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Society for Italian Studies Themed Conference

Dr Alvise Sforza Tarabochia and Dr Alex Marlow-Mann, lecturers in Italian in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, are hosting the Society for Italian Studies Themed Conference, ‘Visions of Italy’, taking place virtually at the University of Kent on 10-11 September 2020.

Popular conceptions of Italy typically revolve around the visual: the beauty of its landscapes and its historic legacy of fine art and architecture. This dates back at least to the medieval period, and the innovations of artists such as Giotto and visionary writers like Dante. In the twentieth century, it is in the fields of cinema, photography, art, fashion and design that Italy has had the most marked impact around the world.

Concurrently, Italy has also been a favoured subject of visual representation: from Grand Tour photographic albums to mainstream Hollywood films set in Italy, there is no lack of foreign representations of the country and its inhabitants. This conference will explore Italian visual culture and the way in which Italy and Italians have been depicted.

Alvise says: “This year the Society for Italian Studies Themed conference convenes online only, to bring together members of the Society despite the disruptions that 2020 brought about. We are very excited by the variety of themes and speakers the programme brings together and we very much look forward to Professor Gundle’s keynote address.”

The role of the Society for Italian Studies (SIS) is to further the study of Italy, Italian language, literature, film, thought, history, society and arts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It represents the discipline, providing a voice for Italian Studies at national and international level and participating in the work of the University Council of Modern Languages to promote the study of Modern Languages.

Registration is open on the Kent Hospitality website.

A member of the Housekeeping team working

Nominations for Customer Service PRIDE Award

The PRIDE Award recognises members of Kent Hospitality staff who go out of their way to deliver excellent customer service.

Do you know of a Kent Hospitality staff member (permanent or casual) that showed excellent customer service over the summer helping residential students unable to make it home or prepping for the new look student arrivals this year? If so, please take a few minutes to make your nomination online or email The deadline is midday Wednesday 16 September.

Please make your nominations detailed, providing as much information as possible why the nominee should be considered for the award. The panel are looking for staff who achieve more than just what is expected in their role (i.e. hardworking, professional, positive and friendly attitude).

The award is given out four times a year with each winner receiving £100 of shopping vouchers, a certificate and PRIDE badge.

Congratulations again to our most recent Pride Award winner – Liz Ralph, Assistant Housekeeping Manager, who won the June award. In her own time, Liz produced hundreds of practical, colourful and reusable facemasks for the housekeeping team members working on campus throughout lockdown and for vulnerable people in her community.

For further information or for guidance on submitting nominations please contact

Medway campus

Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching

Bookings are now open for the sixth annual Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching hosted by the Universities at Medway. This year the focus is ‘Creative and Inclusive Assessment and Feedback’

The Festival is taking place virtually via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 10 September from 9.15 to 13.10, with the  Keynote speakers being Professors Debbie Hollie and Ann Quinney. To register a place for this event please visit the Medway festival website.

About the Festival

The Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching is co-jointly organised by the Universities of Greenwich, Kent and Canterbury Christ Church who share the Medway campus.

The Festival aims to share, celebrate and promote their practice to benefit all students studying on the Medway campus. It is a consistently strong theme that runs through the sector and is a priority for all three universities and their partner colleges.

As in previous Medway Festivals, the event enables the Universities to reflect on their own development needs and career aspirations as they start the new academic year. Attending or presenting at the event can help colleagues to evidence professional development or maintain ‘good standing’ for Advance HE (formerly HEA).

Signature Research Themes Selection Event

Even though Covid-19 has had an impact on the launch of the Signature Research Themes project, work has been going on behind the scenes and the team are now very excited to invite you to the Selection Event on Tuesday 15 September.

The event will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube between  9.30 to 13.00 (links available soon) in collaboration with KMTV.

The event will include, opening remarks from the University’s Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox, as well the Themes Task Group. Each of the eight themes leads will then present their vision for Kent’s Signature Research Themes. For more information please take a look at Kent’s first Signature Research Themes.

Questions can be submitted throughout each of the presentations, and after the event a dedicated website will be set up with responses to the questions.

Ahead of the event you can find out more about the shortlisted themes, the people behind them, and how you can get involved.

The team look forward to seeing you there!

A medic person in PPE testing someone sitting in their car.

Get tested at new coronavirus local test site in Canterbury

A walk-through coronavirus testing facility is now open at Rutherford Car Park in Canterbury, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin on the NHS website or by calling 119, and you can expect your result the next day. All test most be booked in advance, with no drop-in tests available.

Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including when travelling to and from the testing centre). The centre is totally self-contained and externally managed, with no need for individuals being tested or test centre staff to access any University buildings. It is also monitored by 24/7 security.

