Students Staff

23 February 2018

HR are moving

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 12:42 pm

From 1 March, the HR office in room 4SA.6.1 is having an overhaul and the office space being redesigned.  There will be a new dedicated reception area and break out spaces for private conversations and our Employee Relations and Reward team will be able to sit together so they can better embed their new structure.

These works will take six weeks to complete, but HR will continue to provide an uninterrupted service

Susie Morgan and Lyn Aldridge will be based in the Organisational Development room 4SB.5.4, along with our Payroll and the Employee Relations advisors.

Our Resourcing team will be situated in the Finance office 4SW.6.9.

The rest of the Employee Relations and Reward team will be based in the HR Training rooms in rooms 4SA.6.17  and 4SA.6.19, as follows:

Room 4SA.6.17

  • Jenny Davies
  • Kristelle Dines
  • Rebecca Black
  • Sharon Foster
  • Nicola East
  • Martin Price
  • Lisa Russell
  • Sarah Brown
  • Tanya Clements

Room 4SA.6.19

  • Sara Limerick
  • Hugo Carter
  • Amy Upton
  • Claire Wilkins
  • Jo Matthias
  • Alex Boardley
  • Kate Horn
  • Ann Townsend/Angie Mills (Pension)

You will be able to contact the team using their normal email addresses and phone numbers.

Any visitors should report to 4SB.5.4, where a fully staffed reception will be available for employees.

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16 February 2018

Check in with Loughton Library

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 12:33 pm

Say hello to Anna Zajda, the new Library Supervisor at Loughton.

Anna weekly

Anna at work

What is your job title and how long have you been here?

My job title is Loughton Library Supervisor. I have worked at the East 15 Library at Loughton Campus since September 2017, at first as library assistant and then I progressed to the supervisor role in January this year.

What does your role involve?

I oversee the day-to-day running of the library helpdesk at East 15 llibrary and manage a small team including a Senior Library Assistant and student assistants who provide out of hours services.  I offer support to students and staff using the library facilities and respond to IT queries. I also act as a point of contact between library users in Loughton, the Subject Librarian in Southend and the Albert Sloman Library in Colchester.

What did you do before?

I have worked in information services, including public and higher education libraries, since 2013 and before that I worked as a freelance translator.

What do you like  about the new Loughton library?

The new library is a purpose built modern space which is lovely to work in. It feels bright and welcoming and I hope the students like it as much as I do!

What’s the best thing about your job?

Satisfaction from getting the right resource into the right hands, and generally interacting with students and staff who visit the library.  Everyone here is so friendly, it creates a great atmosphere at the school.

Do you have a secret passion?

I have long been fascinated by fragrance, so feel free to come to the library with any perfume-related queries!


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Give your wellbeing a workout with a circuit session

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 10:43 am

PTAIT_20170717_0093_300x200If your wellbeing could do with a workout, there are still opportunities to join the Wellbeing Workout Programme.

Activities are in eight week blocks over the course of the year – and everyone is welcome to come and give it a try.

Circuit based gym sessions

2 x 1 hour sessions per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Beginning on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 11am-12noon in the brand new Essex Sport Arena  – Studio 1, on the second floor (There’s still time to sign up!)


1 x 2 hour session per week on Wednesdays

Beginning with an introductory session in April 2018 – days and time to be announced

Green exercise

1 x 1 hour 30 minute session per week (day and time to be confirmed)

As part of the research you will be asked to fill in some questionnaires.

If you are interested in joining, or if you would like more information please email our postgraduate researcher Jayde at

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13 February 2018

Five Essex graduates shortlisted for British Council Alumni Awards

Filed under: Latest news — mh17332 @ 4:19 pm

Inspirational Essex graduates from China, Kazakhstan, India, Saudi Arabia and Thailand have been shortlisted in this year’s British Council Alumni Awards.

alumniawards (2) 300x200Essex alumni winning recognition include a leading academic, a chief roboticist, a biotechnologist dreaming of being on the first human mission to Mars, an innovator in the Central Asian finance sector and an English school founder who has become a YouTube sensation.

They are among finalists from 125 countries selected from more than 1,700 applications to the awards which celebrate the achievements of international alumni who studied in the UK.  This is the second year running, the University of Essex has five finalists in the British Council Alumni Awards.

