The University of Kent's strong international impact is based on our external networks, partnerships with leading universities in Europe and around the world, and our staff, students and alumni.
We launched our Internationalisation Strategy in 2007. Since then, we have reinforced our reputation as the UK's European university and further developed a network of international partnerships worldwide.
Our key strengths
Strategic international relationships
We enjoy strong links with selected universities in areas of the world key to the University of Kent's Internationalisation Strategy. We have cultivated multiple partnership activities with these institutions in the following areas: student-based exchanges/placements/collaborative connections, staff-based links, and research and enterprise interactions.
Partnerships and exchanges with over 350 universities around the world
The University of Kent has long-standing partnerships and collaborative links covering teaching or research with a large number of prestigious European and international Higher Education Institutions. In the most recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 51 of our European and international partners are in the top 200 universities, with 33 being in the top 100.
These partnerships involve double degrees, staff and student exchanges under the Erasmus scheme, and many academic and collaborative initiatives and projects with a distinctive European focus.
The University's international links allow staff to broaden their experience and enhance their skills through contact with many different countries, cultures and experiences. Visits to international partners provide fantastic opportunities to exchange ideas and good practice, gain insights into the HE/business culture in other countries, and acquire an increased understanding of the needs and experience of international students who come to study at The University of Kent.
The University of Kent is an active member of international higher education networks, which strengthen our presence in the European Higher Education Area and further afield.
SGroup European Universities Network
The University of Kent is a member of the SGroup, a European network comprising over 30 members from 16 European countries. It was founded in May 1992 in Spain with the aim of establishing special academic, cultural and socio-economic ties and exchanging best practice, to enhance the development of European education and research policies.
Within the network, the University is a partner in the Inter-Continental Academic Exchange Latin America Programme (ICON), which aims to promote inward mobility to the EU, and has also been selected as a partner in the pilot of a version focusing on China. The University has been involved in a number of joint events and projects including a joint session on doctoral employability at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference in September 2013.
Engagement with international funding programmes
The University is actively involved in projects supported by the following high profile European funding programmes: Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Interreg, Jean Monnet and the Framework programmes. It looks forward to engaging with the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020, which support cooperation and mobility projects, and research activity; both programmes were launched in January 2014.
- The UK's European university
- Kent success in prestigious Erasmus Mundus programme
- Research Services
- Lotus Programme (Erasmus Mundus Action II)
- Jean Monnet
Academic programmes with student placements
Students studying at the University of Kent have undertaken placements or other academic activities in many countries throughout the EU, as well as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and both North and South America.
International double awards
The University is proud to offer a range of double degrees awarded in partnership with prestigious international universities. These include double Bachelor and Master’s degrees, jointly supervised PhDs and Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programmes.
The University has a number of articulation agreements, which include the following partner institutions:
- Guangdong University of Technology, China
- Sunway University, Malaysia
- Tianjin University of Science and Technology, China
- Tianjin University, China
- Shanghai Maritime University, China
- University of International Business and Economics, Beijing
Erasmus Mundus aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world.
Erasmus Mundus Action 1: The university has been successful in its application for European Commission funding under the prestigious and highly competitive 'Erasmus Mundus' Joint Doctoral programme: in 2010 Kent was awarded the Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME) and a Joint Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC) in 2011.
Erasmus Mundus Action 2: The University of Kent is one of the partner universities involved in the Lotus project which aims to promote partnership and co-operation between European and south-east Asian universities. The Lotus website has full details on scholarships offered to support mobility between South-East Asia and Europe.
Internationalisation and research
The University has an international outlook in its research, both in its focus, its collaborators, and in the sponsors which fund it. An example of this is the European Commission’s Framework programme, which has provided the University with opportunities for intra-European collaboration for the past 25 years. In 2014 it launched a new €70bn funding programme, Horizon 2020. Throughout 2013-14 Research Services will be engaging academics in preparing for the new programme with a series of workshops and information days. Beyond Europe, University staff continue to develop fruitful research collaborations, exploring issues as diverse as present and future wireless mobile communications in China, Arabian leopards in Oman, gambling in Canada and Brazil, and secondary education of women in rural Bangladesh.
The University encourages such collaborations by providing seedcorn funding to applicants developing large and complex international projects, as well as subsidising reciprocal visits to partner institutions such as Virginia Tech. In addition, the University has been successful in attracting funding for visiting academics. For example, the Leverhulme Trust has recently funded two visiting professors in SECL, Professors Daniel Brewer (Minnesota) and Yoshiki Hori (Kyushu), and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation has subsidized the cost of bringing Japanese academics to a series of workshops at the Centre for Health Service Studies at the University.
International student experience
The University has students at Kent from over 140 countries, reinforcing its international reputation and cosmopolitan, multicultural flavour and creating a student body of which around 25% are international students.
Kent students receive an unparalleled student experience from before arrival. The University arranges pre-departure events for new students in a many countries, airport pick-up and orientation programmes for new students at Canterbury and Medway, followed by dedicated library and learning support, free English lessons, specialist support from International Development and a monitoring programme to aid continued improvement.
In order to celebrate our international community and ethos, the University hosts an array of international events throughout the year including the annual week-long Worldfest celebration. This event attracts several thousand students, staff and visitors and involves theatre, music, comedy, film, food, dance workshops, exhibitions and language classes.
Internationalisation and intercultural exchange amongst the student body is further encouraged by a series of smaller events on campus celebrating individual national occasions run throughout the year under the banner Worldfest Bitesize.
Scholarships for top international students
We offer a generous range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, and have also established scholarships for students of all nationalities who follow our degree programmes that include study abroad.
International alumni groups and networks
Our alumni community stretches around the globe with more than 130,000 members in 200 countries. We have official alumni groups in Asia and North America, and our programme of reunions and events includes regular visits to Europe and Africa. Some 25% of our contactable alumni are based outside the UK and recent events have been held in Hong Kong, Singapore, Athens, Madrid, Brussels, New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles.
In addition to providing careers support and offering networking opportunities, we are also working to involve alumni in our 50th anniversary programme. Our 50th anniversary activities start in October 2014 and will focus on celebrating our past and bringing together alumni from around the world to join us in marking this milestone. We also plan a series of global visits during the year to help us to reach out to alumni across the globe and involve them in the celebrations.
Staff from around the world
The university community of staff includes 1,071 members from 97 nationalities. Reviewing and enhancing the experience of international staff and their families has led to improved induction processes and information for new international staff, and English language classes are offered for spouses/partners of staff recruited from overseas.
The University of Kent has four postgraduate centres on the European continent; Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome. The Brussels centre hosts the Brussels School of International Studies, which offers masters programmes in such diverse subjects as Development, Conflict, Migration, International Law and Political Economy, as well as providing excellent opportunities for internships and jobs. The other sites have very similar offerings with Paris offering a range of unique and innovative cross-disciplinary postgraduate programmes in the Humanities, Athens a collaborative programme in heritage management and archaeology and Rome a programme in Roman History and Archaeology. Each site combines Kent’s research-lead teaching with the best that each location can offer in terms of sites, libraries, museums, companies, NGOs and locally based lecturers and all programmes are all taught in English.
European Commission award
The University of Kent is proud to have been awarded the European Commission’s Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020. This award recognises the quality of Kent’s Erasmus activities delivered under the auspices of the Lifelong Learning Programme which ran from 2007 to 2013.
The University has also been awarded the European Diploma Supplement Label by the European Commission in recognition of, the quality of its delivery of the European Diploma Supplement to all graduating students.
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