Planning and strategy

Student experience

We offer an inspiring and challenging student experience that prepares students for the future. Kent provides a wealth of European and international opportunities for study, work and travel, a stimulating and effective learning community that focuses on the individual and excellent research-led teaching.

There is a strong emphasis on graduate employability and skills acquisition and we offer a range of extra-curricular activities, support and services. Our campuses and centres provide stunning locations for study and offer first-class academic and leisure facilities.

In the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS), Kent achieved the the fifth highest score for overall satisfaction, out of 115 multi-faculty institutions.

Priority areas

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Welcoming our students into an inclusive institution...

that promotes, encourages and enhances an appreciation of the value of all forms of diversity

  • Access Guide for students with disabilities developed in collaboration with DisabledGo
  • Opportunities for students with disabilities to visit the University, before the start of their courses
  • Improvement to on and offline pre-arrival information for both home and international students
  • Enhanced arrival and orientation support for international students including airport pick-up, orientation programmes and pre-departure events in a number of countries
  • Students at Kent from 148 countries reinforcing the University's international reputation and cosmopolitan, multicultural flavour and creating a student body of whom around 16.5% are international students
  • WorldFest - an annual event to celebrate our international community and ethos
  • Submission of the University's application and associated work plan for the Athena Swan Charter bronze level accreditation to support career development and progression for women who transition from studying to working in the sciences
  • Growth of equality staff networks including LGBT staff, disabled staff, and women as well as a network including representation from all schools and departments to support staff and student equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI)
  • Participation by staff in equality-related learning activities, for instance, through the University's e-learning module and targeted workshops and development initiatives
  • Dedicated resources support EDI activities for students and staff and all Executive Group members also champion equality strands
  • Kent Union's achievement of the "Investors in Diversity" award

More information - HR Equality and Diversity, Kent Union

Encouraging participation by all who can benefit...

from the Kent student experience

  • Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence worth £2,000 per year to any applicant who achieves AAA over three A levels (or specified equivalents). Students who achieve AAB (or the specified equivalent qualifications), where one of those grades is gained in Mathematics or a Language, will also be eligible for this scholarship
  • £6m student support fund to provide a substantial financial support package to students from low-income households who satisfy a range of socioeconomic criteria
  • A fund of £75,000 for sports and music scholarships
  • £1,000 scholarship per year available to eligible applicants who are studying at a partner school or college
  • Kent is the main sponsor of Brompton Academy in Gillingham and a co-sponsor of Longfield Academy, Dartford
  • Partnership Development Office works with over 40 regional schools, colleges and academies to raise aspirations of students and encourage them to consider the benefits of higher education
  • University-wide Student Ambassador Scheme (undergraduate and postgraduate) provides a wide range of voluntary and paid opportunities for students
  • Introduction of the Graduate School Scholarships and 50th Anniversary Scholarships.

Challenging and supporting our students...

Social Sciences Change Academy supports the development of partnerships between students and staff through a collaborative initiative encouraging strong student participation including direct involvement by student speakers within the annual Social Sciences Learning and Teaching Forum and the promotion of student blogs as well as encouraging staff to stay in touch with student activities by using social media such as TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

Enhancing employability skills and prospects and promoting lifelong learning...

through the provision of flexible and diverse learning opportunities and by:

