About Kent

Essential Kent 2019

Essential Kent 2019 (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 128506.

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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 500 of the world’s universities by Shanghai Ranking's 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)
  • Ranked among the top 50 in the THE new European Teaching Rankings


  • Successful in a joint bid to develop Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS)
  • Winner of the Outstanding Support for Students award for the second year running at the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards
  • Winner of the 2019 Healthcare Pioneer Award. Researchers at the Medway School of Pharmacy have developed a new method of monitoring heart problems in patients attending GP surgeries


  • Ranked 32nd out of 149 UK higher education institutions for our success rate in securing national research funding
  • Awarded £4.3m from the Cultural Development Fund towards the development of the Thames Estuary area as Europe's largest creative corridor
  • Awarded a €3.9m grant for a project that aims to provide an historical, cultural and social understanding of the roots of migration


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

The UK's European university

Global opportunities:

  • An extensive study abroad programme with 193 universities in 39 countries. Most of our programmes offer opportunities to study or work in Europe
  • Recipient of a grant of over €1.1m to support student and staff mobility across Europe, under the Erasmus + scheme
  • 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 £267.8m
Research income £18.0m
Philanthropic income £0.91m
Number of donors 1,169
Annual surplus £3.4m
Investment in facilities and resources £191m over the last five years
Planned investment in faciities and resources Over £175m in five years to 2022-23
Student support Busaries, scholarships, grants and awards of £7.3m for undergraduates and £12.2m for postgraduates (2017-18)
Student accommodation Over 5,300 bedrooms at Canterbury, 1,100 at Liberty Quays in Medway
Total number of students 19,860
Undergraduate full-time students 15,190
Postgraduate full-time students 2,670
Undergraduate part-time students 740
Postgraduate part-time students 1,260
Student numbers (Canterbury campus) 16,440
Student numbers (Medway campus) 2,990
New enrolment 5,380 new undergraduates and 2,375 new postgraduates registered in December 2018
Student population 55% women, 45% men
Student profile Students from 159 nationalities: 76% (UK), 9% (Europe) 15% (overseas)
Retention rate 94.8% (HESA data)
2017-18 awards 5,105 undergraduate awards; 2,285 postgraduate awards (2,000 taught, 285 research)
Student employment rate Six months after graduation in 2017, more than 95% of Kent undergraduates and 97% of postgraduates who responded to a national survey had found a job, or were going on to further studies (DLHE)
Staff numbers 5,831 members of staff (salaried, timesheet, full-time and part-time staff) of which 1,175 are academic staff
Staff population 57% women, 43% men
Staff profile 78% (UK), 22% from Europe and overseas. 40% of Kent's academic staff are from outside the UK
Student to staff ratio 18.9:1 (HESA benchmarking data, 2016/17)
Alumni 181,000 from over 180 countries
Enterprise and innovation over 8,300 students and 147 companies engaged with the University's nationally-recognised Employability Points scheme in 2017-18. The Hub for Innovation and Enterprise continues to support entrepreneurship across the University.
Partnerships Kent has links with over 400 institutions around the world
Fairtrade status Kent has been a designated Fair trade university since 2006
Recycling In 2017/18 Kent achieved a 7% decrease of general waste produced and an increase of 20% on reuse options from the previous year
Student support Since 2010 the University has raised £5,292,640 for the Kent Opportunity Fund

All figures refer to the 2017/18 financial year unless specified otherwise. Student and enrolment data taken from the annual student number return (1 December 2018).

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

We attract internationally renowned subject specialists and have a reputation for research excellence that is designed to produce creative and practical solutions.

  • World-leading research in all subjects submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
  • 97% of our research is of international quality, up from 87% in 2008
  • Number of research-active staff has increased by 40% since 2008

The University is an active member of the following research consortia and UK Research and Innovation Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs):

  • Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) with the universities of East Anglia and Essex
  • South-east Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) (Economic and Social Research Council funded DTP)
  • Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South-East England (CHASE) (Arts and Humanities Research Council funded DTP)
  • Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences (ARIES) (Natural Environment Research Council funded DTP)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (DTP training grant)
  • SGroup

The University has also established the Global Challenges Doctoral Centre which provides Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funded training and PhD studentships.

See the Research website for further information.


  • Canterbury: Kent’s original site is situated on beautiful parkland overlooking the city of Canterbury. All facilities are based on campus
    and the wide range of courses span the humanities, social sciences and sciences.
  • Medway: Professionally focused, research-led programmes with an emphasis on cultural and creative industries, health and management, supported by industry-standard facilities at two sites: Pembroke and The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
  • Brussels: The Brussels School of International Studies is close to our partner universities (Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université libre de Bruxelles). It offers postgraduate courses in Politics and International Relations, Law and Economics.
  • Paris: The Paris School of Arts and Culture is based in the Columbia Global Center (known as Reid Hall). Situated in the heart of Paris, it
    offers interdisciplinary postgraduate programmes in the arts and humanities
  • Tonbridge: located in west Kent, our part-time centre offers a wide variety of study days and short courses in the humanities and social sciences as well as bespoke professional training for business and government.
  • Athens: based in the Athenian suburb of Elefsina, our centre is a unique collaboration between Kent and the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). Close to famous historical sites, it offers a taught Master’s in Heritage Management.
  • Rome: The Rome School of Classical and Renaissance Studies is based at the American University of Rome, which has superb views of the historic city. It offers postgraduate programmes in ancient history, history of art and Roman history and archaeology.

