About Kent

Essential Kent 2018

Essential Kent 2018 (pdf) is produced by Enrolment Management Services and this website is updated regularly to reflect changes during the year. Academic schools and professional service departments can order printed copies for their own use by contacting the Design and Print Unit and quoting reference number 126271.

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Kent in brief

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  • Awarded gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Read Kent's Statement of Findings
  • Based on the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Kent was ranked in the top 20 for research intensity in the Times Higher Education (THE), outperforming 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities
  • Ranked in the top 10% of the world’s universities for international outlook, in the THE World University Rankings 2018


  • Winner of the Outstanding Support for Students award at the 2017 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards
  • As reported by the THE, the University has increased its proportion of female professors to 27.2%, a rise of 8.2% since the last survey in 2012-13. This, according to new Higher Education Statistics Agency figures obtained by the THE, places Kent well above the national average of 24% and at the top of those institutions to have achieved an increase
  • Honoured with Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education twice in the past eleven years


  • New buildings at the Canterbury and Medway campuses, with improved and larger premises for the Brussels School of International Studies
  • Winner of the Digital Marketing category at the Association of College and University Housing Officers International Marketing Awards for our innovative use of digital technology to offer virtual tours of our campus accommodation and other key venues to prospective students
  • Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) – comprising the universities of Kent, Essex and East Anglia – awarded £4.7m by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to support business innovation in Kent, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk


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 204 universities in 36 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
  • 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
  • Kent staff can apply for funding to undertake two to five days training/teaching opportunities at our Erasmus partner universities or other relevant organisations within Europe. Further information is available from International Partnerships.

See the European website for further information.

Fast Facts

Annual income £267.1m
Research income £16.7m
Philanthropic income £1.02m
Number of donors 1,266
Annual surplus £16.4m
Investment in facilities and resources £186m over the last five years
Planned investment in faciities and resources Over £187m in five years to 2021-22
Student support Busaries, scholarships, grants and awards of £7.5m for undergraduates and £11.8m for postgraduates (2016-17)
Student accommodation Over 5,300 bedrooms at Canterbury, 1,100 at Liberty Quays in Medway
Total number of students 20,135
Undergraduate full-time students 15,610
Postgraduate full-time students 2,615
Undergraduate part-time students 590
Postgraduate part-time students 1,325
Student numbers (Canterbury campus) 16,675
Student numbers (Medway campus) 3,010
New enrolment 5,710 new undergraduates and 2,155 new postgraduates registered in December 2017
Student population 54% women, 46% men
Student profile Students from 157 nationalities: 74.1% (UK), 10.1% (Europe) 15.7% (overseas)
Retention rate 95.8%
2016-17 awards 4,075 undergraduate awards; 2,055 postgraduate awards (1,870 taught, 185 research)
Student employment rate Six months after graduation in 2016, more than 96% of Kent undergraduates and 98% of postgraduates who responded to a national survey had found a job, or were going on to further studies (DLHE)
Staff numbers 6,216 members of staff (salaried, timesheet, full-time and part-time staff)
Staff population55% women, 45% men
Staff profile 75% (UK), 25% from Europe and overseas. 40% of Kent's academic staff are from outside the UK
Student to staff ratio 15.1:1
Alumni 171,000 from over 180 countries
Enterprise and innovation 7,782 students and 145 companies engaged with the University's nationally-recognised Employability Points scheme in 2016-17. The Hub for Innovation and Enterprise continues to support entrepreneurship across the University, helping to establish 55 student, staff and alumni companies
Partnerships Kent has links with over 400 institutions around the world
Fairtrade status Kent has been a designated Fair trade university since 2006
Recycling The University recycled over 68% of its waste in 2017
Student support Since 2010 the University has raised £5,191,148 for the Kent Opportunity Fund

All figures refer to the 2016-17 financial year unless specified otherwise. Student and enrolment data taken from the annual student number return (1 December 2017).

Teaching excellence

  • The University has been awarded a gold rating, the highest, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
  • The TEF Panel reported that Kent ‘students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes. Very high proportions of students from all backgrounds continue with their studies and then progress to employment, notably exceeding the provider benchmarks. The metrics indicate very high levels of student satisfaction with teaching, academic support and assessment and feedback.’
  • Read Kent’s Statement of Findings

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)
  • Based on the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Kent was ranked in the top 20 for research intensity in the Times Higher Education
  • 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 has generated over £1m in new research awards and over 100 peer-reviewed publications since its first fully operational year in 2015/16.


  • SGroup is a European Universities Network, which comprises 30 members from 15 European countries. The University’s admission to the Group is in recognition of its strong record of participationin collaborative European research and teaching projects.

SeNSS, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

  • Kent is part of a consortium of ten leading UK universities engaged in cutting-edge social science research and training. Our partner institutions are City, University of London; University of East Anglia; University of Essex; Goldsmiths, University of London; University of Reading; University of Roehampton, London; Royal Holloway, University of London; University of Surrey and University of Sussex. SeNSS is an ESRC accredited and funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

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

  • CHASE brings together nine leading institutions that are engaged in collaborative research activities, including an AHRC doctoral training partnership: the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex; the Open University; the Courtauld Institute of Art; Goldsmiths, University of London; Birkbeck, University of London and SOAS, University of London.


