Pregnancy, maternity and student parents/carers

We believe that being or becoming pregnant, terminating a pregnancy or having a very young child (including through adoption) should not, in itself, be a barrier to a student starting, succeeding in, or completing a programme of study at the University.

Pregnancy and maternity

The University is committed to being as flexible as possible while making sure that any arrangements made for the student do not compromise academic standards.

The special arrangements which can and should be made for a student in these circumstances may vary from school to school and from programme to programme. However, the approach is consistent across the University – as is the legal framework in which the University operates.

The University will ensure that:

  • Any student who becomes pregnant before or during a period of study at the University is accommodated as far as practically possible to allow them to complete their programme of study, providing academic standards are upheld
  • Relevant staff are made aware of the University of Kent Student Pregnancy and Maternity Policy and their responsibilities arising under it
  • Guidance and support is available for staff undertaking risk assessments on elements of the programme of study that are likely to result in a risk to the health and safety of the student or unborn child
  • Guidance and support is available for students who declare a pregnancy, recent birth or intention to adopt a very young child or whose partners are in any of these positions
  • Support is available to students through various support services
  • The policy is kept under review and updated as necessary

Social spaces on campus

We have a number of relaxed lounge spaces in Canterbury and Medway that are open to all students (and staff) who may wish to chat, study, eat or drink between lectures and seminars. 

Many of these spaces have access to hot water for drinks and microwaves so you can heat up food from home. 

Breastfeeding on campus

Students are able to breastfeed or express anywhere in the public spaces and eateries on campus that are comfortable with, and have the right not to be challenged whilst doing so. 

Should a student at Canterbury require a private space, they can request the key for the Breastfeeding Room located in Rutherford College from Rutherford Reception. Booking is not required, but students should be aware that if the room is occupied then there may be wait for the facility to become available.  

Baby changing facilities on campus

There are currently baby changing facilities located in the majority of the Disability Toilets at the Canterbury and Medway sites, as well as within the Coyer-Fergusson building, the Sports Pavilion and the Templeman Library at the Canterbury site.  

Student parents/carers

Canterbury and Medway offer great environments for families, with a wide range of child-friendly facilities and a perfect mix of city, coast and countryside. If you are planning to bring your family with you when you study, this page has links to useful information including accommodation, schooling and healthcare.

We strongly advise new students with children to travel to Kent alone, in advance of starting their course, to make all the arrangements for housing and schooling and to get a sense of the local area, before bringing their families to join them. Deciding where to live may be affected by a range of factors including the proximity to schools and other family-focused services.

Children on campus

Students may be accompanied by children in general public areas, such as the campus eateries and the library under supervision. Children brought onto the campus are the responsibility of the adult who brings them, and must be supervised at all times. 

Students should not bring children into seminar or teaching rooms, lecturer theatres, laboratories or shared work spaces. From a health and safety perspective, students should be aware that the University environment is not, in general, designed for the needs of young children and toddlers.  For full information, please see Appendix 2 of the Student Pregnancy and Maternity Policy (Guidance for Students).   

Oaks Nursery in (Canterbury- on campus)

At Canterbury, the on-campus Oaks Nursery is registered for children aged 0-5 years and they offer discounts for student parents.

Busy Bees Nursery (Medway)

At Medway, Busy Bees is a local nursery for children aged 0-5 years.

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