Coat of arms of the University of Kent
|Motto||Latin: Cui servire regnare est|
Motto in English
|Literal translation: 'Whom to serve is to reign'
(Book of Common Prayer translation: 'whose service is perfect freedom')
|Established||4 January 1965|
|Endowment||£5.98 million (at 31 July 2014)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Dame Julia Goodfellow|
|Visitor||The Archbishop of Canterbury ex officio|
|Location||Canterbury, Medway and Tonbridge, United Kingdom; Brussels, Belgium; Athens, Greece; and Paris, France|
|Colours||Kent Blue and Kent Red
Universities at Medway
The University of Kent (formerly the University of Kent at Canterbury, abbreviated as UKC or Cantuar. for post-nominals) is a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1965 and is recognised as a plate glass university. It is a member of the Santander Network of European universities encouraging social and economic development, Association of Commonwealth Universities and Universities UK.
The university has a rural campus north of Canterbury situated within 300 acres (1.2 km2) of park land, housing over 6,000 students, as well as campuses in Medway and Tonbridge in Kent and European postgraduate centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris. As a result of its extensive ties with and geographic proximity to the continent the university brands itself as "The UK's European University".
In 2014 the university was ranked 80th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Top 100 Universities Under 50 Years. Additionally, Times Higher Education also ranked the university 20th in the United Kingdom in 2015 though aggregating multiple ranking results into a comprehensive table of ranking tables. It is among a group of institutions to consistently score 90% or above for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey. In 2013, nearly 28,000 students applied to the university through UCAS and 5,190 accepted offers of places. The average UCAS score achieved by entrants in 2014/15 was 363.
A university in the ancient city of Canterbury was first considered in 1947, when an anticipated growth in student numbers led several localities to seek the creation of a new university, including Kent. However, the plans came to nothing. A decade later both population growth and greater demand for university places led to new considerations. In 1959 the Education Committee of Kent County Council explored the creation of a new university, formally accepting the proposal unanimously on 24 February 1960. Two months later the Education Committee agreed to seek a site at or near Canterbury, given the historical associations of the city, subject to the support of Canterbury City Council.
By 1962 a site was found at Beverley Farm, straddling the then boundary between the City of Canterbury and the administrative county of Kent. The university's original name, chosen in 1962, was the University of Kent at Canterbury, reflecting the fact that the campus straddled the boundary between the county borough of Canterbury and Kent County Council. At the time it was the normal practice for universities to be named after the town or city whose boundaries they were in, with both "University of Kent" and "University of Canterbury" initially proposed. The name adopted reflected the support of both the city and county authorities, as well as the existence of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, which officially opposed the use of a name too similar to its own. The abbreviation "UKC" became a popular abbreviation for the university.
The University of Kent at Canterbury was granted its Royal Charter on 4 January 1965 and the first students arrived in the October of that year. On 30 March 1966 Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent was formally installed as the first Chancellor.
The University was envisaged as being a collegiate establishment, with most students living in one of the colleges on campus, and as specialising in inter-disciplinary studies in all fields. Over the years, changes in government policy and othe changing demands have largely destroyed this original concept, leading to the present state, which is nearer the norm for a British University. However, the four original colleges – Darwin, Eliot, Keynes and Rutherford – remain, each with their own Master. Woolf college opened in 2008 and Turing college in 2014.
The university grew at a rapid rate throughout the 1960s, with three colleges and many other buildings on campus being completed by the end of the decade. The 1970s saw further construction, but the university also encountered the biggest physical problem in its history. The university had been built above a tunnel on the disused Canterbury and Whitstable Railway. In July 1974 the tunnel collapsed, damaging part of the Cornwallis Building, which sank nearly a metre within about an hour on the evening of 11 July. Fortunately, the university had insurance against subsidence, so it was able to pay for the south-west corner of the building to be demolished and replaced by a new wing at the other end of the building. Building elsewhere included the Park Wood accommodation village and the Darwin houses in 1989.
In 1982 the university opened the University Centre at Tonbridge (now the University of Kent at Tonbridge) for its School of Continuing education, helping to enhance the availability of teaching across the county.
