University of Essex

Student experience

12 June 2017

Rebel Radio’s election night special

Filed under: Campus news, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 5:08 pm
Students at Rebel Radio

Students broadcasting live during election night

Rebel Radio, the University’s student radio station, ran an all-night election special in association with our journalism students, Here, journalism student Alex Maxam gives his report on the night.


Rebel, the university’s student media collective, had extensive and in-depth coverage of election night with both a live radio show and a live blog.

With coverage spanning from 10pm until 6.30am, Rebel Radio was on air with Thomas Rowson, Lauren Moore and Chantel Le Carpentier providing news and analysis throughout. There were also bulletins every half hour provided by students from the Multimedia Journalism course, which featured the latest updates and reaction from an exciting and unpredictable election night.

The live blog, run by Jesse Harrison Lowe and Rowena Field-Carter, was updated on a nearly minute by minute basis.

Thanks to weeks of planning from Jesse, who led the project, Rebel had reporters down at the Colchester count to provide insight as to how it was going, as well as reporters in the Students’ Union Bar to get student reaction to what was happening. The blog also announced the Colchester result faster than both the BBC and Sky.

Rebel had a determined team of 14 students working through the night to provide the coverage, as well as eight Multimedia Journalism students and three lecturers. The tireless effort from everyone involved was all worthwhile with excellent radio and blog coverage of the night, as well as providing an invaluable experience for those involved.

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15 May 2017

Students get insight into working of European Parliament

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Communications Office @ 11:39 am

BrusselsAbout 40 students got the chance to meet members of the European Parliament during a special trip to Brussels.

The trip was funded by the Opinion Multiplier Scheme, which aims to encourage more interest in the European Parliament. During the trip the Government and Language and Linguistic students met people who work at the European Parliament and also visited the European External Action Service, which manages the funding for charities, third world countries and relief aid for natural disasters.

Professor Han Dorussen, from the Department of Government, said: “The visit to the European Parliament and the European External Action Service has given Essex students a unique opportunity to learn about the day-to-day activities of the EU. EU officials gave an honest introduction to the ambitions and challenges of European cooperation and fully addressed questions. They also informed students about internships and working in Brussels.”

Lexa Olivera-Smith, from the Department of Language and Linguistics, said: “We are very grateful to Essex Abroad and the Opinion Multiplier Scheme for this wonderful opportunity. Our students felt privileged to have first-hand experience of the inner workings of EU institutions. For the MA Translation students it was particularly exciting to learn more about the linguistic side of operations and to have a close look at the impressive interpreting facilities.”

Jan Spalek, Short-term Programmes Manager at Essex Abroad, said: “We were delighted to receive a grant from the European Parliament Opinion Multiplier Scheme to take 40 students to Brussels to visit the European Parliament and European External Action Service. We have been able to visit the voting chamber, listen to engaging presentations and learn a lot about how these important organisations operate. As a very engaged group – we have also debated variety of issues including Brexit, and the future of Europe as well as the recent changes in the European political climate. We were also pleased to meet Essex alumnus Georgi Nenchev who now works at the European Parliament and who delivered an excellent talk.”

Klaudijus Jarusevicius, who is studying international relations, said: “I enjoyed my time in Brussels. I learned about the European parliament, all its values and the day-to-day agenda. It’s a perfect eye-opener as to where I want to work, and it gave me a glimpse into the future job I would like later on in life.”

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14 March 2017

Hear the LGBT+ stories from Essex

Filed under: Latest news, People pages, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 1:50 pm

LGBT-newStudents and staff from the University have written a book about their LGBT+ experiences and stories.

The book – LGBT+ Perspectives – The University of Essex Reader - was compiled and edited by Dr Ilaria Boncori, from the Essex Pathways Department. It contains stories, experiences, narratives and subjects from all different people’s lives.

This book conveys different perspectives of gender identity and sexual orientation and can help to enlighten many people who feel uneducated on this topic, as well as help those who feel unsure about whom they are.

Dr Boncori explained: “This book offers a collection of different perspectives on LGBT+ matters written by University of Essex staff and students for all of us – students, teachers, parents, friends and workers. LGBT+ Perspectives includes personal experiences, research findings and professional stories that provide further insight on how gender identity and sexual orientation permeate our private and professional lives, with the aim to foster understanding and inclusion.”

LGBT+ Perspectives – The University of Essex Reader is available from the publishers Editoriale Scientifica and will soon be available on Amazon.

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6 February 2017

We are the champions

Filed under: People pages, Sport, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 6:19 pm
Our men's and women's volleyballl squad

Our men’s and women’s volleyball squad at the Volleyball England National Student Cup finals

Our men’s volleyball team have been crowned Volleyball England National Student Cup Champions.

The competition started with teams being whittled down to the top 32 university and college men’s and women’s teams during several qualifying matches held across the country. The 32 student teams then battled it out over the weekend at the finals tournament at the University of East Anglia.

Both our men’s and women’s teams progressed through the group stage on Saturday without dropping a set, and then progressed further through the knock-out stages on Sunday with both teams reaching the final.

The women won silver after losing 2-0 in the final to last year’s runners-up Newcastle University, but the men won a thrilling final 2-1 against Bournemouth University, who have won the cup for the last three years.

Delighted Essex volleyball performance coach Alex Porter said: “I’m very proud of the athletes at the University of Essex and pleased to see all their hard work pay off.

“We set out in September with the goal of winning the double and they have pushed themselves to the limits to make this happen. We strive to improve each day and take every opportunity to develop as athletes, teams and as a programme. Final year student Toby French had an excellent performance in the final which is a testament to his three years of hard work. And fellow final year student Amelia Stamp dominated the passing unit in the women’s squad throughout the weekend, bringing a calming figure to the team.”


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27 January 2017

Hit the heights in Poland

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Heather Leathley @ 5:47 pm
Perform with StiltsPro in Poland.

Learn stilt-walking skills with StiltsPro in Poland.

If you are interested in street theatre, there’s a fantastic course on offer in Poland this summer organised by fellow students at the Southend East 15 Acting School.

StiltsPro Theatre Company, run by East 15 students, in partnership with Teatr Avatar from Poland are running a unique two week course for stage people to get a comprehensive training and diploma in stilt-walking, acrobatics and many other street theatre skills.

The cost is £600 including everything but the flights.

For more information contact Piotr Pawarski, email:

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10 November 2016

Essex opens campus-based Sports Therapy Clinic

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 11:03 am
Student Rebecca Wilson at the new sports therapy clinic.

Student Rebecca Wilson at the new Sports Therapy Clinic.

Our new Sports Therapy Clinic is now open for business at Colchester Campus – and it is free for all students and staff.

The clinic is the first campus-based facility of its kind at the University and will provide an essential place for our BSc Sports Therapy students to put their new skills to the test.

Opening on Monday 14 November, the clinic will offer treatment and management for a number of conditions including neck and shoulder pain, muscle strains, sports injuries, arthritic joint pain and foot and ankle pain. The students will also be able to offer massage to help posture issues and ease tension.

The clinic, which is open from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, will mainly involve third year students giving treatment, supervised by their lecturers. Students and staff can attend as often as their injuries require treatment.

Lecturer in sports therapy Keith Burnett, who will be supervising the students, said the course at Essex was more developed than others in the way it underpinned the sports therapy aspect with the psychological side of treatment. Being linked to sports science academics at Essex has meant the students also have a real understanding of the scientific principles behind the injuries.

“The psychological understanding of sports therapy is also essential,“ added Keith, “as it is the way to get into the client’s mind set to enhance client adherence, which then makes the rehabilitation interventions more effective and successful.”

The experience in the clinic will go towards the 200 hours of practical experience the students need to undertake to become a member of the Society of Sports Therapists at the end of the course.

The students will get to experience dealing with a wide range of injuries, which will enhance their confidence and improve their employability.

“Working with real patients gives them the chance to look at the true pathology and they will experience the various grades of injury,” added Keith. “This will enhance their understanding and give them vital hands-on experience and increase their confidence so they are industry ready when they leave university.”

Student Rebecca Wilson came to Essex as there were no courses like this at her home in Northern Ireland. “The only courses available were in physiotherapy and I really wanted a course where I could focus on the strength and conditioning side of things which Essex provided.”

Rebecca, who also works closely with the Essex men’s and women’s basketball teams, added: “It is a great asset to get a clinic on campus. Getting that hand-on experience is vital and will really help give me more confidence being a sports therapist.”

For more information please email the Sports Therapy Team at or call 01206 872255.



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30 September 2016

Volunteering gets a revamp

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 10:49 am

vteam posterUntil now, students had to carry around and complete a paper passport to log their volunteering efforts with the Students’ Union vTeam.

Being paper, these were often damaged, lost, or forgotten; and students then had no record of their activities. Paper has now become electronic thanks to the Catalyst Project funding an additional volunteering module for the vTeam’s MSL system, enabling the vTeam to now:

  • Offer an easy online way for students to record their volunteering, skills, and training
  • Align with the Big Essex Award skills, providing consistency for our students across different schemes
  • Encourage students who’ve completed the necessary volunteering hours to apply for the Big Essex Award, also giving them recognition on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
  • Have more time to dedicate to setting up new and exciting projects for our students
  • Increase our volunteering efforts within our local communities
  • Provide students with a record of their skills achieved through volunteering and increasing their employability
  • Be able to accurately know how many hours and opportunities students are participating in
  • Include other student volunteering such as Society & Club volunteering, peer mentoring, Nightline, external volunteering and lots more

Volunteering is an important part of the student experience, and the vTeam are the go-to team for anything related to student volunteering.

Need some volunteers? Contact the vTeam.  Need some help promoting your opportunity? Contact the vTeam. Got some ideas? Contact the vTeam.

Anya Visegorodceva – Volunteering Manager E: 01206 863211

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5 August 2016

Get insights into our National Student Survey results

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Communications Office @ 11:04 am
Students outside The Meadows

Students outside The Meadows

The results of the National Student Survey are out this week and a special briefing is being organised for all staff by the Academic Section to offer them insights into the results before they are officially published.

All staff are invited to the briefing which will be on Tuesday 9 August at 2pm in LTB4 on the Colchester Campus and GB2.18 on the Southend Campus.

The National Student Survey results will be published the following day on Wednesday 10 August.

The session is designed for staff interested in improving the student experience and will provide an overview of the 2016 results data for Essex and the sector data prior to national publication. There will also be an opportunity to explore the key themes and headlines.

Contact Assistant Education Manager Richard Alderman at if you have any questions ahead of the briefing.

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19 July 2016

Discover new way to map your research and join new ArcGIS user group

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact, Student experience — Communications Office @ 12:13 pm
Map of Essex created with ArcGIS

Map of Essex created with ArcGIS

Essex academics and postgraduate students are being offered the chance to use a powerful suite of software, apps and online tools to map out their research in a new and exciting way.

The University has a license for ArcGIS which allows you to create and share beautiful maps based on your research. An ArcGIS user group has now been setup to share experiences and provide support.

The system is already being used in history, sociology and biological sciences and Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, who is promoting ArcGIS thanks to a Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund award, is now looking to create a users’ group to help other people find out more and start using it in their research and teaching.

  • For more information about learning to use ArcGIS and to join the user group email Leanne at:

Leanne said: “We use the software in both teaching and research and employers specify this skill in many graduate level jobs.  We are inviting anyone across the University who is interested in learning more about this software to get in touch so that we can encourage interest and set up a meeting.

“Our license covers the whole University so we want to make people aware we have this resource available. “

Case studies

Mapping marine and terrestrial habitats

Leanne is using the ArcGIS Collector app to map environments being studied by students. She said: “I’m using ArcGIS apps in the field for practical work by students where we are mapping marine and terrestrial habitats.

“We are also starting a new Oceanography and Marine Conservation field course in Greece this year where student will be using ArcGIS to map the distribution and abundance of protected Poisdonia seagrass beds – which are a vital part of the Mediterranean ecosystem.

“We also use ArcGIS to map the Blackwater estuary native oyster population which was used as important data in the designation of the area as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).”

Mapping domestic abuse

Ruth Weir, from the Department of Sociology, who is researching domestic abuse patterns in Essex, added: “I’ve been using ArcGIS to identify predictors of domestic abuse.  I’ve used Geographically Weighted Regression, from the spatial analyst extension, to model predictors and look at how the relationships vary across Essex.

“I also ran a Proficio course for postgraduate students in April and I’m working with Professor Pamela Cox to introduce ArcGIS into teaching for third year undergraduate criminology students and Masters students.”

Helping visualise history of Colchester

Dr Justin Colson from the Department of History is excited about enriching the learning experience for students: “On my new module ‘Mapping History and Heritage in Colchester’ students will be using ArcGIS to interact with historic maps of the town from various eras, as well as information such as the census and trade directories. They’ll use ArcGIS to produce their own projects mapping change in different aspects of Colchester’s shops, industries and culture.

“I’m also working with the same material, as well as data shared by Colchester Borough Council and the Colchester Archaeological Trust, to produce a comprehensive atlas of the town’s development.”

Training opportunities

In 2016-17 staff and postgraduate students will be able to take advantage of Ruth’s course on ArcGIS while Justin will be running additional courses on concepts of mapping and using the online ArcGIS app.


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22 March 2016

Naseem showcases research at House of Commons

Filed under: People pages, Research impact, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:58 pm
PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP.

PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP at the House of Commons.

PhD student Naseem Ramli was shortlisted to showcase her research at a special event at the House of Commons.

At the SET for BRITAIN event, Naseem presented a poster demonstrating her research into renewable energy to several MPs, including Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin.

Naseem, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, said: “It was a prestigious event, with my session being quite competitive. I’m working on renewable energy, but it was a great opportunity to meet those from other engineering disciplines.”

SET for BRITAIN aims to connect researchers with MPs and highlight Parliament’s role in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Naseem, who was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants, added: “Not only did the event highlight new technologies, but also it was a great way to showcase renewable energy and how it benefits the planet.”

Naseem’s research focuses on using lithium-ion batteries for low power applications and she would like to be able to gain funding to develop her research further.

With renewable energy being a key interest for Naseem, she praised the University’s Green Impact programme, which helps departments be more sustainable. “It’s a good scheme,” added Naseem, “I can see that the university has made large investments in solar technology.”


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