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Impact Report 2010-2011

Impact Report 2010 - 2011 Page 1

Building a better future for students

Our Leadership Team* Sabbatical Officers

Student Trustees

Senior Staff

Tom Ritchie President and Chair of the Board

Sue Shepherd

Jim Gardner Chief Executive

Phil Butler Colum McGuire Vice President (Welfare) Kenny Budd Vice President (Activities) Hannah Davis Vice President (Sport) Lauren Crowley Vice President (Education)

Joe Cooper Deputy Chief Executive

Emily Morrey-McGrath Etienne Churet

Victoria Todd Director of Central Services

External Trustees Derek Smith (Deputy Chair) Kate Haywood

Peter Cole Director of Finance Kirsty Monk Director of UMSA

Matt Williams Ted Friswell

*as at 1st July Page 2

Impact Report 2010-2011

Introduction from the President and Chief Executive 2010/11 was a year of extraordinary achievements and enormous challenges. The year was heavily influenced by the government’s review of higher education and plans to increase tuition fees. Kent Union launched a high profile campaign in response, taking over 500 students to the NUS national demonstration in London, sending a 2,500 strong petition to local MP’s, taking 50 students to a lobby of Parliament and gaining significant media coverage. We also ran many other priority campaigns, including ‘Right to Rent’, ‘The Lock’ and ‘Get on Board’. It was undoubtedly our best year for campaigning in the last decade, if not longer, led by a team of sabbatical officers intent on creating change for students. We achieved the highest ever results in our student satisfaction survey, with an overall rating of 92% satisfaction with Kent Union, up from 81% in 2009/10, and 68% rating us good or very good. Other highlights included our RAG volunteers raising £89,000 for charity, the most we’ve ever raised in a year; over 6,000 students were involved in our clubs and societies, again, our highest ever involvement level; we launched our teaching awards and received nearly 500 nominations; our volunteers gave over 46,000 hours in voluntary activity to the community; and our commercial services saw 1.34 million customer visits across our retail department and 115,000 customer visits to our late-night entertainment venues. Two key pieces of work were development of our new Plan 2011-14 - From Good to Great - and completion of a major review of our democratic structures. From Good to Great maps out our big goals for the next three years; it is bold, ambitious and exciting and sets out how Kent Union is working to build a better future for students at Kent. Our democracy review sought to refresh and revitalise our democratic structures and ensure they are accessible and relevant to our members. The review is being rolled out in September 2011 and includes four new democracy ‘zones’, less bureaucracy, greater use oWf technology and faster decision-making. We are confident the new structures will make a real difference to the way students interact with Kent Union.

Tom Ritchie President and Chair of the Board, 2011/12

Jim Gardner Chief Executive

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19,664 9,177 229 700 115,000 £89,000 19th 4,979 927 £800,000 1,799 46,146 92% 299 1.34million 100

Building a better future for students

The year in numbers

19,664 students at Kent 9,177 members of our clubs and societies We ran 229 clubs and societies 700 students engaged with our Vote for Students campaign Over 115,000 customer visits to the Venue Students volunteering through RAG raised £89,000 for charity Kent Union came 19th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Places to Work in the Public/Third Sectors Our Advice Services helped 4,979 students We employed 927 students, putting over £800,000 into students’ pockets

1,799 students volunteered through Kent Union, giving 46,146 hours to the community 92% students satisfied with Kent Union; 68% rated us Good or Very Good 299 student media volunteers Our retail department handled 1.34million customer visits Our Nursery provided childcare for over 100 children Page 4

Impact Report 2010-2011

Our Charitable Purpose Kent Union’s charitable object, as detailed in its constitution, is the advancement of education of students at the University of Kent for the public benefit.

Our Vision Our vision is to be an exceptional organisation that has a lasting impact upon the world around us, through helping our members grow as people, representing their views to improve the educational experience at the University of Kent and being a sustainable and responsible organisation.

We will know if we are on track with our vision by annually measuring students’ overall satisfaction with Kent Union – our aim is to achieve 90% of students rating us as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ by July 2014.

