Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 26 November 2020

Good news is always welcome and, at the moment, more so than ever. It was simply wonderful therefore to hear of our success in the Guardian University Awards 2020 with the One Hour Degree declared the winner of the Digital Innovation award. Created by the Student Success Project, this is an online game designed to provide the complete university experience for potential students. Congratulations to Alison Webb for her work in developing the game.

Congratulations  also go to those involved the Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme, runner-up in the Widening Access and Outreach category. Launched in 2018, the programme, co-led by Professor Alastair Bailey and Dr John Pearson at the time of nomination, aims to attract a diverse, new generation of economists into the profession.

I am also pleased to say that we have submitted our pledge to Stand Alone, the charity that supports people who are estranged from their families. I greatly value this opportunity to make this pledge which states our commitments to our estranged students and demonstrates our recognition of the challenges that they may face. I am particularly pleased that we have made this submission during Estranged Students Solidarity Week.

While we have a dedicated package of support in place, there is more we can do. We will continue to engage with our estranged students to better understand what additional support they may need from us, as a University, to enable them to achieve their goals. I would also like to thank Ben Dawkins, Chair of the Chair of the Mature & Part-Time Students Network, for the work he is doing in support of our estranged students.

We have now learned that Kent and Medway will be in Tier 3 and are considering what this means for the University. We will provide further information once the situation is clearer.

The last week has seen work continue at high speed to set up the asymptomatic testing site on the Canterbury campus. I am pleased to say that we are on track to open the doors on Monday 30 November. As you will be aware, these sites play a major role in the government’s plans to enable students to travel home for Christmas, as well as supporting their return in the New Year. A special scheme for the Medway campus has been agreed with the local public health team, which will see the use of the pre-existing Local Testing Site for asymptomatic testing.

We are still waiting for government guidance on what the detailed arrangements are for the start of next term. I continue to engage at a national level on this and other issues and we will update you as soon as we have confirmation of what is required from us and the rest of the sector.

Thank you once again for all your hard work at this challenging time.

My very best wishes to you and your families,

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Christmas tree with red baubles and gold stars

Join in with the Rock Choir for an online Festival Finale!

Calling all University staff for an online Christmas Rock Choir Singalong Special!

You’re invited to take part in a special online Rock Choir on Weds 2 December at 13.00, when the group will have its final singing session of the term with a festive flavour.

Open to all staff at the University, the director and alumnus, Jonathan Grosberg, will lead a special session teaching from scratch (and without music) a festive and easy arrangement of ‘The First Noel’ and ‘Silent Night.’

You can find out more in this minute-long introduction on YouTube, and if you’d like to join in, email jonathangrosberg@rockchoir.com and Jonathan will send the link for the day.

Coronavirus

Covid-19 testing – student booking window open

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience:

As promised, please find below an update on the booking process for asymptomatic testing, following my email on 24 November.

Canterbury

We have now opened a booking window for students only. Students based at Canterbury will receive an email confirming this.

We are initially taking bookings from just students to ensure any students that wish to take a test before the Student Travel Window (3-9 December 2020) can do so.

We are planning to open a booking window for staff early next week and will email you to let you know.

The Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) will run from Monday 30 November 2020 until Wednesday 9 December 2020.

Medway

Please note that any students studying at Medway should complete our Medway booking form so that we can arrange booking slots at the NHS Local Testing Site on the Medway campus.

We are planning to open a booking window for staff early next week and will email you to let you know.

What to do if you have symptoms

Please note that the ATS is only for those who are not displaying Covid-19 symptoms. If you do have symptoms, please follow our advice on what to do if you think you have Covid-19 and book a test via the NHS Coronavirus website.

Further information on asymptomatic testing, and what the test involves, is available on our Coronavirus webpages.

Best wishes

Richard

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

University of Kent logo

Canterbury booking now open for Asymptomatic Testing Site

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

Following my email on 24 November regarding the new Asymptomatic Testing Site on the Canterbury campus, I can confirm that the booking window is now open.

Please remember that this test facility is only appropriate if you do not have Covid-19 symptoms (ie are asymptomatic) and you would like to be tested.

Government advice is that you should ideally have two tests, 3-5 days apart (3 days is preferable) and then return home within 24 hrs of your second negative test result. Should you not be able to wait for the second test, one test is preferable to not being tested at all.

The Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) opens on Monday 30 November 2020 at 13.00. It will close on Wednesday 9 December 2020.