The five Essex graduates to reach regional finals are:

Kanatip Soonthornrak from Thailand is the founder of one of the most renowned English tutorial schools in Thailand and has found huge success launching language tutorial videos on YouTube. Kanatip, a finalist in the Professional Achievement category, completed an MA in Theatre Directing in 2009 at East 15 Acting School at our Loughton Campus.

Aivar Baikenov has been chosen as a finalist in the Professional Achievement category for his significant contribution to the development of the financial sector in Kazakhstan. Aivar graduated in Economics and Politics in 2010 and said he used his studies at Essex to create a positive change within business and finance in his home country.

Turki Althubaiti, a leading academic at Taif University in Saudi Arabia, has been named as a finalist in the Professional Achievement category for his work initiating new academic programmes enhancing access to higher education. He says his time at Essex, where he completed a Masters Degree followed by a PhD in English Literature in 2007, continues to inspire his work.

Anushree Srivastava from India is a Crew Biologist on The Mars Society’s Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog Mission which is investigating how humans might survive on the Red Planet. A finalist in the Professional Achievement category, Anushree completed an MSc in Biotechnology in 2016 and is using this experience to contribute to research into the future astrobiological exploration of Mars.

Ruijiao Li, also a finalist in the Professional Achievement category, created the hugely successful AMY Robotics in China. He graduated in 2015 with an MRes Computer Science in Robotics and is now the Chief Roboticist at his company AMY Robotics.

The British Council Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni from UK universities and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. The winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying in the UK to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries. The Essex finalists will each attend regional award ceremonies between now and April, with finalists of the Regional Awards being put forward for the prestigious Global Alumni Award. The winner will be announced in April.


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9 February 2018

Undergraduate student surveys

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 10:52 am

At Essex, the views, ideas and feedback of our students are at the heart of what we do. We’ve just launched two surveys for our undergraduate students to tell us about their experiences of studying here. Hannah Gott from our Student Engagement team tells us more.

Hannah Gott

Hannah Gott, Student Engagement Manager

This year, our undergraduate (UG) students are being invited to take part in either the National Student Survey (NSS) or UK Engagement Survey (UKES) to tell us what they think about studying at Essex

The two surveys will run concurrently from 5 February to 30 April, to allow every UG student, whatever their year of study, to take part.  To avoid any confusion, all students are being asked to visit our survey gateway page  so we can make sure they complete the right survey.

Broadly speaking, final year UGs will be invited to take part in the NSS and all other UGs will be able to complete UKES.  However, it’s not quite as straight forward as that as not all final year UG students are included within the NSS data sample. If a UG student isn’t eligible for NSS, they ‘ll be invited to take part in UKES.

This year, we’re really trying to encourage early participation in the surveys by a adopting a departmental led focus. We’ve helped develop a plan for departments to communicate the right information, at the right time, and to avoid the usual clash of communication from Ipsos Mori.  These plans kick off in February and include NSS in-class time for students to learn more about the surveys and to complete them. We’ve also developed a comprehensive set of NSS and UKES staff guides, emails, poster and PowerPoint templates and other useful resources which we’ve shared with all of our departments.

We’ve also been working closely with the Students’ Union and together we’ve developed a cause-based campaign, to encourage students to complete their survey. We’ll be donating £1 to charity for every survey completed, which will be split between the following three charities, chosen by the Students’ Union:

Some departments are also planning their own incentive-based activities, like pizza parties, and we will continue with our NSS Prize Draw, where students who complete the NSS before 28 February can win a VIP Graduation package.

The feedback from these surveys is very important. It helps us to learn more about the experience of our students, and to make improvements for current students and future members of our community.

The results of the NSS are made publicly available on Unistats to help prospective students make informed decisions about where and what to study.  They also make a substantial contribution to our ranking in the The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, as well as other UK ranking systems.

If you have any queries about NSS or UKES you can email us at or take a look at our student voice pages to find out more.

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8 February 2018

Agresso (Unit4 Business World) system upgrade

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 11:28 am

The Agresso system software will be upgraded from 6pm on Monday 19 February to 9am on Thursday 22February. This means that you will not have access to the Agresso (Unit 4 Business World ) system during this time.

The owners of the software have renamed the product Unit4 Business World.

The web address will also change and when the system is available we will share the new URL.  The system will be referred to as Unit4 Business World from this point onwards.