Our Values Democratic We are student led through strong democratic structures; we believe in the principle and power of democracy; our members play an active role in our democracy and in society. Outstanding We know that our stakeholders expect a lot from us, so we endeavour to excel at everything we do – representing students and providing high quality services. Inclusive We have a deep belief in the principle of equality of opportunity and take positive action to promote diversity; we campaign on behalf of discriminated-against groups and have an inclusive culture. Responsible We are an open, transparent and responsible organisation; we have strong and effective governance arrangements; we implement best ethical and environmental practice and are committed to the principle of volunteerism. Professional We have a professional management team and professional staff and we are an outstanding employer; we create a positive working environment in which our staff enjoy work and are passionate about what they do. Page 5

Building a better future for students

Creating change We take positive action to create change and to help students play a full role in society Democracy We completed a major review of our democratic structures, with the aim of modernizing them, making them more accessible and relevant to our members and ensuring that we remain an accountable and transparent organisation. The review was completed and approved by our members in a referendum in March 2011; the new structures include four ‘zones’, themed around the four areas of students’ lives - Your Union, Your Education, Your Community and Your Rights. The new zones and other changes to our democratic structures are being launched in September 2011. 3,186 students voted in our main elections in March; this is a lower voter turnout than 2009/10, but still one of the highest proportional turnouts of any UK students’ union. We subsequently completed a review of our elections and will be making major changes to increase voter turnout during the new academic year.

3,186 students voted in the main elections

Campaigns In 2010/11 we ran five priority campaigns and numerous other campaigns, involving hundreds of students in activity to create change. Notable successes included securing £46,000 to improve accessibility in Woolf College; securing £200,000 funding for new books in the library; taking 500 students to the National Demonstration against lifting the cap on tuition fees; submitting an 800 signature petition and over 150 written submissions to Canterbury City Council as part of the ‘Right to Rent’ campaign; securing significant improvements to public transport from the ‘Get on Board’ campaign; obtaining funding from the Home Office to continue running ‘The Lock’ campaign; 744 students taking part in the ‘Rate Your Landlord’ campaign; and sending 2,500 protest letters to MPs as part of the ‘Funding our Future’ campaign.

150 written submissions to Canterbury City Council as part of our ‘Right to Rent’ campaign Kent Union took 500 students to protest against the rise in tuition fees

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Impact Report 2010-2011

Case study Megan and Stage Spiders

Diversity After two years’ hard work, we achieved Investor in Diversity status in June 2011. The Investors in Diversity Award is recognised as much more than just a highly prized and prestigious quality mark. It is an all-encompassing approach to managing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion effectively. It enables organisations to take a structured and planned approach to embedding equality and diversity at the heart of what they do. We are now working towards achieving Leaders in Diversity status. Volunteering 1,799 students were registered as volunteers with Kent Union and together they logged over 46,000 hours of voluntary activity in the community. These figures miss the many hundreds of students who are not formally registered as volunteers, but conduct voluntary activity through Kent Union as course reps, part-time officers, club or society officers, RAG volunteers, community volunteers and/or student media volunteers. These hundreds of student volunteers make an enormous difference to the lives of thousands of people within the University community and the local communities around the University’s campuses. They highlight the fact that students are conscientious, caring, considerate and committed and not the lay-abouts that they are often portrayed as in the media. Without these hundreds of student volunteers, Kent Union would not be able to function and the local community would be considerably worse off.

1,799 registered student volunteers; 46,149 hours of voluntary activity logged

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Over the last 3 years Megan has shown a true commitment and passion to volunteering. She has been on the committee of one of Kent Union’s most successful Volunteering Groups, Stage Spiders, and this year helped the group raise over £1,500 for charity through various events, whilst also attending Stage Spiders weekly school sessions and youth groups. She has been the Student Led Volunteering Group representative on Volunteering Committee, visiting local community organisations and helping organise events such as Student Volunteering Week and the KSCV awards. Alongside these demanding roles, Megan also volunteers on a weekly basis in the local community with the Blean Guides. As recognition for the commitment that Megan has shown she was awarded Kent Union’s Dedication to Volunteering Award 2010/11 as well as Enterprise Rent–A–Car’s Social Contribution Award with £250 prize money.

