Students Staff

Campus news

1 June 2018

Being an Essex Intern changed my life – let it change yours too!

Filed under: Campus news, Student experience — Laura Mathias @ 10:57 am
Recent graduate, Mihaela Popova, reflects on her time as an Essex Intern

Recent graduate, Mihaela Popova, reflects on her time as an Essex Intern

My name is Mihaela and I am just about to finish my internship as an Executive Support Project Officer in the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar’s Office (VCRO). I graduated from the University in 2017 with a BA in International Relations. During my years at Essex, I worked close to full time to support myself, so I didn’t really take part in many extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, and my CV was a bit bare. I knew that, in order to get a rewarding job, I needed to gain more experience, so I decided to sign up for Essex Interns. And what can I say, to this day, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

I was receiving emails about different internships from Essex Interns almost every day and there was a wide variety of opportunities to choose from. However, I didn’t want to apply for just anything, I wanted to apply for an internship I felt I was right for. I waited for a while and then I received an email about a research orientated internship in the VCRO. When I read the job description, I knew I was perfect for the job. I put a lot of effort into my cover letter and I contacted the Employability and Careers Centre to review it. The staff were amazing and provided support and guidance throughout my application. Still, I read it over and over again and submitted it at the very last minute (typical). I was quickly invited to interview, and got the internship! I was so happy, I knew I was perfect for the job and was glad that the panel thought so too.

I started the role in November on a four month contract and immediately felt like a part of the team. I was extremely grateful for having a chance to work in the Executive Office of the University. Looking back now, I am even more grateful to my amazing manager who trusted me with so many different tasks. She gave me support through the completion of my assignments and even arranged for me to meet members of staff working in the areas I was interested in. She was always providing me with different development opportunities, which is really the point of Essex Interns.

Although the internship was mostly research orientated, there was so much more to it – I helped with events management, focus groups, I set up a survey, created the University organisation structure chart, selected artwork, supervised students, and so much more. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy but it was rewarding. I worked really hard and got offered an extension to my contract… twice! I was so happy, I felt that my hard work was being recognised and appreciated – I had never felt that way before.

Now we’re approaching the end of my internship and I can honestly say that these last seven months have been incredible. I have learnt so much and I don’t even know how to explain how much I will miss the time I’ve spent in the VCRO. I met amazing people, inside and out of the office. I was able to attend meetings and talk to senior members of staff which has made me confident and improved my communication skills dramatically. I used to be this shy girl with the empty CV and now I am a confident young woman with a great set of skills. I will be forever grateful to everyone in the VCRO, especially my manager who supported me from day one. My experience was outstanding and I’m really sad that it’s coming to an end but it’s time to start the next chapter.

I strongly advise graduates to pursue intern opportunities because they really are a once in a lifetime experience which will open a lot of doors. As an intern, you will meet professionals around the University and you’ll build connections and networks which will benefit you in the future. All internships are different but they will teach you the same thing – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or graduate, the University will help you achieve your goals, you just need to let it.

One last word of advice from me: if you’re in your final year, make sure you seek the help of the Employability & Careers team and Essex Interns. I have them to thank for everything!


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28 March 2018

Knowledge Gateway – our growing research and technology park

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news — Communications, CER @ 4:58 pm

The next phases of our Knowledge Gateway research and technology park is taking shape next door to our now thriving Parkside Office Village.

Our new Innovation Centre is is taking shape.

Our new Innovation Centre is is taking shape.

The next phase of Parkside – just beside the current site – will be ready for autumn 2018 and the level of interest from potential tenants is already high.

Across the road, our £12m Innovation Centre is taking shape thanks to a £2m grant from Essex County Council plus £2m from South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

We’re on track to open the Innovation Centre in spring 2019 and it will provide a home to more than 50 start-ups and fast growing hi-tech businesses.

The success of our Start-up Hub at Parkside which has seen our team help establish 20 registered companies is also giving us confidence about what we can achieve at the Innovation Centre.

