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Testing out a theory

Brexit

Brexit update – 1 December 2020

As we near the end of the implementation period, we would like to highlight some key areas to help you understand the impact of Brexit including travelling in the EEA from January 2021, UK travel disruption and the new immigration system.

Further information and support can be found on the Staff Brexit webpages or, if you would prefer to speak with someone, please email staffEUqueries@kent.ac.uk.

Disruption to travel, to and from Canterbury campus

Delays at channel ports and the closure of major roads for lorry parking may cause travel disruptions or delays when travelling to and from the Canterbury campus in early 2021, with potentially longer-term congestion.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that a significant proportion of staff are now able to work from home, staff who need to attend campus may be affected. If you are required to work on or attend campus, you might need to think about your travel plans and, if you have any concerns, you should discuss this with your line manager.

Travel delays for UK passport holders travelling to Europe

From January 2021, UK passport holders are encouraged to check the new requirements before travelling which includes passport validity, insurance and allowing additional time for increased checks at points of entry to the EEA. If you are travelling for business, including teaching at our EU campuses, please ensure you refer to the latest Government and Key Travel advice.

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

The EUSS is open until 30 June 2021 for EEA nationals resident in the UK before the end of the implementation period (31 December 2020). In order to qualify, you must be resident in the UK but it is not mandatory that you have commenced employment or your studies. Pre-Settled status will be granted if you have less than five years’ residency and Settled Status will be granted if you have five years or more.

EEA staff, and their families, are strongly encouraged to apply to the scheme to ensure their current rights are protected. If you do not obtain Settled or Pre-Settled status, you may be required to apply for a visa under the new immigration system should you change employers from July 2021. You will also need to provide evidence of your Settled or Pre-Settled status from July 2021 when opening a new bank account, obtaining a new rental tenancy agreement or applying for a mortgage.

If you require guidance or have any queries regarding the scheme, please contact our dedicated email address: staffEUqueries@kent.ac.uk.

Canterbury gift card launch

November sees the launch of the Canterbury Gift Card, an initiative designed to keep money circulating locally and support local traders through these difficult times. Cards can be bought online at spent at over 80 Canterbury businesses. On the list are big chains (Fenwick, Boots, McDonalds, Smiggle and more) and dozens of small, independent businesses including cafes, shops, bars, restaurants, venues, pubs, hairdressers, salons and even the local butcher. There really is something for everyone (especially that impossible-to-buy-for person).

New businesses are signing up all the time. The card is a preloaded Mastercard, so the payment goes straight into the trader’s till in the usual way.

The card is the initiative of the Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) which works to ensure that Canterbury is a vibrant and successful city centre for those who visit, shop, live and work in the city.

They make fantastic Christmas presents – this year, give someone the gift of Canterbury !

computer-laptop-work-place-mouse

Care first webinars w/c 30 November 2020

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 30 November – Friday 4 December) webinars are as follows:

Monday 30 November 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 1 December 2020 – ‘Coping with Vaccine Anxiety’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 2 December 2020 – ‘Coping with Change as Restrictions are adjusted’
Time: 13.00-13.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 3 December 2020 – ‘Festive Wellbeing’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 4 December 2020 – ‘Care first Management Support Service’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

An illustration of five children

Child Protection training dates

new range of online training dates delivered by the Centre for Child Protection (CCP) are available to book now.

CCP is a centre of excellence and innovation in training, research and practice based at Kent’s School for Social Policy, Social Research and Sociology. Its cutting-edge child protection simulations are designed to support all health and social care practitioners worldwide: teachers, social workers, youth workers, probation officers, GPs, lawyers, police officers, health visitors and voluntary organisations.

The child protection simulation (serious game) concept offers a safe medium in which professionals, at all stages of their careers, can explore complex scenarios and reflect upon their practice skills.

All training is delivered online with dates available in January, February and March.

