Students Staff

20 October 2015

Challenge takes students to heart of local government

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 11:35 am
Students at County Hall

Essex Challenge Project students at County Hall

A group of Essex politics students have seized a valuable opportunity to learn at first-hand how local government works, as part of a new joint module between the University and Essex County Council.

The module is based around a Challenge Project, called Reinvigorating Essex, to be undertaken by the students, allowing them to gain an understanding of how local government works.

The Challenge Project, which is made up of three streams, will task the students with researching questions and producing proposals on how to unlock economic growth, revitalise civic participation and improve community resilience across the county.

An Insight Day at County Hall in Chelmsford last week allowed the students to gain an overview of local government in Essex and the many services the County Council provides, as well as finding out about the challenges facing public services.

The Challenge Project will see the students ultimately producing a think-tank style report which will be used by senior leaders and commissioners at Essex County Council to help inform decision making.

Director of Employability at the University, Dave Stanbury, said: “This project offers our students the opportunity to develop valuable workplace skills while building a network of contacts.

“Visiting County Hall and having access to high level briefings brings the project to life and embeds the students’ learning in a realistic context, helping to prepare them for professional and personal success.”

Jodie Sheridan, one of the students, said: “I’ve always wanted my future job to be one in which I’m influencing people’s lives in a meaningful way. It was the main reason I decided to be a part of this project, as it represents a direct experience in local government, as well as giving me some insight into who and what makes up government. This was something I previously felt was quite mysterious.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Essex on this project. It will allow students to not only progress their studies with new insight but also perhaps forge a future career in local government.”

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22 April 2014

Our registry team is shortlisted for top award

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 3:48 pm
Registry team at the University of Essex

Our Registry team

The University has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Registry Team’ category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management awards

Adopting the mantra ‘does it make the boat go faster?’, our Registry team has been looking at how to make services more efficient and effective while putting the student experience at the centre of all its activities.  They wanted to challenge the status quo and think creatively, to make improvements in support of the University’s objective to provide all students with a transformative educational experience. Students were closely involved in focus groups and surveys as part of the review process.

Head of Registry Laura Ruddick said: “We are responsible for many aspects of the student lifecycle from registration through to the awarding of degrees at our three campuses and across undergraduate and postgraduate provision. Key to refocusing our provision was a review and re-structure of staff resource to ensure that skills and expertise were deployed to best effect across the service.

“We also undertook a ‘roots and branches’ review of the entire service provision, carrying out LEAN Reviews on our key student-facing procedures.”

Innovations included, changes to the staff structure  and the creation of Proficio – an innovative advanced skills programme for all postgraduate research students. Working with the Director of Proficio, the former Graduate School Dean,  the Learning and Development team, academics and students, the Registry team developed a programme which is believed to be unique in the sector to provide doctoral students with a suite of courses designed to support their development as researchers and their broader career and personal development.

Laura said: “We are confident that we provide the most efficient and effective services possible for the benefit of students and staff. We are proud to have succeeded in embedding a culture of high quality service delivery and constant review and improvement not only within the team but permeating to other parts of the University and across the sector.”

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24 March 2014

Students impress business community at open day

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:30 pm
Stephen Warne,  Managing Director of Karelia Networks Solutions, chatting to student Yana Sukhova.

Stephen Warne, Managing Director of Karelia Networks Solutions, chatting to student Yana Sukhova.

From technology to improve NHS patient care to novel home/office remote security systems, a wide range of ideas were showcased at a special event at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

As part of the School’s Final Year Project Open Day, 116 students showcased their vision of the future with a variety of different projects including various apps for android devices and a 3D cart racing game. The event attracted several local companies as well as staff and students who all got the chance to speak to the students about their projects.

Karen Gooch, Faculty Employability Co-ordinator, said: “Feedback from employers has been incredibly positive, with many saying how impressed they were with the range of projects, and with the students themselves. Businesses really value seeing what our students are capable of. Last year several of our students were offered graduate jobs as a result of the Open Day, and we are hoping this year will also lead to successful careers for our graduates.”

 

 

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15 November 2013

Maths support for all is back by popular demand

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 1:15 pm

The Maths Support Centre is again open for business at the University, offering help and advice to our students, staff  and the local community on a range of maths problems.

From left: Daniel Lesner, Dr Edd Codling, Rahul Karunakaran and Strefan Stoican at the Maths Support Centre.

From left: Daniel Lesner, Dr Edd Codling, Rahul Karunakaran and Strefan Stoican at the Maths Support Centre.

Launched last year, the one-stop-shop helpdesk for any maths issue, proved a big success both within the University and the wider business community.

The service is part of an on-going scheme by the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Essex to improve the employability of students and to allow local businesses to tap into local mathematics expertise.

The Support Centre, run by trained student advisors, offers support to the University community and businesses on maths issues on all levels. Last year, the Support Centre helped with many queries including those from Colchester Garrison, a removal company, and a home care provider. They even dealt with queries from as far afield as China and India.

For students, the Maths Support Centre can offer help and support with mathematical or statistical problems relating to your degree course, or with more general numeracy and problem solving that may help improve employability skills.

For staff, help can be offered for a range of maths problems, from calculating pension contributions to seeking advice on how to produce or interpret statistics.

Local businesses have also already tapped into the mathematical expertise at Essex via a number of collaborations which have helped solve issues including everything from helping improve operational procedures at the Port of Felixstowe and evaluating medical data for NHS Trusts to using mathematical modelling to detect early signs of ill-health in dairy cows.

“We are really pleased with the success of the Maths Support Centre, with businesses making the most of having mathematical expertise on their doorstep,” explained Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences Dr Abdel Salhi. “It also gives our students the valuable opportunity to look at real issues in the business world.”

To contact the Maths Support Centre email: mathssupport@essex.ac.uk.

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4 November 2013

Essex students take part in major Model UN event at Oxford

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 11:54 am

The University’s Model United Nations Society went to Oxford to take part in a major United Nations simulation last weekend.

Students at Model UN conference in Oxford

From left: Nikolaos Triantafyllou, Miquel Martinez Pascual, Andrej Nikolovski and Yi-Kai Lim.

In the simulation, named OxiMun, they took part as delegates representing the Republic of El Salvador at the UN committees of Disarmament and Security, Legal, Organisation of American States, and Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian.

During the three-day conference, the delegates had the opportunity to debate in a formal context, using UN procedure. These conferences provide a good platform to develop debating skills, get comfortable with the working procedure of the UN and other international organisations, as well as develop the necessary contacts for a successful career in them.

The delegates from Essex were: Andrej Nikolovski (second-year International Relations), Nikolaos Triantafyllou (first-year Law), Yi-Kai Lim (first-year modern languages) and Miquel Martinez Pascual (third-year PPE).

Students interested finding out more can get in touch with the University of Essex Model United Nations Society through Facebook or the Student Union’s webpage.

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4 October 2013

Welcome Week: the action in pictures

welcome

A warm Welcome to all our new students

From Zorb balls to Spiderman via a handful of foam fingers, this year’s Welcome Week was a triumph of colourful fun across all three campuses.
In Colchester, students got their first taste of the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the official Welcome Talks, packing out the lecture theatre and learning some important tips to surviving their first week. The squares were full of stalls including a street market while the Arts office entertained with everything from Mexican Morris dancing, to a giant campus map.
In Southend student teams took part in the Befriend Southend Challenge which took them around the town hunting for clues including spotting a familiar-looking Spiderman. Their challenge was rounded off at the Freshers’ Fair, which offered chicken and pizza to the hungry masses while they shopped around finding out about all the myriad clubs and societies on offer.
Our Loughton students have been getting stuck into their studies from the off. Having arrived a little earlier, they have been getting involved in their induction programmes and attending departmental talks.
A big shout also goes out to all our volunteers, helpers, student mentors, ambassadors, frontrunners and everyone who gave their time and energy to help make this one of the most vibrant and well attended Welcome Weeks ever.
See the evidence for yourself in our Welcome Week photos.

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Autumn focus on Employability

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, Student experience, What's on — Tags: , , — Communications, CER @ 2:32 pm
emp_fest

Employability – hit the ground running

Employability is the name of the game and this Autumn the team are running a host of events to ensure all our students make the most of their time at Essex and start improving their skills and experience as soon as they can.

Employability Week kicked off this week in Square 2 and will offer students a host of opportunities, including:

  • Top employers running business games and career insight sessions
  • Big Essex Award – open to all
  • Finalists – essential job-hunting workshops
  • Second Years – get focused employability sessions
  • Frontrunner opportunities on-campus
  • Paid internships with outside companies

Square 2 is also home to the Employability-fest this week where, along with barbecue food and live music, there will be plenty of chance to speak to the team about all the opportunities on offer.

Later this month, 28 October, there will also be the Options Careers Fair where students can meet graduate employers in person, discuss career options, discover internships and graduate opportunities.

 

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1 October 2013

Count-Me-In: Modernising attendance recording

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, People pages, Student experience — Tags: — Communications, CER @ 2:56 pm

The University is updating its system to record student attendance at teaching, moving from paper registers to electronic readers.
During the year, electronic readers will be installed in teaching rooms at the Colchester and Southend campuses. Students will use their registration cards to tap into the readers to record their attendance. While the readers are installed and tested, departments will continue to use paper registers to collect attendance information.
This project is designed to help move us towards a more supportive attendance policy where we are able to collect and analyse attendance data more quickly and contact students earlier to offer support and guidance where attendance is low.
In preparation for this, students whose registration cards were issued before October 2012 are being issued with replacement cards. These new cards have information in the chip that the readers need to read when the card is tapped against them. We have been issuing cards with encoded chips since October 2012.
Returning students registered before October 2012,  will need to exchange their existing registration card for a new one before 31 October 2013, as their current registration card will not work on these new electronic readers. Staff should direct students to the Count-Me-In page  on Campus Updates where they will find more information.

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24 September 2013

Essex excellence in social sciences confirmed

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 9:08 am

Essex’s position as one of the UK’s top universities for social services was confirmed in the new Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, published this week.

Students at Essex

Essex excellence in social sciences confirmed.

Politics, Linguistics, Sociology and Economics at Essex all ranked in the top 20 among UK universities.

Essex’s strength in the humanities was also reinforced with Philosophy, History of Art, American Studies and Dance, Drama and Cinematics also gaining top 20 rankings.

Overall, the 2014 Guide put the University at 39th place out of 121 universities across the UK, up one place from last year.

Essex saw improvements in its student satisfaction ratings – up five places to 12th. This reflects the University coming second for overall student satisfaction earlier this year in the National Student Survey, with record scores across all categories.

Professor Jane Wright, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the Essex, said: “We are committed to offering an outstanding education and our students recognise the investment we are making at Essex to improve the student experience, reflected in the fact we came second for overall student satisfaction in the recent National Student Survey.”

A decline in the number of students choosing postgraduate study saw a fall in Essex’s graduate prospects ranking, which masked a four-year high for students progressing to graduate level jobs.

Professor Wright added: “We are working hard to prepare our students for the jobs they aspire to, making sure they have the skills employers are looking for. We are making progress, with a 3.1 per cent improvement in the proportion of graduates getting graduate level jobs – the highest level for four years.”

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23 August 2013

Students win prestigious Wellcome Trust scholarship

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 9:52 am
Gemma Newton, Emily Colley, Dr Mike Hough and Dr Jonathan Worrall.

From left: Gemma Newton, Emily Colley, Dr Mike Hough and Dr Jonathan Worrall.

Biomedical science students Gemma Newton and Emily Colley gained some valuable hands-on research experience after each winning a Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship.

Competition was fierce for the scholarships and the pair were among a group of promising undergraduates from across the UK to secure the scholarship, which allowed them to design and then undertake a full-time, eight-week research project in research labs.

Gemma, who was supported by Dr Mike Hough, focused her project on gaining a better understanding of a particular protein and how it binds to gas molecules – a process which is linked to cardiovascular disease. Emily, who was supported by Dr Jonathan Worrall, researched how a particular protein acts as a signal to trigger cell death, which has implications for cancer.

The scholarship meant they gained valuable research lab experience ahead of their year-long NHS biomedical lab placements; Gemma is going to Colchester General Hospital and Emily is going to Ipswich Hospital.

Both students put in a lot of hard work to secure the scholarship and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, despite having some long days working in the lab.

Emily explained: “We are both considering doing PhDs after graduating and this scholarship offered a great chance of being in a research lab as opposed to a class lab.”

Gemma added: “It is a totally different experience from the class lab environment as you get to do research yourself and get a real insight into what a PhD would be like. We have had some long days, it was lots of work but it has been relaxed and really enjoyable.”

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