Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May 2021 – Nature

From the Talent & Organisational Development Team:

10 -16 May is Mental health awareness week with the theme of nature.

Why Nature?

During long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature. Research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. Websites which showed footage from webcams of wildlife saw hits increase by over 2000%. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.

What you can do?

Stories are the best tools we have to influence change.

We want to hear your stories of how nature has supported your mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about our favourite nature spot.

Whatever it is for you, we invite you to #ConnectWithNature and share what this means for you on the Staff Wellbeing Yammer page

During Mental Health Awareness Week, we are asking you to do three things:

  • Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
  • Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  • Talk about nature: find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit the Mental Health Awareness website or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Every day during mental health awareness,  find information on how you can support your own and others mental health – via Staff communications articles, T&OD Channel and EDI Forum Channel

Within the Themes of:

  • Connect
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Keep Learning
  • Give

On Monday 10 May – why not show your support by:

  • Changing your team’s background to one of these images below:

  • Attend the Training session on Monday 10 May 10.00 – 13.00 – Mental health training for line managers – bookable via staff connect or become a mental health ally (details to follow next week)
Man volunteering at food bank

Log your volunteering hours by Tuesday 18 May

The Kent Volunteering Scheme (KVS) is designed to recognise and support your volunteering achievements. There are various levels of awards, depending on how many volunteering hours you record.

By logging hours on the Kent Volunteering Scheme webpage, students can accumulate hours and progress through the scheme to receive guidance and support from the Careers and Employability Service.

When achieving certain levels of volunteering hours, students will receive support from staff; outlining how their volunteering experience has enhanced their employability skills, developed their Graduate Attributes and how to use this to your advantage when talking to employers.

For more information and to log your volunteering hours, please visit the Kent Volunteering Scheme webpage. The deadline to submit your volunteering hours is midnight on Tuesday 18 May.

If you have any queries, please email

Webinar on Pedagogy and Practice when Teaching Online

The E-Learning Team are pleased to announce that the next event in our series of ‘Digitally Enhanced Education webinars’ will take place on Thursday 10 June, from 11:00-13:30, with the theme ‘Pedagogy and Practice when Teaching Online’.

Please find the agenda for the event below:

11:00 – 11:05 – Dr Phil Anthony (University of Kent): Introduction

11:05 – 11:20 – Dr Sam Lau (Hong Kong Baptist University): Engaging Quiet Students in Online Teaching

11:20 – 11:35 – Assistant Professor Phinu Jose (Christ University, Bangalore – India): Teaching Digital Natives-Privilege or Pain

11:35 – 11:50 – Dr Maren Deepwell (Chief Executive of the Association for Learning Technology): Key Insights from ALT’s Annual Survey for Teaching Online

10:50 – 11:05 – Kate Lister (Open University): Embedding mental wellbeing in technology enhanced learning

12:05 – 12:15 – Break

12:15 – 12:30 – Assistant Professor Alexandra Mihai (Maastricht University): Active learning online? Yes you can!

12:30 – 12:45 – Lara Bird (Office for Students): Gravity assist: Propelling higher education towards a brighter future – Where are we now?

12:45 – 13:00 – Dr David Martin (University of Dundee): Taking engagement in lectures to the next level – an experimental improved audience response system.

13:00 – 13:15 – Dr Lisa Quinn (University of Leicester): Integrating Multi-Source Inputs into Pre-recorded & Remote Live Lectures

13:15 – 13:30 – Professor Barbara Oakley (Oakland University, US): The magic of the brain’s hidden learning system

If you would like to join the webinar series, please express your interest here if you haven’t done so already. We will add you the Microsoft Team linked to the series. Colleagues from outside the University of Kent are very welcome to join –  so please feel free to circulate.

If you would like to present at a future event, please complete this form and I will be in touch.

We hope to see you on 10 June.

Phil Anthony and the E-Learning Team


Care first webinars w/c 3 May 2021

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 3 May – Friday 7 May ) webinars are as follows:

Monday 3 May 2021 – BANK HOLIDAY

Tuesday 4 May  2021 – ‘How Care first Can Support You’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 5 May 2021 – ‘Post-Partum Mental Illness’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 7 May 2021 – ‘Sun Safety’ (in line with Skin Cancer
awareness month)
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 8 May 2021 – ‘The importance of adhering to COVID-19 guidelines’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Next Generation Impact launch

To continue the discourse and look to the future of impact generation following the REF2021 submission, the Research Excellence Team has organised a series of six panel discussions covering many aspects of the impact agenda and aptly named ‘Next Generation Impact’.

The launch on Monday 26 April was an outstanding success with over 1000 views across YouTube and Facebook –attracting an audience from 54 UK universities, 6 international universities and 11 public sector attendees.

The live streamed panel talk with esteemed guests Dr Steven Hill (Director of Research at Research England), Dr Julie Bayley (Director of Research Impact at University of Lincoln), Dr Tina Haux (Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Social Policy at the University of Kent) and Professor Paul Phillips (Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Kent) discussing ‘Perspectives on Impact’ gave the audience an insight into research impact and how this is perceived across the sector.