During the 1990s and 2000s the University expanded beyond its original campus, establishing campuses in Medway, Tonbridge and Brussels, and partnerships with Canterbury College, West Kent College, South Kent College and MidKent College.
In the 2000s the university entered a collaboration named Universities at Medway with the University of Greenwich, MidKent College and Canterbury Christ Church University to deliver university provision in the Medway area. This led to the development of the University of Kent at Medway, opened from 2001. Initially based at Mid-Kent College, a new joint campus opened in 2004. As a consequence of the expansion outside Canterbury the university's name was formally changed to the University of Kent on 1 April 2003.
Part of the original reasoning for the name disappeared when local government reforms in the 1970s resulted in the Canterbury campus falling entirely within the City of Canterbury, which no longer has county borough status, and Kent County Council. In 2003 the name of the university was shortened to the University of Kent.
The University of Kent set its tuition fees for UK and European Union undergraduates at £9,000 for new entrants in 2012. The fee level has been approved by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). The university's fee of £9000 was approved by Council on 1 April 2011 and was confirmed by OFFA in July 2011. The proposed changes to UK and EU undergraduate tuition fees did not apply to international student fees.
The main Canterbury campus covers 300 acres (1.2 km2) and is in an elevated position just over two miles (3 km) from the city centre. It currently has approximately 12,000 full-time and 6,200 part-time students and some 600 academic and research staff.
The Gulbenkian arts complex acts as the front door to the Canterbury campus. The building includes a foyer and cafe bar and is a meeting place for students, staff and the general public. The foyer also includes the small stage which hosts monthly comedy nights as well as occasional shows such as Jazz at Five and The Chortle Student Comedy Awards. The Gulbenkian Theatre seats 340 and presents student, professional and amateur shows throughout the year. The theatre was opened in 1969 and was named after the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which helped fund its construction. The Gulbenkian complex also hosts a cafe/ bar and restaurant facility open to students, staff and the general public.
In December 2012 the Colyer-Fergusson Building opened adjacent to the Gulbenkian. It includes an adaptable format concert / rehearsal hall with retractable seating and variable acoustics and practice rooms.
The Gulbenkian Cinema is an independent cinema in the Gulbenkian complex open to students and the general public. It is Kent's regional film theatre showing new mainstream and non-mainstream releases as well as archive and foreign language films. In the daytime the cinema is used as a lecture theatre for University students.
Additionally, a £1.5 million sports facility called the Sport Centre was completed in 2003. Its facilities include tennis and squash courts, hockey and football pitches, a gymnasium, a cardio theatre, a dance studio, a multi-purpose sports hall and a Fairtrade cafe.
In 2010 the campus nightclub The Venue, was refurbished and modernised. The upstairs area was transformed into a live music venue, formerly known as The Lighthouse and called The Attic. Both established and local bands and DJs are featured throughout the term. The Venue is open Wednesday- Saturday. The attic closed in 2013 and is now a Student media centre which hosts Inquire, KTV and CSR. The Canterbury innovation centre launched at Kent in 2010.
The closest railway station to the campus is Canterbury West which is, as of 2009, served by Southeastern High Speed trains. High Speed trains connect Canterbury with London St Pancras International in 56 minutes. These services stop at Ashford International en route, thus providing a direct connection to Eurostar services to France and Belgium. Standard Southeastern services also connect Canterbury West and Canterbury East Stations with London Victoria and Charing Cross. Both of the Canterbury stations can be accessed by the UniBus service.
The campus is also served by two National Express coach services (Route 007) to/from London each day, with further services operating from Canterbury bus station
In 2000 the University joined with other educational institutes to form the "Universities for Medway" initiative, aimed at increasing participation in higher education in the Medway Towns. The following year the University of Kent at Medway formally opened, initially based at Mid-Kent College. By 2004 a new campus for the university had been established in the old Chatham Dockyard, sharing a campus with Canterbury Christchurch University and University of Greenwich.
The University of Kent and Medway Park Leisure Centre have gone into a multimillion-pound partnership to provide high quality leisure facilities for university students and the general public. Medway Park (formerly the Black Lion Leisure Centre) was re-opened in 2011 by Princess Anne for use as a training venue for the 2012 London Olympics, as well as a training venue for the Egyptian and Congo National teams.
In 1982 the university established the School of continuing education in the centre of Tonbridge, extending its coverage to the entire county of Kent. Many buildings were added in the 1980s and 1990s. The campus is now called the University of Kent at Tonbridge. It collaborates with the Kent Business School and Kent Innovation and Enterprise.
The University is divided into three faculties and 20 schools under three faculties :
The original plan was to have no academic sub-divisions within the three faculties (initially Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences) and to incorporate an interdisciplinary element to all degrees through common first year courses ("Part I") in each faculty, followed by specialist study in the second and final years ("Part II"). The lack of Departments encouraged the development of courses that crossed traditional divides, such as Chemical Physics, Chemistry with Control Engineering, Biological Chemistry and Environmental Physical Science.
However, the interdisciplinary approach proved increasingly complex for two reasons. The levels of specialisation at A Levels meant that many students had not studied particular subjects for some years and this made it impossible to devise a course that both covered areas unstudied by some and did not bore others. This proved an especial problem in Natural Sciences, where many Mathematics students had not studied Chemistry at A Level and vice versa.
Additionally many subjects, particularly those in the Social Sciences, were not taught at A Level and required the first year as a grounding in the subject rather than an introduction to several different new subjects. Problems were especially encountered in the Faculty of Natural Sciences where the differing demands of Mathematics and physical sciences led to two almost completely separate programmes and student bases. In 1970 this led to the creation of the School of Mathematical Studies, standing outside the Faculties. The addition of other subjects led to increased pressure on common Part I programmes and increasingly students took more specialised Part I courses designed to prepare them for Part II study.
Substantial change to this structure did not come until the 1990s, driven more by national government policy than curricular demands, which were, after all, very flexible by nature. In 1989 the Universities Funding Council, which was merged into the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 1992, was charged by the UK Government to determine the cost for teaching each subject. To meet these accountancy requirements, Kent required for the first time that each member of staff declare a single discipline they would be affiliated with in future. When departments were formed in the early 1990s this led to a great deal of reorganisation of staff, and destroyed many existing inter-disciplinary relationships. Following the formation of departments, finance was devolved to departments based on how many students were taught. This quickly evolved into undermining the interdisciplinary context further, as departments sought to control finance by increasing the amount of specialist teaching in the first year.
The university now has the Faculties further divided into 18 Departments and Schools, ranging from the School of English to the Department of Biosciences, and from the Kent Law School to the Department of Economics. Also of note is the University's Brussels School of International Studies, located in Brussels, Belgium. The school offers master's degrees in international relations theory and international conflict analysis, along with an LLM in international law. In 2005 a new department, the Kent School of Architecture, began teaching its first students. In 2008, Wye College came under Kent's remit, in joint partnership with Imperial College London.
The University is divided into six colleges, each named after distinguished scholars. Colleges have academic schools, lecture theatres, seminar rooms and halls of residence. Each college has a Master, who is responsible for student welfare within their college. In chronological order of construction they are:
|Eliot College||1965||T. S. Eliot|
|Rutherford College||1966||Ernest Rutherford|
|Keynes College||1968||John Maynard Keynes|
|Darwin College||1970||Charles Darwin|
|Woolf College||2008||Virginia Woolf|
|Turing College||2014||Alan Turing|
The university also has an associate college named Chaucer College.
There was much discussion about the names adopted for most of the colleges with the following alternative names all in consideration at one point or another: for Eliot: Caxton, after William Caxton; for Keynes: Richborough, a town in Kent; Anselm, a former Archbishop of Canterbury; and for Darwin: Anselm (again); Attlee, after Clement Attlee, the post war Prime Minister; Becket, after Thomas Becket, another former Archbishop (this was the recommendation of the college's provisional committee but rejected by the Senate); Conrad; Elgar, after Edward Elgar; Maitland; Marlowe, after Christopher Marlowe; Russell, after Bertrand Russell (this was the recommendation of the Senate but rejected by the Council); Tyler, after both Wat Tyler and Tyler Hill on which the campus stands. The name for the College proved especially contentious and was eventually decided by a postal ballot of members of the Senate, choosing from: Attlee, Conrad, Darwin, Elgar, Maitland, Marlowe and Tyler. (Both Becket and Tyler were eventually used as the names for residential buildings on campuses and the building housing both the Architecture and Anthropology departments is named Marlowe.)
Each college has residential rooms, lecture theatres, study rooms, computer rooms and social areas. The intention of the colleges was that they should not be just Halls of residence, but complete academic communities. Each college (except Woolf) has its own bar, all rebuilt on a larger scale, and originally its own dining hall (only Rutherford still has a functioning dining hall; Darwin's is hired out for conferences and events; Keynes's was closed in 2000 and converted into academic space, but in 2011 Dolche Vita was expanded and became the dining hall for Keynes students in catered accommodation after Keynes's expansion in 2011; and Eliot's was closed in 2006). It was expected that each college (more were planned) would have around 600 students as members, with an equivalent proportion of staff, with half the students living within the college itself and the rest coming onto campus to eat and study within their colleges. Many facilities, ranging from accommodation, tutorials and alumni relations, would be handled on a college basis. With no planned academic divisions below the Faculty level, the colleges would be main focus of students' lives and there would be no units of a similar or smaller size to provide a rival focus of loyalties.
This vision of a collegiate university has increasingly fallen away. The funding for colleges did not keep pace with the growth in student numbers, with the result that only four colleges were built. In later years when there was heavy student demand for scarce accommodation in Canterbury the solution was found in building additional on-campus accommodation but not in the form of further colleges. The hopes that students living off campus would stay around to eat dinner in their colleges were not met, whilst the abolition of college amenities fees removed students' direct stake in their colleges. With the growth of specialist subject departments as well as of other university wide facilities, more and more of the role of colleges was transferred to the central university. Accommodation and catering were transferred to the centralised University of Kent at Canterbury Hospitality (UKCH).
Today the University does not operate as a traditional collegiate university – applications are made to the University as a whole, and many of the colleges rely on each other for day-to-day operation. Academic departments have no formal ties to colleges other than those that are located within particular college buildings due to availability of space, with lectures, seminars and tutorials taking place wherever there is an available room rather than on a college basis. Many students are allocated accommodation in their respective college, but some are housed in developments with no defined collegiate link whilst others are housed in different colleges.
Despite this the six College Student Committees, volunteer groups made up of elected officers and supporting volunteers, have retained a reasonably strong presence on campus. They run fundraising events and welfare campaigns throughout the academic year, and organise student events for their colleges during Welcome Week. Every student in the University retains a college affiliation to either Keynes, Eliot, Rutherford, Darwin or Park Wood even if they do not live in college accommodation. Students are encouraged to stay engaged with their College Committees throughout their time at the University.
In the financial year ended 31 July 2013, the University of Kent had a total income (including share of joint ventures) of £201.3 million, grew by 5.8% with an additional £21.4 million of fee income (2011/12 – £190.2 million) and total expenditure of £188.7 million (2011/12 – £175.9 million). Key sources of income included £98.5 million from tuition fees and education contracts (2011/12 – £77.2 million), £48.9 million from Funding Council grants (2011/12 – £62.5 million), £13.4 million from research grants and contracts (2011/12 – £11.4 million) and £1.2 million from endowment and investment income (2011/12 – £1.09 million). During the 2012/13 financial year the University of Kent had a capital expenditure of £28.2 million (2011/12 – £16.1 million).
At year end the University of Kent had endowment assets of £6.3 million (2011/12 – £6.04 million) and total net assets of £175.9 million (2011/12 – £165.1 million).
The University of Kent's coat of arms was granted by the College of Arms in September 1967. The white horse of Kent is taken from the arms of the County of Kent (and can also be seen on the Flag of Kent). The three Cornish choughs, originally belonging to the arms of Thomas Becket, were taken from the arms of the City of Canterbury. The Crest depicts the West Gate of Canterbury with a symbolic flow of water, presumably the Great Stour, below it. Two golden Bishops' Crosiers in the shape of a St. Andrews Cross are shown in front of it. The supporters – lions with the sterns of golden ships – are taken from the arms of the Cinque Ports.
The Coat of Arms is now formally used only for degree certificates, degree programmes and some merchandise, as a result of the University seeking a consistent identity branding.
Kent is a research-led university with 24 schools and 40 specialist research centres spanning the sciences, technology, medical studies, the social sciences, arts and humanities. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise the University of Kent was placed 24th out of 159 participating institutions in terms of the proportion of best, or 4*, research (according to the RAE league tables in The Times Higher Education Supplement and 29th out of the 132 UK higher education institutions assessed in The Guardian and The Times RAE league tables. The University had a total research income of £13.4 million in 2013.
In 2015 The Guardian newspaper placed Kent's ranking at 16th in the UK, while The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 puts Kent in joint 30th place. The Independent's Complete University Guide puts Kent in 22nd place nationally in 2015. In 2015, Kent ranks ahead of 10 Russell Group universities according to the ranking of The Complete University Guide In research, both The Guardian and The Times newspapers rank Kent 29th, with The Independent rating the university 28th for its overall research activity in 2014.
The Complete University Guide shows that the average number of tariff points to get in are around 348 UCAS points (ABB-AAB) in 2013.
The National Student Survey in 2011 placed Kent in 3rd in London and the South-East for student satisfaction. In addition, Kent has been voted into a top 20 position for the majority of its subjects and has 14 subjects in the top 10 based on overall student satisfaction nationally.
According to The Guardian, the University of Kent is ranked 6th in the UK for Economics, 10th for Anthropology, 12th for Architecture, 14th for Law, 14th for Modern Languages, and 16th for Politics. The Complete University Guide – in association with The Independent 2011 found that Kent ranked 19th for Accounting and Finance, in 2012 13th for Psychology and in 2015 (published in 2014) Computer Science ranked joint 25th, ahead of four Russell Group universities. Furthermore, The Times Good University Guide ranked the university 20th for English in 2011. Modern Languages and Linguistics are ranked 3rd in the UK in REF2014.
In addition, Published on 29 April, the QS rankings place Kent among the world’s elite institutions in eight of the 36 featured subjects.
Kent was among the top 150 in the world for Communication and Media Studies (Journalism), Law and Psychology.
Its subjects in the top 200 are: English Language and Literature; Geography (Conservation); Philosophy; Politics and International Studies; and Sociology.
This news comes in the same week that it was announced that Kent has four entries in the Complete University Guide’s (CUG) top 10 subject tables: Architecture (7th); Social Policy (9th); Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism (9th); and American Studies (10th).
Kent also achieved a CUG top 20 position in: Drama, Dance and Cinematics (11th); Marketing (12th); Theology and Religious Studies (13th); History of Art (14th); Sports Science (14th); Iberian Languages (15th); Anthropology (15th); Psychology (15th); Linguistics (17th); Sociology (19th); Politics (19th); and Italian (20th).
The QS rankings reflect academic reputation, employer reputation and, through citations by research paper, research impact. For its latest report, QS evaluated 3,551 universities and ranked 894 institutions in total.
Kent’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor David Nightingale said: ‘Our international profile and reputation have increased considerably during recent years. As highlighted by the REF (Research Excellence Framework), all our Schools provide an environment that is conducive to research of international excellence. That a significant number of our subjects are now also considered to be amongst the best in the world is another major achievement for both the University and our research and teaching staff.’
Kent was ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity in the REF 2014 and achieved the third largest increase of the top 50 research intensive universities for research power. It also achieved one of the largest increases in research funding following its REF success.
The Templeman Library (named after Geoffrey Templeman, the University's first Vice-Chancellor) contains over a million items in stock including books, journals, videos, DVDs, and archive materials (for example, a full text of The Times from 1785 onwards), yet it is still only half its planned size. It has a materials fund of approximately £1million a year, and adds 12,000 items every year. It is open every day in term time, on a 24/7 basis. The Library has an automated book returner where one can simply scan the item to be returned and it reaches its designated place through conveyor belts. It receives 800,000 visits a year, with approximately half a million loans per annum.
In 2013 plans were announced to extend, refurbish and completely modernise the Templeman Library. This development will see the addition of study space, along with the creation of a new purpose built lecture theatre. Additionally, the Library facade will undergo major renovation.
The bilingual Franco-British double-degree programme combines subjects in one degree and is taught in two countries. The first year is spent at the Institut d'études politiques de Lille (IEP), the second and third years at the University of Kent, the fourth year at the IEP of Lille and the fifth is spent in Canterbury, Brussels or Lille.
The students of the Franco-British double-degree programme receive, at the end of the fourth year, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Kent, the Diplôme by the IEP of Lille and, at the end of the fifth year, either the Master of Arts (MA) degree in Canterbury or in Brussels or the Master delivered by the IEP of Lille, chosen between 14 parcours de formation by the IEP of Lille.
The student population is quite mixed, with approximately 22% of students coming from overseas. No fewer than 128 different nationalities are currently represented. The female to male ratio is 55 women to every 45 men.
The Students' Union, officially known as "Kent Union", is the student representative body for students at the university. It is led by five elected full-time officers (the 'sabbatical team'), a Board of trustees, part-time student officers and 'lay' members of the local community and business selected for their specialist expertise. Kent Union has an influence at all levels of the University.
The union runs two shops on campus, Essentials (all-purpose food and essentials) and Parkwood Essentials (ditto, but in student village Parkwood). The Union also runs the Parkwood bar Woody's, "Rutherford bar" (Rutherford) and nightclub The Venue.
In 1998 a substantial construction programme was completed that included a successful multi-purpose shop (Essentials) and nightclub The Venue, this was in addition to the bar operated in the on-campus student village, known as "Woody's", which opened in 1994. The Venue is a 1,500 person capacity nightclub operated by Kent Union which was opened in 2000. The club is situated on central campus which is pretty rare for a university. In 2010, the Venue was renovated and divided into two outles for the first time, establishing 'The Attic' as a brand new live music bar and social space.
In early March 1970 a General Meeting of the University of Kent at Canterbury Students' Union voted to occupy the Cornwallis Building as part of a national student movement to open personal records to individual student scrutiny. The occupation lasted about two weeks, with a majority vote ending the occupation on 18 March. Approximately 400 students marched out of the Cornwallis Building to present a set of demands that were handed by Union President David Lawrence to the University Registrar Mr Eric Fox. The demands had been drawn up and debated by groups of up to 300 students at a time in meetings and seminars held throughout the occupation.
In the early to mid-1970s, along with other plate-glass universities, the Union had a reputation for revolutionary politics, leading to demands for law changes from some staff trade unionists. It was active in anti-poll tax, anti-student loans and anti-racism campaigns as well as safety campaigns on campus in the late 1980s.
In 2003, ahead of the 'Top Up Fees' vote, the Union took 300 students to take part in the NUS UK Student Demonstrations on three double decker buses. The Union covered all the transport costs to the demonstration. In 2010, ahead of a parliamentary vote on issues concerning raising tuition fees, the Union took part in the national demonstrations. The union heavily subsidised the transport for 500 students to get to London.
Whilst the University is secular, there is a strong chaplaincy consisting of permanent Anglican and Catholic priests and a Pentecostal minister, as well as part-time chaplains from other denominations and faiths.
The chaplaincy runs the annual Carol Service that takes place every year in the Cathedral at the end of Autumn Term.
In addition to the student housing in the colleges, the University also has the following student housing:
University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, as well as their associated Student Unions, fund Canterbury's only student and community radio station—CSR 97.4FM. The radio station is broadcasting from studios at both universities 24 hours a day, with live broadcasting from 7 am – 12 am.
The University has a student newspaper named InQuire and an online news website InQuirelive (launched in January 2008). The newspaper is published every two weeks and is edited by a group of student volunteers. While the newspaper and website are funded by the Students' Union, the selection of content is independent but subject to moderation by Kent Union before physical publication. Content within InQuire is focused on campus issues and national news that affects students.
Kent Television or KTV is the newest member of the Kent Union student media family. Founded in May 2012 it has already obtained nearly 200,000 views and has live broadcasting capabilities. KTV is run by volunteers and aims to provide students with regular entertaining and informative televisual content.
Notable alumni of the University of Kent include:
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