We’ll share more detailed plans soon including our proposals for a state-of-the-art digital suite which can build on our artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Our partners are sharing our excitement.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, told us: “Essex is leading the UK on start-ups of new enterprises and Essex County Council’s investment of £2million into the Innovation Centre at the University of Essex demonstrates our commitment to support these businesses by providing the right types of workspaces.

“We also recognise the importance of Colchester as a digital cluster and this investment will help to further enhance Colchester’s presence in this sector.”

The businesses and organisations now at Parkside have given us a solid foundation to build on.

We’ve invested a total of £50m so far in creating our Knowledge Gateway research and technology park to bring together great infrastructure, talented academic researchers, space for start-ups, and opportunities for anchor tenants to establish new regional centres on our campus.

Our long-term vision is to create more than 2,000 high-value jobs within 15 years by offering a home to more start-ups, SMEs and global businesses.

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2 March 2018

Taming the Beast from the East 

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news — ckeitch @ 11:40 am
Our Colchester Campus in the snow

Our Colchester Campus in the snow

Our fabulous staff have been hard at work all week making sure our campuses remain open, despite the wintery weather.

Staff from our Grounds team , Domestic Services teams and Estates team have made their way in  from Ipswich, Braintree, Jaywick and Brightlingsea for 5am starts and used:

  • 25 tonnes of salt;
  • 6,000 litres of brine;
  • 3 tractors;
  • 3 ATV buggies;
  • dozens of shovels.

Take a look at the photos of our Colchester Campus in the snow.


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26 January 2018

Get sustainable for our next Applicant Day – Wednesday 31 January

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news — ckeitch @ 1:24 pm

Next week we are set to have one or our busiest ever Applicant Days.

On Wednesday 31 January we’re expecting record numbers of potential new students to come and visit our Colchester Campus, so parking will be very limited.

However, we’ve been working hard to make sure there are plenty of alternatives to driving in, so join us in being more sustainable for the day.


Ditch the car and hop on two wheels for your commute to enjoy some great cycling related activities.

From 8.30am to 2.30pm you’ll be able to get a free safety check of your bike and do some minor repairs at a discounted rate from Doctor Bike.

Our cycle sleuth will also be out and about dishing out rewards for 10 lucky cyclists.

To find out more about our cycling facilities and our bicycle purchasing scheme, take a look at our cycling pages.


Walk to campus and record your steps using a smartphone, FitBit, or other similar device, and you could win a reusable keep cup and a food voucher for use on campus.

Just email Daisy Malt, our Sustainability Project Officer, on Thursday 1 February to let her know how many steps you covered and where you walked in from.  The person who records the most steps will win the prize.

If you don’t have your own pedometer, you can request one from Daisy Malt.

Free Bus travel

We have 100 all Essex First Essex Bus tickets valid for one day’s unlimited travel in Essex on Wednesday 31 January to give away.

If you fancy a change from the hassle of driving and walking or cycling is not an option, just pop into the Estates Management Helpdesk and pick up a ticket.

The tickets are limited and will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Park and ride

We’re running our own free park and ride service to help you get to campus.

You can park at Colchester Park and Ride for the day and catch one of our shuttle buses.

You’ll just need to give your vehicle registration number and name to the Parking Assistant to get your bus ticket. This is so you can leave the car park in the evening using the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system.

The buses will be stopping at the bus stops at the junctions of Hewes Close, Avon Way and Magnolia Drive to pick people up on their way to campus.

They’ll be dropping off at all three bus stops on Boundary Road – South Courts, Valley Road and North Towers.

Buses will run every 20 minutes from 7am to 9am and from 4pm to 7pm.

The last bus to leave the park and ride in the morning will be 9.40am and the last bus from campus in the evening will leave the North Towers bus stop at 6.40pm

As an added extra, all park and ride users will be entitled to complimentary ECC Park and Ride bus travel on the day. Destinations include the town centre, station and hospital in a ‘hop on, hop off’ style. The last return bus to the site from the town centre is just before 7pm.

If you have to drive

If you do need to drive, please be aware that it will be difficult to find a space after 9am.

Staff are encouraged to park in either the multi-storey car park, the Innovation Centre car park or the North Towers car park.

We will have parking staff on site to help you with finding a space. Don’t worry if they ask you to park somewhere that you wouldn’t normally be able to – you won’t have to pay a fine. However, please only park where they ask you to.

Please contact the EMS Helpdesk if you have any questions about parking on our Applicant Day.

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27 October 2017

Zero tolerance of sexual violence, harassment or hate crime

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, People pages, Student experience — Communications, CER @ 3:14 pm

The University of Essex does not tolerate any acts of sexual violence, harassment, or hate crime.

Zero tolerance means that we will take action and that the action will be proportionate to the circumstances of the case.

We recognise that the issue of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime is a global problem, but we are doing what we can  to tackle it here – and are working hard to put a stop to it in our community.

In March our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, set out our commitment to being an inclusive community with a zero tolerance of hate crime and sexual violence.

Since then, work has progressed. Here’s an update of what we’ve achieved so far:

Progress on the Tackling Sexual Violence, Harassment and Hate Crime Project

We have a high level University Action Plan. Our Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jules Pretty, is the senior lead for this work, and the Director of Human Resources and the Academic Registrar are the people responsible for delivering the actions, all of which will be completed by the end of the academic year 2017–18.

A Project Officer has been appointed until July 2018 to support the implementation of the University’s Action Plan, and to work with colleagues from across the University and the Students’ Union to embed activity to shape the institutional culture in relation to sexual violence, harassment and hate crime.


The university now offers bystander intervention awareness workshops. Bringing in the Bystander® is a bystander intervention workshop with a robust evidence-base. Rather than focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim, the highly interactive curriculum focuses on what you can do to intervene. It teaches bystanders how to safely intervene in instances where sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking may be occurring or where there may be risk that it will occur.

Book your place online now.

Watch our #ItEndsNow videos on YouTube and Vimeo

These workshops will help students, academics, professional services staff and community members to:

  • IDENTIFY behaviours on a continuum of violence
  • DEVELOP empathy for those who have experienced violence
  • PRACTICE safe and appropriate intervention skills
  • COMMIT to intervene before, during and after an incident of sexual abuse, relationship violence and stalking occurs

Read our guidelines for dealing with harassment and bullying.

Reporting and support

Contact for information and support. If an assault has just taken place and you are not in a safe place, feel at risk, or have any injuries that require urgent attention, call the emergency services on 999.

If you are on campus, please follow the guidance available online about emergency contacts.

If you are living in University accommodation on the Southend or Colchester campuses, Security can alert senior on-call Residence Life staff.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

20 October 2017

STEM building update – road closures and water supply

Filed under: Campus news — Communications, CER @ 3:16 pm
Our STEM centre on Square 1

Our STEM centre on Square 1

The tower crane will be removed over the weekend of 17-21 November.

Some parts of Boundary Road will be closed: from 9am Fri to 2am Sat and again on the Sunday from 8am to 1pm.

Valley Road will be closed for the entire weekend; from 6pm on the Friday to 6am on the Monday.

The latest photos from the site are on flickr.

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3 October 2017

Give your wellbeing a work out

Filed under: Campus news, People pages, Sport, What's on — Communications, CER @ 10:53 am
To join the Wellbeing Workout programme: contact Jayde on

To join the Wellbeing Workout programme: contact Jayde on

If your wellbeing could do with a work out – why not join the Wellbeing Workout Programme?

This special wellbeing initiative is looking for new recruits to take part in three different activities over the course of the year. They are:

  • Circuit based gym sessions
  • Green Exercise
  • Mindfulness sessions

You can also get involved in green exercise sessions:

Next Session: Tuesday 10  October (the sessions are weekly – each Tuesday until 14 November)

Time: 11am (the duration of the activity will be 1 hour and 15 minutes for each session)

As part of the research you will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire.

For more information and to sign up – please email our post-grad researcher Jayde on

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24 August 2017

Electrical works

Filed under: Campus news — Communications, CER @ 9:52 am

Electricity shut downs will be taking place on Colchester Campus this week.

Affected areas:

Friday 25 August

Wivenhoe House and Constable Building electricity supply will be switched off at 10.30am. The supply will be off for 15mins before all buildings in the vicinity are connected to the generator. The generator will supply power for the duration of the works.

Buildings affected:

  • Constable Building
  • Grounds Barns
  • Sports Pavilion
  • Lakeside House
  • Wivenhoe House

Saturday 26 August

Square 5 electricity supply will be switched off at 8am and will remain off, without any back-up power, until all works are finished. Once work is completed, the electricity supply will be reinstated. Power is expected to be back on by 4.15pm.

Buildings affected:

  • 2001 Building; including LiFTS and History departments
  • Ivor Crewe Lecture Theatre
  • Lakeside Theatre
  • Albert Sloman Library (including extensions 1&2)
  • Route Master Bus No64
  • Silberrad Student Centre
  • All Square 5 buildings; including Art Exchange and Waterstones bookshop

Buildings affected:

  • Constable Building
  • Grounds Barns
  • Sports Pavilion
  • Lakeside House
  • Wivenhoe House

If you have any questions, please contact the Estates Helpdesk on ext. 2959 or email

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

9 August 2017

Welcome 2017 needs you!

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Student experience, What's on — Communications, CER @ 12:17 pm
We can all do our bit to help our new students feel they belong at Essex.

We can all do our bit to help our new students feel they belong at Essex.

Welcome 2017 is fast approaching and this year we want to deliver an even bigger and better Welcome experience; giving everyone the opportunity to get involved in creating a warm and friendly atmosphere for our new students.

This year’s welcome theme is belonging. We want every student to enjoy a smooth arrival, to feel that we care about them, that we’ll help them settle in and find friends – and that they belong at Essex.

But creating a sense of belonging, in so many different people, from so many different places and with so many different backgrounds isn’t going to be easy – and that’s where you come in.

We would like everyone, no matter what their role or position within our University, to be part of our Welcome team. We want our new students to be greeted by smiling faces, by staff that are willing to help, to help them find their way around campus and to make them feel like an important part of our unique community.

Research conducted by our own Dr Gillian Sandstrom has shown that students who feel a stronger sense of belonging are more likely to complete their degree and demonstrate higher achievement in their studies.

You can read more about Dr Sandstrom’s fascinating research in her interview on Essex Daily. Our Head of Residence Life, Victoria Frost, also shares her thoughts on how students who feel they matter to their university are more likely to succeed – and how all of us can play our part no matter what our role.

If you are able to take this one step further and volunteer for an official role as part of Arrivals Day, registration or Welcome, please fill in our quick form, letting us know your availability during the Welcome period and the kind of duties you’d be happy to perform. Take a look at Registration roles to see which you could volunteer for.

Graduation 2017 was a fantastic example of what a great event we can run if we all pull together. If you volunteered for Graduation – we’d love your help during Welcome, and if you didn’t – now’s your chance to lend a hand.

We very much appreciate any help you can give during this exciting time for our University. Welcome is our chance to show our Essex Spirit at its finest; to work together to show what a warm and welcoming place our campus is.

We hope everyone will embrace the chance to get involved.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

11 July 2017

Southend sambas to East 15

Filed under: Campus news — Heather Leathley @ 3:10 pm

Pandemonium 2017 act 1 jpegHundreds of people took time out of their weekend in sunny Southend to watch and enjoy the Community Theatre Students from East 15 Acting School  perform  their annual Pandemonium show of street theatre, clowning and puppetry.

Student Adam Jefferys said: “The whole event was a huge success, we absolutely loved performing for the people of Southend and we hope they enjoyed it too, especially the Samba precession, with over 200 people marching and dancing up the high street, ending a beautiful weekend on a high note.

Watching people smile and laugh is the reason why we love to perform.”


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