In respect of purchase/supplier invoice processing there will be a  revised payment run week commencing Monday 19 February.

The Payments Team will process a payment run on Monday 19February. Please make sure you send all approved documents to the Payments Team by the end of Tuesday 13 February so that these are processed for payment (please note that payments will be paid in accordance with the supplier’s credit terms).

Payment runs scheduled for Wednesday 14 February and Wednesday 28 February will not be affected.

If you have any questions, please contact the Payments Team.

For REO related functions, work will continue where possible, but there is a risk of delay in responding  to enquiries whilst Unit 4 Business World (Agresso) is unavailable. The REO team will plan to ensure that funder related deadlines are not impacted. Research authorisations will continue but where necessary they may be handled by email while the system is offline.

In the meantime if you have any concerns or queries, please email them to

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6 February 2018

Exam revision – top tips for students and parents

Filed under: Latest news — mh17332 @ 3:57 pm
Heather, left, and Manda, right, have both had children go off to university.

Heather, left, and Manda, right, have both had children go off to university.

Revising for exams is stressful for everyone involved.  Even as parents we can all remember our own exam times as if it was yesterday. I can remember feeling pretty helpless as my daughter prepared for A-Levels, my main show of support was sliding food under the door, but now they are at University, how far can you go?

Mick Kavanagh from our Talent Development Centre said, “Revision is not always fun. It may be an idea to do a little revision yourself on exam technique so you are ready if a student turns to you for help. Like A-Levels, though, maybe don’t interfere unless you are asked! Also, don’t over-communicate: If you’re texting or sending cheery images from home, this can be very distracting. Try to find a time of day when you know they may be relaxing rather than working on revision.”

Here are his top tips:

  •  Environment: Deciding where to revise may depend on the task at hand. Our learning hubs and libraries are well equipped for effective revision, with lots of quiet space available, but many students prefer revising in their room, especially as they can have all their resources to hand.
  • Planning: Careful planning is crucial to successful revision. A revision timetable helps with allocating sufficient time to revise each topic in depth.
  •  Organising: Arranging lecture and reading notes helps with an overview of the job at hand. Prioritised topics can then be fed into the revision timetable.
  •  Techniques: Different students learn in different ways, and the methods used at school may need updating for this higher level of study. Revision cards and last-minute cards (to look at just before the exam) help to make everything manageable. Vary the tasks by reading, writing, drawing diagrams, and discussing.
  •  Personalise: Adding questions and comments to texts/notes, and using colours and graphics, makes them more individual. Sticky notes around the room helps in absorbing key information.
  •  Ask for help: Lecturers are here to help and if you don’t understand an area of study, ask for support. The TDC and the Library are also good sources of advice.
  • Take regular breaks and get some exercise.
  • Keep hydrated and eat well – this BBC article has lots of good ideas.



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2 February 2018

Web staff profiles – update

Filed under: Latest news — Communications, CER @ 5:33 pm

Thank you all for your engagement with our new staff profiles on the web.

We realise that there have been a number of initial problems and are working hard behind the scenes with our external developer to solve them. Although testing was carried out in advance of launch, some of the problems were not showing in the test environment so only came to light once the site went live.

Departmental pages

When we went live, our department pages were not presenting staff structures. We have fixed this problem and all department pages should now be displaying both academic and support members of staff correctly. We are now working to ensure PGR students are presented too, and we will continue to improve these pages.

If you are still having problems with your department page, please email

Staff profiles

In order for your staff profile to display correctly on the website, please ensure that you have updated your profile information in our RIS system or using the Staff Profile Builder, if you are a member of Professional Services.

Academic staff web profiles are fed by the information included in the RIS; so please check your RIS information is up-to-date and includes everything you want to display.

Our Web Team worked closely with the faculties in advance of go-live to clean up profiles and prevent messy profiles being published. However, a number have still been published.

Please go back and have a look at yours to make sure it is tidy, and displaying all your information correctly.

Formatting issues

Cutting and pasting from other websites can mean that incompatible source formatting is also copied which can prevent your profile from displaying properly.

Please avoid cutting and pasting if you can and always preview your profile to ensure it is displaying properly. This will give you the chance to see and rectify any display problems yourself.

Thank you all for your time and effort in helping us get this right. It is a work in progress and we do value your feedback.

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