume your normal activities whilst awaiting your test result. If you receive a positive test result, please inform us immediately by completing our online webform as part of our guide, ‘What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or are advised to self-isolate’.

Please note that you do not need to be tested if you have had Covid-19 in the last 90 days.

Staying safe on campus

While we have not been asked to make any changes to current activity on campus, the recent developments show how vital it is that we all continue to keep each other safe in the weeks ahead by sticking to the latest government guidelines and the NHS guide on how to avoid spreading the infection. We have also carried out additional health and safety checks on campus to ensure key areas such as the Templeman Library are as safe as possible.

Finally, we will all need to remember to continue to get tested twice a week and report all positive results even after the enhanced testing has finished. This can be done either at our on-campus asymptomatic test centres or by using one of our home-test kits. Find out more about Covid testing.

I’m proud of how all of you have come together to keep each other safe over the last year – keeping that up and doing our bit during this additional step will be a key part of supporting our community, so I want to thank you all in advance for your continued cooperation.

With best wishes,

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Three students at Medway campus outside

Covid-19 update: plans for Autumn 2021

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

As we move into the final term of this academic year, and on behalf of all our University staff, I would like to take a moment to thank you for the resilience you have shown throughout the pandemic. I know this has been a difficult time for many of you and I, along with the rest of the University, have been humbled by your tenacity and dedication to your studies.

After many months of uncertainty, I am pleased we can now look ahead to the next academic year at Kent and plan the experiences you will be able to look forward to.

The government’s roadmap out of lockdown gives us every reason to be optimistic though, whilst we anticipate that we will return fully to campus as usual from September and will be preparing for this, we are also planning for other possibilities should there be any delays to that roadmap.

Campus

We are getting ready to open our campuses from September 2021 and look forward to welcoming you back to Kent.

There will be plenty of opportunities to make the most of our beautiful spaces and meet with other students, with a range of creative events, activities and ways to get together. Our venues, bars and cafes will be open, following any safety guidance that is relevant at the time.

We will be providing a broad range of events at both Canterbury and Medway, allowing you to reconnect with other students and to make the most of your University experience. Our events will include both face-to-face and online opportunities, ensuring all Kent students can get involved no matter where they are in the world.

Teaching

We are determined to give you the highest quality education and having listened to both you and our staff, are planning our teaching around ways that will best enable your success.

Most lectures will continue to be delivered online in the Autumn term, so that we can timetable as many small-group teaching sessions (eg, seminars, lab classes and studio sessions) for face-to-face delivery as possible. These are the sessions in which you can most effectively share and discuss ideas directly with our staff and your fellow students.

For the whole of 2021/22, summative assessments and exams will remain online, with only a small number of exceptions.

Planning in this way means we will be able to adapt our plans quickly as and when government guidelines give us more flexibility.

Whilst we look forward to welcoming you all back in person, we know that might not be possible for some of you. For those of you unable to return, remote study will remain an option for most courses.

Later this term, as plans progress, your school/department will email you with more details on how your subject will be taught from September and will provide advice for those requiring remote study.

Support

In the past year, we recognise that your studies have been disrupted and you have had to adapt to different ways of learning during the pandemic. We will continue to offer a wide range of support for your academic studies and good mental health, through our academic advisory sessions and services including those from Student Support and Wellbeing and Student Learning and Advisory Service. We are keen to ensure you get the most out of your time at Kent, so we are here to support you throughout your journey.

Along with colleagues from across the University, I will be providing a general update for the Summer Term as part of our series of Kent Student WebChats on Friday 21 May, 13.00-14.00. Please do sign-up online and add and any questions you would like to have answered.

Further information about our plans for the 2021/22 academic year, as it becomes available, will be added to your Coronavirus Student Information pages.

If you have any questions, please email CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk.

With my best wishes,

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Student sat by tree

Covid-19 update: Return to campus

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

Earlier this week, the Government announced further details on when and how students will be permitted to return to face-to-face teaching at universities across England, and indicated that this would be no earlier than 17 May 2021. 

This is disappointing news for many and we share your frustration that we have not been able to welcome everyone back to our campuses sooner. As we move towards the exam term at Kent, we will continue to do everything we can to support you wherever you are based. We are firmly focused on helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your online exams from 10 May onwards, with more information on how we will support you in this on our Student Guide.   

The Government also confirmed that additional hardship funds will be made available to support students most in need given the continued restrictions – we are awaiting further details on what this means for us at Kent and will share more information as soon as possible. 

