Category Archives: Your Uni Your Say

Surveys and opportunities for students to give feedback, should be tagged with ‘Your Uni Your Say’ so it shows on the campaign webpage.

Two students walking through field with canterbury cathedral in background

Kent 2030: Student Open Forum on 21 February

Want to hear more about Kent 2030 and ask your questions? Join our Student Open Forum from 15:30 – 16:30 on Wednesday 21 February online via Teams. Register for the forum and submit your questions.

From changes to Kent’s future course offering, to changes to the shape of the academic year, we want to hear from students on your views to help shape our plans.

Richard Reece (DVC Education and Student Experience) and Mica Rose (Head of Student Experience) will be joined with Zaid Mahmood (Kent Union President) to hear your views and answer any questions you might have about Kent 2030.

Can’t make it? The open forum will be recorded and available for you to watch after.

Lead Kent

Lead Kent nominations: find out more about the roles

Be a part of something big at Kent Union and nominate yourself to Lead Kent. This is all about students working for students to make their university experience the best it can be as an Elected Full-time Officer.

Based in the Mandela Students’ Centre, the Officer team liaises with leaders in the university and higher education across the UK and Europe to make sure that student voices are being heard.

These are full-time, paid positions. You do not need to be a final-year student to run, you can interrupt your studies.  Nominations close on the 21 February at midday.

Officer role descriptions

Students’ Union President

  • Promotes, extends and defends all student rights.
  • Acts as the lead student voice to Kent Union and the university.
  • Leads the Officer team.
  • Leads on campaigns to improve overall student experience.

See Students’ Union President full role description.

Vice-President Postgraduate & International Experience

  • Leads on issues of PG and international accommodation, wellbeing, education, training and employment.
  • Leads on supporting European satellite campuses and internalisation work.

See VP Postgraduate and International Experience full role description.

Vice-President Welfare & Community

  • Represents students on all welfare matters.
  • Leads on student housing, well-being and EDI, as well as environmental and sustainability work.
  • Works with liberation networks.

See VP Welfare and Community full role description.

Vice-President Student Engagement

  • Leads on sports, societies and volunteering groups.
  • Leads on employability and alumni engagement.
  • Represents students on all co-curricular activities.
  • Supports all student groups and runs campaigns.

See VP Student Engagement full role description.

Vice-President Academic Experience

  • Represents students on all UG education matters.
  • Supports and empowers academic communities, including societies and student reps.
  • Leads on the Kent Union education strategy.

See VP Academic Experience full role description.

You’ll be part of a dedicated team

Being an Officer is great fun and incredibly fulfilling but it’s also a lot of hard work.

There are a host of career staff working behind the scenes supporting the Officer team to help on their campaigns, and work towards making their goals a reality. We also offer training sessions and continued growth and development throughout each Officer’s term.

Nominate yourself to Lead Kent.

Find out more on Kent Union’s Lead Kent webpage.

 

Living Black at Kent

The first research report into Black students’ experience in UK purpose-built student accommodation, Living Black at University was published in February 2022 by Unite Students. At the University of Kent, we wanted to respond to and act upon the findings and recommendations of the report published which had found evidence of racism, cultural insensitivity, and exclusion – all of which had a significant impact on Black students’ mental health.

A Living Black at Kent Working Group was set up in April 2023, comprising stakeholders from across the University and student union, to respond to the findings, and ten recommendations in the report listed below, thereby improving, and enhancing the lived experience for our Black students.

  1. Universities and accommodation providers should collaborate to eliminate racism from all areas of the student experience, including student accommodation.
  2. Improve acclimatisation and integration activities for all new students and extend the period over which these activities take place.
  3. Introduce meaningful race training for peers and staff.
  4. Accommodation providers should confirm a commitment to tackling racism, both in their internal policies and in their student behavioural agreement or charter
  5. Improve the representation of Black people as employees to reflect the diversity of students.
  6. Universities and accommodation providers should work together to create intentionally diverse and inclusive student accommodation.
  7. Universities and accommodation providers should collaborate to ensure mental health and wellbeing support is available, accessible, and appropriate for Black students.
  8. Ensure there are clear and accessible policies and procedures (including anonymous reporting) that deal explicitly with racism in accommodation.
  9. Accommodation providers should routinely collect, analyse, and publish relevant data on the racial diversity of their residents and employees, as well as outcomes of reporting and investigation of complaints.
  10. Accommodation providers should work to build a relationship of trust with Black students.

So far, we have looked at our acclimatisation and integration activities to ensure that we offer a diverse range of options during our welcome period, and we are making this a real focus for our ResLife programme to ensure that this continues throughout the academic year.

We have considered Kents student demographics to ensure we are providing culturally relevant services. Our catering options were reviewed as part of this, and students and suppliers were invited to a food tasting event, where we could gather feedback about our food offerings on campus. As a result, in September 2023 we launched a West Indian microbrand called Three Little Birds and are also offering a selection of African and West Indian drinks and snacks in our catering outlets.

Current residential students were invited to share what advice they would give to new students moving to Kent for the first time in terms of other culturally relevant services in the area. From this we have created a welcome booklet called ‘Living Black at Kent’ featuring peer-to-peer advice from current students, signposting to where students can find global food suppliers, Afro-Caribbean hair salons, and suggestions for student societies and faith groups.