  • This 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.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

  • This is a new £1.7bn government programme to support UK universities in building the research capacity of developing countries. Kent was one of only two UK universities to have both of its proposed multimillion-pound projects funded in the initial round of the programme. Professor Elena Korosteleva in the School of Politics and International Relations is leading a £2.4m project working with academics in some of the former Soviet states to open up communication between them and the rest of the world. Professor Colin Robinson in the School of Biosciences is leading a £2.3m project tackling the very limited access to medicines for cancer sufferers in Thailand.

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, research-led programmes with an emphasis on creative industries, health and management, supported by industry-standard 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 Eleusis 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 the Rome School of Classical and Renaissance Studies.

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, 15.7% are from outside of the UK, from 157 different nationalities, 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 is one of the largest employers in the south east, employing 6,197 people at our campuses in Canterbury and Medway and at our Tonbridge Centre (salaried, timesheet, full-time and part-time staff).
  • The University generated £700 million for the south-east region (2012-13 financial year).
  • Our students’ off-campus spending contributes nearly £250m to the region’s economy, helping to create 2,500 jobs.
  • Kent Union volunteers logged over 90,000 hours both on campus and in the local community during the 2016/17 academic year.
  • The University’s newsletter Community is delivered four times a year to 12,500 homes and businesses around the Canterbury campus and in the city centre.
  • Gulbenkian, the University’s arts centre, has been awarded National Portfolio Organisation status with Arts Council England and supports projects run by, with and for children and young people, including the award-winning bOing! International Family Festival.
  • From June to September 2017, the University’s Conference Office hosted 4,595 events, contributing over 200,000 overnight stays to the tourist economy of the region.
  • The University built upon its sponsorship of Brompton Academy and established in 2017 a multi-academy trust, University of Kent Academies Trust (UKAT), which now includes Chatham Grammar School for Girls.

See the Regional impact website for further information.

Student experience

Kent Extra

Kent Extra provides students with opportunities to enhance their knowledge, learn new skills and improve their CV. Students can do this through study pathways that broaden their degree programme; spending a year abroad, or on a work placement; attending a summer school; volunteering; or taking a Study Plus course. Some of the options are assessed and, if the degree programme allows, may contribute to the final degree. Others are extra-curricular and not assessed. Either way, it is an excellent way for students to get the most from their time at Kent.

Collegiate environment

All students are assigned a college in their first year and this affiliation is retained throughout their study. College Masters co-ordinate academic and non-academic support, through, for example, the Support to Study procedure which provides extra support for students with mental or physical ill-health to help them achieve their full potential when faced with difficult personal circumstances.

Enhancing employability

The University and Kent Union provide a range of work opportunities for students. The University’s Student Ambassador Scheme has operated for more than ten years and employs undergraduate and postgraduate students to represent the University at on-campus events as well as in local schools, colleges and the community.

Student Unions

Kent Union is a registered charity and our purpose is to support our members and ensure they have a superb student experience. All the money we make through our services is reinvested in providing advice, activities and events. We are a democratic, student-led organisation, so our members guide our direction and the goals we set ourselves. In Medway, we operate a partnership with the University of Greenwich students’ union, called GK Unions. GK Unions represents the views of students studying in Medway and provides a broad range of co-curricular activities to support them.

Kent Union aims to:

Empower students to have a voice

  • 31% of our members voted in democratic elections during 2016/17
  • 40,281 votes cast in our democratic elections

Help students gain skills and experience through volunteering

  • 90,634 volunteering hours logged by Kent students, positively changing their university experience for the better
  • 2,263 students volunteered through Kent Union

Empower students to fulfil their potential

  • 14,146 students registered with Jobshop to find part-time work during their studies
  • 6,855 students helped by the Kent Union Advice Centres
  • Over 1,000 students attended our recruitment fairs

Empower students to get the most from university

  • 58% of students actively participate in Kent Union activities
  • 8,241 students are involved in Kent Union sports clubs and societies


All figures taken from the Kent Union Impact Report 2016-17

Faculties and schools

There are three faculties at Kent, comprising 19 academic schools and 4 academic centres.

  • Humanities Centre for Music and Audio Technology; 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 Kent Health; Medway School of Pharmacy; School of Biosciences; School of Computing; School of Engineering and Digital Arts; School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science;  School of Physical Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Social Sciences Centre for Journalism; Centre for Quantitative Finance; Centre for Professional Practice; Kent Business School; Kent Law School; School of Anthropology and Conservation; School of Economics; School of Politics and International Relations; School of Psychology; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

See the Departments and schools website for further information.

Executive Group portfolios

University history

1965 Royal Charter granted
  First 500 students enrol
  Kent Union started, run by volunteers
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 The first students are welcomed to the new 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 University of Kent, 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)
New and refurbished facilities for the School of Music and Fine Art open at The Historic Dockyard Chatham (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)
Kent Union Student Media Centre opened (Canterbury)
2015 New and refurbished facilities for Kent Business School open at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and the Royal Dockyard Church is refurbished as a lecture theatre (Medway)
2016 Galvanising Shop Café opens at The Historic Dockyard Chatham (Medway)
Wigoder Law Building opens (Canterbury)
2017 The new GK Unions 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).
Templeman Library extension and refurbishment is completed (Canterbury)


Corporate Communications

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

Last Updated: 13/02/2018