A bit about Keynes
Keynes is one of the four on-campus colleges; the others are called Darwin, Rutherford and Eliot. Each college has a bar in it and Keynes's bar is called K-bar which was used quite a lot during Fresher's and in all honesty quite a lot since then.
Keynes is named after the economist John Maynard Keynes and was established in 1968.
There are 162 catered en-suite bedrooms.
Set around a courtyard and a duck pond.
Advantages of living in Keynes
* You are on campus
* You live near K-bar which is a pretty good bar.
* The rooms are en-suite
* A short walk to everything you need (lectures, seminars, gym, library, Rutherford dining hall and perhaps most importantly Venue which is the on-campus nightclub)
* Nice people live around you (sometimes a little too quiet)
* Has computer rooms
* A bus stop outside to town (takes about five to ten minutes and costs about £2)
* It is only about a half hour to forty minute walk to town from Keynes College.
* The rooms are of a relatively good size
* Reception takes care of all post and parcels
* There is a launderette which I have never seen completely full.
Diasadvantages of living in Keynes
* Expensive (you do have to pay for everything ... dinner - which is a major chip on my shoulder - being the main example)
* Boring at times - my floor is very quiet
* 2010/2011 there was building work but that is due to be completed by the summer of 2011.
A bit about the other colleges
Parkwood - not a college and it houses most of the self-catered students and rumour has it there are many wild house parties. Certainly the few times I have walked through Parkwood there are piled up in the kitchen windows a staggering amount of bottles and cans (we all know what I mean by that). Parkwood is styled and described as a student village and it most certainly seems to be one.
Other on-campus self-catering accommodation:
Tyler Court - situated behind Rutherford so has easy access to campus facilities
Darwin College and houses - situated the other side of Rutherford from Eliot but again as it is on-campus there is easy access to all of the campus's facilities.
Self catering accommodation is available for 39 weeks. You only have to move out over the summer holidays.
Eliot - Corridors have a small kitchenette. There is a kettle, microwave and sink. That is about it. It is catered and available for 31 weeks.
Named after the poet T. S .Eliot and was established in 1965.
Rutherford - Corridors have a small kitchenette. There is a kettle, microwave and sink. That is about it. It is catered and available for 31 weeks.
Named after the physicist and Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry Ernest Rutherford. Established in 1966.
Darwin - Self-catering and therefore available for 39 weeks.
Overall Feeling about Keynes
I am glad I chose to live at Keynes because I always felt comfortable there. The rooms are good and the overall atmosphere is calm but there is also easy access to town and all the facilities on campus. Being on-campus meant that all lectures were only a five to ten minute walk away at most. Luckily, actually quite a few of my lectures were in the Keynes lecture theatres. Like in all the colleges the students are not grouped together by academic discipline or anything like that so there is a mix of people who share different interests which makes for a more interesting time in halls.
Would I recommend Keynes to a friend?
Yes it is a good place to spend your first year at the University of Kent.
A good source of information is the Kent University accommodation website. Just simply type "Kent University accommodation" into Google and all the information you could ever need about accommodation at Kent University will be at your fingertips.
My experience of UKC campus accommodation is that of Eliot Becket Court. This is the building adjacent to Eliot College, and all the students in Becket Court are affiliated to Eliot. Becket Court is catered accommodation, similar to Eliot, Rutherford, and Keynes.
Although the term 'catered' is used, it's probably a little misleading. The truth is that you only get free breakfast. Or if you choose not to have breakfast then you can get a discount at dinner. This does get slightly annoying, especially as Becket students don't get a full kitchen. Instead, you get a kitchenette which consists of a microwave, kettle and a fridge. I do think that this is a major downfall of Becket Court and all the other catered halls because you're pretty much forced to just have microwave meals throughout the entire year as there is no oven or hob. There also isn't a freezer which means that buying ice cream is pretty pointless unless you want to eat it straight away. Toast in the morning also isn't an option since they don't provide a toaster, and they also ban you from bringing your own. Catered meals are served in Rutherford college which is about a 5 minute walk. So must students don't bother with breakfast. So in summary, eating is a major negative of Becket Court.
Becket Court has about 4 floors, I think. Each floor isn't really 'split' as such. But there's about 9 people sharing a kitchenette. And the layout of Becket isn't great because anyone who is in the building can get straight to your door. There's no flats/locks on corridors like you'd expect from halls. I think that it makes everyone quite segregated. I do feel slightly gutted that I missed out on having flatmates and all gathering together in the kitchen etc. Everyone just keeps themselves to themselves because it's not like you can hang out in the corridors. Also, everyone can access your kitchen but you can lock it. But the people sharing my kitchen never seemed to lock it so I'm surprised that more food didn't get stolen.
To get into the building of Becket Court, you can either go through the main entrance which you need a fob to open. Or you can get through the side door which doesn't require a fob because there are students who have seminars in Becket. But after a certain time, those doors lock which means that only people with fobs can access the building.
The rooms in Becket Court are fairly nice. Each room comes with an en suite which is a massive blessing. They're not the largest en suites that I've ever seen but they're an en suite all the same. You get a nice big tall wardrobe which means that you can hang up all your dresses and long coats. You get a single bed, a wide chair, bedside table, chest of drawers, desk, desk lamp, and a swivel chair. The floor is carpeted. Windows can only be opened by a small fraction but it's enough to get the cold air in when it's hot. When it's cold, that's when the problem begins because the windows seem to let in a slight draught. The doors are not sound proof at all which means that pretty much everything can be heard, not great when you're trying to have a private conversation in your room. Walls aren't too bad, but if you have a neighbour who enjoys blasting out the music, you'll really feel the drum beats hitting you heard.
A cleaner comes once every fortnight to vacuum the carpet and to clean your en suite so you don't need to worry too much about cleaning.
A laundry room exists on the ground floor of Becket Court. There are 2 washing machines, and 2 dryers. It costs £2 to use the washing machine, and £3 to use the dryer. It's best to go early in the morning to avoid all the washing machines/dryers being taken up.
Becket is probably one of the more expensive accommodation sites at UKC because of the catering and the ensuite.
Overall, Becket Court isn't the best halls to live in for socialising and eating, but the rooms are certainly quite nice and they are 10 times better than the rooms in any of the colleges.
Having stayed in Tyler Court A, I feel the luxury has warped my idea of student standards but nevertheless!
Tyler Court A is one of 3 Tyler Court Blocks, B & C being the most expensive and expansive of the lot. In A, you can expect 4 stories of long corridors going all the way left to right throuhg the building with rooms either side. A bit like a hotel, like a holiday inn. There is a reception with staff and a lift, also a communal workspace and communal washing room, as in where you wash your clothes, where you put coins in washing machines and tumbledryers. The corridors were split into, say, 7 rooms, to a kitchen, with a single person in each one. The stuff in the rooms and kitchens is all new pretty much with big desk built in, bed built in, bedside table and window and en suite bathroom complete walk in shower, sink and toilet. THe kitchens were nice. It is reasonably expensive to live here.
In Tyler B&C it is much bigger rooms, and bigger kitchens generally a more luxurious building but ridiculously expensive.
Virginia Woolf buildings are the most expensive on campus and are really nice, but they are just for post-graduates. I have only been in one once, but i remember a massive kitchen with bedrooms leading off of a small corridor like a flat, and a sofa in the living space.
Eliot and Rutherford College student rooms are pretty much the same as the buildings are built the exact same. Very confusing. They have much the small dingy corridors with extremely tiny rooms, and a shared grotty toilet/shower, and no cooking equipment as they are catered accom, but you only get one meal a day.
Park Wood have villages of houses made for students but it is annoying to live there as they are a long walk through a woods to get to. Also difficult to navigate your way to the right area your house is in as you have to follow the maze.
Darwin is like tyler but on a budget, better internet connection, rooms not so luxurious but you will definetely make great friends it is very social, the kitchens are nice and big and you share with a block, shared toilet and bathroom per flat of 4/5.
I can't really comment on keynes as I never went there.
I wouldnt advise eliot.rutherford or any catered accomodation at all, waste of money and you will not get a decent kitchen to cook anything on.
My experiences with halls of residence at the University of Kent were far from positive. When I came to Canterbury in my first year, I had applied for accommodation on campus and got it - and, although I had actually applied for self-catered accommodation, I was put into Rutherford College, the oldest of the four colleges apart from Eliot. The first shock I had, happened when I walked into my room for the first time and realised that two steps took me from the door to the window (and I'm not particularly tall), which obviously means that the room was, moderately spoken, tiny (the rent is pretty high, however, about £280 per month but paid per term). I had the second shock when I realised that in the kitchen which consisted of a partly-working cooker and kettle (NOT a fridge), I was only allowed to boil water and warm up soup - saucepans and frying was not allowed, officially because of the danger of fire but, as the people in my corridor and I agreed, in fact so that we would have to go to the dining halls and pay between £3-5 for a shitty meal. Double money-making, so to speak. And the third shock? Oh, that was when I fell out of my bed at night because it was so narrow. It took me about half a month to get used to the university, make a few acquaintances and find the time to look for a different place to live - and after three and a half weeks, I finally moved out. I had hardly gotten any sleep during those weeks (both because of the bed and because the walls were thin enough for me to hear somebody coughing four rooms away from me at night), lived mainly on pot noodles and bread and definitely hadn't had the time nor the nerve to study (but then, it was my first year, so that is probably rather normal). Fortunately, the house I moved in was better, ie. more spacious, less expensive and more equipped - but a few of my friends still stayed at Rutherford after I had left, either because they were too lazy to look for a different
place or because they didn't have enough money to pay for a second deposit. But hardly any of them really truly liked the college accommodation.
As an undergraduate, my first experience of halls was in Eliot College. My room was reasonably large and had a small hallway where there was a cupboard and a sink. There was ample storage space. Having a sink in my room was brilliant, because it would have been horrible queueing up to brush your teeth in the morning. It was also great when you had to do handwashing...when you seriously ran out of clean clothes. I had an excellent view looking down the hill onto the city and the cathedral. The windows are massive and one piece of advice, is never to mess about near it when open. I was sitting on the back of a chair and almost fell out once! Also, when it snows close your window or you may receive a few snow pressies (yes, we all did it). It's nice and warm in the rooms and the free heat is good compared to realising that one has to pay bills, at such an early age. Furnishings were reasonable, although I'm sure the curtains and blanket were the original ones from when the uni first opened. Everyone brought their own anyway as you never know if they have been cleaned for that length of time either. But, if you don't have it or are unable to bring it, it will do. You get clean sheets once a week...if you canbe bothered to change your bedclothes that often. There is a very tiny kitchen (cupboard like) where you are allowed to boil water on the 2 ring stove. There's also a kettle. Of course we tried to cook 3 course meals on this stove! Just don't fry as it sets the fire alarm off. There isn't a fridge, so many people hung plastic bags out of the window. Its ok, for making pasta, but difficult for anything involving more than 2 steps. Breakfast is included and you get a meal card which gives you huge reductions. The breakfast is OK in Eliot, but you can eat at any of the other colleges. Keynes is the nicest. It's worth dragging yourself out of bed for. The food varies,
and Eliot happened to be the worst. So, as I was a veggie I went to Rutherford. The meals work out really cheap with the meal card. Washing facilities, if you can't take it home to mummy is in the basement. If you can find it! Eliot college is a maze. The machines are old and complicated. It's easier and less scary to take your washing to Rutherford where you only have to decide if it is white or coloureds. There is a small shop next to the JCR. Its OK, but they used to drop the cakes on the floor, so be warned. Events are not bad, and the bar is OK. If you live near these places, it can be a bit noisy but you'll probably be out anyway. The major advantage is its at the centre of the campus. Excellent for rolling out of bed in the morning to a lecture. Sometimes it's in Eliot and that's just downstairs. The library is a 2 minutes walk, as is the Computer Centre etc. There's a computer centre and library in Eliot too. Drawbacks are that the walls are very thin and the cleaner comes in and cleans your sink etc even if you are still in bed. It's also really easy to make friends as you are in corridors and there's about 500 people in Eliot to choose from. I had an excellent time. UPDATE I've just got back from a reunion at Kent Uni and I stayed in Eliot College. It is mostly the same except they now have carpet in the corridors. The bar has been done up, but they have painted it in psychodelic colours and its quite painful to look at the walls. They used to leave the JCR open all night so you could go down and play pool to all hours, bu now they kick you out at around 11.30 and lock it all up! There is a small shop in the entrance and it sells the essentials. There are also photcopying facilities in the Porters Lodge. A short walk across the walkways is a new set of shops. Beware though it is very expensive! The UKC merchandise
was expensive too. The new Student Union Building good from the outside. We didn't get past the reception desk though because they didn't believe we were ex-students who were paying taxes to upkeep the damn thing! So, generally there is an improvement in facilities although it still lacks car parking spaces. I would still recommend it as a place to live in, but the food is still the same (undercooked eggs etc).