Vice-Chancellor’s update – 29 June 2020

Professor Karen Cox

With the end of term, exam board activity, work underway to bring the campuses back to life through the re-opening of buildings and laboratories and continued work on the Organising for Success project, I am conscious there is a lot going on. I am glad to say however, that following the closure of the UCAS deadline for home undergraduate applications, our applications, offers and firm acceptances are looking positive. While we still have a long way to go, this is very good news. Work is still underway to increase the number of home and international postgraduate taught applications and preparations continue for confirmation and clearing activity in August. Thank you to all those colleagues who are working tirelessly in this area, particularly under such difficult circumstances.

Following a visit in June the General Medical Council has confirmed that the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) has met all necessary requirements to be able to welcome its first students in September. This is excellent news. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly, both within KMMS and across the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, to get us to this point.

Meanwhile, as a result of the University’s partnership with Santander Universities UK, we have now established 100 scholarships of £500 each to support students who find themselves unable to find work during the summer months because of the pandemic. We have also received an extra £25,000 of funding to support students suffering financial hardship. This will be added to the University’s own hardship fund. I am immensely grateful for this support.

The partnership has also led to a package of targeted grant support for Kent businesses under a scheme managed by Kent Business School (KBS). Grants have already been issued to a Kent-grown fresh produce home delivery service, a Thanet-based social enterprise working with the elderly, and a meal service for homeless people in Thanet and Canterbury. In addition, the partnership has also led to a financial boost for the work we have been doing in support of NHS and frontline care workers.

Finally, over the weekend, the Government made an announcement of a package of support for university research and innovation. This is most welcome and acknowledges the key contribution that university research will make to the economic and social recovery of the country from the effect of Covid-19. We are now working through the details to determine our eligibility for this support and I will update you once further details of the support packages are released.

Our situation continues to be fast-moving, and I realise this is a difficult time for all staff. As you will already know, we have granted two additional rest days to all staff on 9 and 10 July and, if you haven’t already, please talk with your line manager about taking this time to step away from work, the screen, Teams and Zoom.

With my thanks for all that you are doing.

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

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