As the Living Black at University (LBU) report is a national project, to ensure that the work we do here at Kent is relevant for our student body we included the original research questions in our 2022/23 end-of- year residential student survey to which we had a fantastic response rate, demonstrating the engagement of Kent students in this discussion.

The findings were compared with the original LBU Report findings, as well as comparing with qualitative data collected by both our EDI team and Students Union which focused on Black students’ experiences at Kent.  With this feedback data we are confident that we are improving areas at Kent that will have significant impact.

The residential survey, with the addition of the LBU elements, will run annually at Kent enabling us to respond to the current student body and measure our initiatives impact.

Most importantly is here at Kent we are open to the findings and embrace change to make positive improvements for our Black students; we look forward to sharing the results and initiatives as they evolve with you and welcome any feedback you have on the Living Black at Kent project.

Two students talking sat at bench

How can universities support your mental health? Tell us today and win a Smart Watch!

We want to ask you a few questions about your time at university, your experience with student services and/or your experiences at work. In this study, we will explore sensitive topics such as loneliness and mental health challenges you may be experiencing.

The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of student mental health and inform university student services and graduate employers on how they can support you. Share your thoughts today and help us enhance the student experience for you and your peers.

Start the survey now!

mince pies

Your Uni Your Say festive giveaway on 1 Dec

Come along to Nexus in Templeman Library on 1 Dec from 11:00- 14:00 for free festive treats including mince pies, fruit cake and Maltesers reindeers!

All you have to do is write a Christmas wish for what you’d like to see at Kent next year and pop it in the jar. Your wishes (or feedback) will then be shared with Mica – the Head of Student Experience at Kent.  Your feedback is important to us so we know what we are doing well and how we can improve. To see all the changes the Uni and Kent Union have made in 2023 in response to student feedback, visit the Your Uni Your Say webpages.

Learn more about the event.

Group of students wearing festive costumes

Cookies and Conversation on 7 Dec

Join us in the Library Café on 7 Dec, 15:00-17:00, for an opportunity to influence the services that matter to you, with particular focus on Library and IT services and how you search for information, resources, and books.
Your insights will help us create even better and more responsive services tailored to your needs. 

Plus, enjoy some free yummy cookies and hot drinks as we enter into this holiday season together! We also have a few £10 Amazon Vouchers to give away!

Find out more on the events calendar.

See you there!

Find out more about how the University is listening to students. Have your say, make your voice heard and help us shape our services!

Canterbury Safer Streets logo

Take part in Canterbury Safer Streets survey

From Canterbury Christ Church University.

As part of a government funded Safer Streets project, Canterbury Christ Church University is conducting research with students in Kent and Medway.

The research aims to gain a better understanding of the experiences of students in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual misconduct. The insights gained from this study will enable us to be better able to tackle such incidences within our communities and ensure that we are building a safer environment for all.

We are keen to ensure that we authentically capture the voices of all students and as such, we encourage everyone from all backgrounds (men, women, non-binary, ethnically diverse/minoritised communities, LGBTQ+ communities, individuals with a disability) to share their experiences and thoughts.

Please note that some questions within this survey will include sensitive information and ask personal questions about your experiences in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. If you find these distressing, we would prefer that you do not continue with the survey and you can exit the survey at any point. Also, remember you can use your university’s online Report and Support Tool to connect with the Student Support and Wellbeing Team if you need emotional support or guidance on any harassment or sexual misconduct you have witnessed or experienced.

The survey is anonymous, and your responses will be confidential. As a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw to win Love2Shop (or similar) vouchers (20x £30).

If you would like to obtain further information related to the survey or how your personal data is processed for this project please contact saferstreets@canterbury.ac.uk.

Thank you for playing your part in this important research.

Take part in the Student Safer Streets survey

Student looking to camera

Become a Student Rep

If you’d like to be part of a 300+ strong team of volunteers, all working towards representing student voices and improving the student experience at Kent, then sign-up to be a Student Rep! 

Student Reps are the link between the students, Kent Union and the University. They work in teams at a subject, department, school or divisional level to represent and support their peers, as well as making changes to improve the academic and student experience. They form a whole team of skilled, dedicated and passionate Reps who students can turn to with concerns, questions or ideas. 

Any student can become a Rep, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, gain new skills and is a great addition to your CV!

Apply today and get started on a fantastic Student Rep journey! 

Make your words count. Review your uni and win £200

Have your say and you could win £200! WhatUni reviews

We’re really excited to take part in this year’s WhatUni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA).

The WUSCAS are compiled from the reviews which students like you leave on WhatUni, and rank institutions according to the things that students really care about – student support, campus facilities, lecturers and teaching quality, and so on.

WhatUni is the UK’s largest source of independent, real, honest student reviews – reviews which have a number of benefits:

  1. They give students like you a really important voice and platform to share your views
  2. They help prospective students make crucial decisions on what and where to study
  3. They allow us to find out what you really think, so we can make improvements to our offering.
  4. They could win you a £200 voucher as part of the weekly draw for taking part.

We’d really love you to participate in the review collection and give University of Kent a review! It will only take a few minutes of your time.

Review Kent now

Staff smiling to camera

Cookies and Conversation on 6 Dec

What do you think about the study spaces on Campus?

Why do you choose certain spaces to study? Do you use different spaces for different types of study?

Join us in the Templeman Library Café from 16:00 – 18:00 on Tues 6 December to share your views and also enjoy some free yummy cookies and a hot drink on us!

Find out more about how the University is listening to students. Have your say, make your voice heard and help us shape our services!