About Kent

Essential Kent 2017

Essential Kent 2017 (pdf) is produced by Enrolment Management Services and this website is updated regularly to reflect changes during the year. University staff can request a hard copy of the booklet from the Print Office.

The booklet is in the process of being updated for 2018 and will be available in early February.

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Kent in brief

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  • A leading university, ranked among the best in the UK by three national league tables: The Guardian University Guide, The Times Good University Guide and The Complete University Guide
  • Shortlisted for Exceptional Performance in Teaching and Research (Times Higher Education Data Points Award 2016)
  • Ranked 17th in the UK for the intensity of its excellent research (REF 2014), out of 122 multi-faculty universities
  • Fourth highest score for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016, out of all multi-faculty institutions.


  • An excellent education delivered by world-class researchers
  • A curriculum and student experience that equips graduates for personal and professional success
  • Recipient of an Athena SWAN Charter Bronze award and seven school-level Bronze awards for supporting the career progression of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) areas
  • Honoured with Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education twice in the past ten years.


  • Campuses in Canterbury and Medway, a centre for part-time study in Tonbridge, and the only UK university with specialist postgraduate centres in four European capital cities: Athens, Brussels, Paris and Rome
  • New buildings at the Canterbury and Medway campuses, with improved and larger premises for the Brussels School of International Studies
  • Generating £700 million for the south-east region (2012-13 financial year).


See the courses pages of the website for further information about courses.

The UK's European university

Where the world meets Europe:

  • We have an extensive study abroad programme with over 170 universities in 37 countries. Most of our programmes offer opportunities to study or work in Europe
  • Kent plays a leading role in the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme, which facilitates scholarships and academic co-operation between Europe and the rest of the world
  • We have one of the highest percentages of students studying under the Erasmus scheme of any multi-faculty UK university
  • Our European exchange programmes were one of the first to receive the E-quality label
  • Kent offers dual UK and European qualifications (international double awards) at Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral level.

See the European website for further information.

Fast Facts

Annual income £253.8m
Research income £17.0m
Philanthropic income £1.42m
Number of donors 1,359
Annual surplus £6.1m
Investment in facilities and resources £175m over the last five years
Planned investment in faciities and resources Over £197m in five years to 2020-21
Student support Busaries, scholarships, grants and awards of £7.1m for undergraduates and £13.6m for postgraduates (2015-16)
Student accommodation 5,200 bedrooms at Canterbury, 1,100 at Liberty Quays in Medway
Total number of students 20,125
Undergraduate full-time students 15,455
Postgraduate full-time students 2,805
Undergraduate part-time students 575
Postgraduate part-time students 1,290
New enrolment 5,615 new undergraduates and 2,385 new postgraduates registered in December 2016
Student population 53% women, 47% men
Student profile Students from 158 nationalities: 73% (UK), 10.9% (Europe) 16.1% (overseas)
Retention rate 95.5%
2015-16 awards 4,150 undergraduate awards; 1,980 postgraduate awards (1,785 taught, 195 research)
Student employment rate More than 95% of Kent students who graduated in 2015 were in work or further study within six months
Staff numbers 4,056 members of staff, of which 2,066 are academic, teaching and research staff
Staff population 54% women, 46% men
Staff profile 75% (UK), 25% from Europe and overseas. 41% of Kent's academic staff are from outside the UK
Student to staff ratio 12.4:1
Alumni 160,000 from over 180 countries
Enterprise and innovation 6,784 students and 132 companies engaged with the University's nationally-recognised Employability Points scheme in 2015-16
Partnerships Kent has links with 388 institutions around the world
Fairtrade status Kent has been a designated Fair trade university since 2006
Recycling The University recycled around 58% of its waste and aims to increase this to 65% in 2017
Student support Since 2010 the University has raised £4,416,998 for the Kent Opportunity Fund

A commitment to research excellence

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

  • Kent's status as a leading UK research university was underlined in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, which assesses quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • The Times Higher Education (THE)'s REF league tables ranked Kent 17th in the UK for research intensity out of 122 multi-faculty universities
  • The REF also confirmed that Kent has world-leading research across all its subject areas, and that 97% of the University's research is of international quality
    • Our score for research power increased by 59%, the third largest increase of top 50 research intensive universities
    • Since 2008, we have increased the number of research-active staff by 40%
    • Seven of our subject areas are in the top ten for research intensity: architecture; biological sciences; English language and literature; history; law; pharmacy; social work and social policy; theology and religious studies
    • Four of our subject areas are in the top ten for research impact: classics; physics; social work and social policy; theology and religious studies
  • Contributing to the University's REF success were the number of its world-class publications, number of research active staff and demonstrable impact that Kent's research has made to the sciences and to economic, social and cultural understanding.

Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern Arc)

  • The University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Essex and the University of Kent have joined together to form a significant new force in research collaboration and training. The consortium builds on recent partnership bids for doctoral training awards, and on a range of other bilateral research relationships.


  • Kent is a member of the SGroup; a European Universities Network comprised of over 30 members from 15 European countries. Our admission to the group is in recognition of its strong record of participation in collaborative European research and teaching projects.

SeNSS, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

  • The South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) is a consortium formed of ten leading UK universities, all of which are engaged in cutting-edge social science research and trainingSeNSS is one of only 14 UK ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and
    will be offering a number of fully funded ESRC doctoral studentships to start in September 2017
  • Our partner institutions are: City, University of London; University of East Anglia; University of Essex (the co-ordinating institution); Goldsmiths, University of London; University of Reading; University of Roehampton, London; Royal Holloway, University of London; University of Surrey; and University of Sussex.

Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East England (CHASE)

  • Kent is part of the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East England (CHASE), which brings together nine leading institutions engaged in collaborative research activities including an Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral training partnership
  • CHASE comprises the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex; the Open University; the Courtald Institute of Art; Goldsmiths, University of London; Birkbeck, University of London and SOAS,University of London.


  • The EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership provides studentships and training for postgraduate researchers in Environmental Science and draws together expertise from the Universities of Kent, East Anglia and Essex as well as ten research centres of national and international importance. EnvEast is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

See the Research website for further information.


  • Canterbury: the University’s original parkland campus overlooks the historic city of Canterbury. With over 16,600 students and 158 nationalities represented, the campus has a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere
  • Medway: professionally focused programmes supported by industry-standard, purpose-built facilities at Pembroke (formerly HMS Pembroke) and in renovated listed buildings at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
  • Brussels: In Europe’s capital, Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies offers postgraduate programmes taught by world-leading academics and experienced practitioners, and provides valuable internship opportunities.
  • Paris: the teaching of humanities and arts-based postgraduate programmes at the Paris School of Arts and Culture is enhanced by cultural, linguistic and experiential immersion in this historic city at the heart of Europe.
  • Tonbridge: dedicated to part-time study and continuing professional development, the Tonbridge Centre has its own specialist facilities with easy access to the campus resources at Canterbury and Medway.
  • Athens: study Heritage Management, combining archaeology and business, at the archaeological site of Eleusina in one of the world’s most ancient cities.
  • Rome: Canterbury and Rome have been linked since the Middle Ages by the pilgrimage route, Via Francigena. Study the ancient world and art history at this European centre of classical antiquity and art.

International impact

  • The University has a strong international impact, based on our external networks, partnerships with leading universities in Europe and around the world, and our staff, students and alumn
  • 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
  • The University has a long tradition of welcoming international students from around the world. Of our total student body, 16.1% are from outside of the UK, from 158 different countries, studying at our campuses and centres.

See the International website for further information.

Enterprise and innovation

  • The University works with external organisations to share and develop new ideas, technologies, knowledge and competitive advantage. Our practical and applied solutions are designed to meet real business needs.
  • With international expertise and cutting-edge facilities, the University provides innovative and creative solutions to the business community.
    The University’s dedicated business engagement department ensures the resources within our large and diverse university are relevant and accessible to businesses regionally, nationally and globally. Its role is to build strong partnerships between research and business, to better develop, support and create high-growth enterprises working with organisations within the region and internationally, across a variety of projects.
  • Additionally, we have established a number of initiatives to encourage and develop our students’ employability skills, including the nationally recognised Employability Points Scheme together with a dedicated incubator, Hub for Innovation and Enterprise (Hub), responding to internal demand from student and staff entrepreneurs.
  • The Hub is located in the Canterbury Innovation Centre and is the University’s delivery vehicle for student entrepreneurship, start-up
    support and start-up space:
    • 124 companies have been created and developed at the University of Kent’s incubator space since 2010. As a result, 182 jobs have been created in the local community
    • Student Enterprise has run 158 business advice sessions since 2010.
    • Two of Kent’s first-year students recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Virginia Tech KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge. The students, representing the UK, competed in this prestigious competition alongside students from 14 other universities around the world.

Regional impact

  • The University directly or indirectly supports over 8,300 jobs in the region
  • The University provides almost 3,210 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and provides employment opportunities for over 5,000 of its students annually
  • Nearly 40,000 alumni have remained in the county of Kent
  • We offer workshops and activities with regional schools and colleges, and our Student Ambassador Scheme has operated for more than ten years
  • Kent Law Clinic received 1,430 enquiries during the year. Legal advice was provided in in 360 of these matters and 178 other clients ​were formally represented during the year
  • Our students volunteered over 77,000 hours both on campus and in the local community during the 2015/16 academic year
  • The Gulbenkian was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status with the Arts Council of England for three years from April 2015
  • From June to September 2016, the University’s Conference Office staged more than 4,350 events and booked over 145,000 overnight stays, raising revenue of over £4m
  • Kent Union’s Raise and Give (RaG) raised £170,046.52 in the 2015/16 academic year.

