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Latest news

24 October 2017

Put Clifftown on your calendar

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 4:14 pm


Finish the year on a cultural high with some challenging and entertaining productions at The Clifftown Theatre performed by the talented students at East 15 Acting School in Southend.

Inspired by Naomi Klein’s book ‘This Changes Everything’ from Thursday 16 November until Saturday 18 November, this  new play of the same name has been created by award winning international director David Glass and is performed by BA Physical Theatre students from East 15 Acting School.

This first draft of a total theatrical piece is being developed for a professional version in 2019. It promises to shock, awaken, celebrate and involve the performers in one of the most relevant stories ever told.

The audience needs to be on its mettle for ‘Knight of the Burning Pestle’, performed by students on the BA Acting and Stage Combat course. In this Jacobean satire by Francis Beaumont, the play within a play sets the stage for a type of immersive theatre, long before the concept had been envisaged.

If you want to experience a play rather than just watch it, make sure you book your tickets for this production which will be staged between Thursday 30 November and Saturday 2 December.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Clifftown Theatre between Thursday 7 December and Saturday 9 December, for their own festive contribution. This year lecturers Ainslie Masterton and Stephen Douse take on the glorious days of the eighties in their own version of ‘Cabaret’, performed by BA Acting and Community Theatre students.

If you danced to David Bowie, bopped to the B52s and stayed in for The Tube this is for you.

All tickets can be bought through the website or from the box office.



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Encore for children’s theatre

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 2:53 pm

The popular Clifftown Youth Theatre returns this weekend for a five-week run in the capable hands of East 15 Acting School third year students David Hughes and Poppy Stevens.

Every Saturday from 28 October until 25 November, children aged between five and eight are invited to take part in drama workshops at The Gateway Building between 10.30 am and 12.00 pm exploring imagination, story telling and creativity.

Poppy said: “We were lucky enough to shadow Katie Greenall and Grace Duggan who ran the youth theatre last year.Clifftown Youth Theatre daily

“This term we are working on story telling and confidence building. The children tell us what they would like to focus on. It is mainly about them having fun.”

David said: “For the five year olds it is a great way to learn how to socialise in and out of school and there is some great interaction between all the children which can be transferred back to school.”

The workshops are planned to continue next term. Spaces are limited and there are only a few left for this term’s sessions. You can email David and Poppy on for more details or turn up on Saturday. The cost is £30 for the term.


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New East 15 Acting School Professor

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 2:27 pm

East 15 Acting School in Southend has welcomed its first Director of Research, Professor Rosemary Klich.

Rosie weekly

Rosie, who joins the School from the University of Kent where she was Head of Drama, is the first person within East 15 to be appointed on a research contract and will be helping East 15 make a contribution to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and to build and shape a research culture within East 15.

Her particular field of research focusses on contemporary performance practice, such as multi-media, interactive and immersive theatre.

Rosie said: “Research is a new departure for East 15 and part of the challenge is to ensure that we develop research in such a way that it really supports the unique offer within East 15.”

She added: “This post really attracted me because of the opportunity to work within a conservatoire environment and also have the backing of a strong research institution like the University of Essex.

“I am looking forward to developing research connections with other departments within the University.

“East 15 is extremely well thought of within academia and the industry and I am really excited about what we are going to do.”

Rosie is splitting her time between Loughton and Southend but will be based in Southend. She is also leading on the new BA in Theatre Making and Producing at Southend that will be launched for the next academic year.

“The new course is aimed at students who want to learn how to facilitate arts projects, organise festivals and produce theatre productions; these are really important behind the scenes roles that allow theatre to happen,” she said.


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Any questions?

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:42 am

The Student Services Hubs at Colchester, Loughton and Southend Campuses can provide information, help and guidance on a range of topics from accommodation to funding, from exam stress to wellbeing. Here are the ten most frequently asked questions by friends and family members.

  1. I’m worried – what support can you offer?       There are lots of places that our students can go to get help and support. All of our students are assigned a Peer Mentor and Personal Tutor (in their academic department); plus, if they are living in University accommodation, a Residence Assistant. The Student Services Hub based in the Silberrad Student Centre in Colchester is open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday during term time, in Southend, the Student Services Hub on the second floor of The Forum is open 10.00 am until 4.00 pm Monday to Friday during term time and in Loughton, the Hub on the ground floor of Hatfields House is open 8.30 am until 5.00 pm Monday to Friday in term time.
  1. What about out of hours?   We have staff on duty across the University 24/7Nightline is a service run by students for the welfare of students out of hours. Essex established the first ever Nightline, which has now been replicated around the world.You can also direct students here for a full list of contacts.
  1. Where is my child?    It isn’t uncommon for friends and relatives to be anxious at this time of year if they haven’t had contact from the student. The Data Protection Act means we can’t share information with third parties about our students.  Continue to try to contact them by as many methods as possible. If you can’t reach them, let our student services team know and they will pass on a message for you.
  1. How do I make a payment for tuition fees or accommodation? With the student’s PRID number, which can be found on their University Registration card and their date of birth, you can pay online. If you have any further questions  have a look here.  There are other ways to pay too.
  1. What is the situation with the accommodation waiting list?   New students get priority for university accommodation. Accommodation Essex is working really hard to turn rooms around when they become available and is allocating rooms as soon as possible.  If students need to find short term accommodation, the Student Services Hub has further details.
  1. What do the various accommodation options look like?   We have videos of our accommodation, if you’d like to see the different options.
  1.  Is the campus safe?  Our campuses are generally safe places although individuals should be mindful of their personal safety. Guidance on staying safe and our 24 hour security team is available on our webpages
  2.  Why can’t you give me details about the person studying with you?    The University has a policy regarding contact with third parties which follows the UK legislative framework. As a result, we won’t be able to share information with you.  If you are concerned about someone, please encourage them to contact the Student Services Hub, or, if this is not possible, contact the Student Services Hub yourself.  While we won’t be able to give you any information about the student, we might be able to provide you with information about our principles or processes or how we might work with students.
  3. What study resources are available?     The University has a range of places to study and IT services and support. The Talent Development Centre can help students to excel in their studies.
  4. What about exams?     Students will receive individual timetables about their exams although the dates for the exam periods are published here.  Students who are anxious about exams can get help from the Student Services Hub or the Talent Development Centre. We’re currently making arrangements for disabled students who need to have adjustments for the exams. Students should apply as soon as possible, we are notifying them as the arrangements are made.




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17 October 2017

Project Managers and Continuous Improvement joint network event

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 4:42 pm

PTAIT_20160211_5506_webJoin us from 2pm to 3.30pm  in  NTC.1.04 on 9 November for a joint meeting of the Project Managers and the Continuous Improvement network.

The session is suitable for all staff, so please feel free to invite your colleagues.

Book now.

What to expect from the November session

Continuous Improvement Tools: In this session we’ll talk through how continuous improvement tools can be used to improve communication and help streamline your work. Whether you’re looking to find better ways of working with your project team or are simply looking to improve on your own process and everyday work, continuous improvement tools can help you.

Continuous Improvement Games: Continuous improvement games are a great way of changing how people approach problems. By gathering data with Mr Potato head or learning how standardisation can help improve your service with Standard Pig, our games are a great way of opening up people to the idea of change.

Skills Analysis Survey: The skills analysis is an opportunity for you to measure you project management skills and identify areas in which more training and support is needed. Some of you may have completed the skills analysis survey last year, if so you can review your results now. In this session we will review last year’s results and discuss your training needs for the upcoming year.

Networking session: This unstructured session will be held over tea and cake and is a great chance to network with your colleagues and chat about your work . This is a great opportunity to share things that have worked for you and brainstorm any issues.

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Here to help

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 3:23 pm

The summer before University feels like it goes on forever.

As you start on your degree, getting back into the swing of essay writing and exams can be a bit daunting. At Essex, the Talent Development Centre is here to help.

TDC2 Daily

No, it isn’t here to help you launch your singing career, the Talent Development Centre is here to support you during your studies.

Dilly Meyer, Manager of the Talent Development Centre, said: “When I went abroad to study, it was really hard. I couldn’t find anyone to help me. So we’ve developed a culture in the TDC to help every student achieve their potential.

“The TDC provides you with the skills support you need to achieve the best results you can obtain in your degree – undergraduate, postgraduate or research.”

With team members in Southend and Colchester, the TDC offers a wide selection of workshops including sessions on writing well, using reading lists, maths  and English. One to one advisor sessions are also available.

Dilly said: “It is never too early to work on developing your style and it could make a real difference to your degree. Remember, if you don’t ask a question, nobody can give you the answer.”


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“Southend is like home to me now”

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Heather Leathley @ 3:07 pm

Wherever you come from to study at Essex, the advice is the same, when you get here make sure you get out and about to make new friends and enjoy new experiences.

An image of Ernest Nyarko

Ernest Nyarko

Ernest Nyarko, the Students’ Union VP Southend explains how it felt to move to Essex from his home in Ghana.

“I had 12 offers from UK universities and I choose the Essex Business School at the University of Essex’s Southend Campus as the content of the course really interested me. After completing my degree in Ghana I wanted to go abroad to study, to experience other cultures and network with different people.

“I had never been to the UK before and I landed in Birmingham, from Dubai. My first impression was that it was pretty cold.

“The Southend Campus was also completely different. My university in Ghana was twice the size of the Colchester Campus so Southend Campus was quite small to me, though I have found this has plenty of advantages to it.

“It got dark so early here as well, I couldn’t figure out when I was meant to go to bed. The cold meant I had to wear a jacket and  that took a while to get used to.

“In class in Ghana I was quite timid, but when I started at Essex I became a course rep and started to make friends. The previous Vice President  of the Students’ Union in Southend urged me to stand for election and he finally persuaded me on the last day for nominations.

“My mother and brother laughed at me for doing it, but my brother said if you lose we will laugh, but it won’t be for long.

“I learnt a lot the first year so I decided to stand for a second year to put that learning into practice.

“Southend is like home to me now, it is a very calm place. I know everyone on Campus now and people in the High Street say hello. If you are coming to Essex from another country, I would say just put yourself out there, make the most of your course and be friendly.  That’s how I live my life in the UK.”

When Ida Bjorneras  (pictured centre) arrived from southern Norway to study for a PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at the Colchester Campus,  she was overjoyed to see autumn for the second time in the same year. “When I left Norway the leaves had already fallen and then I saw it again at Colchester,  it was stunning to see, ” she said.

Ida Bjorneras holding certificate

Ida Bjorneras (centre)

“People in the UK are very friendly, you can strike up a conversation in a supermarket. Everyone on Campus is very sociable too and there is  an amazing atmosphere with so many different nationalities in one place.

“I would advise all students to get out and about as much as possible. Join as many clubs as you can, I went on to be President of the Equestrian Society. The people you meet will shape your whole experience.

“I was introduced to curries and love those. I’ve back in Norway now having finished my PPE degree and Masters course, but I make sure I have a curry whenever I am in the UK visiting my University friends.”

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Take a break

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 2:46 pm

Whether you are planning to come to Colchester or Southend there is plenty to see and do, whether you are visiting for a day or longer.

Southend wifi weekly

Southend seafront

Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and Colchester Castle and Colchester Zoo are not to be missed. Southend, of course, is home to the longest pleasure pier in the world and there is a superb selection of art galleries in the town, including Focal Point Gallery in The Forum and The Beecroft Gallery.

Eating wise there is choice aplenty.  At Colchester you can keep it on Campus and choose one of the restaurants in the Squares or head up to Wivenhoe House hotel our four-star hotel offering a delicious afternoon tea or meals in the brasserie restaurant.

Southend has some lovely cafes and restaurants along the seafront, either for typical seaside fish and chips or more upmarket fare. And you cannot leave without enjoying a Rossi’s ice-cream!

If you are planning to stay Wivenhoe House is a relaxing place to stop, looked after by our team of professional staff and Edge Hotel School students.

At Southend there is single room accommodation which can be rented at University Square on a bed and breakfast basis. For more suggestions have a look at and We look forward to seeing you.

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Keep connected in Southend

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:59 am
Free public wifi is now available in Southend-on-Sea across the High Street, central seafront area and pier. Users can enjoy unlimited browsing when out and about, without running up large data usage bills.

The next generation wireless service is delivered by IntechnologyWiFi, in partnership with the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. It offers blanket, seamless connectivity and will deploy, monitor and maintain wireless equipment on street furniture and buildings owned by the local authority and partners after being granted a concession.

The free wi-fi is easy to access. Just turn on wifi on your  phone,  select SouthendFreeWifi in the list of available networks, wait for the pop-up window and login using facebook or other basic information.

Alongside the wireless network, a new intelligent mobile application called Citi-Wise will soon be launched. This can be used to find restaurants, new attractions and exciting and offbeat activities in and around the town.

You can find out more at

southend-map wifi daily

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13 October 2017

The new staff website needs you!

Filed under: Latest news — Communications, CER @ 3:13 pm

We’re building a new staff information directory and we need your help!

web black

Take part in our session – email

You told us that you found it difficult to find the information you need on our website.  So we’re building a new staff directory which will be a single, central place for staff website content.

The aim is to improve the way in which information is stored so that you are able to find what you need find faster and more easily.

To make sure we organise the content correctly, we need to know where you expect to find content on the website.

We’d like you invite you a workshop where you work with other staff members to sort some example content into categories. Your help will give us valuable insights about how we need to organise the directory.

The session will take place on:

  • Wednesday 25 October
  • 10am – 11am
  • Room 6.101

If you’d like to take part please email us at

We look forward to seeing you there

Web Editing and Digital Media team

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