Kent’s outdoor walks and activities

Being a student cannot be all work and no play, you need to make time for some fun and relaxation. One of the perks of studying at Kent is access to lots of outdoor space; from beaches to scenic parks and historic buildings, Kent has it all.

Canterbury

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50 mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages and hamlets.

Marlowe’s Canterbury Walk

The aim of this walk is for you to explore the life of Christopher Marlowe, who is Britain’s best known playwright. The route takes you on a journey around the heart of Canterbury, visiting places he would have known, and offering an insight into his life.

Kent Food Trails

Kent Food Trails are designed to encourage visitors and locals alike to discover new places and taste new dishes. You will meet fantastic food and drinks producers and farmers from all over Kent.

Via Francigena

If you fancy a real adventure then consider Via Francigena which is an ancient route that starts at Canterbury Cathedral and passes through France, Switzerland, across the Alps and through Italy finally finishing in Rome. You will step into the shoes of Sigeric the Serious, a famous Archbishop of Canterbury, and follow his journey across the Via Francigena to meet Pope John XV in Rome back in 990 AD.

Medway

Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a free-to-visit historical site  with 20 acres of green space all linked to the Great Lines Heritage Park. You will be able to explore tunnels, nature trails, ditches, ammunition magazines, cannons, soldier’s quarters and fortifications.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Picture from Canterbury City Council.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Return to Campus series – Spotlight on Estates

In the second instalment of our ‘Return to Campus’ series, Richard Cottam, Head of Facilities Management tells us about the multitude of services and functions the Facilities Management (FM) team (within Estates) has been covering throughout the lockdown period, both on and off campus.

Richard explains: ‘The majority of FM staff are unable to do their job remotely, so most have been working a reduced number of days each week to a roster. They have been busy supporting essential services and, more recently, preparing the campus for occupancy in September.’

Examples include:

Postal Services – This team has maintained a minimal presence on campus throughout, ensuring all incoming mail is managed and sending out any business essential post. The team has also been supporting colleagues in Recruitment & Marketing with the creation and supply of several student offer packs.

Waste and Cleaning – With a small team initially supporting ongoing essential services such as Security, most cleaning staff are now back at work preparing buildings for re-occupancy and developing an effective Covid-19 cleaning programme.

Stores – A small team of two has been working remotely throughout lockdown and has been incredibly busy sourcing best value supply chains for the multitude of Covid-19 related products, needed to maintain a secure environment. The team has also purchased and is rolling out hand sanitiser dispensers across campus.

Administration – The whole team has been working remotely and has quickly adapted to the new technology supporting meetings using M365 Teams. Some admin staff have also been on campus and helped with the huge task of installing the social isolation and one-way signage across the campus.

Medway FM – The team supporting Medway has also been on campus, in limited numbers, preparing the campus for re-occupancy.

Landscape and Grounds Management – Have you ever not cut your grass for four months? No, we couldn’t wait that long either! So that we don’t return to a partial jungle in September, the team has been working to a roster with half of the workforce on campus, keeping on top of the spring and summer growth.

Find out more about the services the Estates department provide.

In our next Return to Campus feature, we’ll look at the work of the Planning and Space Management team.

 

Free sport and fitness membership

Kent Sport are here to help you stay active while you study at the University of Kent. That’s why, for the first time ever, we’re giving all first-year students FREE sport and fitness membership which includes unlimited gym and classes, access for club training, discounted fitness services, and lots more.

Free membership applies to:

  • All first-year students
  • All UG and PG students living in Canterbury campus accommodation

Membership will be automatically added to your Kent One card, so you’ll be able to book activities as soon as you’ve registered*

To see if you’re eligible for free membership, visit our webpage.

There are also free membership options for students at the Medway campus.

*Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have implemented safety measures throughout our facilities which will restrict access. All activities, including the gym, classes and sports, will need to be pre-booked through your online account. 

One hour degree logo

Ever thought about a one hour degree?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a degree in a fraction of the time it normally takes? The One Hour Degree game has been produced specifically for students who are about to join or have recently begun their degree journey at Kent.

