Students Staff


19 November 2019

Disability History Month

Filed under: Colchester, News — Laura Mathias @ 10.34 am

Disability History Month starts this Friday (22 November 2019). This year will focus on Leadership, Resistance and Culture. Our Inclusion Manager, Erkan Ibrahim, explains what you can do to mark the awareness month.

Throughout the month, we are encouraging staff and students to display posters that promote important historical figures that have demonstrated leadership in challenging outdated perceptions of disability, fighting to resist discrimination and prejudice in order to change the culture.

The ‘social model’ of disability states that an individual is disabled by their surroundings and the perceptions of others, not by their impairments. It puts the onus on society to ensure that services are accessible, and on people to ensure that they address their own bias and challenge discrimination towards disabled people.

“An individual is disabled by their surroundings and the perceptions of others, not by their impairments”

Historically, the term ‘disabled’ has often implied that a person is less-able than others because they have a hidden or visible impairment or a long term medical condition. This is in keeping with the ‘medical model’ of disability which sees the disabled person as the problem that needs to be addressed or fixed by healthcare professionals.

Disability Awareness Month

Disability has been, and often still is, seen as a charitable issue that requires sympathy. Many disabled people now feel that these models and perceptions are outdated, as they align with the ‘social model’ of disability.

Not everyone will feel confident starting a conversation about disability with others, as they may be afraid of causing offence by saying or doing the wrong thing. The Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service will be running informal ‘brown-bag lunch sessions’ to discuss what we can do to build an inclusive environment for our disabled students and staff:

  • Friday 29 November, 12-1pm, Lakeview Room (Silberrad Floor 1), Colchester Campus
  • Friday 13 December, 12-1pm – Lakeview Room (Silberrad Floor 1), Colchester Campus

Everyone is welcome. Please contact Shirley Dow (Inclusion Officer) if you have any accessibility requirements via or 01206 87 3952.

The library team will also be holding events throughout the month, keep an eye on their website for updates.

Want to talk about disability?

  • Students can contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service on 01206 87 4000 or
  • Staff can contact Occupational Health on 01206 87 2399 or
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22 October 2019

Sustainable Transport around the University

Filed under: Colchester, News — Laura Mathias @ 4.14 pm

We ran a competition during Welcome Week offering students the chance to win a bike. Our Sustainability Team wanted you to think about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, recognising that little choices can lead to big changes and the winner didn’t disappoint…

Sylwia Strzelecka is a first year student studying Modern Languages and here’s her pledge:“I will continue to use my reusable water bottle, try to transition into vegan (from currently being vegetarian), buy less and from sustainable brands where i can, walk rather than taking the bus if possible, donate to offset travel related emissions when flying with Ryanair to my home country, do my best to spread the message and raise awareness among my friends and encourage them to ditch plastic straws at least! I will always carry a reusable bag and make every endeavour to be nicer to our planet.”

Sylwia told us she will use her new bike to cycle to Colchester where she is hoping to get a part time job. She said everyone should give cycling a go, the more people that cycle the better it is for the environment and also it’s great for saving money.

Student with her bike

Sylwia Strzelecka, winner of the competiition

Here are some of the other pledges the team liked:

  • “I pledge to only buy clothes from charity shops or second-hand vintage shops – fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to environmental issues.”
  • “I pledge to use a menstrual cup and to not use pads or tampons.”
  • “I pledge to choose one day a week in which I reduce all my impact. For example, I would not watch TV and walking everywhere rather than take the bus.”

At Essex, we are continuing to work on our sustainable transport initiatives. We would love more staff and students to cycle to and from the University.

Take a look at the cycling provisions in place at our Colchester campus:

  • 32 cycle lockers and more on the way.
  • Cycle park adjacent to Rayleigh Tower at the end of the cycle path between Boundary Road and the North Towers causeway.
  • CCTV and lighting covers the park and there are places for 272 bicycles.
  • Cycle racks in 15 following locations
  • We have two fixing stations and pumps where cyclists can undertake minor repairs and pump up tyres.

If you would like to get your bike serviced, or perhaps you want to buy a bike, come and visit Dr Bike Service on Square 5 at our Colchester Campus every Wednesday during term time (8.30am – 2.30pm).

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8 October 2019

Yom Tov to all our Jewish students

Filed under: Colchester, Loughton, News, Southend, What's on — Communications, CER @ 4.04 pm

Yom Kippur, is the holiest day of the year for our Jewish students and starts at dusk on Tuesday 8 October, until after nightfall on Wednesday 9 October. If you’re unable to attend any teaching event because of religious observances, like Yom Kippur, we understand.

Information for students on the Colchester campus

The postcode of the nearest synagogue to the campus is CO1 2QG.  The easiest route for most students is to take the 62 bus to the top of East Hill (ask for the Castle or Hollytrees Museum) then walk down the hill and take a right-hand turn into Priory Street. Fennings Chase is a short distance on your left.