Please ensure you only use the ATS if you are not displaying Covid-19 symptoms. If you do have symptoms, please follow our Self-Isolate, Test, Inform procedure and book a test via the NHS Coronavirus website.

If you intend to travel home after testing, please ensure you review Covid-19 travel advice for UK and international travel. For those of you travelling internationally, please be aware that some countries require a high level of Covid-19 certification as a condition of entry. This is not available through our testing programmes on campus and you will need to be tested privately to meet this requirement. Please refer to the Government’s foreign travel advice and contact the UK-based embassy of the country you’re travelling to for further information.

Further information about asymptomatic testing is available on our Coronavirus Student webpages.

New Strategic Lead for Medway

Dr William Collier has been appointed to the role of Strategic Lead – MedwayWilliam, who is currently Deputy Dean (Education and Student Experience), will take up his new role in January 2021 for a 12-month period.

The University has been offering higher education in Medway for more than 20 years, and over time we have adapted our offer. However, there is more we should be doing to make the most of our presence in Medway, and the development of a new and comprehensive vision for the campus is a key strategic aim for the University.

As this year has shown, the new strategy for Medway needs to ensure we are better positioned to support the rebuilding of the region’s economy post-Covid, that we continue to support the bid of City of Culture through our Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, and that we maintain and develop strong partnerships with local education providers, the Council and other external stakeholders

In his new role, William will be responsible for taking this work forward, consulting with both external and internal stakeholders. He brings a wide range of institutional experience to the role, with expertise in student recruitment, portfolio development, education and student experience. He is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and an Associate of The Economics Network.

To do list, pen and glasses

Applying to graduate schemes and jobs

As we come towards the end of a very different autumn term, everyone is in need of a well-deserved rest! If however, during the vacation period, you are looking to apply for graduate opportunities, below we have a few ways in which you can do this and how to prepare for the application process!

Graduate Schemes
If you are in your final year, you might be applying to graduate schemes. Graduate schemes are structured training programmes, providing you with responsibility early on, skills development and hands-on experience. Opportunities for 2021 start, are still available to apply to, but deadlines are coming up soon!

  • Where to find graduate schemes? careers.kent.ac.uk, Prospects, Milkround, TARGETjobs, Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and Bright Network all advertise schemes!
  • Access our Finding a graduate job workshop on Moodle: DP4450 for advice when applying
  • Attend our skills workshops to prepare for the assessments (virtual assessment centres, application forms, interview workshops coming up!). Book online Target Connect

Graduate Jobs
It’s important to remember that graduate schemes aren’t the only option for graduates, and in fact only a small percentage go on to a graduate scheme. You can find graduate jobs in big and small / medium sized businesses, across all industries. Entry-level roles can be available all year round, so keep looking on job sites for opportunities as we head into the spring term.

  • Where to find graduate jobs? Our Find a Job webpage has many useful job links.
  • Tip! Ensure you CV is up to date before you start applying! You want to make sure your CV includes your degree, any relevant experience (internships / placements), as well as, any extra-curricular activities that you have undertaken whilst at university (e.g. societies, Ambassador and Student Rep roles, volunteering).

Preparing for the application process

If you are in the midst of going through the recruit process, you could be asked to undertake various assessments. These can range from psychometric tests, video interviews and assessment centres. To help you prepare and feel confident when completing these, we offer many opportunities to practice!

  • Practice psychometric tests and video interviews via Graduates First. Practice numerical, verbal, situational judgement, game-based and assessment exercises are free to use! Login on the Graduates First website
  • Have your CV / Application reviewed by an Adviser. We have online appointments available during term time and the vacation period. Book a Quick Advice appointment
  • Attend a virtual skills workshop to help you prepare for interviews, CVs and selection tests. Workshops are running until the 18 December!
  • Book a practice interview with an Adviser, to help you with your interview technique, and receive feedback for self-development. Book a Practice Interview
Plan ahead notebook, coffee and bagel

Gaining work experience (Stage 2 advice)

As we come towards the end of a very different autumn term, everyone is in need of a well-deserved rest! If however, during the vacation period, you are looking to apply for industrial placements or gain some work experience, below we have a few ways in which you can do this and how to prepare for the application process!

Industrial Placements
If you are looking to complete a year in industry, as part of your degree, placement providers are currently advertising! Below are a few starting points when searching for placements:

  • Where to find placements? careers.kent.ac.uk, Prospects, TARGETjobs, Milkround, RateMyPlacement all advertise placements!
  • Attend our skills workshops to prepare for the assessments (virtual assessment centres, application forms, interview workshops coming up!)
  • Search placements on our jobs portal for placement opportunities

Summer Internships
If you are in your second year, you might be applying for summer internships. Although opportunities have been affected due to Covid-19, there are still internships advertised for next summer, particularly with large graduate employers.

