Category Archives: Uncategorized

campus sign

Update on student encampment

This update follows our previous statement of 15 May, where we committed to give an update on different areas of university activity that have been under discussion.

Like many around the world, we have watched with great alarm the lack of a peaceful resolution to the ongoing war in Gaza. The continued devastation, most recently through the bombardment of Rafah, remains very distressing with a profound emotional impact across our community here in Kent. We condemn violations of international law and any actions that target civilians and express our gravest concern for the loss of innocent lives that has affected so many. We also express our full support for the movement towards a ceasefire and the release of all hostages that is now on the table, which would lead to an immediate pause to military action and for urgent aid to reach Gaza as a priority.

There has been a devastating impact over the last year on universities in the region. International estimates suggest that 80% of universities in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged by the war, with large numbers of students and academics killed and 90,000 Palestinians denied access to education. Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the effect of war on universities not only deprives Palestinian people of their right to learn and share knowledge but also further destabilises a region in desperate need of peace and recovery. Education is a fundamental human right that should be respected and protected universally, and the global community must recognise and act upon the critical need to protect it wherever it is restricted.

Investments and Partnerships

All of our activities at the University of Kent, including investment decisions, are governed by ethical principles that make sure we contribute positively towards a sustainable and peaceful future. Our Socially Responsible Investment Policy guides how and where we invest our money, which to clarify includes not investing directly or indirectly in weapons companies. We are committed to our shared responsibility to support global peace and educational preservation in how we work, collaborate and invest.

These principles also apply to our international partnerships. Any proposed partnership at the University is scrutinised and approved by our International Partnerships Approval Panel, whose membership includes representation from Kent Union and the wider academic community. These are then approved by our Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance Board with authority from Senate. We firmly believe that a free exchange of ideas is critical to academic advancement. However, our existing policies ensure that, while we would support individual projects that pursue peaceful and humanitarian ends, we would not form formal links with any organisation that fell short of these ethical standards. Both this and our investment policy reflect long-standing commitments that apply equally across all countries and territories, and which we are determined to maintain.

Support for victims of war

We also stand in solidarity with all students and staff at the university who are affected by the war in Gaza. This includes taking tangible steps to support victims of war – through continuing our work with external organisations like CARA, who are guiding us on practical ways to provide support and in particular education support, and through our existing Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme. We are actively working towards setting up scholarships for Palestinian students at the earliest opportunity, with funding secured for one place in 2024/25 and alternative funding arrangements being actively pursued for additional places next year and the year after.

Alongside this, we recognise the emotional impact the war is having on our students, and especially those who have lost family or seen their homes destroyed. We pledge to work with them to further enhance training for staff, including in cultural awareness and understanding the emotional needs of victims of war, and to provide additional student support, including mitigation and mental health support.

Supporting the right to protest

The University of Kent respects and supports our students’ right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech within the law. This has been consistent throughout the current student encampment, which has been organised and managed in a safe and respectful way. Through dialogue and advocacy, we are determined to continue our support for both peaceful resolutions to war and for the universal right to education across the world.

Read our previous statements

We appreciate the strength of feeling generated in both staff and students across the university by recent events. At all times we strive to be an organisation where everyone feels welcome and supported and take a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism, Islamophobia or any form of discrimination or harassments on campus. If you experience any discrimination, please use our Report + Support tool so that we can quickly take action and connect you with appropriate support within the University.

15 May 2024: Student encampment on campus

8 December 2023: Israel and Gaza: Supporting our community

10 November 2023: Israel and Gaza reflections

28 October 2023: Israel and Gaza

9 October 2023: Conflict in Israel and Gaza: Support for students

Sports massage

Relax with a Kent Sports Clinic massage for just £23

Are you in need of a massage to help you relax and enjoy the summer?

Why not take us up on a 30-minute qualified massage for just £23 between 1-31 August 2023. We’re also extending the offer to members of the public too, so everyone can benefit from this reduced rate.

To book a massage during this time, you will need a minimum of Kent Sport Pay to Play membership (free, when you create an online booking account). Appointments can be booked online in advance, but must be attended between 1-31 August 2023. Alternatively, call us on 01227 823623 or email

How do I book?