The Kol Nidre service starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday 8 October and there are services on Wednesday 9 October at 9.30am to 1.00pm and 4.30 to 8pm.

Information for students on the Southend campus

Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation:   There is a kosher grocery next door.

Southend and District Reform Synagogue:

If you are unable to attend a teaching event due to Yom Kippur

If you have or will miss one or more teaching events due to religious observances, you should report your absence in your MyEssex portal.

Support on-campus, search: 

Support off-campus, search:

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19 September 2019

Rosh Hashanah and Welcome Week 2019

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 3.45 pm

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sunset on Sunday 29 September and coincides with the first couple of days of Welcome Week on Monday 30 September and Tuesday 1 October.

Attending your induction events is compulsory, but if you’re unable to attend any event because of religious observances, like Rosh Hashanah, we understand.

It is important that our Jewish students are able to observe this important religious event, and we appreciate that some students may have a compulsory registration or departmental induction event which clashes with Rosh Hashanah.

If you do not attend your induction events, someone from your department will be in touch with you. However, if you can, please let your department know in advance.

If you are unable to attend your registration:

If you do not attend your allocated registration slot due to religious observances, you will be allowed to attend registration throughout Welcome Week on the following dates and times:

Colchester students:

Southend students:

Loughton students:

Registration at East 15 takes place on Friday 4 October and doesn’t clash with Rosh Hashanah

Support on-campus

Support off-campus

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22 July 2019

Showcase your campus photos

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Laura Mathias @ 3.29 pm

We are running a photo competition to showcase the biodiversity of our campuses.

Students at Colchester campus

Students at Colchester Campus

We want you to submit a photo taken on our Colchester, Southend or Loughton Campus that captures the nature and environment.

The winning photos will be included in the team’s welcome week wildlife photo gallery.

What you need to know:

  • This competition is open to all staff and students.
  • Photos must be over 1MB in size.
  • Submissions should be titled and include a short description in the email to provide context to the photograph.
  • If your photo is chosen you will be notified.

How to enter:

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14 June 2019

Studio X sees first entrepreneurial bootcamp for students

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.31 pm

Essex Startups annual bootcamp focusing on business ideas, the business model canvas and branding strategies, took place in Studio X, our brand new creative and collaborative working space for student entrepreneurs on 8 and 9 June.

Students in their early morning wake up session at the bootcamp.

Students in their early morning wake up session at the bootcamp.

The bootcamp is a chance for student entrepreneurs to gain valuable guidance and advice on developing their ideas and starting their own business. It also gives them a great opportunity to work on building relationships and networks with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Students who attended the bootcamp will have the chance to enter the Big Pitch this October, where they will pitch their business idea to a panel of judges for the chance to win up to £3,000 worth of funding. The students will work with the Essex Startups team over the summer on their business plan and they will automatically be entered in for a chance to pitch.

For any advice on starting your own business please contact the Essex Startups team:

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15 May 2019

Make sure your bike is tagged before our annual cycle removal

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.47 pm
A cyclist at our Colchester Campus.

A cyclist at our Colchester Campus.

Our security team are preparing to remove all abandoned bicycles and bicycle locks on campus. To prevent yours from being removed you need to display a blue tag.

These tags are available from the Information Centre on Square 3 or the Estate Management Helpdesk (room 6.003). Please secure the blue tag around your bicycle frame or lock to indicate to the Security Team that it should not be removed.  All bicycles and locks being left over the summer must have a blue tag and should be located in a cycle rack. The Security Team will be inspecting all bicycles and locks on campus during the first week of September.

Any bicycles or locks not displaying a blue tag will be deemed abandoned and removed. Removed bicycles will be donated to Re-Cycle.

Locks will be cut to remove any untagged bikes and the cost will not be reimbursed.

Staff and students wanting to continue using their bicycle on campus over the summer are advised to continue to display a blue tag to ensure their bike is not removed.

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9 May 2019

A week of celebrating the cultures and traditions of European Countries

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 8.44 am

Monica Illsley, our Chief of Staff, and Chair of the joint staff and student One Essex Inclusivity Group tells us more about Europe Week and why we’re so proud of our diversity and our inclusive spirit.

Europe Week

Europe Week

Last week students and staff came together for a week-long programme of events to celebrate what it means to us to be a European community. The idea came from our Students’ Union and it felt like the right thing to do as part of our ongoing joint University and Students’ Union One World, One Spirit, One Essex campaign.

As a University we’re proud of our diversity, our people and our inclusive spirit. We value being in an environment where students and staff from across Europe live and work and we aim to respect and support each other, no matter who we are or where we come from. It’s one of the reasons that we, as staff, work here, and why many of our students choose to study here.

Students at our flag parade

Students at our flag parade

I myself was born and grew up in London, but my parents and my family are Spanish. I first came to Essex (more years ago than I care to remember) to study for a European Law degree which included a year abroad, having chosen Essex because it felt international and welcoming and like the right fit for me. I’m now fortunate to work here and that my work brings me into contact with people from all over the world on a daily basis. I am proud to feel British, Spanish, and European.

In these times of political turmoil, we will each have our own identities and strongly held views and beliefs. Whilst these have the potential to divide us, they are also part of what makes us a diverse and, I think, really interesting, open and tolerant learning community.

A stall at our street party

A stall at our street party

Europe Week, led by Asha Ali our wonderful VP International and Students’ Union President (Elect), saw students and staff come together through events and activities, to share cultures and traditions, the things that make us who we are as individuals and that together make us the rich and vibrant University community that we’re so proud of. And from the Opening Flag Parade on Monday to the Street Party event that closed the week in style on Friday (despite the less than ideal weather), I think we did just that.

Useful links
Impact of European Union referendum vote for staff
Brexit support and advice for our students
Reaffirming our position as an international University community

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8 May 2019

Helping shape the university of tomorrow

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 1.46 pm

We hear from Tanki, our SU President, as he tells us more about how the Student’s Union helped shape our new University Strategy and why it’s so important that students understand what the plan is all about. 

Tancrede Chartier

Tancrede Chartier

What role did you play in the development of this University Strategy?

The Students’ Union has been very involved in the making of the new Strategic Plan. Throughout the process we were involved in coming up with ideas, taking some pieces out and really engaging with the University to help shape the plan and make sure the final version was delivering the University of tomorrow.

Is it something you’d like other students to read? Is it important?

I think it is important for students to read it. Every member of our community had a chance to contribute to this plan, so the final document includes a bit of everyone. It spells out what the University will look like in the future, so it’s an important document for you to understand.

Were there any points in it that you were particularly pleased or disappointed in? Anything you really dug your heels in on?

Overall I think it’s a very good document, especially taking into consideration that it’s really everyone’s Strategic Plan. I was very pleased with all the work around community and people. It is so important for any community to focus on their people first. Without people you have nothing, so it’s really important to ensure that people are at the very centre of your plans for the future. We’ve also done lots of work to make sure the plan focuses on our whole community and that Essex remains a place where we can truly live our values around inclusion.

The strategy says we are going to ensure every student gets a transformational education. Did you? If so what about you has been transformed?

Sometimes transformational education can feel like a buzzword. It feels like one of those words that means everything but nothing at the same time. But actually, when you think about it, it’s so instrumental to the work we do here at Essex.

I really do feel like I have had a transformational education, not just from the academic side of life at Essex, but also from all the other great experiences I’ve been able to access like societies, sport teams, and volunteering opportunities.

Like we say at Graduation, an Essex education isn’t just about shaping students, but about shaping graduates who will go out into the world and make a difference.

What does this new University Strategy mean for our students, both now and for the future?

This is a very challenging plan, especially as we’ve put it together at a time when Universities are facing so many challenges and uncertainties. This plan really puts Essex on the map and is an incredible statement. At this time of uncertainty, our values remain stronger than ever, and our vision is to provide the best experience we possibly can for our students at the same time as challenging the norm.

What does the Essex Spirit mean to you? Have you discovered your unique Essex Spirit? Tell us about it? Is it something that will remain with you even after you leave Essex?

Essex Spirit is everything. It’s anything that you want it to be. It’s embracing what we stand for and delivering it. I have discovered the will to give a voice to those who don’t have one, and this was very much shaped by my time at Essex. This will stay with me forever.

What are your plans for after your time as SU president is over? How will you use your Essex Spirit to make your mark on the world?

I’m currently applying to go to acting school, so fingers crossed. (To East 15 as well, so I might become an Essex student again). I want to use theatre as a medium to empower people and to give them the voice that has been taken away from them.

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2 May 2019

Nominate your research supervisor for a national award

Filed under: Colchester, Loughton, News, Southend — Communications Office @ 3.47 pm

If you have an inspirational research supervisor you can nominate them for this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

You have until Wednesday 5 June to nominate Essex academics for the title of Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year and entries can be submitted by Essex students or colleagues of the nominee.

The Times Higher Education Awards website says: “This award will be given to the individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for doctoral students. Entries will be accepted from institutions, supervisors themselves or their students or colleagues, but in all cases the institution must support the submission and student testimonies must be included in the supplementary documentation.”

Qualities judges might be looking for in nominees might include

  • Evidence of outstanding results of their supervision over a number of years (Have students from a range of backgrounds been encouraged to pursue a doctorate? What have they gone on to achieve?)
  • A pioneering approach to supervision: what has the nominee done above and beyond that which is expected of any good supervisor?
  • Demonstrable enthusiasm for the role and going the extra mile to help students navigate through difficulties, academic or otherwise.
  • Challenging students intellectually and helping them to make substantial contributions to their academic field.
  • Providing additional support and facilities to give greater scope to their research.
  • Providing supervision to an exceptional number of candidates over time.
  • Offering constructive employment and career advice post-graduation

If you are planning to nominate a research supervisor please let our Communications Office know at: as the Communications team can help you with the application and can check the University will back the nomination.

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