Kent in the community
From the support it gives to local schools and colleges, to student and staff volunteering and services offered to the business community, the University of Kent contributes in many often less-obvious but enormously valuable ways to the local community.
A good example is Stage Spiders, a University of Kent-led volunteering group which runs projects for children and young people across Canterbury including Storybox interactive reading sessions.
Student and staff volunteering
In 2013/14, students volunteered a total of 104,868 hours, estimated to be worth between £527,000 and £640,000.
A survey of University of Kent staff (responded to by ten per cent) revealed that they undertook an estimated 28,880 hours – or nearly 19 FTE jobs – of additional engagement and public service activity each year.
The total economic value generated by this work is estimated to be nearly £2.5m.
If this pattern of engagement was the same for all staff, the full value could be estimated at around £24m.
Student Ambassador Programme
The Student Ambassador Programme places students in more than 40 partner schools and colleges to work with teachers and mentor students.
Student Ambassadors receive training and are paid for their work; in 2012/13 the University spent £137,000 specifically on the Programme, which delivered 10,884 paid hours.
Social weighting can be applied to the economic value of our Ambassador Programme - estimated at £220,000.
Legal services for local people
The University’s innovative Kent Law Clinic is a successful, award-winning service providing legal advice and representation for local people who cannot afford to pay for it, while at the same time enhancing the education of Kent law students and enabling them to use their developing knowledge to benefit the community.
From August 2013 to July 2014, the Clinic received 1,827 enquiries, handled 150 cases and obtained or saved £325,346 compensation for its clients.
Small local businesses and community organisations needing help with IT have a valuable resource in the Kent IT Consultancy (KITC), with bases in Canterbury and Medway.
Whether they require a website (plus training to manage it), guidance in the use of social media or would like to find a better way of managing customer relationships, the Consultancy can provide affordable solutions.
Supporting local enterprise
With world-leading research and academic excellence at the core of our business engagement, the University of Kent provides innovative and creative solutions to help solve business needs.
The University’s dedicated central point of contact for businesses, Kent Innovation & Enterprise (KIE), is constantly exploring new ways of working with businesses, multinationals and local firms, with emphasis being placed on building long-term relationships.
The Kent Enterprise Hub takes some of the anxiety out of starting a new business, by helping entrepreneurs – current students, recent graduates and staff – to develop their ideas.
Kent Business School (KBS) also plays an important role in supporting the local economy, both by providing skilled graduates and by sharing its expertise with local businesses.