All four partners have dedicated services to support candidates both academically as well with daily administrative and personal matters; these services include: International and European Offices, Graduate Schools, Welcome Centres, Accommodation Offices, Health and Medical Centres, Learning Advisory Services, Language Support Services, and Careers Advisory Services. They offer support from pre-arrival (with visa preparation), the point of arrival (in finding accommodation), throughout the period of research (academic support and use of research materials, language acquisition, personal support such as confidential counselling and medical and health services), to support at graduation and beyond (in seeking employment).
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Advice on visas, on legal matters, on health services, banking and education facilities for families with children will be available from the appropriate support services at all institutions. As all candidates will start at Kent, Kent will be the sponsoring agent for candidates to acquire UK visas; Kent will further liaise with the relevant partners depending on the mobility pathways to secure the supporting documentation for candidates to procure visas to those host countries for their subsequent periods of study.
Candidates will be offered places in university owned housing as well as assistance with finding off-campus apartments; specific support will be given to those will special needs or with families. Support in finding short-term accommodation during research trips and work placements will be offered where required in conjunction with associate partners.
Each partner has a specialist unit dedicated to providing support for candidates with special needs. As Kent is the coordinating institution where all candidates start, it will identify special needs (at the pre-arrival stage), arrange for a specialist assessment if appropriate, and communicate with all institutions on the mobility pathway and ensure that a clear plan is put in place for needs to be met. The plan will include arrangements for access, accommodation, special equipment, adaptations and other support.
All partners offer a range of services aimed specifically at international candidates/students. These include active social support networks for candidates’ spouses, partners, and children, as well as venues and facilities that integrate scholarly with social and cultural activities such as film screenings, visits to museums and exhibitions, parties, guided tours, trips, and public panel discussions on current topics of general interest. In their first semester, new candidates in the same cohort will commence their training together at the University of Kent, where they will participate in an induction/orientation week given by select members of the administrative and academic staff. At this stage they will also be introduced to or, in the case of the first cohort, select a DCGC candidate representative who will represent their interests and concerns.
In semester 1, all candidates will be members of Kent Student Union, which provides social, administrative and pastoral support, including dedicated units offering advice on financial and other matters. Mobility to partners will also entitle the candidate to join the student unions at Hamburg, Utrecht and ELTE and take full advantage of their privileges.
To facilitate social interaction and to promote activities of any kind, such as lectures, seminars, or social events, a Facebook page has been set up, and Twitter feed will be included on the e-platform.
During the programme, candidates will have the opportunity to attend basic language courses in the consortium languages of their two chosen places of study. This will enable a good understanding of the technical vocabulary of criminology as well as a sensitivity to the differences and nuances of the host language in key areas of criminology. Language training opportunities will be provided at all four sites at no additional cost. These language courses do not award credits for the doctorate, but are recognized as an essential tool in the professional and personal development of the candidates. Candidates will be encouraged to document their language abilities through Europass.