You can choose between qualified and student-led appointments for many of our services. To find out more about our individual services, visit the Kent Sports Clinic webpage.

Qualified massages are bookable as 30-minute appointments as standard. Please contact if you would like to book a 60-minute appointment.

If you’re an existing customer, you can book and pay for services through your online booking account. New customers will first need to create a free account with Kent Sport. This is quick, easy and free to do. See our guidance for more information.

Find out more about our Kent Sports Clinic services and the benefits of massage online.

Corridor of servers

Free Webinar on ChatGPT

We are pleased to invite you to our upcoming webinar Teaching with ChatGPT: Examples of Practice which will take place today (15th March) from 14:00-16:30 GMT. During this webinar, you will hear from academics across the UK and abroad, who have successfully incorporated ChatGPT and other large language models into their teaching practices or plan to in the near future. In addition, we will hear from Zaid Mahmood (Kent Union President) who will give a student’s perspective on the use of ChatGPT in education.

There is no need to register for the webinar, simply click on the joining link below at 14:00 this afternoon.

Click here to join the webinar 

JSNCC elections – New Staff Representative for Grade 7

The Chairs of the Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultative Committee, Martin Atkinson and Roger Giner-Sorolla are pleased to announce the election of Paul Cornwall-French as the new staff representative for non-union colleagues in grades 7 and above.

Paul has served as a representative previously for staff in grades 1-6 and brings a significant wealth of experience at the university to the committee.

Both Martin and Roger extend a warm welcome to Paul and are looking forward to working with him over the next three years.  The chairs would like to extend their thanks to the other nominees for coming forward and to all staff who took the time to vote.

They would also like to thank Charlotte Ransom, the outgoing representative, for her hard work in representing staff views on the committee and would like to wish her well in her new role.

The vote percentage was 48% for Paul Cornwall-French, 25% for Alastair Bailey, 20% for David Bird and 7% abstain.

Trustee and Governor Opportunities

Have you ever considered fulfilling an Education Trustee and Governance role?

We sponsor the University of Kent Academies Trust (UKAT), which is an established multi-academy trust that has two Secondary Schools in Medway:

  1. Chatham Grammar School (CG) – a selective 11 – 19 girls school with a mixed sixth form
  2. Brompton Academy (BA) – a mixed comprehensive school, with a joint sixth form across the two schools.

The Trust focuses on developing the life experience and opportunities of its students, parents, carers, staff and wider community.

If you would like further details on a UKAT Trustee role, or if you’re interested in finding out what Education Trustee and Governance role opportunities we have at our colleges and schools at Kent, please get in touch with Sam Dorey.

“Being a school governor or trustee is a fantastic opportunity to have a positive impact in our local community, build networks within our region and to develop personal skills and experience. In my time as a trustee, I have found the diverse perspectives from parents, industry leaders and educational professionals to be invaluable in broadening and deepening my understanding of the issues facing young people and our local community. I encourage anyone who is considering this to give it a go!”

Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance

Complete our Right to Food Staff Survey

The University of Kent wants to become a Right to Food University.

What does this mean?

it commits itself to promote food justice, to tackle food poverty, and transform our food system so that it operates to advance human health and an environmentally sustainable society.

The University has four missions to achieve this:

1) Putting the Right to Food on the World Stage, including inspiring and supporting other universities to establish the right to food.

2) Transforming food systems through teaching and research

3) Tackling food insecurity, while promoting a healthy and sustainable food community for staff and students.

4) Addressing food inequality throughout Kent and the Medway

Complete our Right to Food Staff Survey

This Right to Food Staff survey aims to look at the factors involved in food insecurity, including availability and accessibility of healthy food, cost and marketing; whether staff are currently utilising existing cost-of-living support from the University and elsewhere; and the impact food insecurity is having on staff wellbeing, including on physical and mental health.

The issues uncovered will form part of an action plan to improve the University’s food environment. This falls under our Mission 3 of the Right to Food project, which is: Tackling food insecurity, while promoting a healthy and sustainable food community for staff and students.  The University’s aim to “provide a healthy, happy and purposeful environment that promotes the physical and mental wellbeing of all our staff”.

