Alumni and Friends

University of Kent Belgium Alumni Association

Launching in 2017, Kent’s alumni and friends who are living or working in Belgium can be part of the University of Kent Belgium Alumni Association, whether you did a short-term exchange program or a full degree at Kent. The association will support alumni, current students and staff in the region, providing a network of advice and information and organising events to connect Kent’s community in Belgium.

To find out more about the group and receive invitations to events, please stay in touch by registering for our online alumni community. You can also join their Facebook group for the latest news and updates. You can also

  • Belgium Alumni Association
  • Stay in touch
  • News and events
  • Further information

Belgium Alumni Association


Tom Vandenkendelaere, Co-Chair

(Canterbury, 2007 - MA International Relations; Canterbury, 2014 - PhD International Relations)

Tom is a member of the European Parliament since November 2014, when he entered the Parliament as a runner-up to Commissioner Marianne Thyssen. He is member of the committees on Agriculture, Employment & Social Affairs, and Economic & Monetary Affairs. Before joining the Parliament, Tom worked as an attaché at the Belgian ministry of Foreign Affairs and he was chairperson of JONGCD&V, the youth wing of his political party. Tom is married and has one son.

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky, Co-Chair

(Canterbury, 2009 – BA Politics and International Relations with French)

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky is based in Brussels and has been working for the European Union since 2010. She is the Secretary-General of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group in the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the EU's political assembly of local and regional representatives. Previously, she worked in the European Parliament as a policy advisor. Her EU career began in the Enlargement Strategy Unit of the European Commission’s former Enlargement Directorate-General. Sadikoglu-Novaky holds an M.Sc. in politics and government in the European Union from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE).

Yvan Dheur, Board Member

(Brussels, 2014 - MA International Conflict and Security)

Yvan studied a Bachelor in Orthopedagogy, a Bachelor and Master of Agogy (Science of Societal Change Management), and also studied a Master in International Conflict and Security at Kent. He is currently undertaking a postgraduate in Critical Study of Religions and the relationship between Religion and State. Yvan also works for the free thinkers community in Belgium that falls under the Ministry of Justice, responsible for intelligence management and international affairs (EU and UN). He has previously worked as a head hunter for top managers.

Jonathan Millins, Board Member

(Canterbury, 2004 – BA Politics and International Relations)

Jonathan has been the director of the East of England Brussels Office since 2015, where he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the office and its team. He came to Brussels in 2008 to undertake a traineeship with a Labour MEP before going on to be the European Information Officer at the Greater Manchester Brussels Office. In addition to his main job, Jonathan is also an accredited international election observer and a board member of the Pilot4Dev sustainable development initiative.

Niklas Novaky, Board Member

(Canterbury, 2009 – BA Politics and International Relations)

Niklas works for the Martens Centre as a Research Officer, a role he has held since July 2017. He specialises in EU security and defence policy and has published multiple articles on the subject in major academic journals. In addition, he has provided media commentary and briefed the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence. He was born in Espoo, Finland. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Aberdeen and an MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Alexia Vercruysse, Board Member

(Canterbury, 2016 – LL.M. International Law and International Relations)

Alexia is a parliamentary assistant working at the Belgian Senate for the Reformist Movement. Following the completion of her Master’s in law at the UCL in Belgium, she completed her LL.M. at the University of Kent, before moving to London to do a six-month internship at the Council for At-Risk Academics. She then moved to Brussels to work at the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples’ Organization before starting her current job at the Belgian Senate.

Kieran Watkins, Board Member (Communications)

(Medway, 2014 – BA Journalism; Brussels, 2016 – MA Political Strategy and Communication)

Kieran is an associate working for Kreab, a global public affairs consultancy based in Brussels, specialising in energy and environment policy. Following the completion of his bachelors, he worked in London for one year as a journalist for Sky News and the Mail Online, before moving to Brussels to embark on a Masters degree at the University’s Brussels campus in 2015.

Caitlin Marshall, Board Member (BSIS Liaison)

(Brussels, 2017 – MA International Migration)

  Caitlin is currently a PhD student at the University of Kent’s Brussel School of International Studies. Her current research focuses on how stigmatised communities engage in political participation and protection through hidden resistance on social media. Her passion is international migration, human rights, identity studies, and gender studies. She has been working for the U.S. military for 8 years, with experience in logistics and NATO training exercises.

Stay in touch

To receive the alumni magazine as well as our alumni e-newsletter and invitations to events in Belgium, please make sure that the University has up to date contact details for you by registering for the online alumni community.

Find us on Facebook

The Belgium Alumni Association can now be found on Facebook! Join our group to find out more about upcoming events and activities.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow @UniKentAlumni for news from the University and from your fellow alumni.

News and events

The alumni events calendar lists all upcoming events. To ensure that you receive an invitation, make sure we have your contact details!

Stay in touch!

If you are based in Belgium and would like to be kept informed about the Belgium Alumni Association, please register for our online alumni community.

Alumni Relations - Development Office

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 13/07/2018