‘Impact culture needs to be nurtured as part of an institutional commitment to long term and sustainable impact – for and beyond – REF’

The next event in the series ‘Embedding Impact in Research: from Planning to Publication’ will be live streamed on Thursday 13 May 12.00 -13.00. The series is free and open to all – book now 


Covid-19 update: Plans for Autumn 2021

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

Along with preparations for the Summer exam term and wider KentSummer activity, much of our focus is now turning to what our teaching and student experience offer will be in Autumn 2021. After so much disruption, having an attractive offer for both new and returning students that makes them feel welcome and supported is absolutely critical and, with that in mind, we have worked with staff and our Students’ Unions on a number of key principles in planning for next year. 

Our approach 

We have all had to learn and adapt so much throughout the pandemic and, while our plans are still dependent on the Government’s roadmap for coming out of lockdown, we want to open up again in the right way, while unapologetically keeping the best of what we have done differently where we know it can be of real benefit to students. Our intention is that in Autumn 2021: 

  • Our campuses will be openwith student residencies occupied at normal levels and our bars, cafes and arts venues ready to be brought back to life in line with any remaining social distancing measures 
  • Face-to-face teaching will be offered where we know it makes a real difference, such as seminars, lab classes or studio sessions 
  • Lectures will remain online to enable as much space as possible to be available for in-person teaching 
  • Remote study options will be available for the whole of the year in recognition of the diversity of our student body and the likely continued difficulties with international travel 
  • Support will be in place throughout to make sure staff get continued training and that we are with our students every step of the way as they re-adapt to University life 

The last year has highlighted the breadth of quality in our teaching more than ever, with new approaches to delivery that reflect the different ways students want to learn and interact with us. This approach is intended to keep the best of this as things open up more next academic year and we work with our students to build a better future together. 

Find out more 

I appreciate this impacts on so many areas of your work, and many of you will have further questions as we all look ahead to next year. We are currently putting together more detailed information pages on this for both staff and students which will be shared as soon as possible. Alongside this, I will be hosting a staff webchat from 12.00 – 13.00 on Thursday 6 May on our plans and encourage those that can to join me then to discuss the proposals in full. 

With best wishes, 


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

University of Kent logo

Are Unis Racist Documentary : University of Kent Response

Last night’s BBC documentary Are Unis Racist highlighted powerful and deeply troubling examples of students experiencing systemic racism at universities across the countryWe fully acknowledge the justified hurt and anger behind the issues raised in the programme, and we recognise that we, both as an institution and a wider sector, are institutionally racist and need to do more to tackle this. 

We know we have a significant role to play in ensuring that we challenge and deconstruct systemic racism and all forms of discrimination at the University and beyond. We will continue to address these issues at Kent, and encourage all members of our community to learn more about them so we can ensure we are a place where all individuals feel welcome, supported and proud of who we are. The resources put together on this by our BAME Staff Network  are available to everyone to further their understanding of their role in challenging racist behaviour and structures.  

We fully support our students and staff to report incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination Students can do this via our Inform Kent reporting tool which will ensure that you gain access to support available after any incidentwith a separate formal process for staff.  

We also encourage anyone affected by the documentary to seek support from those around you, including contacting Student Support directly at any time via  Staff are also encouraged to talk to their manager or a colleague, or to contact our Employee Assistance Programme.    

Find out more about Challenging Racism at Kent


birds eye view of students at desk

Conversion Master’s Programmes – career focused PG courses

Did you know you can study a completely different subject at Postgraduate level? At Kent, we have a range of Conversion Master’s Programmes where you can learn new skills, improve your job prospects and prepare you for a career in a different discipline.

For example, we offer business, economics and computing programmes for students from an entirely different background, while our Master’s degrees in law or journalism develop your academic and professional skills in new areas. You can find out more here.

View our Conversion Master’s Courses

Other subject areas include:

The list includes some of our most popular conversion programmes but is not exhaustive; you can find more opportunities on the full online prospectus.

What is a conversion course?

Conversion courses are intensive postgraduate programmes that allow you to pursue a career which may differ to your undergraduate degree or if you’re looking to change your career path. They can be from 1-2 years depending on the programme and with full-time or part-time study options.

Whether you’re changing direction or honing your skills, stand out and specialise at University of Kent with career-focused postgraduate courses taught by expert academics. Tomorrow’s world is waiting.


Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report 2019/20

We are pleased to present the Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) report for 2019-20 which showcases the excellent work taking place  across the University of Kent to promote and embed equality and inclusivity.

We hope you find the report an interesting and stimulating read and that it demonstrates the high importance that Kent places on issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity.

KentVision now live

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

I am delighted to be able to announce that our new student record system, KentVision, is up and running. Through the hard work, dedication and effort of an enormous number of individuals across the entire institution, the migration of student data from SDS to KentVision has been successfully accomplished and the new system is now available for staff and students to use.

It is important to stress that additional functionality will be added to KentVision over the coming days, weeks and months. Information on this will be regularly updated on the KentVision staff webpages.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for getting us to this point.

With best wishes,


Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience