Category Archives: Student Guide

University Mental Health Day

University Mental Health Day, 4 March

While we can’t be physically together on campus, it is so important to remember to look after your mental health and wellbeing remotely. This year on University Mental Health Day take the time to acknowledge your own mental health and take a look at these resources that may benefit you, ranging from a mindfulness check-in, a workshop on managing stress or needing extra help from the university.

There are several events offered by the university that are available to you to promote good mental health:

Although this time may be isolating, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this experience. If you feel as though you could benefit from extra support mental health support from the University, you can access services from the Counselling team, check out Wellbeing Ideas For Uncertain Times or see our Emergency Support.

There is also lots of support outside of the university including:

  • Nightline – Call Nightline and speak to a trained student volunteer about anything that may be troubling you. Student volunteers are on hand throughout the night if you just need someone to listen. (20.00-08.00, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
  • Togetherall – You can also get mental health support online via Togetherall 24/7, from wherever you are.  

See more support outside of the University.

overhead view of laptop with person typing and plant on desk

Support and opportunities for your final year

In a year quite unlike any other…. we’re here to help you as you prepare for your final-year exams, assignments and dissertations, as well as helping you to choose the career path that’s right for you – whether you want to progress to postgraduate study or want to stand out in the jobs market.

If you are in your final year of study and need support with what to do next, don’t worry, help is at hand. We have professional teams of staff who are dedicated to helping you make the most of your time here at Kent and to help you reach your potential.

Information Services have teamed up with the Student Learning and Advisory Service and the Careers and Employability Service to offer a wide range of advice and support, from one-to-one appointments, skills development, careers events, presentations and workshops, digital resources, online guides and lots more.

More information

  • Careers and Employability Service
    • career planning, job hunting and applications, postgraduate study, volunteering, employability points
  • Information Services
    • subject support from our liaison librarians, library resource guides, research skills, digital library, software to help you study, exam help reading list, careers and employability reading list
  • Student Learning and Advisory Service
    • one to one academic advice appointments, maths and stats clinics, online study guides and video tutorials, bespoke embedded study skills sessions and academic peer mentoring (APM) training.

Check out our Finalist webpages for more information, events and support in your final year.

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Update on student return to campus following Government announcement

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

As many of you will know, the Prime Minister made a statement to Parliament yesterday on the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England.   

The roadmap, combined with follow up guidance from the Department for Education, confirms that students on practical or practice-based courses that require access to specialist equipment or facilities can return to campus from 8 March but only within certain safety parameters. Because of that, not all students on practical or practice-based courses will, or can be, prioritised to return from that date. 

No matter which taught course you are studying, you will be informed by your academic school/department by week beginning Monday 1 March whether the return to face-to-face on-campus teaching applies to you or not. Please allow staff the time to put those communications together and do not make any travel arrangements or plans to return until you receive this confirmation from your school. Until then, please continue to follow your current timetable. 

These changes apply to both undergraduate and postgraduate taught students. There is currently no change to the arrangements for research students. 

In deciding which practical courses will be allowing students to return to campus for face-to-face teaching or assessment from 8 March, we have had to consider a number of factors including: 

  • the need to prioritise those who require on campus facilities or assessment as an essential part of finishing their course or fulfilling the requirements of a professional, statutory or regulatory body
  • the Government request that universities should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online
  • Government requirements to restrict travel wherever possible and increased testing for Covid-19
  • more stringent social distancing requirements limiting the capacity in teaching spaces and laboratories. 

This will mean the majority of you will continue to be taught online until the end of term, though students who do meet the existing criteria for return to campus (for health, wellbeing or study space reasons) will continue to be supported. We are currently reviewing our position regarding rent for University accommodation and will continue to work with Kent Union and GKSU on rent issues for those of you in private accommodation. 

There will be a Government review in mid-April, and, whilst that will be too late for us to offer any additional face-to-face teaching this term, we are hopeful that the roadmap will allow us to offer greater access to on-campus facilities and more on-campus events for a much larger number of students from the beginning of May. 

For those of you who are returning to study on campus from 8 March, revised guidance on travel and testing will be made available to you soon following several changes to Government requirements for those travelling from both within the UK and from abroad. 

For those students who will not be returning for the time being, we will be looking at ways we can continue to reinforce our online student experience in response to your feedback and in conjunction with Kent Union, GKSU and your course representatives. 

We will be holding a Student Web Chat next week where staff from across the University will be presenting information and offering guidance related to the recent updates in Government regulations and their implications for study. Please do sign-up online where you can send in any questions you may have in advance. 

Support, information and events continue to be advertised on our Student Guide and social media and we will continue updating our coronavirus web pages as often as we can. Please do continue to email CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk with any urgent enquiries and we will respond as soon as possible. 

Finally, please can I remind you not to make any plans to travel back to your term-time address until you hear from your academic school/department that you are invited to do so or unless you meet the existing criteria (for health, wellbeing or study space reasons). 

Best wishes 

Richard 

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

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What’s on: 22-28 February 2021

This week’s events include preparation for online job assessment centres, guided online meditation and the conclusion of the LGBTQ+ History Month celebration. There’s also a postgraduate open event for any undergrads wanting to know about further study opportunities.