It is a narrative based adventure game which simulates all the significant elements of gaining a degree condensed into one hour.

There are five independent ‘quests’ focused on Welcome Week, the first term, the first year, year 2 and year 3.  The game introduces key facilities, support networks and social opportunities that are available at Kent as well as displaying stunning imagery of our parkland campus.

Players will earn ‘knowledge’ and ‘wellbeing’ points along the way as well as a badge for each completed quest. Together they will dictate the classification of the ‘degree’ received at the end before you have the opportunity to be part of your very own graduation video. With more than 100 million unique pathways through the game, you can easily choose a different story path each time to see how different decisions result in different outcomes.

The game does not require a login or user account and can be played by anyone who has access to a web browser, on any device.

Play the One Hour Degree game now.

Finance

Finance deadlines and support

Being a student can be financially demanding; when you pay your rent, bills, food and factor in having an active social life there probably won’t be much left over. The University has a variety of scholarships and financial support packages that you may be eligible for.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some scholarships are specific to your course, location and fee status (UK, European or overseas). Read the scholarship information carefully so you only apply for scholarships where you meet the eligibility criteria.

How to apply for scholarships

Kent Financial Support Package

The Kent Financial Support Package (KFSP) 2020 is a financial support package of £4,500 for eligible undergraduate students across three stages of full-time study. Eligible students studying a full time four year undergraduate programme with a sandwich year or an integrated Masters year will receive a further cash bursary of £1,500.

All new full-time students will be automatically assessed for the KFSP, however, you may need to make a separate application.  Students who do not receive a letter by mid-November confirming their eligibility for the KFSP should contact the Financial Aid Office.

New part-time students starting in the academic year 2020/21 may be eligible for a pro rata cash bursary in each year of study as part of the KFSP. Part-time students will need to make an application.

Further information on KFSP

Access to Learning Fund

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) provides financial assistance to UK students so they can access and remain in higher education, particularly those students who need financial help to meet extra costs that cannot be met from other sources of support.

The amount will depend on your circumstances and how many applications the fund receives.

Further information on ALF

European Financial Support

The European Financial Support (EFS) fund can provide up to £500 financial support per year to full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘EU’ rate experiencing emergency situations or those experiencing a financial deficit over the academic year. The EFS cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on EFS

International Hardship Fund

The International Hardship Fund (IHF) can provide emergency financial assistance to all full time non-UK students eligible to pay tuition fees at the ‘overseas’ rate. The IHF cannot be used for paying tuition fees.

Further information on IHF

Financial support for care leavers

Students eligible for the Kent Care Leavers Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

Further information on the Care Leavers Pack

Financial support for estranged students

Students eligible for the Kent Estranged Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who are irreconcilably estranged from their parents.

Further information on the Estranged Student Pack

Financial support for student carers

Students eligible for the Young Adult Carer Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

This financial support is for young carers who can provide evidence of caring responsibilities.

Further information on the Young Adult Carer Pack

Financial support for young independent students

Students eligible for the Kent Young Independent Student Pack will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for young independent students who have been in receipt of income support while in full-time education prior to starting at Kent.

Further information on the Young Independent Student Pack

Financial support for ‘homeless’ students

Students eligible for the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package will receive a one-off cash bursary of £600 towards the cost of starting at university and one-off payment of £100 towards graduation costs for students who attend their graduation ceremony.

They are also guaranteed access to accommodation for the duration of their course, including the summer vacation, subject to remaining in good financial standing with the University.

This financial support is for students who were living in a Foyer (hostels and other emergency housing options) or were ‘homeless’ before attending the University.

The Kent Foyer Bursary is specifically to help Foyer and ‘homeless’ students to meet their accommodation costs during the long vacation (up to £1,500).

Further information on the Kent Foyer and ‘Homeless’ Student Package

Need more help?

For more advice on scholarships, email scholarships@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 768896.

If you need more help on your funding and financial support options, email financialaid@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 823851/824876/823488.

Studying from home

Studying from home can be challenging especially when you try to stay focussed in order to meet your deadlines. We have put together some tips on how to study at home effectively.