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, which is easily accessible without a car. Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

The site opened for testing at 14.00 on Saturday 5 September. The opening hours during the mobilisation phase are as follows:

5 September 2020 – 14.00 – 17.00

6 September 2020 – 10.00 – 17.00

7 September 2020 – 08.00 – 20.00

And then 08. 00 – 20.00 thereafter

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including 72 drive-through sites, 53 walk-through sites, 236 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five laboratories.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.

See more information on visiting a local test site










Virtual Buddy Scheme

The Virtual Buddy Scheme is a peer to peer non-academic support scheme co-ordinated by Kent Union that helps students through university life.

Find a buddy

The aim of the scheme is for you to be matched with a Buddy Volunteer to chat to discuss whatever your concerns are or if you are new, to show you around campus. With the current pandemic, life is a lot harder right now and it’s easy to feel disconnected from what we know. We encourage our buddy partnerships to meet at least once a week (virtually or in person); the more you tell us about your likes and dislikes, the better we can match you.

Become a buddy volunteer

How about becoming a buddy volunteer? This can be a great opportunity to give something back and support others. You will be matched with a student who we think you’ll be able to support and you might end up becoming friends for life.

Apply for the Buddy Scheme. 

If you have any questions please e-mail

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App for quick access to student advice

Check out the new MOSAIC app for students. The app brings together a collection of short videos for new, returning and final year students. Videos include advice from both staff and students about support and opportunities available at the University of Kent.

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email

What’s on this week? (From 7 September 2020)

Here are some of this week’s top events:

Colleges Trail, ongoing

Get some fresh air and discover your College and the other campus colleges by taking a self-guided walking tour of our Canterbury campus with your housemates.

Change and Transitions workshop, Tuesday 8 September 10.00-11.30

A qualified counsellor will help you examine the nature of transitions and new beginnings to look at possible ways to manage changes as effectively as possible. Takes place online.

Virtual Global Hangout, Tuesday 8 September, 13.30-14.30

Open to all new EU/international students joining in September 2020. Meet other students and staff members who will be supporting you during your time at Kent.

A Forest Soundscape, Wednesday 9 September, 14.00-16.00 (drop-in)

An immersive blend of photographic projections and ambient sounds from a forest, creating a calm, tranquil atmosphere in Colyer-Fergusson Music Building, Canterbury campus.

Virtual Volunteering, Thursday 10 September, 12.30-13.30

Learn about different types of virtual volunteering opportunities available and how you can make the most of them.

Self-care for new students (in the time of covid), Friday 10 September, 10.00-11.30

We’ll consider the challenges to self-care, the key aeras of self-care and the benefits of making self-care practices a part of day-to-day life. Takes place online.

Premiership is back, Live sport at the Deep End, Sunday 13 September, 12.00-23.00

Book your bubble and come watch sports with your mates. From midday to late there will be table service and sport up on the big screen. Join us at the Deep End, Medway campus.

There are plenty more events including Autism induction events, introduction to online study sessions and careers advice sessions. See

You can also see the events on our Hello Kent app.


Help promote our next Undergraduate Virtual Open event!

We are hosting our next Undergraduate Virtual Open Event on 3 October 2020, from 10.00 – 14.00 UK.

Our last undergraduate event last July was a great success with 1,652 attendees on the day, as it’s a virtual event we’re able to keep the link live for longer and saw new attendees join the event each day. Virtual open days are a great opportunity to all potential students to engage with course presentations from our specialist academics and attend live Q&A sessions, as well as find out more about our facilities on campus.

It would be a great help if our colleagues could promote the virtual event across their platforms, either on their school websites and on social channels.  As well as forwarding on to friends or family members who may be interested in our undergraduate courses at Kent. Please see further information about the event and register on the Virtual Open Day website.

Here’s some positive feedback from the last event: 

“Easy site navigation”

“I enjoyed being able to chat one on one with the lecturers, as all the previous virtual open days I’ve been to were in webinar format.”

“This was a lovely day and all of my questions were answered, I feel really confident as putting Kent as my main choice.”

“Drama zoom chat was excellent”

“The event really helped me to consider subjects I hadn’t thought too much about before. I also liked finding out about extracurricular music opportunities.”

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Catch up on our Student WebChats

We’re running regular Student WebChats on a range of topics to keep you up to date and give you the opportunity to get your questions answered.

Missed a WebChat? You can catch up on all the sessions via the links below:

Welcome (back) earlier arrivals – recorded 4 September 2020.

A guide to managing your finances and getting financial support – recorded 14 August 2020.

Security: Your Questions Answered – recorded 11 August 2020.

Accessing Mental Health Support – recorded 11 August 2020.

How to make a complain to the University – recorded 31 July 2020.

How to get a part-time job whilst studying – recorded 31 July 2020.

Accommodation for returning students – recorded 24 July 2020.

New students (for offer-holders and applicants) – recorded 20 July 2020.

Resits – recorded 17 July 2020.

Graduation – recorded 26 June 2020.

Please note all information is correct at the time of recording.