Today we are also expecting a Government announcement regarding Covid-19 and the current national lockdown. Please keep an eye on your student emails later in the week for an update.

Events for you to try this week:

Browse all events

Have you read this?

Browse all student support

Keep an eye on:

Let us know what you think of these updates by emailing communications@kent.ac.uk

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Student update ahead of Monday’s government announcement

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

Many of you will know that the Government is scheduled to make an announcement on Monday 22 February outlining how the national lockdown restrictions are to be eased. We expect that this announcement will include specific guidance for education providers and anticipate that it will outline the Government’s plans for university students’ phased return to face-to-face teaching on campus. 

After next week’s announcement, we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know how the Government’s latest guidance may influence your teaching arrangements, travel plans and the Covid-19 testing programme. Until then please stay where you are and continue to study online. Please do not make any plans to return to campus until we contact you confirming that it is safe and permitted for you to do so. 

Our priority now, as it has been throughout the pandemic, is the safety and wellbeing of our entire university community. We have audited all our teaching and social spaces to ensure we can accommodate 2m social distancing across campus. This has significant impacts on the capacity of our academic and social spaces for teaching and studying (eg library). 

Therefore, we have started to prioritise the return of students to campus for activities that are essential to academic progression which may include access to specialist facilities. With these exceptions, we anticipate that significant amounts of our teaching will need to remain online for the remainder of this term. However, working with Divisions we will continue to ensure that your stage and programme learning outcomes are met.   

For those of you who are already living back on campus or if you are accessing any campus facilities, please can I remind you it is vital you are tested regularly for Covid-19. Providing you don’t have symptoms, please ensure you get tested twice each week at our campus testing facilities at both Canterbury and Medway. You can also get tested at your nearest community facility. 

I will be in touch with you next week once we have assessed the impact of Monday’s Government announcement.  

Please also sign up to our next Student Web Chat on 3 March 2021 where we will discuss these issues in more detail 

With best wishes,

Richard

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

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Study Plus opportunities this week (22-26 February)

Our Study Plus scheme provides a range of free short-term courses and workshops which can enhance your graduate employability skills alongside your main subject specialism. Here are some of the upcoming events you can sign up for:

Study Plus Can I say that? An introduction to inclusive language and reclaimed words by Sal Pearman, Monday 22 February 14.30-16.30 

The focus of this session the focus will be around language, phrasing, championing and challenging. We will share best practice models, research and advice to ensure attendees feel confident to talk about Equality and Identity in an inclusive and thoughtful way. In the workshop we will explore:

  • Can I say that? Looking at current news stories and challenges
  • Exploring what we mean by ‘tone of voice’ in organisations
  • Guiding principles and best practice
  • Weaponised language and reclaimed words
  • Surgery session

Study Plus – LGBT What does it mean? by Sal Pearman, Tuesday 23 February 13.00-15.00

This two-hour webinar will create an opportunity to better understand it’s context in championing and supporting people’s rights, it’s context within the law, and what positive steps we can take. We will cover

  • What does LGBT+ mean?
  • What are the separate identities and communities that make up the LGBT banner?
  • How homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can creep into our everyday language and behaviours
  • What we can all do to be better LGBT+ allies
  • Space for questions and storytelling

Study Plus – Developing a Growth Mindset by Ali Whelan, Wednesday 24 February 11.00-12.30

Overall objective = To promote the concept of continuous personal development, positive curiosity and resilience to succeed.

  • What is a growth mindset
  • Fixed mindset v Growth Mindset – 5 key areas
  • The power of ‘yet’
  • The role of feedback

Study Plus – ASPIRE Workshop 11 – What do investors want? Wednesday 24 February 15.00-17.00

Have you got what it takes to walk into the dragons’ den? Find out what investors are looking for in a start-up and how to build an investible business.

Study Plus – Presentation Skills Part 1 By Leanne Davies, Thursday 25 February 13.00-16.00

The aim of this learning experience is to assist you to plan and practice your next presentation (whether it be Virtual or Face-to-Face) so that you can deliver it with confidence, keep your audience engaged and make your message memorable.

Study Plus – Goal setting and Action Planning by Jeffrey Wotherspoon, Friday 26 February 14.00-15.30

  • Learn the benefits of goal setting and why you should set them
  • Explore a perspective that makes goal setting motivational and encouraging rather than a pressured activity that causes disappointment
  • Learn a framework to use to set goals and tips on how to make it work for you
  • Set goals and develop an action plan

Learn more about Study Plus.

Sustainability collage

Sustainability consultation – have your say!

The Sustainability Team has opened up a number of key strategies for consultation to get student and staff’s say on sustainability at the University.

The University has a number of operational strategies that support our transition to a more sustainable institution which are due for renewal this summer. The Sustainability Team are running an open consultation on some of these strategies as they go through the process of being refreshed over this academic year. The strategies are owned by a number of departments across the University including the Estates Department, the Safety, Health and Environment and Kent Hospitality.

The strategies include our Carbon Management Plan; Sustainable Food; Landscape and Biodiversity; and Waste and Recycling strategies.

The Sustainability Team have put together a consultation form for each strategy asking for students and staff to input their thoughts and ideas on a number of sustainability issues across our operational work. Collaboration is key to the work that we do in the Sustainability team and we need to hear from staff and students across the organisation to help us navigate the complex road to sustainability.

Reponses from these forms will be collated by the Sustainability Team and fed back to the strategy owner where they will be reviewed. Not all responses and ideas will make it in to the final strategies as decisions around affordability, timescales and achievability will have to be made. However, we are hopeful that we can get a real insight into your priorities that we can then reflect in our short and longer term targets, as well as integrate ideas that we would not have come up with ourselves.

The initial consultation will be open for 4 weeks closing on 19 March . Full details of the timeline and links to the consultation forms can be found on our website.

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No detriment measures update

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

Please note – this guidance is intended for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students only. If you are on an apprenticeship programme, please wait for further guidance from your department. 

Dear Students 

Following my email to you last week concerning our No Detriment measures, I wanted to provide more details on the approaches that have been developed to support the different circumstances you are facing in 2020/21.  

In keeping with guidance from our regulator, the Office for Students, and in line with many other universities, we are adapting our approaches this year to suit the specific impacts that Covid-19 has had on the whole of this academic year.  

Please find below answers to some of the key questions you have raised in recent days. 

What no detriment measures will be used this year? 

To ensure no student is disadvantaged because of Covid-19, our package of measures includes: 

  • More flexibility for coursework submissions and deadlines. 
  • No requirement for supporting evidence to prove the impact of Covid-19. 
  • An assurance that Boards of Examiners will offset the impact of the pandemic on your academic performance. 

This year’s measures reflect how the pandemic has affected students’ entire academic year rather than needing to mitigate for the sudden, unexpected changes to teaching from March 2020 onwards.  

Why is there no Safety Net calculation this year? 

Applying a University-wide Safety Net Calculation this year would not present a fair reflection of your academic abilities or your progress for the following reasons: 

  • The 2019-20 Safety Net Calculation, implemented in March 2020, was undertaken during a time of a sudden and unexpected disruption due to the pandemic and the need to move to remote learning.  
  • By March 2020, a significant proportion of you had completed sufficient assessments to calculate a fair and robust weighted average on which the Safety Net Calculation could be based.  
  • With national lockdowns taking place in November 2020 and January 2021 this year, there are insufficient marks already achieved to make the same calculation.  
  • Finally, academic staff planned this year’s modules and assessments to be suited for online delivery rather than needing to make unexpected changes to teaching partway through the year.  

What are the mitigations available to Boards of Examiners? 

Boards of Examiners already have powers to act to ensure there is no disadvantage to either individuals or groups of students. Boards consider individual performance as well as reviewing the performance of this year’s students against previous years.  

If Boards find evidence of an individual or group of students at a disadvantage, they already have several measures available to them. Last year, these measures were enhanced in response to the pandemic and these enhanced measures will be used once again this academic year. The full range of mitigation measures for Boards of Examiners will be published later in the term.  

In the meantime, please make sure that you complete any work that has been set to the best of your ability given your personal circumstances. 

I hope this has helped reassure you of our commitment to protecting your academic progress. Later in the term we will be revisiting this in our Student WebChat series. Please contact your student support team or our CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk mailbox if you have any urgent enquiries. 

Best wishes 

Richard 

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

  

Be kind message on laptop screen

Top 10 ways to be kind to yourself and others

Being kind to yourself and others is something we should all practise and a message that’s even more important during the current pandemic and lockdown.

This week is Random Acts of Kindness Week (14-20 February). Here are some suggestions on how you can show kindness during lockdown:

1.Organise a virtual get-together for someone who’s going through a rough time.

2.Follow some positive accounts on social media, for example @kindness.news, @wholesome_planet and @the_happy_broadcast on Instagram. If a post brightens your day, share it with others.

3.Drop a note to an elderly neighbour to ask them if they need anything. Help someone feel less isolated.

4.Allow yourself breaks from study and work. A screen break can also be beneficial.

5.Take time to check in with a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while.

6. Ask for help. If you’re struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling mentally, check in with our Student Support and Wellbeing Team.

7.Invite your friends list to ‘like’ the page of a local business to help it grow.

8.Offer to make your housemate a cup of tea or a meal.

9.Always say thank you. You could take the time to thank a teacher or lecturer who has helped you.

10.Take some time for yourself! Be sure to set some time aside in the week to do something you enjoy.

 

Overhead shot of person typing on laptop

What’s on this week (15-21 February)

This week you can apply for the new Covid-19 financial support package, attend a stress management workshop and get some help with your literature review.

Apply for financial support

Is Covid-19 causing you financial difficulties? Check out the new Government Covid-19 financial support scheme to help with rent or other costs caused by the pandemic.

View all our emergency funding options on our financial support webpages.

Events for you to try this week:

Browse all events

Have you read this?

Browse all student support

Keep an eye on:

Let us know what you think of these updates by emailing communications@kent.ac.uk