Following this survey, we will share the results and work with you on the actions we need to take to make improvements with some open sessions – Medway Session 19 June 10.00-12.00 and Canterbury Session 20 June 13.00-15.00 – More details to follow.

The survey is anonymous and is open from the 6 to 31 March, paper copies are also available if needed. Complete the Right to Food Staff Survey form.

Got a question email Claire Chapman, HR Manager- Strategic Delivery.

Walking to victory: VC Cup Walking Netball highlights

As we enter the 5th event of the VC’s Cup series, teams were primed to play walking netball, a game designed for anyone, regardless of their level of fitness or age.

Initially, it was mayhem on the court! Players were running, jumping, and going offside left, right and centre, which kept the umpires on their toes. Even experienced netball players and Kent’s very own Unicorns struggled to grasp the pace of the game, launching themselves across court and throwing themselves into each game as they would any other. However, as the games progressed, teams and players grasped the rules and became more comfortable and strategic.

Read our blog to find out which teams came out on top! You’ll also find an entertaining and creative rap, written in collaboration with some of the competing teams.

Want to find out more about the Vice Chancellor’s Cup, head over to the VC Cup webpage, where you can see which events are coming up, past event summaries and current leader board positions.

Inclusive Language Think-in: you’re invited

Have you ever read an article, and event description, a social media post about disability, accessibility, neurodiversity or inclusion and thought ‘oh goodness, what a choice of words! Did it make you feel unwelcome because of the way it talked about disability, chronic illness, neurodivergence, race, gender, age, etc?

Or, have you tried to write about one of these topics, or about adjustments for an event or society meet up, and felt out of your depth and worried about what language to use to get your point across clearly and inclusively?

Language matters

Whatever form it’s written or spoken in, the right language can make a world of difference to inclusion. As we try to communicate more openly, honestly and succinctly in the new Kent brand, we need to be able to reach for some good phrases to discuss potentially sensitive issues and make sure we’re consulting all of our audiences for their input.

Let’s think it through together: Monday 27 March 10:30 – 11:30 online/ in DG02 (opposite Nexus) in Templeman Library

Students and staff are warmly invited to an informal hybrid session to think through the terms you’d like to see less of and the terms you’d like to see more of in our University of Kent copy – bring your lived experience, your expertise, or just an open mind and willingness to learn and discuss it together. We’ll try to come up with some practical notes we can use and share with others.

Book now so we know who to expect and can send you joining details for online participation, and share the details with others who you think might be interested!

Questions? Email

Fruiting trees

Diamond Anniversary Orchard planting, 15 March

This academic year we have launched the Diamond Anniversary Orchard project and planned the planting of an orchard of over 300 fruit and nut trees. This project was designed to celebrate that most undergraduates starting this year will graduate in 2025 which is the University’s 60th birthday and it is hoped that our students can watch the orchard grow and be part of its transformation from grassland to a complete and flourishing space.

Help us plant more trees

We managed to plant some trees last week in the snow (!) but need your help to plant more. Our next planting session is Wednesday 15 March between 10:00-13:00. You can come for as long or as little as you like. There will be a full briefing at the beginning of the session and newcomers throughout will be paired up with someone that has been trained.

Why an orchard? 

The Southern Slopes provides an ideal setting for a semi-natural orchard and meadow that will not only be a beautiful space for students, staff and community members to enjoy, but also provides a complex habitat that will boost biodiversity in the area 

Step one is planting the fruiting trees, which once mature, will provide future students with fruit and nuts that they can harvest and enjoy. Later this year we will be seeding wildflower seeds to create an understory meadow that we will cut swathes through proving a peaceful space to walk through and enjoy.  

Because this orchard will be a mosaic of trees, grasses, shrubs, wildflowers, and a pond, it will support a wide range of wildlife. As fruit trees age quickly, they create the perfect habitats for invertebrates and birds, such as the lesser spotted woodpecker and the rare noble chafer beetle.  

This unique habitat will also feature key elements for our human community bring people and nature together. Accessible pathing so everyone can enjoy the space; seating with a view for meditation, rest or socialising; an outdoor teaching area; and a bird hide to spot nature from a quiet vantage point.  

All the elements will be tied together with a central point that marks the six academic divisions that make up our learning community, celebrating all the students that will be our class of 2025 and beyond.