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Kyoto University of Foreign Studies visit The Margate School

During 2022 Rebecca Geach, from University of Kent, taught a short online course with students from the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies that is run by the International Programmes / Global and Lifelong Learning department at University of Kent. One of the themes was urban regeneration and she chose Margate as a case study to discuss regeneration versus gentrification. It turned out to be really popular with the students.

In 2023 the short course became in-person at University of Kent and included a day trip to Margate, alongside trips to Dover Castle, Medway Dockyard and Whitstable. An objective was to gain experience of life in the UK, with themes of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, Urban Regeneration and Revitalisation, Sustainability, Right to Food and Foodbanks, Community Engagement, Education and Work. The brief to the students was to work in groups with a chosen theme and prepare a presentation based on research questions that they developed.

The Margate School was chosen as an excellent example of regeneration, alongside its ethos crossing over with several of the themes. The School was approached and Uwe Derksen, our Director, gave a talk about The Margate School’s role in the regeneration of Margate.

Prior to the talk, the students were given a tour of the building, finding out about the FabLab, the School’s ethos and the significance of the Woolworths building. They were fascinated and hadn’t previously encountered anything similar.

Following the tour Uwe gave an engaging and fascinating lecture / talk in the auditorium covering the history of Margate, it’s decline and gradual regeneration, deprivation alongside gentrification, the role of art and the issues faced by The Margate School.

This led to a deeper understanding of Margate and gave a different perspective, as it followed a tour of the tourist attractions, including Turner Contemporary and a first taste of fish and chips!

The students were inspired by the sustainable ethos of reusing and repurposing, as well as undertaking active engagement with the role of art in community building during their in-class sessions.