Familiarise yourself with Moodle

Moodle is the University’s virtual learning environment, it is where all of the necessary information for each of your modules are.

Check Moodle daily for announcements, updates or changes to the module, and to take part in structured discussions. Look ahead at the structure of each module, take note of all important dates and deadlines and then build them into a study plan.

Have a plan

Use a study planner to organise your study time:

Put module start and end dates, exam dates and assignment hand-in dates into your planner.

Identify how much time you should spend each week on each module in order to meet hand-in dates; divide your time between weeks, days and hours accordingly, add to your planner.

Break your work into small tasks and set yourself short deadlines to complete each task, this minimises the chances of you over-running hand-in dates. Use simple project management techniques such as a Gantt chart to plan the course of your whole degree/apprenticeship programme.

You can find recommended apps and software to help with study planning and time management at www.kent.ac.uk/tools as well as your software needed for study. Download Microsoft Office 365 for free on up to 5 devices when you get your IT Account!

Be organised

Create your own study space – somewhere quiet where you can concentrate on your studies – ideally with a suitable desk and chair, and a place for storing your course material (computer, physical files/folders, books etc). Make sure your personal computer is kept up to date with the latest software updates and security features. Discounted and free study-related software is available for Kent students at along with a range of free productivity tools to help you work more effectively. Leave enough time to ask for help If you get stuck in you studies go back to your course modules, notes and readings, or conduct some research; however, if you are still unable to move forward please contact your tutor, as well as talk things over with fellow students.

Use SLAS

Remember the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) is here to support your academic development. We offer individual appointments to distance learners (by phone or Skype) on all aspects of effective learning and study skills, including maths and stats. For more details go to www.kent.ac.uk/learning

Keep motivated

Remind yourself of your long-term goals, why you embarked on the course – are you wanting to further your career or learn more about the subject? This will maintain your focus even when things are difficult. Work actively to maintain your interest in the subject, the more you regularly engage with your studies the more likely your motivation will be maintained. Any subject can be interesting if you are curious to learn more about it.

Get started

The hardest part can be starting a task, so start with something small or easy; once you’ve got going, you’ll find it easier to keep going. Keep in contact with your course – contact your tutor to get advice or to make sure you’re on the right track. Set up social media forums, groups and networks with students on your course in order to share experiences and swap tips.

Study at the right time

Work out when you’re at your most focussed and alert. Decide whether you are a morning bird or night owl. Study requires a high level of concentration and focus.

Stay organised

Make sure you have all the resources you need to hand, and think carefully about what you want to achieve.

The Templeman Library has thousands of resources including e-books, e-journal articles and access to databases in our Digital Library.

Reward yourself

It is important to give yourself a perk when you have achieved your aims for the day or week.

Get ahead – what you can do before you arrive

Here are some things that you should do before you arrive at Kent.

Arrange your accommodation

At Kent we offer different types of accommodation to suit a variety of needs. These include a mixture of catered and self-catered, sociable and quiet and single and mixed-gender halls.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your preferences, as many halls places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch with your university’s accommodation office to discuss your options.

Sort out your finances

You’ll need to get your finances in order before fresher’s week. This may not seem like the most exciting task when preparing for university, but it’s one of the most important. We have put together a Money Timeline that covers all of this.

Decide what to take

Find out what’s provided at your accommodation to avoid making unnecessary purchases, and check how much storage you’ll have – there’s no point taking things you don’t have the space to keep. We have written a blog post about the items you will need.

Organise a railcard

Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you at least 1/3 on most rail fares. There are a variety of railcards available from the 16-25 Railcard, 26-30 Railcard and the Family railcard. You can find more information about them here.

Get reading

Many schools put their reading lists online weeks before their courses begin, or will send you the details via email. This will give you an idea of what to expect from your workload, and getting a head start on reading will build your confidence for lectures.

You don’t need to own every book on the list – identify the core texts and buy these. Any others you need will be available to borrow from your university library or to buy from former students for a fraction of their original retail price.