Building a better future for students

Enhancing the student experience We help students to stay on track with their courses, to complete their studies and to enjoy their time at Kent

Case study Ellen (name changed), International Student

Advice and Information Services Our Advice Services Department consists of 10 qualified or partially qualified advisors, supported by 2 administrative staff and student staff. The service covers Canterbury, Medway and outreach sites and is provided face-to-face in our advice centers, over the phone or by email. During the year, our advisors helped 1,054 students in Medway and 3,925 students in Canterbury and outreach sites, helping ensure that these students were able to complete their studies. The majority of students sought advice on immigration, housing, finance or academic appeals and, over the year, our advisors helped students secure over ÂŁ250,000 of financial support.

Case study - Andrew (name changed), 2nd Year BA Student One of our advisors helped Andrew deal with Student Finance England in trying to get funding on a full-time basis, despite studying on a part-time basis due to illness. Our appeal was successful and Andrew has been able to continue his studies. Without full-time funding, Andrew would have had to withdraw from University.


Our advisors helped Ellen appeal the Home Office decision to refuse her visa application. The appeal was successful, enabling Ellen to make a successful application for a visa so she could remain in the UK to continue her studies. If the appeal had been unsuccessful, Ellen would have been required to leave the UK and would not have been able to continue studying.

Our Advice Services Department helped 4,979 students - 25.3% of students at the University

Kent Union employed 764 Students directly during the year, working in a wide variety of roles including Nursery Assistants, Chefs, Receptionists, Graphic Designers, Retail Assistants and bar staff. We also employed 163 students through JobShop Temps, working for the University or in the local community. In total, we employed 927 students, almost 5% of the total student population, and we put over £800,000 back into students’ pockets, through working for us directly or as temps through JobShop, helping them pay their way through University.

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Impact Report 2010-2011

We employed 927 students and put £800,000 back into students’ pockets Enjoyment One of the main ways in which students build their networks of friends at University is through involvement in our student activities. Whether they join one of our 229 clubs or societies, volunteer through us, join our charity fundraising team - RAG - or get involved in our student media, Kent Union offers a diverse range of exciting student activities, which are an integral part of thousands of students’ lives at Kent. Last year, we had 9,177 members of our clubs and societies; when we remove ‘duplicate’ members, over 6,000 individual students, or around one third of all students at the University of Kent, were members of our clubs and societies.

Our 229 clubs and societies had 9,177 members Social Life Kent Union’s services form an essential part of the social life of thousands of students at Kent. We co-ordinate Welcome Week each year, helping move 5,000 students into University accommodation with our 400+ Welcome Helpers; organising a diverse range of activities, including a variety of non-alcoholic events and activities targeted at International and Post-graduate students; and running the Welcome Fayres to showcase our 200+ clubs and societies and other student activities. We also run an award winning nightclub, a live entertainment venue and 3 bars; these are an integral part of the social life of students in Canterbury and Medway. Last year, our late-night entertainment operations, The Venue and The Attic, experienced over 115,000 customer visits; Zane Lowe, Kissy Sell Out, The Young guns, Devlin, Chase and Status and Good Shoes were amongst the acts that appeared in our venues. All of our licensed premises in Canterbury were awarded the Best Bar None Gold award for social responsibility, acknowledging that we put student safety and our responsibilities to the communities in which we operate at the forefront of our operations. Members of Kent Union’s women’s football team.

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Building a better future for students

The voice of students We are the voice of all students at the University of Kent; we represent our members to the University, the communities in which they live and to wider society through our membership of the national student movement Representation Our five sabbatical officers spent a great deal of their time representing students to the University and ensuring that University decisions considered the student perspective. Kent Union officers were members of every major University Committee, including Senate, Council, Court and Finance and Resources Committee, and we estimate that the sabbatical officers spent 580 hours representing students at University Committees. The officers also put considerable effort and time into representing students through more informal mechanisms, such as meeting senior University staff to discuss accommodation pricing, improving accessibility on campus, increasing the number of books in the library and making improvements to student safety, sports facilities and assessment feedback.

Kent Union’s sabbatical officers spent 580 hours representing students on University Committees

M te

Course reps Course reps are the foundations of Kent Union’s representative structures. Every student at Kent has a course rep who acts as their voice on academic issues in their school and faculty; the network of reps includes school reps and faculty reps and, in total, there are almost 300 course, school and faculty rep positions. Last year we filled over 75% of these positions and, during the year, we trained 217 students to be course, school or faculty reps. The network of reps is led by the Vice-President (Education) and meets together on a termly basis at Kent Union’s Education Forum. Last year, Kent Union conducted a major review of the course rep system, the recommendations of which are being rolled out during 2011/12 and include a more accessible election system for course reps, improved training for course reps and improved support materials on the Union’s website.

Hastings Qumar - Post Graduate course representative.

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Impact Report 2010-2011

Case study UMSA Executive Committee

Community Representing students in the local community has become a more prominent feature of Kent Union’s work over the last few years. Activity last year focused on fostering better links with local government and improving relations with residents’ associations in the areas where Kent students predominantly live. Kent Union officers attended meetings of the Downs Road Residents Association and Neighborhood Watch, St Michael’s Road Area Residents Association, Market Way Area Residents Association, London Road Estate Community Group and St Stephen’s Residents Association. Major achievements included getting a student elected onto one of the residents’ association committees, persuading others that students should be able to attend meetings of the associations and changing negative attitudes towards students, helping people to appreciate the many positive impacts that students have on the local community.

During the year, Kent Union officers met local MP’s on many occasions, in particular to lobby them over the Government’s plans for higher education, tuition fees and the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowances. In the run up to the local council elections in May 2011, Kent Union ran a ‘Vote for Students’ campaign, which saw over 700 students engage with the campaign. The campaign helped ensure students were registered to vote in the election, promoted the use of postal votes, helped students get to polling stations on the day and raised the profile of local issues relevant to students. Members of the UKC Womens football eam. The campaign also encouraged students to stand for election as local councilors and the election saw two University of Kent students stand as candidates in Blean Forest (the ward which covers the Canterbury campus of the University) and Kent students elected in Thanet, Thurrock and Ashford.

2010/11 was the first year in which UMSA has had a complete and fully-elected Executive Committee. The Committee’s main achievement of the year was its campaigning activity against the Government’s planned rise in tuition fees. Committee members collected signatures from over 500 Medway students, which were presented to Mark Reckless MP for Medway. Two members of the executive also met Mr. Reckless on the day of the vote, lobbying him to vote against the rise. The campaign was highly successful with Mr. Reckless voting against his party and against the planned rise in tuition fees.

Over 700 students engaged in Kent Union’s Vote for Students campaign National Action Kent Union was heavily involved in NUS’ national campaigns, in particular the Funding our Future campaign against the Government’s proposals to raise tuition fees. Kent Union sent over 500 students on the national demonstration in November 2010; we sent 2,500 protest postcards to local MP’s; held debates with MP’s, NUS and UCU; sent officers to a lobby meeting with MP’s in Parliament; sent 800 emails to the Vice-Chancellor of the University lobbying against her public support for the rise in tuition fees; and took 50 students to the vote day in parliament and lobbied local MP’s to vote against the motion. For the second year running, a Kent Union officer was also elected onto the National Executive Committee of NUS, ensuring that Kent students are represented at the highest level in the student movement.

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Building a better future for students

Supporting graduate employability We work with the University to help students develop transferable skills and selfconfidence so that they are better able to secure graduate employment Employment We employed 927 students last year, helping them develop skills and competencies that will help them gain employment when they graduate. 135 of these students benefitted from completing work related qualifications, including Food Hygiene, First Aid at Work and Health and Safety at Work. We also employed 35 students in team leader roles, taking responsibility for a team of staff and supervising customer service, health and safety management, security, cash and resources. All of the team leaders completed a Level 5 Award in First Line Management programme, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management, giving them a nationally recognised management qualification to back up the management experience they gained from their role.

Our 35 student supervisors completed the ILM Level 5 Award in First Line Management Finding Work We helped hundreds of other students to find work through our JobShop; during the year we advertised over 3,000 vacancies and over 5,000 students were registered on our JobShop database. We also employed 163 students in temporary positions through JobShop Temps, putting over £95,000 back into students’ pockets; these temporary assignments included work for Kent Union, various departments of the University and in a range of public and private sector organisations in the local community.

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Case study Gina Sheeran, Student Supervisor in Rutherford Bar Gina was one of our supervisors in Rutherford Bar, working 4 shifts per week and supervising a team of up to 6 staff. She was responsible for up to 175 customers, adhering to licensing legislation, health and safety legislation and employment legislation and for significant cash and physical assets. Gina completed the Level 5 Award in First Line Management, stating: “the programme was a real eye-opener into the world of management. We learnt an enormous amount, which prepared us for the responsibilities of being a team leader at Kent Union. It’s a great place to work and I have enjoyed it immensely. It has also given me a qualification and loads of experience, which I know will help me get a good job when I leave Kent.”

Impact Report 2010-2011

Elections Over 70 students served as elected officers during the year, on Union Council, College Committees or as trustees of Kent Union. These students developed leadership skills, communication and time management skills, planning and project management skills and developed their self-confidence. The experience of serving as a student leader and the skills they developed during their year in office will help them enormously when they enter the graduate employment market.

Case study - Phil Butler, 2010/11 Eliot College President Leadership and enthusiasm are very important elements a College President needs to have. People look up to this position for guidance, whether they are committee members or students seeking advice. A candidate running for this position may not have all of these traits initially, but they soon pick them up and improve on them rapidly. Through this they learn an incredible amount about themselves and will be able to develop as a person and a graduate. The skills I have learnt from this position will stand me in great stead in the future and I feel will help me stand apart from graduates. The role itself has been transformational and is something I would recommend to everyone! Activities Each of our 229 clubs and societies was run by a small team of students, who took voluntary leadership roles, co-ordinating activities, planning events, maintaining effective communication with their club or society members, managing the finances of their club or society and liaising with staff and external stakeholders. Similarly, our charity fundraising arm, RAG, our student radio station, CSR FM and our student newspapers, Inquire and Medwire, were also run by teams of student volunteers, who gave up considerable amounts of their time to co-ordinate their student activities. All of these students developed skills, knowledge and confidence, which will be invaluable in helping them find employment post-graduation. We conservatively estimate that over 500 students held leadership roles within our student activities.

Over 500 students held leadership roles in student activities Page 13

Misha Upadhyaya President 2011/12




Building a better future for students

Supporting graduate employability We ensure that Kent Union meets its charitable objectives and is a successful, wellgoverned and well-managed organisation, which keeps an eye on the present as well as ensures its long-term future Stewardship Kent Union has been at the forefront of students’ unions reviewing their governance arrangements and preparing for charity registration, following changes to charity law from the Charity Act 2006. We were one of the first students’ unions to successfully register as a charity, in September 2010 and we implemented our second governance review during 2010/11. This saw us recruit 4 additional trustees to our Board, with 2 selected trustees and 2 further external trustees, bringing the total number of members of the Board of Trustees to 13. We were also a member of the NUS National Good Governance Steering Group and were the pilot students’ union used to map our compliance against the new NUS Code of Good Governance. We achieved over 95% compliance against the Code and have developed an action plan to bring us up to 100% compliance by the end of 2011.

We achieved over 95% compliance against the NUS Code of Good Governance Responsible Following two years’ work to improve and embed our practices surrounding equality, inclusiveness and diversity, we were incredibly proud to have achieved full Investor in Diversity status in June 2011, following a comprehensive assessment by the National Centre for Diversity. We are now one of only three students’ unions in the UK to have achieved Investor in Diversity status and are one of only two to have ‘triple investor’ status, having achieved Investor in People, Investing in Volunteers and, most recently, Investor in Diversity status. We were also pleased to achieve the NUS Green Impact Gold Award for our ethical and environmental practices. This was the first year that we have achieved the Gold Award and it reflects how far we have come with our work in this area.