  • Commitment to enhancing employer links, experience of work opportunities (including placements) and student participation in employability activities
  • Developing students' employability prospects through the Student Ambassador Scheme, employing 350 students and co-ordinating a thousand volunteers in voluntary, paid and credit bearing opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Delivering a Global Skills Award programme for postgraduate students
  • Further developing the highly successful Employability Points Scheme to include 130 partners, 5,128 students and over 300 rewards
  • Embedding further the Careers and Employability Service’s Careers Employability Award using Moodle for students to identify employability skills, improve career planning and job-hunting skills
  • Providing online support materials regarding assessment, e-learning and personal development planning, including development of e-portfolios
  • Continuing to develop partnerships to expand opportunities for students to work or study abroad
  • Increasing language learning opportunities for all students through the Centre for English and World Languages (CEWL)
  • Expanding opportunities for volunteering/work experience through Kent Union
  • Credit-bearing courses introduced for entrepreneurship and volunteering
  • Running your own business is now an option to add to existing industrial placements and Year in Industry schemes
  • A Sports Coaching and Officiating programme to help develop coaches and officials of the future. Students taking part also gain experience through officiating within the inter-college sports programme.
  • Delivery of a Researcher Development Programme for postgraduate research students
  • The School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) has developed classroom-based modules to enhance student employability while studying for a degree. Providing students with the opportunity to gain work experience in a secondary school classroom, these modules offer students a taster for a teaching career.

Fostering and rewarding excellence in research-led teaching...

and enhancing the professional development opportunities for staff

  • Delivery of a suite of leadership and management development programmes for staff with responsibility for managing others
  • Achieved full HEA accreditation at National Professional Standards for Teaching in HE (PGCHE and related programmes) for new and experienced academic staff
  • Delivered induction sessions to all new postgraduate students - 'Getting to grips with HE' - to support training for teaching as well as some bespoke work with academic schools
  • Distributed CPD fund to faculties to disseminate good practice in learning and teaching and to support enhancement initiatives
  • Annual award of five prizes for excellence in teaching/learning support
  • Improved range of language tuition for staff and students through the Centre for English and World Languages (CEWL)
  • Kent Union Teaching Awards launched including categories for innovation, feedback, student support, enthusiasm and inspiration
  • Recognition by the European Commission through its HR Excellence in Research Award for Kent's commitment to recruit, develop and retain high calibre research staff
  • Faculty Learning and Teaching Prize-winners deliver teaching sessions to postgraduate students as part of the Researcher Development Programme.

Strengthening our learning and teaching infrastructure...

to respond to changes in learning and teaching practice and new technology

  • Provided more effective allocation of teaching space by matching school/timetable requirements (Teaching Room Improvement Group) eg School of European Culture and Languages, Cornwallis
  • Replaced webCT with Moodle as Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), incorporating feedback from staff and student surveys
  • Students can now access all Kent modules through Moodle
  • Reviewed use of PebblePAD and piloted MyFolio as new e-portfolio tool to support learning and development planning
  • Launched MyFolio as full service for all students providing e-portfolio and personal development planning facilities
  • Online module evaluation launched institution-wide

Providing accessible, reliable and secure IT/Library services and facilities

  • Over 630 student access PCs provided centrally, of which 25% are replaced annually
  • Instant access to the internet provided to all students on arrival
  • Internet connections in all study bedrooms with over 98% take-up
  • Extensive support for student mobile devices including:
    • comprehensive wireless coverage with Internet access in all social and study spaces
    • laptop and netbook loan services
  • New library catalogue upgrade with enhanced search features and functionality
  • Templeman Library opening hours extended, including weekend opening and extended opening times during exam periods. During peak exam times, special bus services between the Canterbury campus and the city leave at midnight, 1am and 3am
  • Box of broadcasts - off-air recording system for students and staff to create their own playlists from radio and TV
  • Printing and photocopying services linked with new photocopiers
  • Online payment facilities introduced for both library fines and photocopying
  • Introduced an e-first policy allowing easy access to the latest resources on and off campus
  • Invested an extra £200,000 in additional books and eresources
  • Safeguarded access to key research databases
  • Introduced clearly signed study 'zones' in the Library for social, quiet and silent working
  • Provided an additional 100 study spaces in the new Social Learning Zone

See Information Services for more details.