Get to know the area

You can read up on your campus town area by heading to Visit Kent, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Canterbury Council. Also try resources such as The Student Room who have threads about various student towns.

Learn to cook

Ask for help with making your favourite meals while you’re still at home – you’ll be glad you did once you’re fending for yourself. Student cookbooks, available in bookshops and online, focus on using simple ingredients and cooking on a budget.

Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – Co-op offers a 10% discount to NUS cardholders, and own-brand food from the supermarket is often of the same quality as the more expensive branded alternatives.

Gold Programme Gloabal Officers 2020

Kent students achieve GOLD!

The Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme has celebrated another successful year which ended with our celebration event and certificate presentation taking place online.


The programme, led by Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation Dr Anthony Manning and International Partnerships, is a co-curricular venture which provides a framework of activities for globally minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.

This year’s cohort made an impact through their role in leading the various Global Hangouts that took place, leading the way with a green marketing strategy for Worldfest, introducing a speed-friending event for new international students and participating in our first Erasmus+ virtual exchange programme. Participants also took part in various workshops including Talking Cultures, event management, explored the concept of curriculum internationalisation and looked at their own cultural intelligence (CQ). Other activities they supported included orientation for new exchange students, the S Group Conference and provided campus tours for some of our international partners and visitors.

Students who have completed the programme have said that it has helped to increase their own cultural awareness, enhance their employability and given them the opportunity to meet a range of people from diverse backgrounds.

The Gold Programme was a highlight of my time at Kent. The team leading the programme listened to all of our ideas and supported us throughout the year. I developed many transferable skills, gave back to the student community, and made many new friends.
Melissa Couvet, LLB English and French Law

I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the GOLD programme, not only do I think that it has allowed me to develop skills that have strengthened my employability, I also found the programme to be an important avenue for expression during an intense final year of study. I would recommend the GOLD programme to any student that is interested in further developing themselves personally and professionally.
Leo Harris, BA History and Spanish

Many of this year’s cohort were final year students and we wish them all the best for the future after their graduation.

Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 28 July 2020

We have reached the time of year when most of us normally have the chance to draw breath. However, this has been an extraordinary time for the University and I wanted to acknowledge that I am aware of the impact that all the change we are going through is having on you as individuals. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done this year, particularly in recent months as we navigate our way back to some form of normality as lockdown eases. Your support in this, and in the measures we have taken to mitigate against the financial impact of Covid-19, has been invaluable.

Now that the consultation process has begun in areas going through changes under Organising for Success this summer, I also wanted to acknowledge the impact that this will be having on many colleagues both centrally and across our new academic divisions. There is no doubt that this is a challenging time and, more than ever, we need to support each other and work together through this period.

I end with my very best wishes for the summer, I do hope that you manage to have something of a break with family and friends and are able to re-charge your batteries for the new year.

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

August resits: Mindfulness workshops, 4 and 11 August

Are you taking August exams? Could you do with reducing your stress levels? Then booking onto an online Mindfulness workshop might be a good idea…

We are pleased to announce two online Mindfulness based stress reduction workshop for students sitting August exams – one on 4 August and one on 11 August, both from 12.00 – 13.00.

Places are limited, so please book your free place online using your Kent student login to access the booking site:

Book for Tuesday 4 August

Book for Tuesday 11 August

What is it?
In this free experiential workshop we aim to introduce you to the basics of mindfulness; a way of focusing on body and breath as an alternative to the usual panicked states we can find ourselves in both when revising, and when sitting an exam. The workshop facilitators, qualified counsellor Patmarie Coleman, and Wellbeing Adviser Richard Stack, will guide you to carry out the exercises individually and opportunities to share experiences with the other participants should you choose.

How do I join in?
The link to the hour-long Zoom meeting will be sent to you on the day of the workshop. You will have the option of using the video and audio functions to connect with the group or turn them off as you wish. You will also be able to rename yourself for the meeting using the Zoom function. The meeting hosts are staff members from Student Support and Wellbeing and will be facilitating the meeting from a private and confidential space.

If you have any queries, please email wellbeingevents@kent.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to help.