Students Staff


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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11 May 2018

Our new report and support system is live

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 10.19 am

ends_now_banner_300x200Last month, our SU told you about our new online report and support system. The system is now live, and it will be easier for you to report any instance of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime at our campuses.

This system is easy to use, mobile-friendly, and gets you the help you need. You will be contacted within 3 working days of making an online report, and one of our trained advisers from across our three campuses will offer you a face-to-face meeting to discuss your options.  You will be offered a variety of support, and will be given tailored information to your needs.

We’ve also given you the choice of making an anonymous report, if you would rather not contact an adviser. Anonymous reports are for statistical purposes only, and let us know what’s happening on our campuses, so that we can take a more targeted approach to tackling sexual violence, harassment and hate crime.  However, you need to be aware that if you make a report anonymously then we are unable to take any action on the report.

This system is not for emergency purposes.  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, please use our emergency contact details.

You can report any of the following incidents on our new system:

  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Hate crime
  • Relationship abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence

The University has a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence, harassment and hate crime, and  this new system will make sure that your voices are heard.  Whoever you are, and whoever you’re reporting, we will listen to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone in a position of authority, a member of staff, another student or someone from outside of our community. Whenever an incident is reported we will take proportionate action.

We want you to feel empowered to report an incident, and we hope that by making it easier to report, you will feel safer and know that we are all working together to make our community an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Our system can be found at

To find out more contact

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20 April 2018

Degrees on the job

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 12.08 pm

Our apprenticeships manager  Rachel Brown  explains the different options of the degree apprenticeship scheme.

What are higher and degree apprenticeships?

Higher and Degree apprenticeships are available for a range of different occupations and combine work with study at an accredited education provider  Students work towards either a vocation work-based, academic or professional qualification relevant to their profession.

Higher Apprenticeships are available at levels 4 to 7 and include Degree Apprenticeships. Degree Apprenticeships must include an academic qualification at either Bachelors (Level 6) or Masters (Level  7).

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships include a minimum of 20% off the job training which will typically be delivered by a college, university or other education & training provider. The apprentices will all be employed  and will be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage.

Are they only on offer to 18 year olds?

No, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 18 and over and who is in employment.

What qualifications do I need to enrol?

Entry requirements for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships depend on the occupation of the apprenticeship and on any prior skills the applicant has developed.

Do I have to contribute financially?

Good news – your employer, or your employer and the Government combined, will cover the training costs of your apprenticeship.

I already have a degree can I sign up?

Yes, you can to gain a qualification relevant to your profession.

What occupations do the apprenticeships cover?

There is a wide range of occupations covered by Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, with more being approved all the time. These include:

Dental Technician (Level 5)

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner (Level 5)

Aerospace software development engineer (Level 6)

Chartered Manager (Level 6)

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Level 6)

Embedded electronic systems design and development engineer (Level 6)

Registered Nurse (Level 6)

Teacher (Level 6)

Accountancy / Taxation Professional (Level 7)

Senior Leaders (Level 7)

Solicitor (Level 7)

For more information about all the apprenticeship standards approved to date and those still in development visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website. 

What can I study at Essex?

We are currently delivering Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the following areas:

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional

Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

Registered Nurse

We expect to grow the number of apprenticeship standards we offer over the coming years.

How can I find out if I can take up an apprenticeship?

Have a look at our website or visit  and Get in Go Far for information on the apprenticeships running around the country.

How long do the courses run for?

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships must last at least a year but Degree Apprenticeships will take longer than that, typically anywhere between two and four years depending on the academic qualification included in the apprenticeship standard.

What qualification would I have at the end?

When you complete your Higher or Degree Apprenticeship you will be presented with a certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeship detailing the name of the apprenticeships standard you were following plus the academic or vocational award that formed part of the apprenticeship.

For example if you were working towards the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship and you were attending the University of Essex for your ‘off the job’ training you would receive a certificate from the Institute of Apprenticeships for the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship and a certificate for a Foundation Degree in Health Science from the University of Essex.



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Summer time, should the living be easy?

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 11.04 am

In a few years’ time today’s students will have to get used to the four weeks’ annual leave the rest of us enjoy. Do we take pity on our offspring and encourage them to make the most of the long summer holiday ahead or point them in the direction of the local restaurant for a part-time job?Beach Volleyball (300 x 200)

Earning some money can, of course, be a great motivator to get funds back up to an acceptable level for the academic year ahead or  to pay for a nice holiday at the end of the summer.   Boosting CVs can also be an inducement to get some employment over the summer, voluntary or paid.

Our daughter gave several options a go over the three years, combining voluntary and paid work and all seemed to help with the end goal of getting a good job and keeping student debt to a minimum. She  is not an intrepid traveller which would have been an exciting option, preferring (free!) family holidays instead.

Every summer our daughter helps out as a volunteer with a children’s club for a week, providing fun activities for young people who otherwise might not have a break. Whatever she is doing, that week is earmarked in her diary. It is a tiring but enjoyable week and certainly gives her a lot to talk about.

The summer between A Levels and University she took over running the home for us.   It gave us a bit of a holiday too as we set off for work every morning knowing we would have a lovely dinner when we got home (I’m a rubbish cook so that was a real bonus) and the ironing would be done. It also taught some valuable lifeskills as she worked out the menu for the week and got the hang of the vacuum cleaner.  I quite enjoyed it when we were told off for making a mess!

The next summer our daughter landed a job on campus, helping out with the busy events team. That was a very hectic time, working on shifts and at weekends, manning reception and helping to welcome the hundreds of guests who stay here during the holidays. It really boosted her organisational and people skills and has stood her in good stead in her current job.

As well as summer jobs on campus, we also run placements on our unique frontrunners scheme. Students can apply for employment opportunities, which help develop work skills, provide on the job training and pay!

Through our Employability and careers team you can also look to fix up an internship. Essex Interns creates paid internship opportunities that are exclusively for Essex students and graduates. Membership is open to current students and those who have graduated from Essex within the last three years.

Internships can be part-time, or full-time outside of term-time and after graduation, and can vary in length from around six weeks to up to 12 months.

During her second year our daughter set out to get an internship for the summer and, through the University, ended up with a great one in London, which expanded on the  skills she was learning through her degree.   Commuting into the capital every day was definitely an experience and has made her appreciate her 20 minute journey to work now.

By the time she finished her degree, she had her job lined up for a late September start, so the summer was spent relaxing and enjoying sport, reconnecting with old friends and making some new.  This has led to her taking on another voluntary role with young people.

As you can see, she likes to keep busy! It wouldn’t work for everyone, but the experiences gave our daughter confidence and a healthy bank account, which we really appreciate even now.

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Exam prep – we’re in this together

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 10.24 am

Six secrets to great exam prep from Dr Mick Kavanagh, Academic Skills Senior Tutor at our Talent Development Centre.TDC-Helpdesk

If you’re not sure how to get ready for your exams, here are a few pointers. Perhaps the key messages are to get started and to pace yourself. If you’re worried, just remember that many students have been (and are) in the same situation as you, thinking many of the same things. Across Essex, everybody wants you to do well. The following suggestions are based on the imperatives: Organise, Personalise, Revise, Prioritise, Decide, and Cooperate. In the end, of course, you decide, but I hope these ideas will help! 

Organise: Get your notes in order, adopting a numbering and filing system (e.g. by module, lecture, seminar, tutorial, related reading, online links). Ask yourself, ‘Could I, within a minute, find my notes from Module X, Lecture 3, and any related material?’ Coordinate these records with any digital notes you have made. 

Personalise: If lecture notes are just a record of what was said, or a collection of PPT printouts, they’re incomplete. If you haven’t already done so, add your own questions and comments, and cross-references to other lectures (even modules) and reading. Use highlights, colours, sticky notes, arrows, circles, underlining, Bold, italics, different fonts, etc. 

Revise: If you’ve been organising and personalising, you’ve already been revising, but don’t let this take all your time. Make a timetable for the weeks leading up to your exams, so that you can use your time efficiently. (Remember to include time to relax). Chunk the content in order to spread it over your available time. (Don’t try to cover it all on Day One, nor leave it all until the last moment.) Attend any revision workshops that are on offer, and pick up on cues from the department about what will be included in the exam. 

Prioritise what you need to revise by considering what is essential and what is less so. Write revision cards to reduce your notes. Prepare last-minute cards – of things you think you may forget – to consult just before entering the exam. 

Decide how to work: Throw your phone away – or at least put it in another room while you’re revising. Impose no-social media periods on yourself. Vary your revision tasks (e.g. making cards; sorting; planning a possible ‘answer’). Eventually, move away from your revision cards. Overlap familiar and ‘new’ material (eg. morning.: familiar /afternoon.: new). If they help, use diagrams like mind-maps, spider diagrams, flowcharts, and process diagrams. 

Cooperate: If you’re happy working alone, carry on. But sometimes working with others can be very beneficial. Don’t let this accidentally turn into a relaxation opportunity, but if handled well it can provide motivation, encouragement, stimulus, shared problem-solving and greater understanding (eg. explaining something to a non-discipline friend is a good way to test your own understanding).

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