See the Regional impact website for further information.

Kent Union: Empowering students

To have a voice

  • Over 400 trained student representatives
  • 45 ideas submitted through ChangeIt, an online democratic platform for students to positively change their university experience for the better
  • 46,843 votes cast in the Kent Union Leadership Elections.

To get the most from university

  • 57% of students participated in Kent Union activities
  • 8,241 students involved in Kent Union sports clubs and societies (3,134 sports club members and 5,107 society members)
  • Over 3,000 students attended the annual summer ball
  • 548 volunteers are involved in student media: CSRfm (radio), KTV (TV station) and InQuire (student newspaper).

To fulfil their potential

  • 531 students employed by Kent Union
  • £858,268 paid to students employed by Kent Union
  • 2,319 temporary jobs provided by Jobshop
  • 2,868 students logged hours through the Kent Union Toolkit
  • £24,000 spent training students employed by Kent Union
  • 4,896 students helped by the Kent Union Advice Centres
  • 23,488 hours spent volunteering in the community, making a difference to the lives of local people.

To run our effective charity with a clear sense of purpose

  • 25th place in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisationsto Work For in 2016 and reaccredited with the Investors in People
    Gold standard
  • 96% satisfaction from parents who use the on-campus nursery
    £1,754 raised for our staff charity, Kent Autistic Trust.

All figures taken from the Kent Union Impact Report 2015-16

Faculties and schools

There are three faculties at Kent, comprising 18 academic schools and 3 academic centres.

  • Humanities Kent School of Architecture; School of Arts; School of English; School of European Culture and Languages; School of History; School of Music and Fine Art
  • Sciences School of Biosciences; School of Computing; School of Engineering and Digital Arts; School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science; Medway School of Pharmacy; Kent Health, School of Physical Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Social Sciences School of Anthropology and Conservation; Kent Business School; School of Economics; Centre for Journalism; Kent Centre for Finance; Kent Law School; School of Politics and International Relations; School of Psychology; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research; Centre for Sports Studies; Centre for Professional Practice

See the Departments and schools website for further information.

The University’s Plan 2015-2020

The University of Kent is a forward-thinking research institution committed to the transformative power of education and research. In 1965, The Times commented that Kent was 'setting out to be different', and our fiftieth anniversary has given the opportunity for us to reflect on our past and re-discover what makes us distinctive.

Further information about the University's intentions for the future is published here

Executive Group portfolios

University history

1965 Royal Charter granted
  First 500 students enrol
1965 – 70 Elliot, Rutherford, Keynes and Darwin Colleges open (Canterbury)
1969 Opening of the Gulbenkian Theatre and Cinema (Canterbury)
1980 Opening of Park Wood (Canterbury)
1982 Opening of the Tonbridge Centre
1993 Park Wood village completed (Canterbury)
1995 Tyler Court Block A accommodation opens (Canterbury)
1998 University of Kent, Brussels established
2004 Launch of the Medway School of Pharmacy at Chatham Maritime, a joint project for the Universities of Kent and Greenwich
Tyler Court Blocks B and C accommodation opens (Canterbury)
2005 First students at Medway campus
Park Wood flats open (Canterbury) and the Medway Building opens (Medway)
2006 The Pilkington and Gillingham Buildings open (Medway)
2008 Woolf Postgraduate College opened (Canterbury)
Kent Graduate School is established
2009 Postgraduate centre in Paris launched
First Liberty Quays student accommodation opens (Medway)
2011 New accommodation at Keynes College opens (Canterbury)
Specialist postgraduate programmes at Athens launched
2012 Colyer-Fergusson Music Building opens (Canterbury)
Multimillion-pound refurbishment of the School of Music and Fine Art facilities at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham completed (Medway)
2013 Specialist postgraduate programmes in Rome launched
New student residences open at Liberty Quays (Medway)
Refurbished Sports Centre opened (Canterbury)
2014 Turing College opens (Canterbury)
Phase 1 of the Templeman Library extension and refurbishment completed (Canterbury)
2015 New and refurbished facilities for Kent Business School open.
The Royal Dockyard Church is refurbished as a lecture theatre at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham (Medway)
2016 Galvanising Shop Café opens at The Historic Dockyard Chatham (Medway)
Wigoder Law Building opens (Canterbury)
2017 The new Student Hub opens (Medway)                                                
The Sibson Building, a new building for Kent Business School and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, opens (Canterbury)


Corporate Communications

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

Last Updated: 04/01/2018