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 continually builds strong partnerships between business and research by encouraging innovative and creative collaborations. Our dedicated business and innovation gateway provides a clear route to world-renowned expertise and cutting-edge facilities, ensuring we provide practical and creative solutions to meet real business needs.
  • By deepening our relationships with businesses, the University is helping to support businesses to improve their innovation and productivity, thereby contributing to economic growth.
  • 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:
    • 186 companies have been created and developed at the University of Kent’s incubator space since 2010. As a result, 254 jobs have been created in the local community
    • Student Enterprise has run 849 business advice sessions since 2013
    • 63 companies were established over the last two years

Visit Innovation and Enterprise for further information

Regional impact

  • The University is worth £0.9 billion to the south-east economy and directly or indirectly supports 9,448 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the region (2015/16)
  • The University is one of the largest employers in the region, employing 5,831 staff equating to 2,982 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs
    Kent students delivered a total of 77,000 volunteering hours with an estimated economic value of approximately £540,000, benefitting more than 130 local organisations
  • 11% of University of Kent graduates remain in Kent after graduation
  • The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences offers professional services to the public such as sport and exercise-testing, psychology, respiratory and nutrition consultations, rehabilitation gym and sports therapy
  • From June to September 2018, the University’s Conference Office hosted 4,595 events, contributing over 200,000 overnight stays to the tourist economy of the region
  • 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
  • The University built upon its sponsorship of Brompton Academy and in 2017 established a multi-academy trust, University of Kent Academies
    Trust (UKAT), which now includes Chatham Grammar School for Girls
  • Gulbenkian, the University’s arts centre, has been awarded National Portfolio Organisation status with Arts Council England and supports projects runby, with and for children and young people, including the award-winning bOing! International Family Festival

See the Regional impact website for further information.

Student experience

Kent Extra

Graduate attributes

Graduate attributes are qualities that our students develop throughout their time at Kent. Through curricular and co-curricular activity (sports, societies, volunteering, paid employment), they develop skills which result in the development of particular graduate attributes that top employers are looking for: confidence, creativity and motivation, critical reflection, global/cultural awareness, integrity and accountability, intellectual curiosity and resilience

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.

Supportive learning environment

Each School has an Academic Adviser to provide individual advice and guidance to students to maximise their academic and personal development. Students can also enhance their academic achievements through workshops, one-to-one guidance, study skills sessions embedded in the curriculum, academic peer mentoring (APM) and online resources provided by the Student Learning Advisory Service.

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 its purpose is to support its members to ensure they have a superb student experience. It is a democratic, student-led organisation, and its members guide its direction and goals. Kent Union runs a broad range of services: campaigning and representation, student voice, campus student nightclub, bars, a campus shop, an advice centre, Jobshop, and a vast range of volunteering, sports clubs and societies.

All students at each of the University’s locations can join Kent Union. Medway students are also members of GK Unions, a partnership between Kent Union and the University of Greenwich Students’ Union. Every year, five Kent students are elected to run Kent Union full-time. These officers, along with 1,000+ other volunteers, represent the views of all Kent students.

Kent Union aims to:

Stand up for students

  • 23% of our members took part in our democratic process by casting 61,050 votes in elections throughout the year

Help them have the best time at Kent

  • 111 societies and 53 sports clubs
  • Events include Varsity, Kent Student Awards and the Summerball
  • 91,190 volunteering hours logged by Kent students, positively changing their university experience for the better

Prepare them for life after Kent

  • 7,500 students registered with Jobshop to find part-time work during their studies
  • 4,541 students helped by our advice centre
  • Over 1,200 students attended our recruitment fairs


Figures taken from Kent Union Impact Report 2017-18: Celebrating Success!

Collegiate structure

The University has a collegiate structure and has seven colleges. Kent is one of only eight UK universities to have such a structure, developed by
the University’s Founding Fathers to create a ‘true community of masters and scholars’.

All students become a member of a college when they join Kent, and retain their affiliation throughout their study and beyond. Each college has a Master, who is responsible for student welfare, and a Student Committee made up of students nominated by their peers.

  • Director of Student Services and Senior Master (Interim): Jane Glew BSc (Aston), PG Dip (CIM), MA (Greenwich)
  • Master of Darwin and Woolf Colleges: Dr Jonathan Friday BA (London), MPhil PhD (Cambridge)
  • Master of Eliot College: Stephen Burke BA (Kent)
  • Master of Keynes College: Chloé Gallien L-ès-L, M-ès-L, DEA (Nancy), MBA (OUBS), FHEA, FAUA
  • Master of Rutherford College: Dr Peter Klappa BSc MSc PhD (Munich), PGCHE (Kent)
  • Master of Turing College: To be announced

See the Master's Office and the Student Guide 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)
2018 Kent Union Park Wood Student Hub opens (Canterbury)
2019 Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) established. Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent in collaboration


Corporate Communications

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

Last Updated: 21/03/2019