  • Where to find summer internships? careers.kent.ac.uk, Prospects, e4s.co.uk, Gradcracker (STEM), RateMyPlacement and Bright Network all advertise summer internships!
  • Which industries are offering internships? Finance, Law, Tech, Consulting, Retail and more!
  • Attend our skills workshops to prepare for the assessments (CVs, application forms and interview skills workshops are running until the 18 December!).
    Book online via Target Connect
  • Book a Quick Advice appointment to have your CV/application checked

Preparing for the application process

If you are in the midst of going through the recruit process, you could be asked to undertake various assessments. These can range from psychometric tests, video interviews and assessment centres. To help you prepare and feel confident when completing these, we offer many opportunities to practice!

  • Practice psychometric tests and video interviews via Graduates First. Practice numerical, verbal, situational judgement, game-based and assessment exercises are free to use! Login on the Graduates First website
  • Have your CV / Application reviewed by an Adviser. We have online appointments available during term time and the vacation period. Book a Quick Advice appointment
  • Attend a virtual skills workshop to help you prepare for interviews, CVs and selection tests. Workshops are running until the 18 December!
  • Book a practice interview with an Adviser, to help you with your interview technique, and receive feedback for self-development. Book a Practice Interview
Writing on post it note next to notebook

Gaining work experience (advice for first years)

As we come towards the end of a very different autumn term, everyone is in need of a well-deserved rest! If however, during the vacation period, you are looking to gain work experience or try something new, below we have a few ways in which you can do this, even remotely!

Insight Schemes
If you are in your first year, you might be applying to insight schemes. Although opportunities have been affected due to Covid-19, there are still insight schemes advertised for next year, particularly with large graduate employers.

  • What are insight schemes? Insight schemes provide students with an introduction to the professional environment and culture of a company / organisation. They typically last between one to ten days, and take place during the Easter break.
  • Where to find opportunities? careers.kent.ac.uk, Prospects, e4s.co.uk, Gradcracker (STEM), RateMyPlacement and Bright Network all advertise undergraduate opportunities!
  • Which industries are offering these? Finance, Law, Tech, Consulting, Retail and more!
  • Attend our skills workshops to prepare for the assessments (workshops including CVs and application forms are running until the 18 December!). Book online via Target Connect

Virtual Internships
Virtual internships are flexible, online opportunities, where you can undertake remote experience. Many virtual internships exist in areas such as tech, marketing and social media roles. Some employers will give you project work to complete over a period of time, and you may have regular catch-ups with the employer.

Others are more flexible, allowing you to complete them in your own time, such as The Forage, which offers free open-access virtual internships. Great for building your commercial awareness! Opportunities include those in Law, Design, Tech, Investment Management, Banking and more!

  • Where to find virtual internships? The Forage, RateMyPlacement and Indeed all advertise remote working / virtual internships.

Volunteering (including virtually!)
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and develop your soft skills, you can even volunteer from home!

 

kent-sport-reopening-

Kent Sport reopening 3 December

Kent Sport Centre will be reopening on 3 December, with safety and social distancing measures still in place. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the information contained in their Coronavirus webpage and FAQs before your return.

Their classes will continue to be virtual for the remainder of the year, and they will add new classes regularly to their video library, so please be sure to check it out.

Opening hours:

  • Sports Centre – Monday – Friday – 7.00-13.00 | Saturday & Sunday – 14.00-18.00
  • Outdoor facilities – Monday – Friday – 15.00-21.00 | Saturday & Sunday – 9.00-13.00

Face-to-face physiotherapy appointments and online consultations will be available at the Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic. 

They have their dedicated Stay Well @ Home webpage for those who are not able to visit them. Which is their  go-to resource for at-home workouts, class videos, wellbeing advice and more.

Please wear your face covering at all times in Templeman Library

Wear a face mask at all times in the Templeman Library

Following recent changes to Government guidance you must wear a face covering at all times when you are in the Templeman Library (unless you have a legitimate reason not to).

You will now have to wear a face covering when you are seated in a study space. Study on your own in the socially distanced study spaces – do not gather or work in groups or ‘bubbles’.

Your safety and wellbeing is our priority. We will continue to regularly review our guidelines and adjust as appropriate.