Come together for Kent Summer 

We are determined to give you all a chance to come together and end the year on a high when lockdown does finally ease. We will shortly share joint plans with our Students’ Unions for a fun-packed programme throughout the summer, with street food from around the world, outdoor screenings and live performances leading up to a two-week celebration at the end of June once exams are over. I hope as many of you as possible can take the chance to catch up with each other in person while making the most of everything our wonderful campuses have to offer.  

Enjoy the Easter break, and thank you all again for the fantastic way you have all continued to engage with your studies and wider university life this year. 

With best wishes, 

Richard 

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

students sat outside

Covid-19 update: Government Restrictions, Exam Guidance, No Detriment Policy

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

This year’s vacation period signals a further relaxation of Coronavirus restrictions as the Government moves into Step 2 of its roadmap to get the country out of lockdown. As of 12 April, non-essential retail will re-open along with some entertainment venues and hospitality outlets.

On the Canterbury campus:

On the Medway campus:

  • The Student Hub reception will be open from 10.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday
  • Keep an eye out on the GKSU website and social media for further updates and activity

We’ll all need to continue to play our part in keeping everyone safe as restrictions start to ease, so please carry on observing all social distancing regulations and guidance concerning Hands, Face, Space when using campus spaces and facilities.

With the Rule of 6 now in force, I hope as many of you as possible can take the chance to socialise outdoors in groups of six or as two households – do remember though that indoor socialising is still not permitted with those not part of your household, and there can be consequences if you do not stick to the rules. Thanks to all of you for continuing to help us keep our campuses safe as we continue with preparations to get life back to normal at Kent.

Summer Examinations 

We have published a guide to help you prepare for your Summer online examinations and revise effectively. There are a range of resources you can access as well as tips for structuring your revision and staying focused.

Remember that if you wish to stay on campus for any part of the Summer term, we have a range of accommodation options available starting at £35 per night. You can book online using the EXAMSTUDY promotional code to reserve your room.

No Detriment 

We have added a new bank of FAQs to our No Detriment Measures 2021 webpage based on our continued commitment that no student is disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic.

Covid-19 testing 

For those of you staying on campus over the Easter vacation, please help us have a great summer together by continuing to get tested twice weekly for Covid-19. If you intend to travel, please take a test before you leave for your permanent home. You should also get tested at a nearby community facility, if possible, before you return to campus after the Easter break.

Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

Students sat at Canterbury campus

Covid-19 update: Easter vacation, graduations and summer events

From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

I hope you are all well and looking forward to some much-needed relaxation at the end of the Spring Term. Thank you for your dedication to your studies during what has been an incredibly challenging academic year – watch this space for plans to bring those that can together later in the Summer when restrictions allow, with more information below.

For now, as we move into the next stage of the Government’s roadmap we can look ahead to lockdown rules easing further and being able to spend more time with friends and family. Please remember that from 29 March, the ‘Rule of 6’ is now in force, meaning you can socialise outdoors in groups of 6, or as 2 households. Socialising indoors with those not in your household is not yet permitted.

Easter vacation

For those of you already in your term-time accommodation, Government guidance states that although you may travel back to your permanent home at Easter, it is preferable that you remain at your term-time address, if you can.

If you do intend to travel, please ensure you get tested before you leave, plan your journey in case of delays and get tested at a local community testing facility if possible before you return to campus. Remember that if you test positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate and are not permitted to travel.

If you plan to travel from abroad, please see our International information page for more on the travel and testing arrangements that must be followed if you are returning to the UK from abroad.

Graduations

This week we have written to final year students confirming our delayed plans for this year’s graduations. While everyone will still receive their certificate so there should be no need to delay plans for employment or further study, it is important that every Kent student can enjoy the graduation ceremony they deserve. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee this for this summer – however we will be welcoming all our final year students to celebrate their graduation at Canterbury or Rochester Cathedral next May.

Summer events

Look out for joint plans on the way with our Students’ Unions to make the most of summer and celebrate the end of term, including a festival fortnight of fun and community on our Canterbury and Medway campuses from 21 June to 2 July. We’re aiming to have something for everyone, with music events, outdoor catering, sports programmes, screenings, workshops and much more to coincide with the planned removal of Government restrictions. I hope as many as possible can join activities when we can this summer and come together safely to mark the end of a difficult year for everyone.

Summer Term accommodation at Canterbury

As I mentioned last week, if you no longer have term-time accommodation and wish to stay on the Canterbury campus for any part of the Summer Term, we have a range of accommodation options available starting at £35 per night. Whether for exams or our summer events, you can book online using the EXAMSTUDY promotional code to reserve your room.

Best wishes

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience