The Magazine for the University of Kent | October 2012
Thinking small, thinking big Women in science
Welcome Dear colleagues, It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the University for the start of the new academic year. Many of you will be familiar with the academic cycle, but for some this will be a new adventure; I speak from experience when I say that it will be rewarding. The University has been successful in recruiting undergraduates under the new fee system: the value of a high-quality university education continues to be recognised. Furthermore, our National Student Survey results (see opposite) demonstrate that our popularity is well-founded on an excellent education and student experience. According to the QS University Rankings, we are among the top 400 institutions in the world. We should all be proud of the University, and of the work we do together to achieve success in recruitment and satisfaction. The coming year will present challenges, particularly in preparation for the Research Excellence Framework. A submission pilot project is underway in the academic Schools and hundreds of staff members are working to prepare research for scrutiny. This is an important activity for the University, as our research standing is an essential part of our mission, and I thank everyone for their work so far. Every yearâ€™s new intake of students rejuvenates the University and reminds us of our mission to create and sustain a community that is intellectually stimulating, and in which we advance knowledge through the relationship between teaching and research. This is how we transform the world for the better. Our new students are just beginning their journey with us by joining the existing community: they will quickly become assimilated and we will, together, make that community a stronger one. Thank you for the work that you have already done in building the community at Kent. We have a welcoming and enjoyable place to work, and a successful University. I look forward to working with you in the coming academic year to enjoy even greater success.
Professor Dame Julia M Goodfellow DBE, CBE Vice-Chancellor
3 News 6 Feature: Thinking small, thinking big 8 Research 10 Staff profile 11 Human Resources 12 Enterprise/Green Impact 13 Sport 14 Kent in the news 15 People 16 Whatâ€™s on Special thanks to: Lesley Farr, University Design & Print Centre. Photographs by Sue Brown, Bernard Doolin, Matthew Foulkes, Simon Jarrett, Anya Ledwith and Matt Wilson.
KENT Hope you’ve noticed our new KENT staff masthead! We’re always keen to have feedback from our readers and, this autumn, we ’re planning to relaunch our readers’ panel for staff. Please get in touch if you would like to join us – new members of staff are particularly welcome. You can also send in your comments and suggestions to the editorial team at email@example.com Later this year, we’re planning to launch a new monthly e-newsletter for staff – watch out for more news in your inbox.
Kent confirmed as one of top universities in the UK
KENT is also available online at www.kent.ac.uk/campusonline/kentmagazine Editorial team: Wendy Raeside, Communications Officer (Corporate Communications); Karen Baxter, Press Assistant (Corporate Communications), University of Kent.
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The 2012 National Student Survey (NSS) has confirmed Kent as a top UK university for student satisfaction.
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Kent was placed third* for overall satisfaction, with Oxford and Cambridge joint second behind the Open University. Kent has also achieved a top 10 position for overall student satisfaction in 17 subjects, and is in the top 20 for 26 out of its 36 subject areas.
The Magazine for the University of Kent | October 2012
Thinking small, thinking big Women in science
The NSS is a national initiative, conducted annually since 2005. The survey is aimed at all final-year undergraduates in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those attending 15 out of 19 HEIs in Scotland. There are 23 core questions, relating to aspects of the student learning experience: teaching; assessment and feedback; academic support; organisation and management; learning resources; personal development; overall satisfaction; and students’ union.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia M Goodfellow welcomed news of Kent’s latest success. She said: ‘I am pleased that our students rate their experience at Kent so highly. Their overwhelming endorsement of the University and our academic offer is a reflection of the dedication and commitment of all our academic and professional services staff. ‘It also confirms that our continuous investment in teaching and research, undergraduate support, and residential and study environments, is recognised and valued by our many students.’ The NSS is organised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in partnership with the Government and the National Union of Students, and is carried out by independent market research company Ipsos-MORI. Full NSS results are available at http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/ *out of all publicly funded, multi-faculty (ie not single-subject/specialist institutions) universities
Cover story Athena SWAN day focuses on promoting women in science (p11).
Employability Points Scheme shortlisted for major award The University has welcomed news that its Employability Points Scheme (EPS) has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Support for Students category of this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. The awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of the UK’s higher education institutions. Launched in September 2010, EPS is designed to encourage, support and enhance the extracurricular personal and work-skills development of individual students through active engagement in activities such as student mentoring, volunteering, part-time employment, international and language study. Between July 2011 and June 2012, almost 2,000 under- and post-graduates and 86 sponsor companies have participated in the Scheme. Its uniqueness and rapid success have attracted attention from the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), as well as FE colleges (Canterbury College) and international HEIs such as the University of Marburg. EPS is managed by Kent Enterprise Hub within the University’s business services unit (Kent Innovation & Enterprise), with input from its Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching, Careers & Employability Service, and Kent Union. The winners of the 2012 THE Awards will be announced on 29 November.
Revised development proposals go public The University is asking local residents to give feedback on its revised proposals for the development of new student accommodation and a conference centre at its Canterbury Campus. The original ‘Chaucer Fields’ proposal for 762 student residences and a 150-bed conference centre on a site adjacent to Chaucer College, and the companion application to remove a hedgerow, have been withdrawn. Key aspects of the revised proposals are: • A significantly reduced development on the site adjacent to Chaucer College
• Relocating the proposed student accommodation (Keynes 3) nearer to the centre of the campus. The 750 study bedrooms will be an extension of Keynes College in the form of townhouses and flats. There will be a substantial buffer between local and student residences • The development of a 300-bed conference centre which will be contained within the existing hedgerow boundary and to the right of the double hedgerow (towards Chaucer College). Additional external landscaping will provide an increased buffer zone between residential properties and the development • The relocation of the planned Innovation Park, nearer to University Road. Find out more at www.kent.ac.uk/consultation2012
Institutional Strategic Plan 2012-15 The University’s Institutional Strategic Plan for 2012-15 is now available. The new Plan details Kent’s key messages for the next three years, including proactively developing our distinctive attributes, such as an inspiring education, innovative world-leading research, and regional, national and international impact. Other themes include promoting diversity and inclusivity within the University community, working with partners for mutual benefit, and communicating well. You can see the Plan at www.kent.ac.uk/institutionalplan/
Agreement for student access support plans The University received approval in July for its plans to provide financial support for students under national arrangements to ensure students from lower-income families can access higher education. Kent is one of 150 universities and colleges to receive approval for its proposals – outlined in an Access Agreement – from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). The Government will make funding available to students under its National Scholarship Programme (NSP). The University will match fund the NSP and make an additional £5.2 million available in 2013, rising to £7.1 million by 2015, to provide financial support to students.
Campaign to preserve historic collection More than 4,000 people have signed the University’s online petition to persuade the Law Society of England and Wales not to break up a unique historic collection of several thousand manuscripts, early and rare books, and pamphlets. The campaign has also attracted high levels of support on Twitter. The University, together with Canterbury Cathedral, is asking the Law Society to reconsider its intention to break up the Mendham Collection which contains about 5,000 invaluable items. The Collection is owned by the Society but has been held under the custodianship of the University and Cathedral for nearly 30 years. During this time, it has been an invaluable academic resource not just for students and staff at the University, but also for researchers from across the globe as well as in the UK. Anyone wishing to support the campaign can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/enGB/petitions/the-law-society-of-england-andwales-stop-the-break-up-and-sale-of-the-mendh am-collection
Students to benefit from KentSantander partnership A new partnership agreement between the University of Kent and Santander Universities UK will support international scholarships and student mobility, as well as an employability programme designed to enhance student entrepreneurship. The agreement, through which Santander will donate £40,000 for 2012/13, was signed on 18 September by the University’s Vice-
News 1 Brompton Academy A-level science students 2 New Studio 3 Gallery exhibition And God Cryed 3 Students are being encouraged to stay connected
Entitled And God Cryed, the exhibition is running until 14 December in the University’s Studio 3 Gallery. Admission is free and opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. University exhibition curator Ben Thomas said: ‘The title of the exhibition refers to the Holocaust, and is also one of a series of very personal texts deployed in a group of “black” paintings executed in a variety of materials including pitch (and exhibited here for the first time)… Blackburn remains one of the most vital and exhilarating painters working today.’ 2
Chancellor Professor Dame Julia M Goodfellow and Luis Juste, Director of Santander Universities UK.
look and feel of the building is progressing well, and the project team is considering how the space within the extended and remodelled building should be laid out.
Dame Julia said: ‘We encourage all our students to participate in our extensive range of student mobility and entrepreneurship programmes. We also provide a broad range of scholarships. Santander’s support of our activities in these areas is important to the University and I look forward to our partnership.’
Science masterclass for Brompton students Students from Brompton Academy cut short their summer holiday for a science masterclass at Kent. The 24 students are studying A-levels in sciences and maths at the Gillingham-based Academy. A day before the start of their term (6 September), they took part in a series of labbased experiments led by University staff and postgraduate students in its Ingram Building on Canterbury campus. Brompton Academy, which specialises in science and arts, is offering A-levels for the first time this year. The Academy has been sponsored by the University of Kent since 2010. Support includes curriculum development, specialist teaching staff and pupil mentoring by PhD students to enrich the student experience.
Update on Templeman Library extension project Initial proposals for the Templeman Library extension and refurbishment project have now been generated and the planning application is being prepared. Work to develop the external
The architects’ proposals are currently on view in the Templeman Library welcome hall. You can follow the latest developments about the project at: www.kent.ac.uk/is/projects/templeman
Leading the way in economic growth The value of universities such as Kent to the economy of the UK in stimulating growth has again been highlighted in an annual national survey. Analysis by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) of the 11th annual Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction Survey, published in July, shows that universities in the UK contributed £3.3 billion to the economy in 2010-11 through services to business, including commercialisation of new knowledge, delivery of professional training, consultancy and services. This latest indicator of the value of higher education to the national economy follows the University’s own research, published at the end of 2011, showing that it was now worth £0.6 billion to the south east economy.
Painter John Blackburn exhibits at Studio 3 Gallery One of the most ‘vital and exhilarating’ English painters of modern times, John Blackburn, has a new exhibition at Kent.
Launch of free campus-tocampus shuttle service The University has launched a free campus-tocampus shuttle service for all its students and staff. The trial service is operating between the Canterbury and Medway campuses, Monday to Friday, 8am to 12 midnight. To guarantee a seat, bookings must be made via the online booking system. The 29-seat coaches arrive and depart from: • Canterbury Campus – Darwin bus stop (booked passengers only) and Keynes bus stop (booked and non-booked passengers) • Medway Campus – outside the Medway Building For further information, including a full timetable, go to: www.kent.ac.uk/campus-shuttle
Social media at Kent Kent’s new social media webpages are now live at www.kent.ac.uk/socialmedia/ The new pages, created by Corporate Communications and Enrolment Management Services, describe different channels, from Twitter and Facebook to Flickr and YouTube, and how they’re being used at Kent. There are also guidelines for staff use of social media and tips for best practice. Social media were put to good effect during arrivals weekend and welcome week in September. Students and their families were able to keep up to date with University news and events, and have their questions answered, through Twitter and Facebook channels.
Thinking small, thinking big Sustainability and enterprise are the key research priorities within Kent Business School. These two themes are particularly evident in the wide range of projects and initiatives that focus on smaller businesses in Kent, across the UK and internationally.
Here are some of the ways in which Kent Business School currently thinks big for small businesses.
enterprises also tend to have lower incomes than other firms across the south east and are very vulnerable during a recession.
Helping 500 smaller businesses across Kent
Kent Business School addresses this challenge on its doorstep through its Promoting Sustainable Performance research project.
The vast majority of all UK businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises and these account for 60 per cent of private sector jobs. In Kent, the lack of large employers makes smaller businesses disproportionately important to the local economy. However, these local
Thanks to research council and European Commission funding, as well as the support of organisations such as the Manufacturing Advisory Service, Dr Mark Gilman and his team can work closely with Kentâ€™s smaller businesses to identify the behaviours that lead to success.
The outcome is a set of ten characteristics that help smaller businesses grow sustainably and this ‘BIG Ten’ is now the subject of workshops, reports and a dedicated executive education programme, the BIG Journey. To date, over 500 Kent businesses have become involved in the project with a total of 17 workshops providing owner-managers with practical solutions to apply back in the workplace. The BIG Journey was launched in 2012 with a curriculum that provides evidence-based learning for entrepreneurs who often have no formal academic qualifications. The programme focuses on everyday business priorities through a set of six highly practical two-day modules bound together by in-company support and challenges.
Entrepreneurship and motherhood Dr Patricia Lewis is currently exploring the phenomenon of ‘mumpreneurs’, thanks to funding from the British Academy. This fascinating form of entrepreneurship sees women choosing to stay at home and care for children while starting a business, often with a nurturing or child-centred theme. Chrissie Rucker, founder of the White Company, is a prominent example of a successful ‘mumpreneur’. Patricia is interviewing women across the UK to investigate how different ideas about being a mother and entrepreneur influence their business and parenting activities. A key question is whether combining business with being a stayat-home mum can make women’s entrepreneurial activity seem less legitimate.
Marketing insight for 500 farmers and small food producers Professor Andrew Fearne’s research group has exclusive access to Tesco Clubcard data, via the dunnhumby consultancy, to help the UK’s farmers and small food producers succeed in competitive retail markets. To date, over 500 food producers – from salad growers and pig farmers to artisan cheesemakers and micro-breweries – have benefited from this service. Each producer receives an individual data analysis that gives them specific information on shopper behaviour
and preferences within their area. This is followed by a practical intervention in some aspect of promotional planning, product development, distribution or pricing. Project successes include a 10% growth for micro-brewery Bath Ales, after launching its Golden Hare beer into the retail market, and Burts Crisps persuading Tesco to re-think the premium crisp category and stock the brand in 60 UK stores.
Tourism and poverty in small states There are about 40 small states in the world whose lack of manufacturing and agriculture leaves them vulnerable. Many of these are islands and tourism is one of their few routes to sustainable growth. Dr Mark Hampton works with both the World Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat on ways that tourism can combat the high levels of poverty in these countries and benefit local communities. As well as acting as an expert adviser to international policy organisations, Mark and his team work within local communities to identify ways of making their small tourism businesses succeed. To find out more about Kent Business School research, contact Jacqueline Aldridge, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent research could lead to national polygraph testing of sex offenders Research findings from a team of forensic psychologists at Kent could lead to the use of polygraph testing of sex offenders being adopted nationally. Researchers from the Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP) conducted a two-year evaluation of a pilot scheme involving the use of polygraph testing to increase disclosures made by sex offenders to probation staff. Their findings, highlighting the success of the pilot polygraph scheme, were published by the Ministry of Justice Research Series. The pilot scheme took place across the East and West Midlands probation areas from April 2009 to October 2011. Seven other probation areas where polygraph testing was not implemented were also monitored to see if polygraph testing really did increase the admissions made by sex offenders to probation staff. The Kent researchers, led by Dr Theresa Gannon and Dr Jane Wood, found overwhelming evidence to suggest that sex offenders supervised in the pilot polygraph scheme made more disclosures about their risk. Dr Gannon said: ‘For instance, those taking part in the pilot project made more disclosures about entering an exclusion zone or contact with children than sex offenders supervised under normal probation conditions. ‘We found that the polygraph pilot was effective for a whole range of sex offenders, and perhaps most significantly, sex offenders themselves reported finding the polygraph useful for helping them to manage their behaviour in the future. ‘We are pleased to see that our research evaluation is being seriously discussed by Government ministers. The research findings clearly show that the polygraph increases communication between sex offenders and probation staff which has to be a good thing for the community.’
The Kent research team successfully tendered to evaluate the pilot scheme for the Ministry of Justice over a two-year period. Other members of the CORE-FP team were: Dr Afroditi Pina, Dr Eduardo Vasquez, and Professor Iain Fraser of the University’s School of Economics.
Launch of Cyber Security Centre Greater protection of computer communications is the aim of a newly launched research centre at Kent. The Centre for Cyber Security harnesses expertise across the University to address current and future cyber security challenges. It is working with external organisations to promote cyber security, creating a strategy for wide-ranging multidisciplinary research, developing skills in cyber security, and engaging
with the wider community through workshops, visits, lectures and training. Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution, is one of the companies engaging with the new Centre. Speaking at the launch event, Peter Beck, Senior Security Researcher at RIM, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the University of Kent’s new Cyber Security Centre. RIM is an industry leader in delivering enterprise grade mobile security, and collaboration with external security researchers has helped us to continuously improve the security of our solutions for customers.’ Dr Eerke Boiten, Senior Lecturer in the University’s School of Computing, is Director of the new Centre. He said: ‘The relevance of cyber security increases with the increased
dependence of society on computer network infrastructure, and the sharply rising incidence and sophistication of attacks. ‘However, cyber security solutions cannot just be technical: the human normally ends up being the “weakest link” when security policies are complex and hard to remember, or cumbersome and distracting from the core activities they are supposed to protect. The Centre brings together all aspects of cyber security related research: technical, psychological, social and legal, in order to provide a holistic approach to cyber security.’ Among initial research projects encompassed by the new Centre are two projects aimed at securing cloud-based computing services, led by the University’s School of Computing and School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA), as well as others investigating social network behaviour (EDA and the School of Psychology), and monitoring police requests for personal information held by the NHS (Kent Law School).
Research highlights damaging social cost of ‘litigation culture’ New research at Kent highlights the high social cost of today’s ‘culture of litigation’ on health and education services. The report, by Professor Frank Furedi and Jennie Bristow of the University’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) was published in September by the Centre for Policy Studies. In ‘The Social Cost of Litigation’, the authors show that far from increasing safety and accountability, the culture of litigation has resulted in significant costs to the quality of services, the experience of those who use them, and the role of professionals. Professor Furedi said: ‘Demanding recompense for accidents is now perceived, not only as a common-sense way of gaining financial compensation, but as a way of holding public services to account. But taken together, the combination of an engrained compensation culture and litigation avoidance is bleeding the health and education services dry: both financially, and in terms of their public sector ethos and professional role.’
The research shows that as of March 2011, the NHS Litigation Authority estimated its potential liabilities at £16.8 billion, of which £16.6 billion related to clinical negligence claims. However, of the 63,800 claims for medical negligence made since 2001, only about 2,000 (3.2%) have had damages approved or set by the Court. A further 28,700 were settled out of court. Professor Furedi said: ‘If we want to put a brake on the culture of litigation and litigation avoidance in Britain, we need to look beyond ambulance-chasers and greedy lawyers to the cultural conditions that have allowed litigious sentiments to flourish as common sense. In particular, we need to challenge the expectation that professional “best practice” in the public sector should be measured by the absence of complaints or litigation.’
New research reveals concerns about ‘welfare of the child' Kent research has revealed the concerns of conception clinic staff involved in welfare of the child (WOC) assessments under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act. The Economic and Social Research Councilfunded research, presented and discussed at a British Library event in September, investigated how assisted conception clinics assess the ‘welfare of the child’ pre-conception, clinic staff’s views of the current law and Code of Practice guidance from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), and their opinions on the general enterprise of welfare assessments. Among those interviewed were clinicians, clinic counsellors and nursing staff. Since 1990, infertility services have been subject to a highly complex system of regulation: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and accompanying Code of Practice issued by the HFEA. Controversially, in 2008, the legal requirement in place since 1990 that clinicians providing treatment take account of ‘the welfare of any child who may be born as a result of the treatment’ including ‘the need of a father’ was replaced with a new mandate: they must henceforth consider the child’s need for ‘supportive parenting’. In the light of this reform, Kent’s research aimed to investigate the ongoing role played by the child welfare assessment in practice and the impact of this change to the regulations.
Among its key findings, the research has revealed that: the HFEA’s new ‘risk assessment’ process is generally perceived by staff to be an improvement on previous procedures, although despite the time spent discussing the welfare of the child (WOC) clause during the reform process, the new law appears to have had a relatively limited impact on clinics’ previous practice; while the number of prospective patients deemed to raise ‘welfare of the child concerns’ remains small, with very few subject to further investigation and even fewer denied treatment, many clinic staff experience difficulties working out how to resolve the small number of ‘difficult cases’ they experience; staff also reported variations in, and some concerns about, the role and place of counsellors and counselling in WOC assessments. Guided by an advisory group of experts in the field of assisted conception, the research was conducted by Dr Ellie Lee (SSPSSR), Dr Jan Macvarish (Centre for Health Services Studies) and Professor Sally Sheldon (Kent Law School).
Research awards list Some recent research awards Dr Alex Freitas (School of Computing), £103,641 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for ‘Predicting the volume of distribution of drugs and toxicants with data mining methods’. Emily Grabham (Kent Law School), £163,137 from the Economic and Social Research Council for ‘Balancing precarious work and care: how well does labour law respond to women’s changing work patterns’. Dr Claire Peppiatt-Wildman (Medway School of Pharmacy), £528,134 from Pfizers (overseas) for ‘Components of the innate immune system are mediators of tissue ischemia by altering mitrochondial function and regulating microvessel tone in acute kidney injury’. Dr Catherine Waters (School of English), £167,156 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for ‘Journalism on the move: the special correspondent and Victorian print culture’.
Melissa Gibson Melissa is one of five International Officers at Kent, with market responsibility for countries including Nigeria, Ghana, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Based in the International Development office, her role includes developing recruitment and marketing strategies, working alongside academic Schools to promote specific courses, and ensuring that students are well supported throughout the application process.
condition so much that they’d made me a keepsake and thrown the rest away. I’m honestly not sure that I’ve ever forgiven them for it! Which country would you most like to visit?
Considering my job, I am surprised that I still have an answer to this question. I have been lucky enough to visit 13 countries over three continents in the past year but there are still so many places I would like to see. My next aim is to visit Australia and New Zealand as I have many friends and family who live there.
Officer sounds, there are many late night flights, hours spent sitting in airports, strange foods, and days spent in offices and conference suites with little spare time to do anything other than sleep. I am not suggesting that it isn’t a fantastic job as I have had some wonderful experiences. One week, I can be having dinner with a Saudi Prince (an alumnus) and the next, being taken on a tour of the ancient city of Petra. The most important thing is that you can help an international student achieve their dream of higher education – something they might never have thought possible until they met you.
Which word or phrase do you use most? What would be your perfect day?
Watching sunrise from St Agnes Beacon followed by a gloriously hot summer’s day in Cornwall sitting on Chapel Porth beach with a fresh pasty and famous iced hedgehog (not as cruel as it sounds!) from the beach café. After an evening swim in the sea, the day would be neatly rounded off by a barbecue with all my friends and family plus a nice cold, sweet Cornish cider. What is your favourite item of clothing, either now or in the past?
I was given a sky blue chenille jumper for my 10th birthday and literally wore it to death. One day, it disappeared but a photo frame containing a square of the material appeared in my bedroom. My parents hated the jumper’s
I go through phases of using certain phrases over and over again. While a Law undergraduate at Kent, I would often start a sentence with ‘I’m not being funny but…’ which started to drive my friends (and eventually me) insane.
What was your earliest ambition?
From age eight, I was adamant that I was going to be a lawyer. I’m now looking at a rather different career path but there is always the option to go back to law school, so who knows what will happen in the future.
What is your favourite TV or radio programme?
I am a little obsessed with crime dramas and police procedurals. I am also a (not so) closet Disney fan and love a good sing-along to either those soundtracks or Glee. Basically, I’m a big kid at heart and honestly hope that I never grow out of that feeling. I know my dad is just the same – maybe it’s genetic! What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming an International Officer?
However glamorous being an International
What is your greatest achievement?
It is still sinking in but I think that my greatest achievement so far would be obtaining a distinction in my Medical Law and Ethics (LLM) after studying part-time for two years while working full-time at Kent. I am over the moon that I will once again graduate in Canterbury Cathedral this November, joined by friends and family who have supported me along the way.
Vice-Chancellor’s keynote address at Athena SWAN day The University held its second Athena SWAN day on 10 September. The day focused on the Athena SWAN themes of addressing gender inequalities, tackling the unequal representation of women in science and changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation. Attendees participated in a number of interactive workshops that included Career Development for Academic, Research and Administrative Staff, Mentoring, Equality and Diversity and the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Professor Alison Rodger from the University of Warwick shared her thoughts on Athena SWAN work and activities taking place at Warwick, and a keynote address was given by Kent’s Vice-Chancellor and leading female scientist Professor Dame Julia M Goodfellow. Dame Julia talked about her early career in an era when there were few female students reading physics, and having only one lecture in three years given by a female lecturer. The Vice-Chancellor said that ‘luckily, things have changed; we now have a considerable pipeline of women, especially as students, in most but not all of STEM subjects. In universities, we have seen a change from women students being in the minority to becoming more than 50% of the student body. This is a major change over a generation.’
However, she said ‘we do have to do more’, highlighting fair and transparent internal promotion systems, encouraging Faculties and Schools to monitor and support academic careers more closely, not having meetings which go on after five, support on return from maternity leave and heads of school being approachable to discuss careers. The Vice-Chancellor closed by saying that ‘we have staff from many cultures – with many different experiences and expectations. We need to value all the staff that work with us so
Academic promotions 2012 More than 50 academic staff at the University are celebrating promotion. The newly-promoted staff include eight new professors – Anneli Albi (Kent Law School), Lorenzo Chiesa (SECL), Theresa Gannon (School of Psychology), Jim Griffin (SMSAS), Ben Hutchinson (SECL), Donald McGillivray (Pyschology), Nicola Shaughnessy (School of Arts) and Peter Stanfield (Arts).
they can ‘make a difference’. We should be asking everyone ‘to consider your behaviour – are you inclusive when you interact with staff or run events?’
About Athena SWAN Launched in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEM) employment in higher education. Any university or research institution which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in STEM in higher education and research can apply for membership. To find out more about Athena SWAN and the University of Kent Working Group, visit: www.kent.ac.uk/hr-equalityanddiversity/ support/groups/athenaswan-workinggroup.html
The promotions also include 12 new readers, two new senior research fellows and 29 senior lecturers. Their success is marked by the publication of a new booklet – Academic Promotions 2012 – available this month (October) at www.kent.ac.uk/campusonline/promotions/
Funding streams for University SME collaboration Kent Innovation & Enterprise is pleased to announce the recent launch of two Innovation Voucher schemes to help stimulate business engagement with University expertise.
and analysis to support strategic company decisions; evaluation of a new exercise programme; and the development of software to enhance company growth.
University of Kent Innovation Voucher funding for SMEs
National Innovation Voucher scheme
This funding is to support smaller project collaborations between SMEs and the University, with the voucher providing a 50% contribution towards the cost of a project. The aim of the initiative is to stimulate new SME-University collaboration and to provide opportunities for fostering longer-term partnerships. The scheme has been designed to make it easy for applicants to apply including the provision of a fast response system for assessing applications. The funding can be used for a range of projects such as improving existing or scoping new products or services, initial set-up or exploration of new systems and processes or developing frameworks and training to improve staff productivity. The last round of funding included projects investigating new business markets; evaluation
In addition, small UK businesses are able to obtain government funding to help them develop and grow with the recent launch of a new Innovation Voucher scheme. The scheme – to be managed by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) – enables start-up, micro, small and medium-sized businesses to access up to £5,000 worth of advice and expertise from universities, research organisations or other private sector knowledge suppliers. Funding is available to work collaboratively with the University and, initially, Innovation Vouchers will be available to businesses that are working on ideas relevant to the agrifood and built environment sectors. In addition, a number of vouchers valued at up to £8,000 will be available to businesses working on ideas in the space
sector, in association with the International Space Innovation Centre. If you are interested in finding out more, or in applying for funding, please get in touch with Kent Innovation & Enterprise by emailing email@example.com
Enterprise and Impact Training autumn 2012 Due to high demand, the University’s Enterprise and Impact Training will be running again this autumn term. The course will be useful for any academics and staff who wish to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to successfully engage in added-value enterprise activities. The programme will run over two half-days on 23 October and 16 November 2012 at the Innovation Centre, Canterbury campus. To book a place (limited to a maximum number), contact Learning & Development firstname.lastname@example.org or phone ext 4348. For specific advice on the suitability of this course, contact Miguel Alcalde, at Kent Innovation & Enterprise, M.Alcalde@kent.ac.uk, ext 4574.
Green Impact Work is continuing apace to implement and finetune Kent’s Environmental Management System.
environmental performance, and specific training for staff with environmental responsibilities.
Major externally accredited audits are scheduled for October and November, following which we expect to achieve full certification to the international standard ISO 14001.
Everyone of us has some part to play, and it is vital that awareness of University environmental matters is promoted. All staff with computer access are required to complete our new elearning course. It only takes about 15 minutes and can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/ safety/env/pages/Environmental%20training.html
Our key environmental aspects such as energy, water, waste, transport and biodiversity have been actively managed by Estates for many years, with numerous successes. But the overall management system, giving us more focus and driving further continuous improvement, is relatively recent. New initiatives include a rolling schedule of detailed internal audits, the first formal management review of the University’s
We’ll be measuring Schools’ and Departments’ uptake of the course periodically. It will also be a new requirement of this year’s Green Impact workbooks, which Catherine Morris is currently putting together – so teams have a chance to get ahead now!
Internal environmental auditors (Andrew Briggs, Lynne Regan, Nick Swinford, Catherine Morris) in training with Maintenance Manager Nigel Futter.
Sport 1 Ben Trott (left) and Graham Holmes
Phase two of major sports redevelopment New nutritional consultations
The £4.8 million major redevelopment of sporting facilities on the Canterbury campus has moved into its second phase. Graham Holmes, Director of Kent Sport and Ben Trott, Assistant Director (Operations), officially marked the start of building a covered structure at the Sports Pavilion with a sod-cutting ceremony.
A healthy diet has long been regarded as an essential ingredient for a healthy lifestyle and, to support this, Kent Sport has recently added a new service to its range of health and fitness consultations.
Graham commented: ‘It’s an exciting time for sport at Kent. Work is well underway on our major fitness suite extension, new larger dance studio and third sports hall, and now I’m pleased to officially mark the build of our covered structure. It will be a fantastic addition to our already extensive and expanding facilities.’
The Nutritional Consultation provides an opportunity to discuss common nutrition facts and processes with a qualified instructor and includes an initial dietary analysis and food diary exercise. Also on offer is an extended Commit to Nutrition Plan – a series of one-to-one appointments, assessments and exercises to help achieve a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
The new structure, which will open in early 2013, will provide three indoor tennis/netball courts which can also be used for other activities. The three remaining outdoor courts will also be resurfaced.
The Nutritional Consultation service is one of a range of health and fitness consultations available at Kent Sport. Further details are available at www.kent.ac.uk/ sports/health/fitness-consultations.html
For latest news, updates and photos of the sports redevelopment visit www.kent.ac.uk/sports/future
Tasty treats on campus If you haven’t visited any of the University’s outlets for some time, you might be in for a surprise! The various restaurants and bistros offer a vibrant and comfortable environment, together with food that is not necessarily typical student fare. To see how the outlets have changed, visit our virtual tours at www.kent.ac.uk/accommodation/virtualtour/ External visitors to Canterbury campus’ Dolche Vita in Keynes are often surprised to find that the exceptional food on offer is available to students throughout the year. Doubling the size of Dolche Vita last year, to enable us to offer a unique ‘bed and bistro’ accommodation package to Keynes College students, has proved so popular that the same package has now been made available to residents of Becket Court.
While Rutherford dining hall offers more traditional catering, Bag It (also in the dining hall) provides lunch-time food with the option to order online in advance and customise what you eat (you can register for the online service at http://bagit.xpress-ordering.net/). Create, located in the foyer of the Marlowe building, offers lunch-time food with a twist and their made-to order pancakes are particularly popular. Mungo’s in Eliot and Origins in Darwin are longtime favourites with students, both for their food and for their lively atmosphere. For staff looking to impress external visitors, the Beagle restaurant in Darwin offers fine dining of the highest standard, using local, seasonal food. Senior Chef Eris Hoxha has started keeping bees and the honey produced will feature regularly on the Beagle menu.
No 1 at Medway For the first time at Medway, this summer saw over 100 conference visitors being served breakfast, lunch and dinner daily over six weeks at No1 bistro, with staff from both Canterbury and Medway campuses working together. Coffee lovers at Kent and Medway will be pleased to hear that Kent Hospitality is about to introduce a drinks loyalty scheme across its outlets. All Kent Hospitality food outlets have been awarded the maximum 5-star rating under the Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene scheme. Keith Williams, Head of Trading, said: ‘This achievement is testament to the hard work of all Kent Hospitality catering staff to maintain consistently high standards.’ KENT Magazine
Kent in the news
Languages What has learning a language ever done for anyone?
Kent experts continue to feature strongly in international and national news coverage. There have been contributions from, among others, the Schools of Biosciences, History and Computing as well as the Centre for Journalism. International broadcast coverage of University research and expert comment included: Professor Darren Griffin, of the School of Biosciences, who appeared on BBC World Service to talk about mutations in the sperm of older fathers; Dr George Conyne, of the School of History, who was interviewed on the Voice of Russia to provide comment on US presidential candidate Mitt Romney; and Professor Tim Luckhurst, of the Centre for Journalism, interviewed on Sky News about the Prince Harry photo story and the Press Complaints Commission. National broadcast coverage included: Professor Michael Kölling, of the School of Computing, who talked about computing in schools on BBC Business Daily; Dr Kate Bradley, of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), who appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live with her reflections and analysis of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony; and Professor Frank Furedi, also of SSPSSR, who discussed the damaging cost of the ‘litigation culture’ on BBC Radios 2, 4 and 5 Live.
Funding for staff visits to Europe The International Development office holds limited funding each year for non-academic staff to participate in the Erasmus Staff Training scheme.
Like many students growing up in the UK or the USA, I had only had the narrowest of experience of language learning by the time I started university. At age 24, I could just about swear and order beer in French, but usually resorted, when abroad, to speaking English SLOWLY AND LOUDLY in an effort to bully the unfortunate natives into understanding me. Embarrassed by this deficiency, I committed myself to learning a language when I started university in 2002. I wanted to learn one as linguistically unrelated to English as possible, so I chose to study Japanese, having had no exposure to the language beforehand. By the time I had finished my first year, I had been cajoled into joining the university’s Japanese animation society, had participated in a scientific study looking at the effect of dyslexia on the brains of language learners, and had chosen to write my dissertation on gender in Japanese popular media, which eventually earned me the only firstclass mark I managed in the whole of my degree. On graduating, I was able to lean on a year and a half of language experience to secure a job with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where I eventually became the Desk Officer for Japan, acting as the main liaison between the British Embassy in Tokyo, the Embassy of Japan in London, and the rest of the British government on all matters Japanese. Since then, I have continued to work in international relations in one form or another and I have travelled to over 10 countries for business, including no less than five trips to Japan. While I have never been naturally gifted with languages (I still resort to LOUD English more than I would care to admit), learning just a little bit of Japanese at university provided me with a range of opportunities that would have not otherwise been available to me. Max Howells, International Officer
Erasmus Staff Training offers a great opportunity to spend a week elsewhere in Europe, either at one of our partner universities or within another organisation. The week can be spent in a number of ways – for example, job shadowing someone in a similar role or attending one of our partner universities’ International Weeks. Kent colleagues, who have participated in the past, report many benefits including: learning and sharing new ideas; developing new skills; being inspired by new colleagues and different outlooks; discovering best practices to bring back to the UK; establishing a network of new international contacts and generally having an enjoyable experience! International Development can provide full details of the funding available. Come along to one of our Wednesday lunchtime information sessions (7 November at Canterbury, 28 November at Medway) to find out more. Places are limited so please contact International Development if you wish to attend: Jan Lowe email@example.com or ext 4108. The University of Kent’s Language Express courses provide training in conversational language skills designed to fit around your work or study schedule. See www.kent.ac.uk/cewl/courses/language-express.html to see where your languages can take you.
People 1 Dr Wayne Campbell 2 Tania Hopper and Dr Mike Nicholls
Staff moves Student services benefit from new appointment Dr Wayne Campbell has joined Kent as its new Director of Student Services. Dr Campbell, who began his new role on 1 August, was previously Academic Registrar at the University of Essex. He is responsible for teams delivering a range of student services in the areas of careers and employability, welfare and counselling. He is also leading the University’s College Masters team. Professor Alex Hughes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (External) said: ‘Dr Campbell brings with him a wealth of experience and will make a major contribution to developing our student services. We are committed to ensuring our students have the best possible experience during their study with us and receive support that is tailored to their individual needs. Dr Campbell’s team is central to that commitment.’
Leading health studies expert joins Kent Leading health studies expert Professor Stephen Peckham has joined the University as Director of the Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS).
As part of his role at Kent, Professor Peckham will continue to direct the Department of Health Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System, which is based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and also the University of Manchester.
University sector for over 30 years with experience in biology, environmental science and science education. Tania has been working with the Centre since 2008 running HE taster sessions, and teaching on the Professional Practice programmes.
Centre for Professional Practice plans for the future
Debbie Reed has been appointed Head of the Centre for Professional Practice (CPP). Debbie joined Kent in 2007 as academic lead for dentistry in the University’s Division of Dentistry. She has been instrumental in the design, development, validation and delivery of postgraduate programmes working with validated partners such as the Royal College of Surgeons (UK) and the NHS Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Postgraduate Deanery, and is currently involved in a validation project with local education providers such as Rochester Grammar School and Brompton Academy. CPP also welcomes Dr Mike Nicholls and Tania Hopper as joint Programme Directors for the MSc in Professional Practice. Mike has worked in the
Other staff joining the University in August and September include: Kwang Mong Sim, Professor of Computer Science (School of Computing); Anthony Edwards, Professor of Medieval Manuscript Studies (School of English); Núria Triana-Toribio, Professor of Hispanic Studies (SECL); Elena Korosteleva, Professor of International Politics (School of Politics and International Relations); Martin Hammer, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Art (School of Arts); and Professor Mark Green, Head of the School of Physical Sciences.
Congratulations to… Professor Andrew Fearne, new Director of Kent Business School at Medway. If you would like to include a welcome to, or congratulate, staff in your School/Department in the next issue of KENT staff magazine, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Peckham’s areas of research specialism include commissioning for people with long-term conditions, public health and general practice, and integrated care in primary care. He is also involved with a number of international collaborations on primary care and public health systems. 1
Emeritus Professor Robert F Hudson, FRS (1922-2012) Bob Hudson, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University from 1967 to 1985, died on 19 August, 2012. Professor Hudson pioneered the applications of quantum mechanical methods to the study of the mechanisms of organic chemical reactions. He is also known for the Hudson Reaction, developed at Kent, as a method of forming a specific class of reactive chemical species. His outstanding research was recognised in 1982 when he became the only serving staff member at Kent to be awarded a prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society.
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A full obituary for Professor Hudson by John Todd and John Wallis will follow in the next KENT alumni magazine (November 2012). KENT Magazine
Gulbenkian Theatre highlights Sunday 28 October, 7.30pm, Seize the David O'Doherty Tour 2012. Tickets: full £15, concessions £13. Suitable for 16+. Thursday 1 November, 7.30pm, Lee Nelson... LIVE! Tickets: £22.50. Friday 2 November, 7.30pm, Handheld Arts present Paper Tom, the stories of two British soldiers following active service. Tickets: full £10, GulbCard £8, student £6, GulbCard Student and Gulbenkian Education Network £5. Sunday 11 November, 7.30pm, Indian Takeaway by broadcaster, writer and Celebrity Masterchef finalist Hardeep Singh Kohli. Tickets: £14. Suitable for ages 14+. Tuesday 13 November, 7.30pm and Wednesday 14 November, 1pm and 7.30pm, London Classic Theatre presents Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Tickets: full £12, GulbCard £10, student £8, GulbCard student and Gulbenkian Education Network £6. Saturday 17 November, 7.30pm, Georgie Fame in Concert. Tickets £19. Saturday 24 November, 2pm, Garlic Theatre presents There’s a Monster in My Piano, starring puppets, clowning, animation and a very highly-strung monster. Tickets £6. Suitable for ages 4+. Running time: 45 minutes. Sunday 25 November, 7.30pm, Kent graduate and MOBO award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown. Tickets: full £16, GulbCard £15. Thursday 29 November, 1.30pm and 7.30pm, Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December, 7.30pm, a Mappa Mundi/Torch Theatre/Theatr Mwldan co-production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Tickets: full £10, GulbCard £8, student £6, GulbCard Student and Gulbenkian Education Network £5.
Gulbenkian Cinema highlights Halloween special screenings! Monday 29 October, Cockneys vs Zombies (15) Wednesday 31 October, The Shining (18)/ Room 237 (tbc) Tuesday 13 November, Swandown (12A) Friday 30 November, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (12A)
Music Monday 8 October, Gulbenkian Theatre, 1.10pm, Lunchtime Concert by Total Brass, comprising current students at the Royal Academy of Music. Admission free with a suggested donation of £3. Wednesday 7 November, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 1.10pm, Lunchtime Concert by University Music Scholars, accompanied by Daniel Harding. Come along to hear some of the University’s Music Scholars in a very informal concert to try out the new hall! Watch our website for further details – www.kent.ac.uk/music Monday 12 November, Gulbenkian Theatre, 1.10pm, Lunchtime Concert with Jonathan Mayer (sitar) and Mitel Purohit (tabla). Admission free with a suggested £3 donation. Thursday 15 November, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 1.10pm, A Ringtone, a Première and Pudsey! Come and be part of a whacky world première with a difference, to raise money for Children in Need. All you need is your mobile phone... and a donation!
the Brodsky Quartet celebrate its 40th anniversary in what promises to be a truly extraordinary event! Tickets: £15, £7 students (including pre-concert celebratory glass of fizz) from the Gulbenkian Booking Office, telephone 01227 769075 or online at www.thegulbenkian.co.uk
Lectures Wednesday, 10 October, Woolf Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Open Lecture by Professor Paul Martin on Biotechnology and Human Enhancement: Prospects, Promises and Perils. Wednesday, 17 October, Woolf Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Open Lecture, Professor Michael Slater, Dickens and Shakespeare. Wednesday, 24 October, Woolf Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Keith Tucker Memorial Lecture (and Kent Law Society Dinner), Geoff Loane (ICRC), The Operational Application of International Humanitarian Law. Wednesday, 31 October, Pilkington Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Open Lecture (Medway), Lord Moynihan, The Olympic Legacy from London 2012. Wednesday, 7 November, Woolf Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Keynes College Annual Lecture, Baroness Hale, The Supreme Court and the UK Constitution. Wednesday, 14 November, Woolf Lecture Theatre, 6pm, Open Lecture, Baroness Prashar, Ethics and Trust in Public.
Studio 3 Gallery Friday 30 November, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, The Brodsky Quartet featuring Daniel Rowland violin, Ian Belton violin, Paul Cassidy viola and Jacqueline Thomas cello. No-one will know quite how the programme for this unique concert will fall – not even the Brodsky Quartet themselves! It will all depend on the spinning of their ‘Wheel of Four Tunes’, as the Quartet arrives ready to play any of 40 works from their exceptionally wide repertoire. Come and help
24 September-14 December, Painter John Blackburn’s And God Cryed exhibition. Free admission. Opening hours 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.
KENT staff magazine is the official journal for University of Kent staff. This edition includes articles on promoting women in science, busi...