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Case study Etienne Churet, Student Trustee and International Student Etienne was recruited to the Board of Trustees in October 2010, following changes to Kent Union’s governance arrangements, which introduced the selection of up to two student trustees. The aim was to ensure that the Board reflects the makeup of the student population at Kent. We therefore set out to recruit part-time, postgraduate and international students to join our Board of 13 trustees. Etienne was selected after a rigorous recruitment process from a pool of over 20 applicants. Etienne was a French student on a one-year placement to Kent; he had experience of governance from a variety of roles in France, including work for the French Interior Ministry. Etienne brought a new dimension to our Board, ensuring that the 4,000 international students at Kent were at the forefront of decision-making by the Board.

Impact Report 2010-2011

Outstanding Employer We have been recognised as an outstanding employer for many years and have put this at the forefront of our work for the past decade, in the belief that if we offer a great place to work, our staff will deliver great service to our members - the students of the University of Kent. We have been included in the Sunday Times 100 Best Places to Work in the Public/Third Sectors for the last three years, rising to 19th in the 2011 list, our highest ever placing. We invested over £160,000 in training and development, our staff turnover and absence rates were significantly below sector averages and our annual staff satisfaction survey results were very strong, particularly given the challenging environment that all organisations face at the moment. 225 staff completed our staff satisfaction survey in May 2011, the highest response rate we have ever achieved. There was a small decline in the overall satisfaction rating, falling from 7.81 in 2010 to 7.71 (out of a maximum of 10). There were seventeen questions that received a higher percentage of staff agreeing, and only three questions where the percentage of staff agreeing actually fell.

We came 19th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Places to Work in the Public/Third Sector Finances Our financial performance was extremely disappointing in 2010/11, resulting in an overall deficit for the year of £196,000. Overall revenues were strong, at £9.53million, a 4% increase on the preceding year, but Licensed Trade revenues were disappointing, failing to achieve budgeted revenues by over £400,000. One particularly bright spark in the financial performance though was our Retail Department, which achieved overall revenues of £4.63million, up on budget by £250,000 and up on the preceding year by 11.6%.

Holly Fields - student staff member at Rutherford Bar

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Building a better future for students

From Good to Great - Kent Union’s Plan 2011-14 We spent a great deal of time last year reviewing our old strategic plan, consulting with students about what they want from Kent Union in the future and developing our new plan for the next 3 years. We have called our new plan From Good to Great, because we believe that we are a good organisation currently, but we aspire to be a great one. We think this sums-up what we want to achieve over the next 3 years and, more importantly, what our members expect from us. Our new plan is bold and ambitious, exciting and challenging; you can find it on our website at; some of the highlights of the plan though are shown below. Some of our Big Goals By July 2014 Our members will annually cast 200,000 votes in our democratic processes and at least 50% of our members will have voted in a Kent Union vote at some stage in the year At least 3,000 of our members will be actively participating in voluntary activity through Kent Union, donating 100,000 hours of their time to the community We will employ 700 students per annum directly or through JobShop and put £1million back into students’ pockets in staff wages each year Over 90% of our members will rate Kent Union as either Good or Very Good We will have increased the number of students involved in clubs and societies to 50% of our membership We will have opened a new student media center, providing state-of-the-art facilities for print, radio, on-line and video media We will have received 5,000 submissions to our new Teaching Awards across the course of the plan We will have improved our course rep system significantly, such that at least 75% of our members agree that their course rep provides them with effective representation We will remain in the Sunday Times Best 100 Places to Work in the Public/Third Sector throughout the life of the plan and achieve a top 10 ranking in at least one year Page 16

Impact Report 2010-2011

Contact Us

Contact Us

Kent Union Mandela Building The University Canterbury Kent CT2 7NW

Universities at Medway Students’ Association Pilkington Building North Road Chatham Maritime Chatham ME4 4JB

t: 01227 84 4200 w: f: t:

t: 01634 88 8989 w: f: t:

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Building a better future for students

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Impact Report 2010-2011

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Building a better future for students

Kent Union, Mandela Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NW T: 01227 824200 E: Charity number: 1138210

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Printed using sustainably-sourced materials | November 2011

Kent Union Impact Report 2010 - 2011  

Our impact over the last year