Extending the internationalisation of the Kent student experience

  • Continued development of international partnerships, and internal support mechanisms such as faculty funding support, to expand opportunities for students to work or study abroad. Most notable are new exchange partners in China and Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Korea and Peru
  • Increasing number of programmes offering dual and joint UK and European qualifications including the Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC) and Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME) Erasmus-Mundus programmes
  • Students at Kent from 148 countries reinforcing the University's international reputation and cosmopolitan, multicultural flavour and creating a student body of whom around 16.5% are international students
  • Enhanced arrival and orientation support for international students including airport pick-up, orientation programmes and pre-departure events in a number of countries
  • Annual January re-orientation programme introduced for all international students as a reminder of the support services available at Kent
  • Better promoted activities and support programme available to international students remaining on campus over the winter holiday period
  • Dedicated library and learning support, free English lessons, international events including WorldFest and Europe Day, specialist support from International Development and a monitoring programme to aid continued improvement
  • Strengthened relationships with international Alumni networks including increased Alumni gatherings in Country
  • Enhanced working relationship with Kent Union and students, including jointly run international events, international buddy scheme and regular update meetings
  • Continued development of international studies programmes at our Brussels Centre and the addition of specialist centres in Paris, Athens and Rome for postgraduate study in the Humanities
  • Increased language learning opportunities for all students through the Centre for English and World Languages (CEWL)
  • WorldFest – an annual event to celebrate our international community and ethos.

See the International impact section of the University Plan for more details.

Strengthening the professional support we offer students...

in every area of the student experience, encouraging our students to develop independence, self-esteem, well-being and good citizenship, and enabling them to draw maximum benefit from being part of the Kent community.

  • Students have access to a large variety of first-rate sport and leisure facilities, including a state-of-the-art fitness suite, three sports halls, fitness and dance class studio, an indoor tennis and netball centre and 3G and astro multi-use outdoor pitches
  • Health and fitness services offered by qualified staff to help University staff and students improve their health, fitness and wellbeing
  • Inter-college sports programme allowing students to represent their college across a number of sports
  • Coaching and Officiating programme to help develop coaches and officials of the future. Students taking part also gain experience through officiating within the inter-college sports programme
  • Continual development of the Student Support and Wellbeing Service, enabling students to maximise their potential
  • Enhancement of student mentoring, particularly for students with mental health difficulties and Asperger Syndrome
  • Close liaison between academic schools and support services
  • Student Data System developed to inform academic schools of the entitlement of students with disabilities
  • Creation of Mental Health Advisor position.

See Kent Sport and Student Support and Wellbeing for more details.

Ensuring a welcoming, friendly and safe and secure living environment...

for students by providing modern residential accommodation, a wide range of catering facilities and outstanding service.

  • 5,400 bedrooms for new undergraduates and postgraduates at Canterbury, enabling us to house 35.6% of full-time students in University accommodation
  • 1,100 bedrooms available at Liberty Quays in Medway, all with en-suite facilities
  • Continual refurbishment programme for all accommodation to ensure the highest standards are maintained  
  • Canterbury campus awarded ‘Best University Accommodation for Groups’ for eight years running at the annual Group Travel Awards
  • Award-winning catering venues, giving home and international students a wide range of food choices
  • Newly improved and expanded sports facilities at Canterbury and Medway offering discounted student membership and enabling members to experience sport using state of the art equipment
  • Thriving Gulbenkian theatre and cinema on Canterbury campus, providing a varied entertainment programme, with the Colyer-Fergusson building housing a wide range of music making
  • New Student Hub building at Medway
  • Friendly and welcoming reception services, with advice and information for students throughout the year
  • A new online off-campus housing information service
  • Low cost travel options for easy access to the city of Canterbury, surrounding areas of Kent and London
  • Cycle clinics on the Canterbury campus and a cycle incentive scheme on the Medway campus
  • Enhancement of social spaces at Medway
  • Improvement to signage on the Canterbury and Medway campus
  • Free bus service between the Canterbury and Medway campus.

See Kent Hospitality, Kent Sport, Gulbenkian and Estates for more details.

Supporting strategies


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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 25/01/2016