  • Gangs, knife crime and county lines: a new training course using a “contextual safeguarding” approach to inform practice. The approach of contextual safeguarding was originally developed by Dr Carlene Firmin at the University of Bedfordshire’s Contextual Safeguarding Network. This technique recognises that young people are influenced by a whole range of environments and people outside of their family
  • Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors: CCP’s interactive social-media style simulation is a training tool on the routes to radicalisation and extremism. It has been developed to allow professionals and young people to spot the signs of radicalisation in two different scenarios
  • Looking out for Lottie: These resources have recently updated in collaboration with the NSPCC. The session provides a brief introduction to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in the UK, along with a suggested reading list for further exploration.

For more details, and to book, visit CCP’s Eventbrite page.

Ableism in Academia

Dr Jennifer Leigh (Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice) warmly invites you to an online event on 3rd December 12.00 – 14.00 to discuss the new book Ableism in Academia: Theorising disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education.

The focus for the event is on policy and practice.

Speakers include Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura (Kent), Dr Neil Harrison (Oxford), Dr El Spaeth (Glasgow), Dr Nicole Brown (UCL IOE) and Dr Amanda Bates (Kent).

You can book a place via Eventbrite

The book can be downloaded for free and we will share a discount code for all participants who would like a hard copy.

Kent Logo

Covid-19 update – 26 November 2020

Today, the Government announced the new Tier structure that will come into force once the national lockdown ends on 2 December 2020. Canterbury and Medway have both been placed in Tier 3, the ‘Very High’ risk category. At this Tier, there are restrictions on households socialising and non-essential travel is not permitted. As previously, universities and other educational institutions are to remain open. We are currently awaiting DfE guidance about what this will mean for Kent, and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

Planning for Christmas vacation

As we approach the end of the Autumn term, I wanted to tell you about the important work taking place to support the students that will be staying with us over the Christmas vacation period. We estimate between 300 and 500 students will be remaining with us, staying on our two main campuses after term ends on 18 December 2020. This year, more than ever before, it is vital that we provide a safe, secure environment for our students which will allow them to enjoy a restful festive break. Staff from across the University are working in partnership with Kent Union and GKSU colleagues to provide a programme of events and online activities that these students can enjoy. The team will be distributing festive goodie bags for the students and are planning to decorate campus to bring some much-needed festive cheer. Students will be able to connect with each other, via dedicated social media channels, and the programme of events will be publicised through a new webpage. We hope this project will allow students to interact, share experiences and provide valuable support for each other during the winter vacation period. My thanks to all staff involved in this important work and for your commitment to supporting all our students.

Asymptomatic testing

As part of the Government’s national Covid-19 testing programme, we are now offering asymptomatic testing at both Canterbury and Medway. These tests are specifically for people without symptoms of Covid-19, ie they are asymptomatic. Bookings are now being taken for students with appointments beginning on 30 November 2020. Any member of staff wishing to book an appointment can do so from 30 November 2020. Please remember that if you do have Covid-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate and book a test through the NHS Coronavirus website.

Spring 2021

After what has been challenging and unpredictable year, we are busy planning for Spring 2021 and how we can best meet the needs of our diverse student population. At this stage, we have yet to receive guidance relating to the return of students in January from the Department for Education. However, we do expect this shortly. It is likely that universities will be encouraged to invite students back to campus using a staggered arrivals approach. This could mean that for the first few weeks of the Spring term, all teaching is again delivered virtually. My sincere and heartfelt thanks go out to all staff involved in delivering teaching at our University; the changes imposed on us by the pandemic have been significant, and you have responded valiantly throughout.

It is vital that we continue to demonstrate to students that we are listening to their feedback, and evolving our approach in response, for the Spring term. We will be running a campaign to show students all the events and activities they can engage with in the New Year. We hope Schools will get involved in sharing best practice and celebrating the great work taking place across our University. There will be lots positive case-studies of how staff and students are adapting to get the most out of learning and teaching at this unpredictable time.

Thank you again to all University staff for your commitment and dedication to our students.

Richard

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

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

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.