Students Staff

12 October 2018

Meet Andrea Lungay, the new VP Southend

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 12.37 pm

What degree course did you complete at Southend?

I studied World Performance at the East 15 Acting School.  I fell in love with the course when I discovered about all the dance and music that was involved. Then, when  I came to Southend, and saw the accommodation, campus and met all the other new students, I just thought it was for me.

Why do you like Southend?

The town is quirky. It’s really colourful and vibrant. There are so many different types of people here, you can see two very different people sitting together and having a conversation.

Essex alumni who stay in Southend are often international students and you get to see people from all sorts of places coming together in this seaside town.

What was the best part of your degree course?

My third year, for sure. It was a difficult year but rewarding. I worked as assistant director on two East 15 productions and I realised directing was my passion and that is what I want to do.

Why did you decide to stand for VP?

I was inspired by Ernest Nyarko,  who was VP for the last two years, and everything that he achieved.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Students do like to party at university, but we come here for a degree. Students do not always realise how difficult the jump to degree study is going to be and, on top of that, they can be miles away from their family.  I want to ensure Essex is their home away from home.

The Students’ Union is a lovely family. No matter how hard it gets there is always someone here who can back you up.

Do you have any advice for first year students?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Sometimes it can be nervewracking, there is a lot going on. The Southend Campus is like a crazy unconventional family, you will find your place.

How do you relax?

I love to cook, I used to cook at home with my mum on Sundays and my sly passion is maths! I really love maths.  World Performance is very physical and to relax I would download some algebra to do!



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9 October 2018

Creating a conversation around health and wellbeing

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 9.29 am

Taran Baragwanath is our VP Welfare and Community. Here, he talks about his time at Essex, including his own battles with mental health issues, how this inspired him to become a Sabb, and the priority our SU is giving to mental health.

Taran Baragwanath

Taran Baragwanath

I’ve been Essex as a student and as a sabbatical officer for a number of years now. I’ve loved the majority of my time here, but like plenty of students at university, I’ve had my own battle with mental health issues since starting my studies.

During my second year, my mental health became bad enough that I had to intermit – although this felt really daunting, I’m glad I did, as it meant that I was able to deal with my issues and rediscover my love for my degree and have the opportunity to put myself back on track.

After going through experiences like this, it ignited a passion for people’s welfare that I channelled through my work as LGBTQ+ Officer and subsequently by becoming a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer.

This year, the SU has made one of our biggest priorities mental health. We’re working on a number of projects to break down the stigma of mental health issues and create a conversation around mental health and wellbeing – you may have seen one of our first steps into this if you got a free plant from Freshers’ Fair!

We’re also working on a training programme for mental health first aid so that students can be trained on how to deal with mental health problems – it’s important that we give as many people as possible the tools to work on mental health and wellbeing so that we can break down stigma.

On top of that we’re looking at  how we can increase support and awareness of services that you can access whilst you’re at university – we’re working very closely with the Student Wellbeing Service to ensure that all services are as student accessible as possible and work for students too.

I’m so excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to help students as much as I possibly can – we’re always looking for student involvement, so if you’re passionate about mental health, wellbeing and student welfare please get involved on this journey with me.

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4 October 2018

Join the Student Conduct Panel

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.09 pm

The Student Conduct Panel exists to deal with cases of serious student non-academic misconduct. The Panel comprises of a small number of academic staff and students. When a student is reported for an alleged breach of the Student Conduct Regulations the case is investigated by the Proctor or the Associate Proctor who may impose a penalty themselves in less serious cases. However, serious cases or repeated minor breaches are referred for a hearing by a Student Conduct Committee made up of three members of the Student Conduct Panel: two members of academic staff and one student. The Student Conduct Committee meets and follows set procedures to hear all the evidence in the case to determine whether or not the accused student is guilty of the alleged breach and, if so, what the penalty should be. Penalties can range from a formal written warning to expulsion from the University.

What are the benefits of joining?

As a member of the panel you would be making a significant contribution to University life. Aside from finding involvement in the process very interesting and rewarding, you would gain some valuable transferrable skills that could be used during and beyond your studies. We encourage students who have participated in the process to make reference to their panel membership on their CV.

Additionally, students who join the panel in 2017/18 and who complete their initial training session plus two observations and then sit on a minimum of four committee meetings over a three year period can achieve 25 units towards a Big Essex Award.

How will membership affect my studies?

Membership of the panel will not take up much of your time. A Student Conduct Committee usually lasts less than two hours and we have in the region of five to ten per academic year. In a busy year it is unlikely that you would be expected to sit on more than three or four committees over the course of the year. Students who join the panel are expected to attend an initial training session and then observe some committees before being ready to sit on a committee themselves. There is also an annual training event which all existing panel members must attend which lasts about three to four hours

How long would my membership last?

If you are happy to do so, we would hope that you would remain a panel member for the duration of your studies. Experience as a panel member contributes greatly towards the panel functioning well.

What should I do if I’m interested in joining and want to know more?

If you are interested in joining, please email to register your interest as soon as possible and no later than 4pm on Monday 8 October 2018. You will then be sent an application form to complete and return by 5pm on Monday 15 October 2018. We will contact you as soon as possible to let you know if you have been shortlisted for a short interview which will take place on Wednesday 31 October 2018. Successful applicants will be required to attend training on Wednesday 21 November 2018 (full day). Please make a note of these dates in your diary / calendar.

Further information

In the meantime, find out more about the student conduct process.

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26 September 2018

LEAP is here

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 9.13 am

LEAPLEAP is our new Learner Engagement Activity Portal which will give you an overview of your academic progress, specifically how engaged you are with your course.

From the start of term, you’ll be able to see what you have been up to at university based upon your engagement with university resources including:

  • Faser
  • Moodle
  • Listen Again
  • Your attendance
  • University computer logins

LEAP will provide you with an engagement indicator for the last 7 days. There are 5 engagement indicators (high, good, partial, low and very low) which will help map your engagement with your academic studies.

These engagement indicators are designed to help you think about your engagement with your course, help you make informed choices about your studies and empower you to become a more effective independent learner.

From the start of term, you will be able to can login to LEAP  through My Essex and Pocket Essex, our mobile app for Android and iOS using your Essex ID ( and normal Essex password.

Some of our students helped pilot this system last year, and because it was such a success, we’re now launching LEAP across the university wide. ‘Thank you’ to everyone who took part in the pilot.

You can email us at  if you have any problems logging in.


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17 August 2018

East 15 alumni reunite for new production

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 1.48 pm

Sally Beck Whippman

Current Masters of Fine Arts student Sally Beck Whippman has brought together several East 15 Acting School alumni for Haymarket, a new folk musical she is directing in London.

She has been joined behind the scenes by Masters’ alumni Rosie Jane who is producing Haymarket, which can be seen at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden on Tuesday 18 September and Wednesday 19 September.


Sally said: ” I’m excited to bring a talented group of people together to tell this story about the rise of the working class.”

Olivia Baker, Hannah Siden and Reetta Hyreen, who were also Masters students at East 15 in Loughton are part of the 12-strong cast of actor-musicians in this production by Alex Higgin-Houser and David Kornfield.

Rosie Jane said: “It’s a brilliant production and we are bringing out the best in each other as we head towards the performance dates.

Haymarket starts in 1886 Chicago, a city plagued by money-making and corruption.  Exhausted by the working conditions, labour leaders began a journey that would lead to one of the most influential movements in the history of the working class.

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10 July 2018

It’s goodbye from Ernest, our VP Southend

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 2.11 pm

‘It’s truly hard to believe how quickly the last two years have flown by and that I’m writing my final words to you all.

An image of Ernest Nyarko

Ernest Nyarko

From the very first day,  I always put the needs of students at the heart of everything I did and without doubt it has been a pleasure to serve and represent all of you. I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many of you while we worked together to improve the lives of all the students here in Southend.

While representing you, I worked tirelessly with staff members to ensure that our students were not left behind when decisions were being made within the University and Students’ Union. Together we have achieved tremendous success and contributed positively to our campus.

  • We created several successful events and campaigns, improved student engagement across departments, promoted our Mental health and wellbeing project, created and secured funding for our first two Dragons’ Den sessions and first ever Google start-up trip.
  • We set up our student parliament, provided support for our students at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and created BAME Forums,
  • We celebrated Black History month, secured temporary alcohol licences for student led events in our SU Lounge, secured free Amazon Prime view in both the SU Lounge and common room in University Square and arranged short-term accommodation options for our commuting students and affordable car parking rates.

These are just a few of our achievements, and I believe our efforts over these past years have begun to lay a foundation upon which the Students’ Union will continue to build in years to come.

My advice to you is to make sure to utilise the opportunities offered by both Essex and our Students’ Union. Challenge yourself with new sports; take up opportunities from the activities offered on Campus to meet people from different backgrounds as well as people from other courses.

As an international student, I took advantage of all these opportunities to meet a lot of new people and made good friends across the globe who will always be part of my life. So I entreat you to make the most of everything out there guys; and you will never regret it.

It has been a pleasure to be your Students’ Union Vice President and I will forever cherish it. It has given me fantastic memories and experiences I will always treasure. I wish you all the best in the future and good luck to your new VP Andrea Lungay.’

Ernest signing out


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6 July 2018

From baking cakes to running a national volunteering organisation

Filed under: News — mh17332 @ 2.35 pm

A psychology student has made her mark on volunteering in Nigeria by founding an organisation which matches potential volunteers with worthy projects across the country.

When she joined Essex in 2016 Rasheedat Olarinoye had no experience of volunteering, but after baking cakes to raise money for Syrian refugees she was bitten by the volunteering bug.

She was soon an active member of Essex Enactus – part of a global student network involving 1500 universities in 40 countries, all working to improve the living standards of millions of disadvantaged people through community projects. Having grown up in Nigeria, before her family moved to the UK, Rasheedat knew there was not a strong culture of volunteering there.

“Being part of the Vteam at Essex made it very easy for me to get involved in volunteering. I knew that many of my friends in Nigeria would be interested in volunteering, but just didn’t know how to go about it. That’s how I came up with the idea of bringing potential volunteers together with projects which could benefit from their time.”

The Volunteering for All website was born. But not content with matching volunteers with projects,   Rasheedat busied herself raising money for a refugee camp in Lagos. In just a week she raised enough money to feed 200 people with a special celebration meal to mark the end of Ramadan and recruited volunteers, including her own mum, to cook and serve the food.

She has since set up three other projects in Nigeria and works with 25 not-for-profit organisations, providing volunteers for their projects across the country, including one which helps disadvantaged children improve their literacy skills.

Rasheedat has got so much out of her volunteering experience, she would recommend other students to follow suit. As she explained: “It’s not just something to put on your CV, you get so much out of volunteering. You meet like-minded people and can get involved in projects which make a difference. There is so much going wrong in the world, but there’s so much you can do to help other people.

“It was like walking into a shop full of candy when I realised the opportunities volunteering offered.”

In her first year, Rasheedat clocked up more than 150 hours of volunteering, earning her a Gold Big Essex  award.  So far this year she has amassed more than 500 hours, including on-going work with Enactus, running Volunteering for All, involvement in the Islam and Psychology Societies and working for Nightline, the support service  run by students for students, which was founded in Essex and now has branches at universities across the UK.




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From Beijing to Essex to study

Filed under: News — mh17332 @ 10.56 am

A Chinese student who arrived at Essex to gain the skills and qualifications she needed to become a translator and interpreter feels she’ll be leaving the University with so much more.

 Sitong Zong studied for a degree in logistics management in Bejing, but part-way through her course set her heart on a career as a Chinese-English translator and interpreter.

 She felt her best chances of success lay in studying in an English-speaking environment, but was worried her lack of experience would be a barrier. A recruitment event in Shanghai changed her mind.

 “I was told my passion and interest in the subject was the most important thing. That event was crucial and I am so glad I went. The University of Essex has exceeded my expectations. It has given me so many opportunities to build up my CV and experience, and also take part in so many activities. I thought I would just be here until I completed my course, but now I don’t want to leave.”

 Sitong has spent two years at Essex – completing a PG Diploma in interpreting, followed by  an MA in Conference Interpreting and Translation. She has really thrown herself into student life and gained a Big Essex Gold Award, in recognition of the many activities she has been involved in.

 These have included opportunities connected to her course. Recommended by her course director, she worked as an interpreter for a tourism forum at the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, met senior translators at the EU in Brussels and for two years running won the Translation Challenge, organised by the department and a translation company.

 She joined the public speaking society, learned French through the Languages for All programme, which offers students the opportunity to learn another language for free alongside their main degree, and volunteered at a local church in Clacton.

 Sitong lived on campus throughout her time at Essex and appreciated the convenience and security this brought her.

 She now hopes to stay in the UK and is keen to use her skills to help British companies begin trading in China.



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12 June 2018

Everyone’s a winner

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 9.47 am

Congratulations to all the winners of the Students’ Union Southend Awards who were presented with their certificates at a special party in the SU Lounge. The annual awards recognise the fantastic work of our students and staff by acknowledging and celebrating all those  who have gone the extra mile to help Southend Students’ Union become the thriving organisation it is today with the nominations put forward by the students.

VP Southend Ernest Nyarko said: ” This was our third annual awards.  It’s a great opportunity to recognise the amazing contributions that students and staff make to our wonderful university community.”

You can find more photos on the SU Southend Facebook page

The winners are as follows:-

SU Permanent staff – Kirsty Matthew

SU student staff – Kalina Katsarska

Best University Support staff – Rebecca Johnson

Friend of Southend SU – Aideen Sadler

BUCS Men’s Football Awards

BUCS Manager’s Player  – Luke Skippins

Players’ Player – Nicholas Lutterodt

Newcomer –  Mohamed Mussa

Just Player of the Year – Charlotte Yates

Society of the Year – Nursing Society

Society Event of the year – Coloured Theatre

SU Ambassador – Paidomoyo Chitate

Course Reps Awards

Health and Social Care – Cheyne Truman

Essex Business School  –  Kalina  Katsarska

East 15 – Anna Mills

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies – Robin Tinashe Mavundukure

Course Rep Certificates

Gold: Cheyne Truman, Kalina Katsarska

Silver: Ifra Qureshi, Anna Mills, Sam Poole

Bronze: Rahima Begum, Sophie Davies, Kabo Muyaluka, Codie Yau, Mikaela Rudell, Kassie Jones




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6 June 2018

Enter our data analysis competition for your chance to win £200

Filed under: Colchester, News, Southend — Communications Office @ 11.36 am

UKDA logoHave you used data for secondary analysis in your final year project or dissertation at Essex? We’re offering a prize for your research!

We’re looking for research that highlights social and economic issues and also showcases an interesting re-use of quantitative or qualitative data, available through the UK Data Archive.

The Essex Secondary Data Analysis Award is open to each level of study including undergraduate, Masters and PhD. A panel of lecturers and researchers across the Faculty of Social Sciences will judge the entries.

The winning candidate from each level of study will receive a prize of £200 in Amazon vouchers. Through the UK Data Archive at Essex, the winners will also get to showcase their quantitative and qualitative skills to the wider academic community, plus potential employers such as The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.

The winning entries and their key findings will be publicised in Essex Weekly and on the Essex website (if the winning students and their supervisors give permission).

How to enter

You’ll need to  submit an executive summary (two A4 pages maximum) outlining your research question, data used, methodology, results and example of your evidence such as table, graph or excerpt from interview transcript of your course work to the UK Data Archive.

Before you submit, please check for completeness and clarity of any graphs and illustrations, and accurate data citation

The deadline is 16 September 2018

We’ll contact shortlisted candidates by the end of September, and ask you to submit an electronic copy of your full work. Then we’ll announce the winners in October.

Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to any Essex students who have used quantitative or qualitative data available through the UK Data Archive in their research. This can include mixed methods approaches if one of the data sources is available from the UK Data Archive. Work submitted that does not use data from the UK Data Archive will be disqualified.

This competition is open to any undergraduate, Masters or PhD student enrolled at the University of Essex in any discipline for third year projects or dissertations on social and economic issues. Essex alumni or staff currently working at Essex who submitted dissertations in the last two years can enter. Entries can be submitted either by individuals or by department and schools.

By entering the competition, you hereby warrant that all information submitted by you is true, current and complete. The UK Data Archive reserves the right to verify the eligibility of all entrants.

For further details please contact the UK Data Archive.

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